Hello Lightning fans! It’s good to be back here for you with a weekly update on what the prospects playing in the junior leagues and NCAA have been up to.
Personally, there’s too many college kids - I can’t watch them if they’re not in the OHL - but the picks were good and everyone is doing great.
The big news item today is that Ryan Lohin is the U-Mass Lowell representative in Hobey Baker voting, so if you could click this link and flood the voting, it would be awesome.
One thing that’s changed is highlights are linked and not embedded unless they’re from Twitter or Youtube. My old source has a habit of auto-playing now and no one likes that.
Ontario Hockey League
#10 - Alexei Lipanov (F) - 0G, 1A, -2
Kitchener Rangers - 23-23-3-0 - 7th in Western Conference
Lipanov has split this season so far with the Sudbury Wolves and Kitchener Rangers. It seems when a team is poised to do well, they trade Alexei away. Last season, when the Barrie Colts were looking to go far in the playoffs, they made a trade with the basement dwelling Sudbury Wolves. Now that the Wolves are having one of their best seasons in a long time, he’s traded to the middling Kitchener Rangers. Stay tuned to next season when the Lightning trade him to the Oilers.
This season, he hasn’t taken the steps ahead in his development that we would like to see points wise. A player this far out from the draft should be well above half a point per game. The Rangers are coming to Niagara in a couple weeks, so after an in-person viewing, hopefully I’ll get to talk to the coaching staff about him.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
#9 - Gabriel Fortier (F) - 1G, 0A, -2
Baie-Comeau Drakkar - 37-10-2-1 - 1st in Eastern Conference
Feb. 1st: vs Drummondville Voltiguers
L 6-3 - 1G, 0A, -3
Feb. 2nd: vs Chicoutimi Sagueens
W 5-0 - 0G, 0A, +1
Fortier has upped his points, dropped his penalty minutes, and taken on a big leading role with the Drakkar this season, He’s not the top scorer on the team - that’s San Jose Sharks 7th round pick Ivan Chekhovich - he’s third on the team in scoring and improving his all around play. I’ll be in Halifax for the Memorial Cup, and the Drakkar are looking like the QMJHL representative, so hopefully I’ll get to see him in person.
#41 - Radim Salda (D) - 1G, 0A, +5
Rimouski Océanic - 34-14-3-0 - 3rd in Eastern Conference
Jan. 29th: vs Shawinigan Cataractes
W 3-2 - 0G, 0A, -1
Feb. 1st: @ Chicoutimi Sagueens
W 6-2 - 1G, 0A, +5
Feb. 2nd: @ Quebec Remparts
W 6-0 - 0G, 0A, +1
The Lightning’s latest seventh round pick is playing a solid game in the QMJHL. After changing teams from the Saint John Sea Dogs to the Rimouski Oceanic, he’s picking up points and playing soundly at the blue line. He’s lucky to have moved on from Saint John, as they’re regularly giving up 40-50 shots per game this season. Maybe they really miss Radim?
#18 - Ryan Lohin (F) - 1G, 0A, +2
U. Mass-Lowell River Hawks
Overall: 15-8-2 / Conference: 9-4-2
Feb. 1st: @ Northeastern
W 3-1 - 1G, 0A, +2
Lohin is the River Hawks leading scorer this season with a just slightly above point per game average. In his junior season, he’s on pace to set personal bests in goals, assists, and points.
Remember to click here and vote Lohin for the Hobey Baker award!
#20 - Ryan Zuhlsdorf (D) / #9 - Sammy Walker (F)
0G, 0A, -2 / 0G, 1A, -1
U. Minnesota Golden Gophers
Overall: 11-12-4 / Conference: 8-7-3
Feb. 1st: vs Michigan
L 4-2 - 0G, 0A, -1 / 0G, 0A, -1
Feb. 2nd: vs Michigan
W 4-3 - 0G, 0A, -1 / 0G, 1A
Zuhlsdorf is playing his third season of college hockey, and is just about halfway to tying his best season points wise at nine. The defensive defender is tightening up his game and is being less of a penalty liability this year.
Walker is a freshman, coming off a huge high school season last year, and seems like he hasn’t missed a step in his game. He’s not netting two points per game, but at 18 points in 26 games so far he’s found himself in a comfortable role with the Gophers already.
#19 - Cole Guttman (F) - No Points
U. Denver PIoneers
Overall: 15-6-4 / Conference: 7-6-2
Feb. 1st: vs North Dakota
W 2-1 - No Points
Feb. 2nd: vs North Dakota
W 2-1 OT - No Points
Despite a pointless weekend, Guttman is having himself a great freshman year in Denver. He’s totaled 18 points in 25 games, giving him a slight edge of Sammy Walker in rookie NCAA scoring on this list
#25 - Nicklaus Perbix (D) - 1G, 1A, +2
St. Cloud State Huskies
Overall: 20-4-2 / Conference: 12-2-2
Feb. 1st: vs Miami (Ohio)
W 5-1 - No Points
Feb. 2nd: vs Miami (Ohio)
W 5-1 - 1G, 1A, +2
Another freshman who is exceeding expectations, Perbix is helping the Huskies to an amazing record this season. The Lightning have done a great job of drafting players who have easily transitioned to college hockey from the USHL and high school.
#6 - Alex Green (D) - 0G, 0A, -1
Cornell Big Red
Overall: 13-6-2 / Conference: 9-3-2
Feb. 1st: @ Union College
W 4-0 - No Points
Feb. 2nd: @ RPI
T 1-1 - 0G, 0A, -1
Green has only played five games this season due to a head injury suffered in November. He was picked for this defensive games, and he’s looking to keep up with the play that got him drafted last summer.
Cole Koepke (F)
U. Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs
Overall: 17-7-2 / Conference: 10-5-1
Feb. 1st: @ Colorado College
L 4-1 - Did Not Play
Feb. 2nd: @ Colorado College
W 6-0 - Did Not Play
The freshman sat out this road trip, but has been having a season on par with all the other freshmen on this list. Just under a half point per game, Koepke and the Bulldogs should do well the rest of the season.
Ty Taylor (G) - Did Not Pla\y
U. New Hampshire Wildcats
Feb. 1st: vs Maine
W 3-2 OT - Did Not Play
Feb. 2nd: vs Maine
L 5-3 - Did Not Play
As the freshman goalie, Taylor hasn’t played in many games - only six - and he’s adjusting to the NCAA game. In his six games he has a 3.63 goals against average and an 0.863 save percentage.
Lightning prospects points
|Samuel Walker||Big 10||18||26||0.69||19.87|
|Ryan Lohin||Hockey East||22||21||1.05||31.78|
|Ryan Zuhlsdorf||Big 10||4||24||0.17||4.78|