Tampa Bay Lightning prospects report: Checking in on the playoffs

Some big news for Brett Howden as well!

Hello! Today we’re going to take a look at playoff standings for the prospects. Some are looking for a long post-season, others are hoping for an ATO in March.

Ontario Hockey League

The OHL has the old NHL format. Top 8 teams in each conference make the playoffs and the first two seeds go to the division winners.

#12 - Christopher Paquette (F) - 0G, 3A, -5
Peterborough Petes - 19-29-3-3
9th in OHL Eastern Conference, 6 points out of the final playoff spot.

Jan. 8th: vs Owen Sound Attack
L 6-5 - 0G, 1A, -4
Jan. 10th: vs North Bay Battalion
W 4-3 SO - 0G, 0A, -1
Feb. 11th: @ Oshawa Generals
L 7-5 - 0G, 2A

Barring a big losing streak by the Steelheads (8th), or 67’s (7th), and a win streak in Peterborough, the Petes are destined to miss the playoffs. Paquette is heading into his overage season with the Petes and hasn’t made the impact necessary to wow people. In my opinion after this season he’ll be back in the OHL unsigned unless Tampa waves it’s “No Paquettes” rule and allows more than one to sign him.

#12 - Boris Katchouk (F) / #14 Taylor Raddysh (F)
2G, 2A, -3 / 1G, 0A, -3
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds - 45-6-2-1
1st in OHL Western Conference, 13 points ahead of 2nd place.

Jan. 8th: @ Niagara IceDogs
W 4-3 - 1G, 2A, -1 / 0G, 0G, 0A, -1

Jan. 10th: @ Erie Otters
W 6-2 - 0G, 0A, +1 / 1G, 0A, +1
Jan. 11th: @ Hamilton Bulldogs
L 5-2 - 1G, 0A, -3 / 0G, 0A, -3

The Greyhounds have clinched their playoff spot and could easily just send their players on a vacation for the rest of the season, suit up a Jr B roster for the rest of the regular season, and still finish in the top half of the conference. At minimum, people are expecting this team to win the J. Ross Robertson Trophy (OHL Championship) but everyone thinks the Greyhounds should take the Memorial Cup (National championship) this May, which would be their first title in 25 years.

#17 - Alexei Lipanov (F)
Sudbury Wolves - 14-34-6-0
Last in OHL Eastern Conference, 16 points out of the last playoff spot.

Feb. 9th: vs Flint Firebirds
W 6-3 - Did Not Play
Feb. 10th: @ London Knights
L 5-3 - Did Not Play
Feb. 11th: @ Sarnia Sting
L 5-4 - Did Not Play

Lipanov missed the weekend due to illness, nothing long term.

The Wolves are essentially done for the season, almost 20 points out of a playoff spot and now they’re in a race with the Flint Firebirds for the first overall draft pick. Losing to Flint was a good idea and now there’s a three point gap between the two 10th place teams.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

The QMJHL playoffs seed teams 1-16 with the division winners taking the top three seeds.

#89 - Otto Somppi (F) - 3G, 2A, +2
Halifax Mooseheads - 35-13-6-1
2nd overall, 6 points behind 1st.

Feb. 6th: @ Charlottetown Islanders
W 6-2 - 0G, 2A, +3
Feb. 8th: vs Chicoutimi Sagueens
L 4-3 OT - 0G, 1A, -2
Feb. 9th: @ Saint John Sea Dogs
L 6-3 - 1G, 0A, -1
Feb. 11th: vs Shawinigan
W 6-1 - 2G, 0A, +2

The Mooseheads are three wins shy of first overall in the QMJHL, which would be good for their first round prospects: since the Q moved to 1-16 seeding, the 16th has never won a playoff game. This years 16th seed is the Val d’Or Foreurs, who have an 18-31-2-2 record so it doesn’t look like that streak is going to be broken any time soon.

Western Hockey League

The WHL playoffs mirror the NHL’s, a divisional playoff with two wild card spots per conference.

#21 - Brett Howden (F) / #76 - Oleg Susonov (D)
2G, 1A, +2 / 0G, 1A, +1
Moose Jaw Warriors - 42-9-1-2
1st in the East Division, 3 points ahead of 2nd.

Feb. 9th: vs Lethbridge Hurricanes
W 2-0 - No Points / No Points
Feb. 10th: vs Kootenay Ice
W 6-0 - 2G, 1A, +2 / 0G, 1A, +1

The Mooseheads are in a tight race with the Swift Current Broncos for first in the division. Unlike in the NHL, some teams may not want to face off against the wild card teams. With the WHL divisions set up to keep regular season travel down, a division winner may have to travel 3 or 4 times as far to play a wild card opponent as they would if they finished second and play an in division opponent. With 3rd in the East 22 points back of the Warriors, maybe dropping a few games isn’t so bad...

#25 - Libor Hajek (D) - 1G, 1A, +5
Regina Pats - 29-23-5-1
1st Eastern Conference Wild Card spot, 2 points out of a divisional spot

Feb. 6th: @ Brandon Wheat Kings
W 5-2 - 0G, 0A, +2
Feb. 9th: vs Kootenay Ice
L 4-2 - 0G, 0A, +1
Feb. 10th: vs Lethbridge Hurricanes
W 4-2 - 1G, 1A, +2
Feb. 11th: vs @ Saskatoon Blades
L 2-1 SO - No Points

The Memorial Cup host Pats have their spot in the tournament locked down, but as for the WHL playoffs, they are currently in the first wild card spot in the East and this is probably the best place for them. If they move up to a divisional spot they have to play either the Moose Jaw Warriors or the Swift Current Broncos, and both teams are over 20 points ahead in the standings. If they stay in the first wild card spot, they’ll play the Medicine Hat Tigers - and the Pats have a better record. The Pats are 5 points ahead of the second wild card team.

#25 - Cal Foote (D) - 1G, 2A, +1
Kelowna Rockets - 37-14-4-1
1st in BC Division, 1 point ahead of 2nd

Feb. 7th: vs Vancouver Giants
W 4-1 - 0G, 1A, +1
Feb. 9th: @ Victoria Royals
L 6-1 - 0G, 0A, -1
Feb. 10th: @ Victoria Royals
L 4-3 OT - 1G, 1A, +1

The Rockets are like the Warriors, in a tight race for the top of the division with 3rd too far back to really worry about and the travel to a wild card team is twice as far as a divisional team.


The USHL playoffs have the top four teams from each conference make the playoffs.

#19 - Cole Guttman (F)
Dubuque Fighting Saints - 18-14-6-1
2nd in the Eastern Conference

Guttman is on IR for the foreseeable future.

The Fighting Saints tied for second with the Youngstown Phantoms only one points ahead of the tie for 4th place between Muskegon and Chicago. Team USA is first in the conference with a six point lead.

#14 - Nicklaus Perbix (D) - 0G, 1A, -1
Omaha Lancers - 26-10-2-3
1st in the Western Conference

Feb. 9th: vs Dubuque Fighting Saints
W 3-2 - 0G, 0A, +1
Feb. 10th: @ Sioux Falls Stampede
W 3-2 SO - 0G, 1A, -1
Feb. 11th: vs Des Moines Buccaneers
W 4-1 - 0G, 0A, -1

The Lancers have a one point lead over second place, and are seven points ahead of fifth place. It’s going to come down to the wire to determine playoff seeding for the Lancers.

High School

There are a billion teams in Minnesota and the best I can figure according to the website is that the top 8 in each ‘class’ (A + AA) make the playoffs.

#26 - Samuel Walker - 2G, 0A
Edina High School - 21-2
1st in Lake Division

Feb. 10th: @ Minnetonka
L 5-3 - 2G, 0A

Edina is currently on the top of the Lake Division, and with a 21-2 record they seem to be the best team in Minnesota High School Hockey, so go Wasps, I guess.


#33 - Kris Oldham (G)
U. Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks
Overall: 14-13-1 / Conference: 7-11-0

No games last week.

The Mavericks are 7th in NCHC, and would right now be playing the Denver Pioneers. They seem to be set in either 7th or 8th. They would probably be higher if Oldham ever saw some ice time I bet.

#20 - Ross Colton (F) - 0G, 0A, +1
U. Vermont Catamounts
Overall: 9-15-6 / Conference: 6-9-5

Feb. 9th: @ New Hampshire
W 2-1 - 0G, 0A, +1
Feb. 10th: @ New Hampshire
T 2-2 - No Points
The Catamounts are 8th in Hockey East right now and would be hosting Massachusetts to start the playoffs. They are three points behind the River Hawks for 7th and one ahead of Massachusetts for 9th.

#18 - Ryan Lohin (F) - 0G, 0A, -1
U. Mass-Lowell River Hawks
Overall: 16-14-0 / Conference: 10-10-0

Feb. 9th: @ Boston College
L 3-2 - No Points
Feb. 10th: @ Massachusetts
L 3-0 - 0G, 0A, -1

The River Hawks are three points ahead of Vermont as I said above and would be playing the New Hampshire Wildcats if the playoffs started today, but are only two points back of getting a bye past the first round in the Hockey East playoffs.

#16 - Johnathan MacLeod (D)
Boston U. Terriers
Overall: 15-12-3 / Conference: 10-7-3

Feb. 5th: @ Harvard
W 3-2 - No Points
Feb. 9th: vs Massachusetts
T 3-3 - No Points

Right now, the Terriers are fourth in Hockey East and would get a bye past the first round of the playoffs. They’re two points ahead of fifth and three points out of third.

#20 - Ryan Zuhlsdorf (D) - 0G, 0A, +3
U. Minnesota Golden Gophers
Overall: 18-13-1 / Conference: 9-10-1

Feb 9th: @ Wisconsin
W 4-2 - 0G, 0A, +1
Feb. 10th: @ Wisconsin
W 7-1 - 0G, 0A, +2

The Gophers are currently in 4th in the Big10 conference (Even though there are only 7 teams). If the playoffs began today they would be playing Wisconsin in the first round, as first place Notre Dame would receive a bye past the first round.