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An Early Season Look At Our Future

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Prospects! Prospects! Prospects!

Jana Chytilova/FreestylePhoto

There are many storylines to look at with our prospects.  For some, it's GMMG vs. Lord Bennington; for others it's did we get enough for Kesler.  Regardless of how you look at it, the most important question to be answered is: have we drastically improved our organizational depth?

 

Forwards

Up front, the organization has benefited from drafting 4 forwards in the first round of the past 2 entry drafts.  This has definitely improved the team's future forward depth.  That said, we've seen some huge steps forward taken by a few of the later picks which is always a pleasant surprise!

Cole Cassels:  Cassels has been a man on a mission since being drafted in the 3rd round of the 2013 draft racking up 73 points last season and having already added 28 points in this year's total. 

Jared McCann: The 24th pick in 2014, McCann has been pretty impressive in his performance so far this year by tallying 15 points in 11 games after recovering from Mono this summer. 

 

Bo Horvat: He had a great camp and made it through final cuts... Then he got hurt... Spent some time skating around in Utica... Now he's back in Vancouver, for now... Something tells me he'll be headed back to London just in time for the World Juniors.

Jake Virtanen: Missed all of training camp after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum.  He has played 5 games this year putting up 6 points with 4 of them being assists (take that scouts who said he isn't a playmaker).  If you're wondering how his shoulder is, just ask Tate Olsen:

 

Forwards Team Lg. GP G A PTS PIM +/-
Darren Archibald Utica Comets AHL 10 0 3 3 29

2

Cole Cassels Oshawa Generals OHL 16 7 21 28 36 10
Dane Fox Kalamazoo Wings ECHL 5 3 4 7 9

2

Brendan Gaunce Utica Comets AHL 10 1 4 5 0 6
Alexandre Grenier Utica Comets AHL 7 3 2 5 4 5
Bo Horvat Utica Comets AHL 5 0 0 0 4

0

Nicklas Jensen Utica Comets AHL 10 3 2 5 6 0
Joseph Labate U. of Wisconsin Big-10 4 0 0 0 6 -5
Alexandre Mallet Kalamazoo Wings ECHL 7 2 5 7 13

1

Jared McCann Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 11 7 8 15 6 1
Hunter Shinkaruk Utica Comets AHL 10 1 3 4 6 2
Curtis Valk Kalamazoo Wings ECHL 7 4 7 11 0 3
Jake Virtanen Calgary Hitmen WHL 5 2 4 6 2

-1

Michael Zalewski Utica Comets AHL 5 0 0 0 2

0

 

Defense

At first glance, the Canucks appear to have several stay at home types... And Jordan Subban!  

Jordan Subban:  If he were 2 inches taller he would most likely have claimed a roster spot for opening night.  Regardless, he has been an offensive dynamo this year putting up more than a point per game with Belleville of the OHL. Check out this EA sports NHL '15 calibre goal:

 Anton Cederholm: Cederholm SCORES!  This was a rarity last season as he hammered home 4 goals in 71 games... This year he has already found the twine 4 times in 17 games.  Something tells me he's going to put up a few more this year!  Cederholm is more well known as a rugged d-man who doesn't shy away from the rough stuff, let's look at some of his non-offensive work.

 

Defensemen Team Lg. GP G A PTS PIM +/-
Anton Cederholm Portland Winterhawks WHL 17 4 1 5 24 -9
Frank Corrado Utica Comets AHL 5 1 0 1 4 -2
Gustav Forsling Linkopings HC SweHL 18 2 2 4 2 5
Ben Hutton U. of Maine H-East 8 1 1 2 1 -2
Mackenze Stewart Prince Albert Raiders WHL 15 2 3 5 20 -3
Jordan Subban Belleville Bulls OHL 15 8 10 18 16 1
Nikita Tryamkin Yekaterinburg Automobilist KHL 23 0 2 2 17 -1

 

Goaltenders

Once again the team has an embarrassment of riches in net!  Markstrom clearing waivers created a logjam at the AHL level which resulted in 2013-14 Utica Comets back-up netminder Joe Cannata starting this season with the Ontario Reign of the ECHL. 

Jacob Markstrom: Man are we lucky that he cleared waivers!  Markstrom has been a beast in the AHL this year posting a save percentage of .963 so far this year... Not to put any pressure on Eddie Lack, but I think there's a guy in Utica who wants your job!

Thatcher Demko: Demko is back at Boston College for his Sophomore season after being chosen in the early second round of the 2014 draft.  Watch for Thatcher to be the star in goal for the Americans at this year's World Junior tournament.

Goaltenders Team Lge GP GAA W L T Save %
Thatcher Demko Boston College H-East 6 1.98 4 2 0 0.899
Joacim Eriksson Utica Comets AHL 5 2.36 3 1 1 0.922
Jacob Markstrom Utica Comets AHL 5 0.99 4 0 1 0.963

I never thought I'd say this, but here's to much, much more U2 this year!