Prospects are Proving Their Worth, Too

Written by Darryl Dobbsfrom

The Stanley Cup Final is about to begin, and the playoff heroism stories of various Hurricane and Oiler players can be found in any newspaper or hockey website.

I’m not going to add to that here. You can read about Mike Peca and Rod Brind’Amour and how well they have done thus far somewhere else, if you really are suffering from lack of information on that. There are many other trophies that can be won in this great sport, and not enough recognition is given. Those in deep fantasy keeper leagues are curious as to how some of their prospects have been doing, and what better indicator of potential than a fine performance in a Memorial Cup Tournament? Or a Calder Cup Tourney, for that matter.

Memorial Cup and CHL Playoff Heroes

Alexander Radulov was dominant player to start the season in the QMJHL for coach Patrick Roy’s Quebec Remparts. He only got better from there. The CHL and Memorial Cup MVP certainly didn’t slow down under the pressures of a major tournament, and there is no reason while he would slow down at the Nashville training camp in the Fall. Future: NHL superstar, and sooner rather than later.

Gilbert Brule actually made Columbus out of training camp, but injuries took their toll and the Blue Jackets sent him back down to junior. He led the WHL in playoff scoring, and led his Vancouver Giants team to the Memorial Cup where he again led the tourney in scoring. Future: NHL star will make the Jackets in the fall.

Philippe Dupuis led the Memorial Cup host Moncton Wildcats in scoring in the tourney as well as in the QMJHL playoffs. Another Columbus draft pick (4th round in 2003), Dupuis continued to find the open man with his passes (often Boston prospect Martins Karsums) and had a 20 points in seven games run at one point. Future: As an overage player, it is expected that Dupuis would do well. He will need to produce at the pro level next season before garnering NHL consideration.

The Boston Bruins are thrilled with David Krejci’s playoff performance in the QMJHL. The 2004 second round draft (63rd overall) pick really kicked it up a notch when it counted, garnering just under two points per game for the Gatineau Olympiques. Future: Krejci is a little undersized, and as a result he may take a few years before his potential as an NHLer can be judged.

Don’t blame goaltender David Shantz for his team’s weak Memorial Cup performance. His Peterborough Petes team allowed more shots on goal than any other in the tourney, and gave little in the way of offensive support. Florida is quite happy with his stellar play in the OHL playoffs, and he had the second best save percentage in the Memorial Cup. Future: Shantz will get three years in the AHL, and if each season is better than the one before he will get a job backing up Roberto Luongo on the big club.

It would have been interesting to see Robbie Schremp play this season in the American League. It would have been even more interesting to see him get into a game or two for the Edmonton Oilers when Raffi Torres had the flu. No such luck, though Schremp has been practicing with the Oilers since his London Knights were eliminated by the Petes. He dominated the OHL two years ago, and this season he was a man playing with boys, leading the league in both playoff and regular season scoring. He continues to be an elite prospect. Future: If he can get stronger, he may crack the NHL lineup in the fall. It would probably be better, though, if he got in a year at the AHL level first. Potential sniper.

Next week: AHL’s Calder Cup Heroes

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