CHL- November Edition
The main headline in the CHL for October was unfortunately not the amazing play of London Knights forwards Robbie Schremp and David Bolland but an ominous hazing incident that involved Windsor Spitfire’s coach Moe Mantha. On the brighter side, the OHL has become the premier offensive league in the CHL with some great talent both emerging and confirming their status as top prospects. We will also have the International Scouting Service top 15 prospects for the upcoming 2006 NHL entry draft.The hazing incident was surfaced after an altercation in practice that involved Akim Aliu and Steve Downie. Downie, a first round Philadelphia Flyers first round pick cross checked the rookie Aliu chipping 2 teeth. After some repairs, Aliu came back to practice and fought Downie. Moe Mantha, did nothing to stop the fight. Upon further interview regarding the incident with the team players, it was discovered that rookies were being told to strip naked and stand in a bus washroom as a form of hazing. This actually has a long history with junior teams and even has the nickname “hot box”. Mantha actually supported this.
Don’t get me wrong, rookies should be pointed out and should be put through “mild hazing”. Its about being part of a sporting team and it does help with team building. The Spitfire hazing has definitely crossed the line from humored fun to plain ignorant discrimination. The league justifiably suspended Mantha for a total of 40 games. The Spitfires were fined a total of $40,000.
The Peterborough Petes led by Calgary draft pick Daniel Ryders (Michael Ryder’s brother) (24 pts) are tops in the league. A well balanced attack combined with a stingy defense and solid goaltending has the Petes as the early favorites. Other contending teams include the Barrie Colts led by a top 10 2006 NHL entry draft prospect in Bryan Little (30 pts), the Guelph Storm backstopped by goaltender Ryan MacDonald (2.41 GAA), and the Saginaw Spirit with forward Ryan McDonough (27 pts).
Player profile: David Bolland (CHI), London Knights
Even though the London Knights have lost Danny Syvret (EDM) and Corry Perry (ANA), the team is still contending with David Bolland (CHI), Robbie Schremp(EDM) and Sergie Kostitsyn (MTL). The 6’ 174 lbs centerman, Bolland has exploded with 45 points in 15 games. This gritty player has 20 goals, 25 assists and 28 PIM. He carries a great shot and loves to drive the net. An excellent hitter combined with superior special teams play makes Bolland a highly anticipated addition to the Chicago Blackhawks in a year or 2.
Once again the Kelwona Rockets are the team to beat and they are proving this with leading the league. New York Islander right wing prospect Blake Comeau leads the Rocket scoring with 26 points. Other top teams are the Calgary Hitmen led by Toronto Maple Leaf prospect Justin Pogge (GAA 1.61), The Moose Jaw Warriors and the Everett Silver Tips with left winger John Lammers (DAL) (24 pts).
Player profile: Troy Brouwer (CHI), Moose Jaw Warriors.
Yet another Blackhawk prospect is the WHL’s player of the month Troy Brouwer. This bulky Vancouver native measures in at 6-1 216lbs. The right winger has 14 goals, 15 assists, 29 points and 23 PIM in the typically defensive WHL. A strong skater with power forward qualities will prove useful for the Hawks in the future. Combined with line mate Dustin Boyd (CGY), they have vaulted the Warriors to number 1 in the Eastern Conference.
The Acadie-Bathurst Titans are tops in the high-flying Quebec league. A very strong offense led by Edmonton draft pick Mathieu Roy (33 pts) leads the Titans into November. The Memorial cup hosts Moncton Wild Cats are looking like strong contenders centered by 5’6 Ian Mathieu-Girard (29pts). Other contenders include the Gatineau Olympiques with rookie Claude Giroux (27pts) and the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies with forward Hugo Carpentier (23 pts)
Player profile: Maxime Boisclair, Chicoutimi Sagueneens
This Haitian born sniper has racked up 41 pts in 18 games for Chicoutimi. A speedster with great hands measuring 6’1, 198lbs should draw some interest in the 2006 draft. While some of his critics indicate he will not become a mainstay in the NHL, he is definitely proving them wrong at this point as his strong skating and quick hands which are important qualities in the new NHL.
Here are the current International Scouting Service prospect rankings for the 2006 NHL Entry draft. No real surprises with U.S. standout Phil Kessel leading the way. Expect Jordan Staal (yes another Staal) to remain in the top 5.
Rank Name 2005-06 Team Country
1. Phil Kessel University of Minnesota USA
2. Michael Frolik Kladno Czech Republic
3. Jonathon Toews University of North Dakota Canada
4. James Sheppard Cape Breton Canada
5. Jordan Staal Peterborough Canada
6. Peter Mueller Everett USA
7. Erik Johnson US Under 18 USA
8. Bryan Little Barrie Canada
9. David Ruzicka Kladno Czech Republic
10. Jesse Joensuu Assat Finland
11. John Degray Brampton Canada
12. Bobby Sanguinetti Owen Sound USA
13. Tysen Dowzak Kelowna Canada
14. Kyle Okposo Des Moines USA
15. Nicklas Backstrom Brynas Sweden