In case you haven’t had your full dose of prospect content these past few weeks, here’s a bit more.
What you missed
There wasn’t a prospect update last week because it was the holidays and the only thing of note going on was two Stockton games. Here’s a quick recap of those:
- They lost twice to San Jose.
- Morgan Klimchuk and Mark Jankowski each had three points.
- In the first of those two games, Jon Gillies got shelled, allowing five goals on 43 shots.
- Second round pick Hunter Smith also got two points.
You can see why we skipped last week.
A quick peek at the WJC
In case you haven’t been following along, we have a bunch of great recaps provided daily by Ari and Ryan. Here’s days one, two, three, four, six, and the round-robin recap. Make sure to stick around through the week for more.
Anyways, here’s a quick breakdown with some summary of above articles, some of my own opinion, and some stats.
It’s not our fancy table, but it does the job.
- Dube is being used as a fourth liner so far, only averaging more ice time than two other Canadians. This also includes his PK time, and if I had to guess, he’s probably be at or close to the bottom of the rung. However, he’s produced a healthy amount considering his role (3.43 P/60), so perhaps we can see his counting numbers jump up with a bit more ice time.
- Fox’s lucrative Harvard numbers aren’t showing up at this tournament, but he’s not playing that primary offensive role as he does when he’s at school. Fox has been a sturdy and quiet member of Team USA, rarely making a mistake but also not making much of an impression either. I’m interested in how the Americans will use him in the elimination round.
- Our own international man of mystery, Karnaukhov has been another quiet yet important contributor for Russia. He’s the only Flames player to actually score a goal at this tournament.
- Kylington is currently the leader among all Flames at the tournament, in ice time and in points. The Swede has been the defensive anchor for his team.
- Tyler Parsons, not in the table, has been solid for the USA, but also very lightly tested. He’s only allowed five goals in three games so far in the tournament, but he’s also faced more than 20 shots just once (21 shots last night against the Swiss). So far, he’s stopped 55 of 60 shots thrown his way.
- All five prospects will be moving on to the semis, setting up some interesting Flames vs. Flames drama.
- Mark Jankowski, like he did last week, scored three points this week and is now tied for the lead in Heat scoring with Linden Vey. Albeit, he has played two more games than Vey, but he made up for time lost during his NHL call-up.
- My main concern with Janko right now is consistency though. He seems to have major bursts in scoring followed by large droughts (it’s worth mentioning that all three of his points this week came in one game). Scoring is scoring after all, but I like consistent scoring over sporadic scoring.
- Speaking of, just when Klimchuk looked like he was back in early season form, he dropped back down to one point this week. As you were.
- Mitchell Mattson came back from break to notch two assists. He’s been a quietly productive middle sixer for Bloomington, and he’s getting his ice time bumped up as a reward. You should always remain sketchy of 18-year-olds in the USHL, but I have faith that he’ll be a good player when he reaches UND next year.
- Matthew Phillips slowed down this week, “only” scoring three points. He remains very good.
- Hunter Shinkaruk had a very rough week with just an assist to his name. He’s always been a very promising player to me, but that’s been getting harder to say in recent weeks.
- Eetu Tuulola added two goals to his totals. He loves scoring goals, in case you haven’t heard.
- Rasmus Andersson has started to slow down on the offensive side, scoring zilch through the past two weeks. However, he remains a constant on the Heat’s top pairing, so good news there.
- Ryan Culkin’s status as a prospect is under fire. Since returning from injury, his appearances in the lineup have been scarce. It’s tough when the coach is willing to drop you for Keegan Kanzig.
- Speaking of, the big man is in Stockton in place of Kylington. He probably won’t do enough to stick around, but it’s nice that he’s getting playing time.
- Brett Kulak was the only AHL defender to have himself a week, scoring a goal and an assist. He should be back in the NHL, but with Tyler Wotherspoon’s waiver-exempt status expiring, he’ll probably stay down barring injury.
- Part of Stockton’s downward trend is their goalies returning to human form. David Rittich has fallen from ~.940SV% to ~.920SV% in a few short weeks, and Jon Gillies hasn’t been his usual ~.920SV% self. When those two stabilize, the Heat should be dangerous once again.
- Nothing much to report on Mason McDonald and Nick Schneider, who are still stuck in the ~.890SV% zone. Not very good!
Prospect of the month
The awkward side to skipping a week is that this comes a little bit later than it should. Oops.
Anyway, Matt Phillips wins the award after scoring 17 points in 12 December games. He’s been absolutely sensational the past month, showing Team Canada what they’re missing at the World Juniors. There was absolutely no surprise that the sixth rounder was a good player, however it’s still nuts just how good he’s been thus far. Hopefully, January is even better for him.