Jeremy Lauzon has continued his excellent start to the 2015-16 season, scoring 15 points in just 9 games for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies…and he’s a defenseman! Frank Vatrano proved he’s human when he didn’t score in his last game, but he’s still clicking along at a great pace- we’ll see if he can keep it up after losing center Austin Czarnik to injury.
Frank Vatrano, LW Providence Bruins
GP- 5 Goals- 7 Assists- 1 Points- 8 Penalty Min- 0 +/- -1
Vatrano continued his early season assault, scoring in two more games last week before the Bridgeport Sound Tigers held him off the score sheet in a 3-1 loss for Providence on the road Saturday. It was a tough night for the line, which was a minus unit, and wasn’t able to generate much in the way of sustained offensive pressure. Vatrano did net a nifty goal against the Hartford Wolf Pack Friday night by going to the net and zipping a one-timer that deflected over to him off an initial point shot past goaltender Magnus Hellberg for his seventh goal of the young season. What was far more impressive in that game, however, was how fast Vatrano got back on a 2-on-1 shorthanded break after defenseman Ben Youds got caught on a bad pinch. The scoring is what Vatrano is known for, but when he shows such hustle and dedication on the back check, you know he’s not just impressing the coaches but the management types who decide who comes up to Boston and who stays on the farm when injuries create opportunities. File that one away.
Austin Czarnik, C/RW Providence Bruins
GP- 4 Goals- 1 Assists- 4 Points- 5 Penalty Min- 6 +/- 4
Injured Friday night, the loss of the explosive little center necessitated a re-wickering of the top line, with Koko moving back to the middle and Zack Phillips moving over to the right wing. The injury is not expected to keep him out all that long, but the P-Bruins missed his pure speed and high-end creativity for much of the Hartford contest and against Bridgeport.
Alex Khokhlachev, C Providence Bruins
GP- 5 Goals- 2 Assists- 5 Points- 7 Penalty Min- 0 +/- 2
The skilled Russian is playing like he wants a recall to Boston, and it has showed in the early going. He made some hay playing on the right side with Czarnik and Vatrano but is now back at center in the interim. The always excellent Mark Divver has a good piece over at the Providence Journal worth reading with quotes from John Ferguson Jr. and Bruce Cassidy about Koko’s potential future at wing in the NHL.
Linus Arnesson, D Providence Bruins
GP- 5 Goals- 0 Assists- 1 Points- 1 Penalty Min- 0 +/- -1
Boston’s top pick in 2013 (60th overall in the second round after the B’s gave up their first-rounder for Jaromir Jagr) is playing the type of hockey he’s known for- steady, unspectacular defense. He’s a smooth skater who is particularly good in puck retrieval, but I continue to look at his offensive zone play and don’t see anything that leads me to believe he’ll be anything other than a solid defense-first middle pairing defender at the NHL level. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, either- but if anyone is expecting him to put up points and push the pace of a game when he eventually arrives in Boston (and he will- it’s just a matter of time) will be left wanting more.
Colby Cave, C Providence Bruins
GP- 5 Goals- 2 Assists- 0 Points- 2 Penalty Min- 2 +/- -3
Former Swift Current Broncos captain has looked like the gritty, two-way pivot he was as an undrafted diamond-in-the-rough out of the WHL. He’s quick and opportunistic; goes into the greasy areas of the ice, competes hard on pucks and has even found the back of the net a couple of times in the early going to balance out some scoring that was being done primarily by the top unit. He’s going to have a tough time cracking the Boston lineup at center, but for now- he’s precisely where he needs to be and making an impact, which is good news.
Zack Phillips, RW Providence Bruins
GP- 5 Goals- 1 Assists- 1 Points- 2 Penalty Min- 0 +/- -1
Former 1st-round selection of the Minnesota Wild in 2011 (28th overall) just doesn’t have the look of a legitimate NHL prospect right now. He’s an average skater and while he sees the ice well and handles the puck effectively enough, the decisions aren’t there yet. You don’t want to give up on a guy who is just 23, but you can understand why the Wild gave up Phillips in the deal last spring for Boston’s unsuccessful early pick in Jared Knight. Phillips has talent, but he’s having a tough time putting it together.
Noel Acciari, C Providence Bruins
GP- 5 Goals- 0 Assists- 1 Points- 1 Penalty Min- 2 +/- -2
The hometown hockey hero registered his first point while skating on the Providence third line flanked by wingers Anton Blidh and Anthony Camara– an industrial-grade sandpaper line. The line has not produced much in the way of offense this season, but they are engaged and on one shift against Hartford, I think I saw them throw more hits than the parent club did in the entire game against Tampa Bay early last week.
Anthony Camara, LW Providence Bruins
GP- 5 Goals- 0 Assists- 1 Points- 1 Penalty Min- 5 +/- -1
Anton Blidh, RW Providence Bruins
GP- 5 Goals- 0 Assists- 0 Points- 0 Penalty Min- 4 +/- -3
Chris Casto, D Providence Bruins
GP- 5 Goals- 0 Assists- 3 Points- 3 Penalty Min- 6 +/- -3
Zane McIntyre, G Providence Bruins
GP- 4 MIN- 242 GA- 15 GAA- 3.72 Spct- .873
With Malcolm Suban’s still out, McIntyre had a tough couple of games this past week, giving up 9 goals to go 0-1-1 and raise/lower his GAA and save percentage totals considerably. This is the type of valley that a young goaltender will go through, but Cassidy put Matt Ginn into the Saturday game against Bridgeport, and the former Holy Cross standout played well in the loss.
Zach Senyshyn, RW Saulte Ste Marie Greyhounds
GP- 10 Goals- 6 Assists- 3 Points- 9 Penalty Min- 0 +/- -5
Senyshyn only had an assist in a couple of games this week after tallying six goals in his first eight contests. Part of that has to do with the offensive struggles of teammate (and Devils prospect) Blake Speers. The one thing about Senyshyn when you watch him is this: he’s noticeable…keeps his feet moving and generates scoring chances with his speed and ability to use his size to get to the front of the net. He had a nice helper on Speers’ first goal of the year, making a bullet pass off the rush.
Jeremy Lauzon, D Rouyn-Noranda Huskies
GP- 9 Goals- 3 Assists- 12 Points- 15 Penalty Min- 16 +/- +9
Ho-hum…another week, another productive stint for the defenseman, whose stats line is one you would think belongs to Jakub Zboril. Lauzon is a smart defender who is playing with a ton of confidence right now and logging premo minutes- up over 30 per game in all situations.
Jakub Zboril, D Saint John Sea Dogs
GP- 5 Goals- 0 Assists- 1 Points- 1 Penalty Min- 8 +/- -1
Zboril finally got on board with a helper last week, but he also had to sit out with a one-game suspension for being overly exuberant in the application of his defensive responsibilities. Translation: he cross-checked an opponent to the point of ejection and the supplemental discipline meted out by the QMJHL. It once again reinforces the fact that Zboril is an atypical European player- he brings a nastiness and physicality to the ice with him (though not always in consistent fashion) and just needs to make sure that he channels that in the right way so as not to put his team behind the 8-ball unnecessarily.
Jake DeBrusk, LW Swift Current Broncos
GP- 8 Goals- 4 Assists- 7 Points- 11 Penalty Min- 9 +/- -4
Productive week for DeBrusk, who posted a couple of goals and finished out with a pair of assists in his team’s game against Lethbridge on Saturday night. Having watched a bit of DeBrusk going back to Team Canada’s WJC evaluation camp, one thing has become standard to me: he’s not one of those players who grabs your attention. He skates up and down the wing, slips through defenses and goes stretches where you don’t notice him until a goal gets scored and he was in on it. That’s going to lead to criticisms from those who don’t see the nuances in his game, but as long as DeBrusk keeps producing, you can’t make too much of an issue.
Jesse Gabrielle, LW Prince George Cougars
GP- 7 Goals- 4 Assists- 0 Points- 4 Penalty Min- 16 +/- 0
Did not see Gabrielle in action last week- he did not add to his scoring totals. Have by-appointment viewings to check him out.
Brandon Carlo, D Tri-City Americans
GP- 8 Goals- 1 Assists- 6 Points- 7 Penalty Min- 23 +/- -3
Jack Becker, C Sioux Falls Stampede
GP- 7 Goals- 2 Assists- 1 Points- 3 Penalty Min- 0 +/- 1
Daniel Vladar, G Chicago Steel
GP- 4 Min- 218 GA- 9 GAA- 2.48 Spct- .910 W-L-T: 1-2-0
Danton Heinen, LW University of Denver (NCHC)
GP- 4 Goals- 1 Assists- 1 Points- 2 Penalty Min- 0
Tough weekend against Michigan State- no points for Heinen, who is off to a slower start this season after posting a goal and assist in DU’s first game of the year vs. Air Force but has not found the score sheet since.
Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, C Boston University (HEA)
GP- 2 Goals- 0 Assists- 1 Points- 1 Penalty Min- 2 +/- 1
Smooth, intelligent freshman looks like a keeper after BU decisively defeated the moribund Wisconsin Badgers in a two-game series. Spoke to one NHL scout in attendance who said that JFK is like a “Patrice Bergeron-lite- doesn’t wow you with his skating but is always around the puck and makes the right decisions with it.”
Ryan Fitzgerald, C Boston College (HEA)
GP- 3 Goals- 1 Assists- 2 Points- 3 Penalty Min- 6 +/- 3
Anders Bjork, LW University of Notre Dame (HEA)
GP- 2 Goals- 0 Assists- 3 Points- 3 Penalty Min- 0 +/- 2
Matt Benning, D Northeastern University (HEA)
GP- 3 Goals- 0 Assists- 0 Points- 0 Penalty Min- 2 +/- -4
Cameron Hughes, C University of Wisconsin (Big 10)
GP- 4 Goals- 0 Assists- 0 Points- 0 Penalty Min- 2 +/- -4
Looks like another tough year for Wisconsin, and Hughes, who looked like a solid value in the sixth round. Goals are not going to come easily for this team, so Hughes’ production this season (or lack thereof) will require context.
Peter Cehlarik, LW Lulea (SHL)
GP- 6 Goals- 2 Assists- 3 Points- 5 Penalty Min- 0 +/- 2
Maxim Chudinov, D St. Petersburg (KHL)
GP- 20 Goals- 5 Assists- 2 Points- 7 Penalty Min- 65 +/- -6
To quote former NHL goalie Darren Pang- Holy jumpin’- if the database is right, Chudinov racked up 31 penalty minutes since the last update. He might be small, but his reputation as a one who lives on the edge (a nice way of saying someone is a dirty player) endures.
Emil Johansson, D HV71 (SHL)
GP- 8 Goals- 0 Assists- 1 Points- 1 Penalty Min- 10 +/- -1