Welcome back to the 15th now biweekly installment of the Flyers Junior Hockey Prospect Report. The decision was made to make this prospect report a biweekly affair so that more time can be devoted by yours truly to write some more articles on www.brotherlypuck.com that are related to the big club.
Before we get going, I want to wish you all a Happy New Year in 2020.
Even with the start of a new year, it seems that inuries and health continue to dominate the headlines for the Philadelphia Flyers and their prospects. The club obviously has been without Nolan Patrick all season due to a migraine disorder, and was devastated to learn about Oskar Lindblom’s cancer (Ewing’s Sarcoma) diagnosis. With the prospects, Jay O’Brien has been out since December 4 with a mysterious lower body injury. And now comes news that Egor Zamula who was impressive in his silver medal showing with the Russian team at the World Junior tournament has had back surgery and will miss the remainder of the season with the Calgary Hitmen. Word is that Zamula was diagnosed with a degenerative bone condition and will be out a minimum of 3-4 months. It will be a long road back for Zamula to return in time for Flyers training camp next season. All the best to him and everyone else battling through illness and injury to get healthy and back to the game that they love in 2020.
Back in CHL and BCHL prospect news, some of the Flyers related storylines from the Junior Hockey universe that are that we will be following up on in this week’s edition include:
Will Jay O’Brien get back into the lineup after missing the last 6 games for the Penticton Vees and return to his point producing ways?
Can Egor Serdyuk build on his productive week last week and help the Victoriaville Tigres get closer to a playoff spot?
Will Wyatte Wylie get the Everett Silvertips back into first place in their division?
Can Roddy Ross help continue Seattle Thunderbirds push for a playoff position?
This edition covers the week that was in the CHL and the BCHL from Wednesday January 1st – Tuesday January 14th.
WHL (Western Hockey League)
Wyatte Wylie #29 (D) – Everett Silvertips (WHL)
- Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 1) had the Everett Silvertips travel to Edmonton to face the Oil Kings in a New Year’s Day matinee game. Everett started 2020 on a positive note by jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, but the Oil Kings dominated the second period by scoring twice on the powerplay to even the score 2-2 after 40 minutes. The trend of ending periods tied continued with both teams trading goals in the third period to end regulation tied 3-3. After a scoreless overtime, Edmonton converted twice in the shootout (Everett scored once) to defeat Everett by a score of 4-3. Wyatte Wylie was held scoreless in the game and finished with 0 points, a +1 rating, and 0 shots on goal. Wylie also served a 2 minute minor penalty for tripping at 15:09 of the second period. Edmonton converted their opportunity with Wylie in the box to tie the game 2-2.
- Friday night (Jan. 3) had the Everett Silvertips visit the Prince George Cougars. Prince George opened the scoring in the first period to take a 1-0 lead. In the second period, Wyatte Wylie assisted on Bryce Kindopp’s 29th goal of the season while on the powerplay as his shot from the point was tipped in front to tie the game 1-1. Kindopp would hit the 30 goal plateau shortly thereafter while at even strength and the second period would end tied 2-2. After Prince George took the 3-2 lead, Wylie scored his 10th goal on a wrist shot from the top of the circle at 8:29. The Cougars though would not be denied, and scored the game winner while on the powerplay midway though the third period to win the game 4-3. For the game, Wylie finished with 1 goal and 1 assist for 2 points, a -2 rating, and 5 shots on goal.
- The Everett Silvertips played the back end of a back to back on Saturday night (Jan. 4) looking to exact revenge on the Prince George Cougars. This game went more in favor of the Silvertips as they outshot the Cougars 35-21 and outshot them in every period of the game. Everett jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first and responded with another two goals in the second period on their way to a 5-2 win. Wyatte Wylie notched an even strength assist on Everett’s fourth goal to help put the game out of reach for the Cougars. Wylie finished this game with 1 assist, a +1 rating, and 5 shots on goal.
- The following Saturday night (Jan. 11) had the Everett Silvertips travel to Seattle to face the Thunderbirds. With the disparity between the two clubs in the standings, the Silvertips were expected to dominate play and ended up outshooting the Thunderbirds in every period to a final total of 37-23. Everett jumped out to a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes with even strength markers coming courtesy of Cole Fonstad and Gage Goncalves. The second period still saw the bulk of pucks headed towards the Seattle goal, but it was Seattle that got their offence going with two goals of their own to take a 3-2 lead into the third period. In the third, Seattle added to their lead 1:02 in to put the game solidly in their control. Even though Everett scored a powerplay to make things more interesting, Seattle won the game by a final score of 4-3. Wyatte Wylie did not register a point in this game and finished with a +1 rating and 1 shot on goal.
- Sunday (Jan. 12) had the Everett Silvertips back in action on home ice as they played the Regina Pats. With both teams exchanging goals in the first period, Regina came out the more aggressive team in the second and was rewarded with a two goals to one advantage to lead by a score of 3-2. Everett’s goal in the second period came on the powerplay as Wyatte Wylie circled around the net and fed a pass that bounced off a few players in front before being shot in by Jake Christiansen. The third period saw Regina pull away, scoring twice to extend their lead to 5-2 and winning the game by a final score of 6-3. Wylie finished the game with 1 assist, an even rating, and 4 shots on goal. Both teams went 2 for 5 on the powerplay.
The Everett Silvertips remain in 2nd place in the U.S. Division with the Portland Winterhawks extending their lead due to a disappointing stretch by the Silvertips. Everett has 55 points from 40 games and are 8 points behind the Winterhawks with the same number of games played.
Egor Zamula #9 (D) – Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
- Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 1) saw a New Year’s matinee between the host Calgary Hitmen and the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers. Medicine Hat wasted no time ringing in the New Year, scoring the opening goal just 10 seconds into the opening period and led 1-0 after 20 minutes. Calgary tied the game in the second period and went ahead at 5:13 of the third period to lead 2-1. The Tigres tied the game once again but Calgary capitalized on the powerplay and added an insurance goal for the Hitmen to win their first game of 2020 by a score of 4-2.
- Friday night (Jan. 3) the Calgary Hitmen travelled to play the Medicine Hat Tigers in what was the first game of a 3 games in 3 nights spell. The opening game did not go well for the Hitmen, as Medicine Hat scored twice in the opening period and added another two in the second period to open up a 4-0 lead. Carson Focht scored his 18th goal of the season for Calgary to get on the board, but the Tigres added to their lead early in the third period and never looked back. The tigers won the game by a score of 5-2 and enjoyed a 37-22 shots advantage.
- On Saturday night (Jan. 4), Calgary played their second game of a back to back to back set on the road against the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Lethbridge opened the scoring at 12:40 of the opening frame, but Calgary responded with a goal of their own 3:45 seconds later to tie the game 1-1. There was no more scoring in the rest of regulation as both goalies earned Three Star selections for their play and the game needed extra time to declare a winner. In overtime, the Hitmen were rewarded with the 2-1 victory courtesy of Mark Kastelic’s 20th goal of the season.
- The third and final game of the Hitmen’s weekend road trip saw Calgary face the Moose Jaw Warriors (Jan. 6). Conventional wisdom would have predicted a tired Calgary team, but the Hitmen smothered the Warriors with an 8-2 shots on goal advantage in the first period and a 1-0 lead. The second period was even more one-sided as the shots advantage increased to a 20-6 advantage and the Hitmen scoring four unanswered goals before allowing two powerplay goals to finish the second period with a commanding 5-2 lead. Calgary iced the game with two more goals in the third period to finish their road trip strongly with a 7-2 win.
- On Friday night (Jan. 10) the Calgary Hitmen hosted the Lethbridge Hurricanes looking to defeat them for the second time in as many weeks. Both teams scored in the opening period and headed into the dressing room tied 1-1. The rest of the scoring took place in the third period as both teams exchanged powerplay goals to run the score to 2-2. Lethbridge pulled away in the last 10 minutes scoring twice to win the game by a score of 4-2.
- Sunday’s game (Jan. 12) had the Calgary Hitmen host the Swift Current Broncos. Calgary dominated the run of play in the opening period but the game remained 0-0 despite the Hitmen having a 16-8 shots on goal advantage. The second period continued the shots advantage (19-7) for Calgary, but this time they were rewarded with 3 goals in the period to lead 3-0. Swift Current got a goal back in the third period to make things more interesting, but could not get any closer as Calgary won this game by a score of 3-1.
The Calgary Hitmen have 47 points from 39 games played. They continue to hold the first playoff wildcard spot and are in 4th place in the Central Division. They trail the Lethbridge Hurricanes by 10 points for the 3rd seed in the division and have 3 games in hand.
Roddy Ross #1 (G) – Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
- On Friday night (Jan. 3) the Seattle Thunderbirds travelled to Lethbridge on their road trip to face the Hurricanes. Roddy Ross got the start for Seattle who were getting set to play 3 games in 3 nights. Both teams scored twice in the opening period to head to the first intermission tied 2-2. Lethbridge outshot Seattle 11-7 in the second period and outscored the Thunderbirds 2-1 to take a 4-3 lead into the third period. Seattle tied the game at 12:50 of the third and regulation time ended with the score knotted at 4-4. In overtime, Seattle had the only 2 shots on goal as Payton Mount scored his 9th goal of the season to get 2 points for the Thunderbirds after a 5-4 victory. Ross was credited with the win and allowed 4 goals on 29 shots making 25 saves.
- Saturday night (Jan. 4) saw Seattle continue their Western Canada road trip with a visit to Medicine Hat to play the Tigers. Seattle backup goaltender Blake Lyda got the start in goal with Roddy Ross on the bench as his backup after playing the night before. After a 6 goal outburst in the opening period that saw each team score 3 goals apiece, Seattle took a 4-3 lead after scoring early in the second period. After that goal, Medicine Hat took over the scoreboard with 5 unanswered goals to take an 8-4 lead that would not be overcome. Medicine Hat won the game handily by a final score of 8-5 after outshooting the Thunderbirds by a 48-30 margin.
- The Seattle Thunderbirds returned to action on Sunday (Jan. 5) to finish their third game in three nights on their Western Canada road trip with a game against the Swift Current Broncos. Roddy Ross returned as the starter for the match to end the Thunderbirds 3 games in 3 night run. Swift Current had a strong opening period with an 18-12 shots on goal advantage and scored the games first goal on a deflection from a point shot. But Ross would not allow a second goal to get past him and Seattle responded by scoring a goal of their own to finish the period tied 1-1. Seattle added to their lead with a goals in the second period and early in the third to lead 3-1. The Broncos got a goal back due to some poor defensive zone coverage leaving an unmarked Bronco in front to cut the lead to 3-2. Seattle though would not be denied and scored an empty net goal to win the game by a score of 4-2. Ross was named the First Star of the game allowing 2 goals on 31 shots (29 saves).
- On Friday night (Jan. 10) the Seattle Thunderbirds travelled to Tri-City to face the Americans. Seattle scored early and often in the opening period, putting up a four spot to lead 4-0. Roddy Ross was the starting goaltender for the Thunderbirds, and he registered an assist on Seattle’s fourth goal when his clearing attempt set up an odd man rush that was converted for the score. With the comfortable lead, Seattle scored a few more times in the second and third periods but were also sloppy in their own end to allow Tri-City to pad their stats by the end of the game as well. In the end, the Thunderbirds were just too much for the Americans on this night and came away with an 8-5 win. Ross got the win and allowed 5 goals on 34 shots (29 saves).
- Saturday night (Jan. 11) saw the Seattle Thunderbirds hosted the Everett Silvertips. Roddy Ross got the nod in goal once again for the Thunderbirds who played in both games of the back to back. Ross had to be sharp in the opening period as Everett commanded a 17-7 shots advantage and came away from the period with a 2-1 lead. Seattle turned things around in the second period, scoring twice and adding an insurance goal in the third period. From there, Ross held Everett at bay only allowing a shot to elude him at the 13:10 mark of the third. Seattle was victorious in this game by a final score of 4-3. Ross was tremendous in this game allowing 3 goals on 37 shots making 34 saves. For his efforts, Ross was awarded the game’s Second Star as Seattle was outshot 37-23 and many important stops to keep Seattle ahead in the game.
The Seattle Thunderbirds gained some ground and now find themselves in the second and final wildcard spot. With 37 points in 40 games, Seattle now trails the Vancouver Giants by only 1 point with Vancouver having one game in hand.
OHL (Ontario Hockey League)
Mason Millman #12 (D) – Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
|2019-2020 Saginaw Spirit||37||11||16||27||+10||73||44|
- On Friday night (Jan. 3), the Saginaw Spirit visited the Kitchener Rangers. A four goal burst in the second period led to two goals for each side, and the score after 40 minutes was deadlocked at 2-2. In the third period, Kitchener took the lead less than 2 minutes in, and added an insurance marker on the powerplay at 14:59 to defeat Saginaw by a score of 4-2. Mason Millman did not register a point and finished with a +1 rating and 2 shots on goal. Kitchener finished 2 for 7 on the powerplay while Saginaw went 0 for 4.
- Saturday night (Jan. 4) had the Saginaw Spirit back in action to face the visiting Oshawa Generals. Mason Millman assisted on Saginaw’s first goal of the game via the powerplay after the Spirit had fallen behind to help tie the game 1-1. Millman also scored his 9th goal of the season on the powerplay at 15:20 of the first period to extend the Spirit’s lead to 3-1. At the end of the first period, Saginaw led 4-1. Millman’s hot hand continued in the third period as he scored his 10th goal of the season by skating into the slot and wristing one past the Oshawa goaltender. Saginaw’s offence was clicking on the night as the Spirit roared to an 8-4 win. Millman finished the game with 2 goals, 1 assist, 3 points, an even rating, and 2 shots on goal.
- Saginaw completed their busy 3 games in 3 nights on Sunday afternoon (Jan. 5) as they hosted the Sarnia Sting. After Sarnia scored the opening goal of the first period at 18:01, Sarnia tied the game 30 seconds later through Cole Perfetti’s 22nd goal of the season in which Mason Millman garnered an assist. Saginaw’s goal was the first of five unanswered goals to open up a 5-1 lead. Millman also assisted on the fourth Spirit goal which ended up being the game winner, as Sarnia’s late two goal push was not enough and the Saginaw Spirit won the game by a score of 5-3. Millman finished the game with 2 assists, a +1 rating, and 4 shots on goal. Millman was also assessed a 2 minute minor penalty for roughing at 10:56 of the second period.
- The Spirit participated in some midweek action on Wednesday night (Jan. 8) as Saginaw hosted the Flint Firebirds. Both teams must have decided that defence wasn’t a priority as the shots in the opening period were 19-11 in favor of Saginaw and the teams traded goals to finish the period 2-2. After Flint took the lead in the second, Mason Millman scored his 11th goal of the season at even strength with a wrist shot from the point to tie the game at 3-3. The teams would trade goals once again and go into the dressing room after 40 minutes tied 4-4. In the third period Flint scored two goals to take a 6-4 lead before Millman helped to close the deficit to 6-5 on the powerplay with an assist at 15:44. Unfortunately, the Spirit could not find the tying goal and ended up losing the game 6-5. For the game, Millman finished with 1 goal and 1 assist for 2 points, a -2 rating, and 7 shots on goal. He also took a minor penalty for boarding at 5:34 of the third period in which Flint scored.
- Friday night (Jan. 10) provided a chance for revenge as the visiting Saginaw Spirit played the Flint Firebirds for the second time this week. In the first period, Saginaw netted the first two goals of the game and Flint got one back to finish the period 2-1. The second period proved to be a goal fest, with 5 goals total (3 for Saginaw and 2 for Flint) being scored and bringing the score line to 5-3 after 40 minutes. Both teams traded goals before Saginaw iced the game with an empty netter to win the game by a score of 7-4. Mason Millman did not register a point but did play a strong game and finished with a +4 rating and 1 shot on goal. Millman also got called for tripping at 13:57 of the first period to pick up 2 PIMs.
- On Saturday night (Jan. 11) Saginaw was back in action as they hosted the London Knights. Mason Millman picked up an assist on the powerplay to open the scoring at 11:30 of the first period. Down 2-0 to open the second period, the Knights responded with World Junior Gold medalist Connor McMichael scoring twice (Canada teammate Liam Foudy also picked up 2 assists) to take a 4-3 lead early in the third period. Cole Perfetti (snubbed from the Canadian team) scored his 23rd goal to tie the game and the Spirit added two more goals to put the game out of reach as Saginaw won by a score of 6-5. Millman ended the game with 1 assist, 2 shots on goal, and 4 PIMs (2 minutes for holding at 5:30 of the third period and 2 minutes for kneeing at 16:42 at the end of the game).
The Saginaw Spirit slipped to 2nd place in the West Division with 54 points from 41 games played. They are 1 point behind the Windsor Spitfires and have played 2 more games.
QMJHL (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League)
Egor Serdyuk #18 (RW) – Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL)
|2019-2020 Victoriaville Tigres||29||11||13||24||-11||64||20|
- On Friday night (Jan. 3) the Victoriaville Tigres travelled to Chicoutimi to face the Sagueneens. With the score tied 1-1 to open the second period, goals came fast and furious making the arena announcer really earn their paycheck. Mikhail Abramov scored his 26th of the season to put Victoriaville up 2-1 only 33 seconds into the period. Chicoutimi responded 30 seconds later and tied the game 2-2 at 1:03. Chicoutimi scored the winning goal at 7:07 of the second period and held Victoriaville off the scoreboard for the rest of the game to secure a 3-2 victory. Egor Serdyuk had a frustrating evening taking 2 penalties after Chicoutimi took the 3-2 lead. Serdyuk was called for hooking at 13:21 of the second period and was nabbed for another 2 minute minor penalty for slashing 58 seconds into the third period. Serdyuk finished the game with 0 points, a -1 rating, and 2 shots on goal.
- The Victoriaville Tigres were in action again on Saturday night (Jan. 4) as they visited the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. The Drakkar jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the first period even though the Tigres outshot them 16-13. In the second period with Baie-Comeau up 3-1, Egor Serdyuk fed a pass into the slot to assist on Mikhail Abramov’s 27th goal of the season at 11:14. Down 4-2 in the third period, Serdyuk scored his 11th goal of the season on a failed clearance attempt, but the Tigres would get no closer as they dropped this game by a score of 4-3. For the game Serdyuk finished with 1 goal and 1 assist for 2 points, a +1 rating, and 4 shots on goal.
- Friday night (Jan. 10) had the Victoriaville Tigres hosting the Shawinigan Cataractes in a game with playoff ramifications. With the Tigres chasing the Cataractes in the Western Conference, it was Shawinigan that started positively in this one scoring two goals in the opening period. Victoriaville used the intermission to regroup and scored 1:49 into the second frame. A few minutes later, Egor Serdyuk grabbed an even strength assist from a centring attempt that got deflected to Jerome Gravel who scored his 15th goal of the season to tie the game 2-2. In the third period, Serdyuk grabbed another assist by skating into the Cataractes zone on the right side and feeding Felix Pare for his 12th goal of the season for a 3-2 lead. Unfortunately, the Tigres were under siege for the period and allowed the tying goal at 18:12 to send the game into overtime. In overtime, Shawinigan completed the comeback by scoring at 4:15 and grabbed the extra point with a 4-3 win. For the game Serdyuk had 2 assists, 2 shots on goal, and 4 PIMs (interference in the first period and hooking in the third period).
- On Saturday night (Jan. 11) the Victoriaville Tigres travelled to Gatineau to face the Olympiques. All of the scoring in this one took place in the second period, with Gatineau responsible for all 4 goals to lead 4-0 heading into the third period. In the final period, Victoriaville had a 19-5 shots on goal advantage but could not get a puck past Olympiques goaltender Remi Poirier who won the game with a 4-0 shutout. Egor Serdyuk did not score a point and had a -2 rating to go along with 2 shots on goal.
The Victoriaville Tigres remain in 7th position in the Western Conference with 36 points from 42 games. Victoriaville remains 2 points behind Shawinigan for the final playoff spot. Shawinigan has one game in hand on Victoriaville.
BCHL (British Columbia Hockey League)
Jay O’Brien #9 (RW) – Penticton Vees (BCHL)
|2019-2020 Penticton Vees||33||15||32||47||41|
- Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 1) saw a New Years matinee between the Penticton Vees and the Vernon Vipers. It appeared that Jay O’Brien was about to make his return to the lineup after missing 6 games due to a lower body injury. The Vees official Twitter feed posted the game lineups with O’Brien’s name listed. After the pregame skate, O’Brien must have felt unable to play as he ended up missing his 7th consecutive game. Tristan Amonte (Tony Amonte’s son) opened the scoring for the Vees with his 10th goal of the season. Vernon tied the game 1-1 before the end of the first period, but it was Penticton that would do the rest of the scoring in the game. With two goals in the second period, Penticton shut down the Vipers the rest of the game and secured their first win of 2020 by a score of 3-1.
- Friday night (Jan. 3) saw the Penticton Vees look to start their first winning streak of 2020 as they faced the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Both teams traded goals in the first two periods with the score tied 2-2 after 40 minutes. The Vees broke open the game in the third period scoring three goals (2 even strength) to win the game by a score of 5-2. Jay O’Brien missed his 8th straight game in this one as he continues to be hampered by a lower body injury.
- On Saturday night (Jan. 4) the Penticton Vees took on the visiting Victoria Grizzlies once again without the services of Jay O’Brien who has now missed the last 9 games due to injury. With the first period even in shots, it was Victoria that entered the dressing room with a 2-1 lead. A wild second period saw six goals scored, four for the Vees and two for the Grizzlies and Penticton had a 5-4 advantage going into the third. The third period was dominated by the Vees who had an 11-4 shot advantage and scored three goals to cement an 8-4 victory. Tristan Amonte (Tony Amonte’s son) had a great offensive night for the Vees scoring 2 goals and 2 assists for a 4 point night. The Vees have now won 3 straight games to open 2020.
- In some midweek action, the Penticton Vees faced the Langley Rivermen on Wednesday night (Jan. 8). While Jay O’Brien looks to be close to returning, he remained out of the lineup and missed his 10th straight game. After a scoreless first period, the Vees erupted for three goals in the second period in the midst of a 14-6 shots advantage to take a 3-0 lead into the third period. The Rivermen got a goal back at 7:56, but Penticton closed out the game with a 3-1 victory.
- On Friday (Jan 10) the Penticton Vees faced off against the Trail Smoke Eaters for the first game of a home and home. Once again, Jay O’Brien appeared on the Vees game sheet leading everyone to believe that O’Brien would play in his first game since December 4th. By the time the puck dropped, O’Brien was not on the Vees bench and did indeed miss his 11th consecutive game. After a scoreless first period, the Smoke Eaters scored twice to open up a 2-0 lead. To their credit, the Vees scored two goals of their own before the end of the period to tie the game 2-2 after 40 minutes. In the third, Trail scored twice again to restore their two goal lead. Although Penticton scored late at 18:57, they could not find the tying goal as they fell to the Smoke Eaters by a score of 4-3.
- Saturday night (Jan. 11) saw the Penticton Vees try to get some revenge on the Trail Smoke Eaters in the return match of the back to back set. Once again without Jay O’Brien, the Vees got goals from five different skaters to make up for their previous night’s loss as they won this game 5-1. The Vees played very well defensively allowing only 18 shots on goal and killed off all four Trail powerplays.
After this week, the Penticton Vees remain on top of the Interior Division with 66 points from 45 games. They lead the 2nd place Trail Smoke Eaters by 10 points and have played 1 extra game. With their victory against the Victoria Grizzlies last week, the Penticton Vees clinched a playoff birth.
Hope you enjoyed this New Year edition of the Flyers Junior Hockey Prospect Report. Happy New Year to everyone and I hope that 2020 is full of good health and good fortune for you and your families.
Feel free to leave any comments or feedback via twitter or at www.brotherlypuck.com.
Until next time from BrotherlyPuck.com,
photo credit: auburn-reporter.com