Prospect Dive- Colorado Avalanche By Alex Wyatt (Hurricanes) On Sunday 29th October 2023 / 9:39am
Taking a look at the prospect pools of teams around the league, we begin with a dive into the pool of the Colorado Avalanche.
Albert Sjoberg- SHL
Sjoberg has 0 points in 11 games with the SHL, and projects as someone GM JL Wolf will have to spend 14 characters eventually cutting from his roster when his prospect pool hits the limit.
Alexander Perevalov- MHL
Perevalov has a goal and three assists in 2 MHL games thus far, and will likely make his way to the Russian Big League at some point this year.
Bear Hughes- ECHL
Hughes hasn’t suited up at any level this year as of yet, but did put up 59 points in 66 ECHL regular season games last year, as well as six in five playoff games.
Blake Biondi- NCAA
In what is likely his last NCAA go-round, Biondi has five points in seven matchups, sitting one point shy of his season-long output last year.
Brent Seabrook- Robidas Island
38 year old Seabrook was last seen passing out trays of coconut shrimp to members of the Arizona Coyotes on Robidas Island.
Chad Krys- ICEHL
Krys hasn’t played since last season where he put up seven points in 24 ICEHL games, which sounds like the also-ran version of CHEL for the Coleco vision. He is currently hosting meetings for a focus group for guys whose surnames are first names.
Elmeri Laakso- Liiga
Laasko has played four games at the U20 level- with three points- and two in the pro Liiga with one assist.
Evgeniy Oksentyuk- Kazakhstan
Oksentyuk sits with 21 points in 18 games for the Kazakhstan league, and is currently the subject of a focus group on Eliteprospects.com where they are trying to narrow down the spelling of his name to less than 11 options.
Francesco Arcuri- ECHL
Arcuri is pointless in two ECHL games and one AHL game this year. Far more exciting, he holds the distinction of being the only player in professional hockey to have both a Pokemon and a Honda vehicle named after him.
John Farinacci- AHL
Farinacci is having a very productive start to the AHL season after coming over from the NCAA. He currently has two goals and three assists in six games.
Marat Khusnutdinov- KHL
Khusnutdinov has played six games for two different KHL squads thus far this year, and has a goal and an assist between them. Also, regardless of how you pronounced his name in your mind while reading this- it was wrong.
Mathieu Perreault- Retired
Oftentimes mistaken for the actor famous for playing Chandler Bing. **Quick update, wow, RIP Matthew Perry.
Michael Dal Colle- DEL
Dal Colle has five goals and three assists in 13 DEL games, and is as surprised as any of you to be rostered in the HSHL
Mikhail Shalagin- Belarus
As impressive as Shalagin’s 13 goals and 15 assists in 20 games for the Belarussian league, the fact that he plays for ‘Shakhter Soligorsk’, which sounds like the evil villain in a 1970’s straight to Betamax horror movie is most impressive of all.
Niko Huuhtanen- Liiga
With a solid heaping of snarl in his game, to go along with five goals and assists apiece in 15 games this season, Huuhtanen might be one of the best equipped prospects in the Avalanche pipeline.
Robin Lehner- Twitter
Lehner has yet to play a game since the 2021-2022 NHL season.
Ryan Ufko- NCAA
Ufko has progressed his point totals in the early NCAA season, sitting with two goals and four assists in seven games.
Stanislav Yarovoy- KHL
Yarovoy has four goals and five assists for nine points in 21 KHL games
Vladimir Grudinin- KHL
Grudinin has played for two KHL squads and one each in the VHL and MHL. He has six assists across 19 games at all levels combined.
Zaccharya Wisdom- NCAA
Wisdom currently has three goals and two assists in five NCAA games.
Hurricanes Prospect Pipeline Update- October. By Alex Wyatt (Hurricanes) On Saturday 21st October 2023 / 6:00am
A quick look at the farms hands at all levels in the Hurricanes' stable.
Isaiah George- OHL
9 GP- 1G, 2A, 3P.
Projecting as a defensive defenseman with limited offensive upside, George’s muted offensive output with the London Knights is not unexpected.
Danila Yurov- KHL
19 GP- 6G, 7A, 13P.
Currently tied for the team lead in points for Metallurg Magnitogorsk, he is second only to Matvei Michkov in KHL scoring by an Under 21 year old.
Rodwin Dionicio- OHL
8 GP- 3G, 3A, 6P.
Dionicio is the top scoring defenseman on the Windsor Spitfires, and sits inside the Top 20 of OHL scoring among defenders.
Hudson Thornton- WHL
10 GP- 2G, 11A, 13P.
Thornton sits tops in defensive scoring for the Prince George Cougars, tied for the team lead in assists. His 13 points lead WHL defensemen in scoring.
Theodor Niederbach- SHL
11 GP- 0G, 3A, 3P.
The 21 year old is pacing for similar offensive output as his previous SHL seasons, and will need to take the next step in his development to give himself a chance to be a contributor for the Red Wings NHL squad.
Zion Nybeck- Allsvenskan
9 GP- 4G, 2A, 6P.
Nybeck sits top 5 in all offensive measures for his squad, and 7th in scoring among 21 year olds or younger in the Swedish Men’s league.
Zam Plante- USHL
6GP- 5G, 2A, 7P.
Plante is currently the top goal scorer for the Fargo Force, and second in total scoring, Plante is far outpacing his previous seasons’ offensive output in the early stages of the season.
Kirill Dolzhenkov- VHL
11GP- 3G, 4A, 7P.
Dolzhenkov has already suited up at all three levels of Russian hockey this season, and leads his VHL squad in points per game.
Ryan Healey- NCAA
Healey’s Harvard University has yet to play their first game of the NCAA season.
Petr Hauser- Czechia
12GP- 0G, 4A, 4P.
Though Hauser’s offensive output looks underwhelming on the surface, as a 20 year old, he sits second among U21 scoring in the Czech Men’s League.
Josh Davies- WHL
4GP- 3G, 3A, 6P.
Currently injured, Davies leads the Portland Winterhawks in points per game and PIM.
Jack Sparkes- USHL
7GP- 1G, 1A, 2P.
Known for his snarl more than anything. Sparkes sits second in PIM for the Muskegon Lumberjacks.
Brandon Lisowsky- WHL
9GP- 7G, 6A, 13P.
Lisowsky currently leads his Saskatoon Blades in goals and points, and sits inside the Top 20 league wide for the same.
Alexander Pelevin- VHL
10GP- 0G, 0A, 0P.
Pelevin is playing in the VHL for a team who must have run out of pens in the scorers’ booth.
Jackson Edward- OHL
9GP- 2G, 3A, 5P.
Edwards sits third in defensemen scoring for the London Knights, but is known for being a bear on skates and is not expected to produce offensively.
Santeri Sulku- Mestis
2GP- 0G, 0A, 0P.
Sulku is currently pointless in two games in Finland.
Riku Tohila- U20 SM Sarja.
7GP- 3G, 1A, 4P.
Having played at both the junior level, and the Liiga thus far this young season, Tohila has a decent points per game for the Junior squad in a third of the games as his teammates.
4GP- 0G, 0A, 0P.
Knuble is currently pointless though four games in his inaugural NCAA season.
Brent Johnson- NCAA
4GP- 1G, 1A, 2P.
Johnson is more a defensive, transition defenseman, and has two points in what will likely be his last NCAA season before moving to Hershey.
4GP- 0G, 2A, 2P.
Jordan currently has two points in four games at the University level.
Eetu Liukas- AHL
3GP- 0G, 0A, 0P.
Liukas is currently pointless in three games for Bridgeport of the AHL in his first season in North America.
Stephen Halliday- NCAA
4GP- 1G, 3A, 4P.
At a point per game, the defensive stalwart Halliday is currently tied for the scoring lead, and leads Ohio State in PIMs.
Daniel Ljungman- Allsvenskan
10GP- 2G, 4A, 6P.
Ljungman sits second in team scoring, and sits tenth in scoring among 21 year old and younger skaters.
9GP- 6G, 5A, 11P.
Ek mark leads his team in goals, assists and points, and sits second in 21 and under scorning league wide.
Kirill Ustimenko- KHL
Ustimenko has yet to hit the ice in a game this season.
Mitchell Gibson- AHL
Gibson has yet to suit up for a game at this point in the young AHL season.
Vyacheslav Buteyets- VHL
9GP- 4-4, 2.39 GAA, .920 SV%.
Buteyets sits third in rate stats for all 21 year olds and younger in the VHL.
Robert Orr- QMJHL
11GP- 3G, 12A, 15P.
Orr sits second in scoring for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, and tenth in league scoring.
Tristan Broz- NCAA
3GP- 0G, 1A, 1P.
The forechecking centre has a point in three games in a defensive role, and may maintain a similar point pace all year.
Ethan Edwards- NCAA
Edwards has yet to play for the University of Michigan this season.
Eric Hjorth- ECHL
1GP- 0G-0A, 0P.
Hjorth has only played one game thus far this season and didn’t register a point.
Janne Kuokkanen- SHL
11GP- 5G, 6A, 11P.
Kuokkanen leads the Mälmo RedHawks in scoring and is second league wide. Only time will tell if a North American return is in the cards, but he’s certainly providing value in Sweden.
New Management in Raleigh By Alex Wyatt (Hurricanes) On Saturday 5th August 2023 / 5:19pm
The Carolina Hurricanes have hired a new General Manager, Alex Wyatt, to take the helm of the franchise and build on their recent success.
Despite the swap at the helm, Carolina made the playoffs last year, has a roster filled with solid talent who've all performed admirably. There was no need to open up the flood gates, tear down to the studs, shave the landing strip, or any other typically used euphemism for a scorched earth rebuild when Wyatt was handed the keys. He knows the previous man in his position well, and had nothing but compliments for him as he cleaned out the remaining possessions in the GM office.
“I know Saqib well, we’ve managed against each other for years. I’m a little surprised there were only four goalies in the pro ranks, to be honest, but I knew we’d be set there for sure when I came in. I sent him a note of congratulations on Facebook messenger, three separate discord channels and in the comment section of a trade offer. He hasn’t responded yet but it’s only been about twelve weeks.”
Despite the good head start in Carolina, there was work to be done in Chicago and beyond.
“My first order of business was to tackle the prospect pipeline. I had our scouts send me a report on our prospects and the average age of a player was 35 and most of them worked at Best Buy now. I thought that was strange because the Wolves (Carolina’s AHL affiliate) had 14 openings on an 18 man roster.”
Wyatt certainly got to work, making 18 picks in total in the entry draft, making most of his picks on shoddy cell phone reception, while dodging sneers from his wife and children for what they deemed ‘ruining the camping trip’.
“You have to have priorities,” Wyatt said in regards to his draft weekend decisions. “My wife was concerned that the light from my cellphone was going to attract wolves, and given we were in the fifth round of the draft at that time, I told her that was precisely what I was trying to do.”
A snippet of his selections from the entry draft.
A Russian winger with a knack for filling the net, Yurov bounced around all three levels of the Russian hockey system, performing decently at each one. Given the KHL’s penchant for playing promising young talent approximately thirteen seconds a night, his performance thus far bodes well.
An overager, and former forward, Dionicio was drafted as a defensemen. His underlying play driving metrics are off the charts, to the point a micro stats dork that the Canes’ scouting staff outsource 99% of their decision making tk said he received his highest score ever. Look for Dionicio to spend the vast majority of his career in the ECHL now.
Thornton was already an overager, and passed through another league’s draft once again. Despite being top five in U20 scoring for defensemen in the WHL, ahead of the likes of Denton Mateychuk and in the company of Stan Svozil and Lukas Dragicevic, apparently only the Carolina staff can see the talent he provides. That, or he’s been blackballed by Avalanche GM, Jordan Wolfman.
A defensively responsible forward with a high motor, Carolina’s scouts have a feeling his offensive upside should pair well enough to see him eventually rate well enough to provide bottom six depth at the NHL level.
Another high motor forward who should be ready to send opposing players into the third row of the PNC Arena in a few years’ time.
A violent penalty killer who was near the tops in PIMs in the OHL, while also boasting the top plus minus on a solid squad, the London Knights. He should feature in a bottom six role for Carolina eventually, before being cut to free agency after his ELC expires, then getting a $17 million dollar signing bonus on a $750k contract as a 76 rated player.
The goal for Wyatt is clear, having taken over a team that was already set up well for NHL level success, it will be ensuring to maintain that talent with cap management and adding depth. Secondly, it will require being mindful that the team doesn’t lose focus on developing talent to fill gaps and continue to move forward on its goal of one day bringing the cup home to Raleigh.
The fans, the players, management, and even the poor souls who get paid $14 an hour to fish the used condoms out of the urinals at PNC between periods, can’t wait for hockey to begin again soon.