The Flyers CHL Prospect Report (Apr. 14 – Apr. 30)

Welcome back to the Flyers CHL Prospect Report.  This edition will be the final article posted for the 2020-2021.

The regular season have all wrapped up in the leagues that resumed play.  The WHL announced that the regular season for all Canadian teams would be concluded at the end of April.  With each team playing 24 games (except the Red Deer Rebels who played 23), the WHL announced that the WHL Playoffs would not be able to take place this season due to the presence of COVID variants of concern spreading through Western Canada.  The U.S. based teams will continue playing against one another (as they were always placed in the separate U.S. Division) as will the British Columbia based clubs.  As a result, the Portland Winterhawks, Everett Silvertips, Tri-City Americans, Spokane Chiefs, Seattle Thunderbirds, Victoria Royals, Vancouver Giants, Prince George Cougars, Kamloops Blazers, and Kelowna Rockets will continue to play games within their respective divisions until May 12th.

The OHL’s hopes for a return to play were officially ended as it was announced that the league would hope to return to a full season in the fall.  The OHL was the only junior league to not resume some semblance of a regular season as the government’s Stay at Home Order limiting retail stores and restaurants to online orders and pick-up only came into effect with skyrocketing positive COVID cases.  With the surge in positive cases and the swelling of hospitalizations (especially in ICU’s across the province), it became clear that the priority for the government and communities would be on getting a handle on the spread and trying to curb transmissions.  In short, hockey was a low priority given the circumstances.  Still, it seems damning that both the province and the OHL could not get any semblance of a season in considering that conditions were far less dire prior to the second wave as well as the third wave.  On the bright side, the Flyers will benefit from seeing their OHL draftees continue to play for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the AHL (although there will be no postseason to award the Calder Cup either).

Credit where credit is due to the QMJHL who persevered and endured some serious COVID related stoppages to allow for teams to compete for the President’s Cup in order to award a championship this season.  On the downside, players from the QMJHL will not be eligible to participate in the IIHF World U18 Championship being held in Texas.  Best of luck to Egor Serdyuk and the Victoriaville Tigres as they have advanced to Round 2 of the President’s Cup Playoffs to face the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.

This edition covers the week that was in the CHL from Wednesday April 14th – Friday April 30th.

WHL (Western Hockey League) 

Connor McClennon #94 (RW) – Winnipeg Ice (WHL)

SEASONGPGAPTS+/-SPIM
2021    24141933+610637
  • Wednesday (Apr. 14) had Winnipeg Ice and the Brandon Wheat Kings face off in the hub city of Regina.  Brandon scored the only two goals of the opening period even though Winnipeg held a 13-10 shot advantage.  The Wheat Kings opened the scoring only 1:52 in through Riley Ginnell’s 4th of the season and made it 2-0 at 9:10 with Brett Hyland’s 2nd goal.  In the second period, Connor McClennon scored his 11th goal of the campaign on a delayed penalty by slamming home a rebound from the top of the crease to make it a 2-1 game.  Brandon would restore their two-goal lead through Ben McCartney’s 9th at 9:07.  Winnipeg would cut the lead again as Conor Geekie wristed one off the post an in with the Ice on the powerplay to make it 3-2 heading into the intermission.  In the third period, McCartney would score his second goal of the game to extend the Wheat Kings lead to 4-2.  The Ice would tally on the powerplay through Owen Pederson (with McClennon registering a secondary assist) at 14:47 to make things interesting, but McCartney would get his hat-trick with the Winnipeg net empty to lead Brandon to a 5-3 win over Winnipeg.  McClennon finished the game with 1 goal and 1 assist for 2 points, a -1 rating, and 6 shots on goal.   
  • On Friday (Apr. 16) the Winnipeg Ice were back in action as they took on the Swift Current Broncos.  Swift Current opened the scoring at 8:46 to take a 1-0 lead, but Owen Pederson tied the game as his shot actually was directed into the goal by a defenders skate for his 9th of the season.  The Winnipeg Ice would take the lead as Connor McClennon shoved home a rebound from the front of the net for his 12th of the season.  In the second period, Michael Milne gave Winnipeg a 3-1 lead with his 2nd goal, and narrowly missed again as McClennon saw a beautiful wrist shot wring off of the post.  But, the Broncos would get one back to go into the third period down 3-2.  In the third period, Swift Current would tie the game at 3:43, but Pederson scored his second of the game off a nice cross-ice feed from McClennon to regain the 4-3 lead for the Ice at 10:27.  Winnipeg would add another with Milne’s second of the game only 1:57 later to give Winnipeg a 5-3 lead.  The Broncos would score a powerplay goal at 15:57 to cut the deficit to one, but they could not find the tying goal as Winnipeg won the game by a final score of 5-4.  McClennon finished the game with 1 goal and 1 assist for 2 points, a +2 rating, 3 shots on goal, and 2 PIMs with a minor for roughing at 13:42 of the third period.  Connor McClennon was awarded the game’s Second Star.
  • Sunday (Apr. 18) had the Winnipeg Ice faced the Brandon Wheat Kings for the second time in the last three games.  Brandon struck first with two goals in the opening period, before Jakin Smallwood responded with his 11th of the season while the Ice were on the powerplay.  In the second period, Winnipeg would tie the game 2-2 while on the man advantage once again; but this time it was Owen Pederson scoring his 11th of the season after Connor McClennon was denied off a one-timer from the left circle.  Brandon would retake the lead through Neithan Salame to head into the second intermission with a 3-2 lead.  In the third period, the Ice would equalize once again through McClennon’s 13th of the season at 8:16 after Peyton Krebs picked off an errant defensive zone pass and fed McClennon in front.  The Ice would take the 4-3 lead with a Krebs powerplay goal for his 10th of the season at 15:23 which saw McClennon draw a secondary assist.  The Wheat Kings would tie the game 4-4 with only 1:26 remaining through 2020 NHL Draft selection Ridly Greig’s 9th of the year.  In overtime, Braden Schnieder (another 2020 NHL Draft selection) would win the game for Brandon as the Winnipeg Ice fell to the Wheat Kings by a score of 5-4.  McClennon was excellent again in this game as he finished with 1 goal and 2 assists for 3 points, a +1 rating, and 9 shots on goal.  McClennon also picked up 4 PIMs with minor penalties for high-sticking and roughing.  
  • On Monday (Apr. 19), the Winnipeg Ice were back in action against the Swift Current Broncos.  This was a dominant performance from the Ice, as they outshot the Broncos in every period (44-18 for the game) but also held Swift Current to single digit shot totals in each period.  Oddly enough, it was Swift Current that opened the scoring in the final second of the period to take a 1-0 lead into the intermission.  In the second period, the Ice scored three straight goals at even strength with Zachary Benson (his 7th), Peyton Krebs (his 11th), and Michael Milne (his 4th) giving Winnipeg a 3-1 lead.  The Broncos would get a goal back at 13:39 to make it a 3-2 game, but Winnipeg would put the game away in the final period.  At 3:41 of the third period, James Form scored his 2nd of the season to make it a 4-2 lead, and Benson scored his second goal of the game to provide some insurance as the Winnipeg Ice defeated the Swift Current Broncos by a flattering 5-2 score.  Connor McClennon was held off the scoresheet and finished the game with 0 points, a -1 rating, and 3 shots on goal.
  • Wednesday (Apr. 21) had the Winnipeg Ice back in action as they took on the Moose Jaw Warriors.  Winnipeg jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead off of an even strength goal from Jakin Smallwood (his 12th goal of the season) only 1:08 in, and Skylar Bruce tallied his 2nd goal of the season with the Ice on the powerplay at 7:34.  Moose Jaw would respond with goals at even strength and with the man advantage to head into the intermission tied 2-2.  In the second period, the Warriors scored the only goal of the period despite being outshot 15-7 as their powerplay marker at 13:28 gave them a 3-2 lead.  In the third period, Peyton Krebs scored a powerplay goal (his 12th) to tie the game 3-3 at the 2:30 mark.  The Warriors retook the lead through Daemon Hunt’s 7th of the year, but Skylar Bruce’s second goal of the game tied it once again at 4-4.  Both sides would trade goals late in the period including Kreb’s second goal of the game with only 1:12 remaining to end regulation with the score 5-5.  In overtime, Jakin Smallwood scored the game winner for his second of the game as the Winnipeg Ice defeated the Moose Jaw Warriors 6-5.  Connor McClennon was held pointless for the second game in a row and finished with 0 points, a -1 rating, and 7 shots on goal.  McClennon picked up a 10 minute game misconduct at 6:22 of the second period
  • On Friday (Apr. 23), the Winnipeg Ice played the Saskatoon Blades with Connor McClennon looking to break a 2-game pointless streak.  He didn’t have to wait long in this one as McClennon carried the puck into the offensive zone and fed Owen Pederson who squeezed a shot past Blades goaltender Koen MacInnes at 6:05 to give the Ice a 1-0 lead.  Winnipeg would extend the lead to 2-0 with Mike Ladyman nabbing his 2nd of the season at 11:00.  In the second period, Winnipeg got the only goal as McClennon went to the slot and took a nice feed from Peyton Krebs to wrist home his 14th goal of the season to make it 3-0 at 14:32.  In the third period, the Ice added some insurance as McClennon picked off a Blades pass in the offensive zone, making the goaltender bite on a fake, and passing the puck unselfishly to Pederson for his second of the game to make it 4-0.  The Blades would break Gage Alexander’s bid for a shutout at 12:49, but the Ice would convincingly beat the Blades by a score of 4-1.  McClennon had a very good game in this one finishing with 1 goal and 2 assists for 3 points, a +2 rating, and 6 shots on goal.  McClennon was awarded the game’s Second Star.

Here are the video highlights for the Winnipeg Ice vs. Saskatoon Blades game which saw Connor McClennon get awarded Second Star honors.  Video is courtesy of the Winnipeg Ice and the WHL.

  • Monday (Apr. 26) saw the Winnipeg Ice head back onto the ice as they faced the Prince Albert Raiders.  In the first period, the physical play by the Raiders must have gotten under the skin of Connor McClennon who was assessed two minor penalties (4 PIMs) with a roughing call at 7:25 and a slashing penalty at 10:09.  With McClennon in the penalty box, the Raiders would convert on the powerplay opportunity to take a 1-0 lead.  In the second period, the Ice would tie the game 1-1 through Jackson Leppard’s 2nd goal of the season at 6:36.  Prince Albert would score two consecutive goals (both on the powerplay) to take a 3-1 lead heading into the final period.  In the third period, Winnipeg outshot Prince Albert 13-9 and cut the deficit to 3-2 thanks to a pretty goal from Conor Geekie who scored his 8th of the season at 9:28.  Winnipeg would tie the game 3-3 only 1:28 later with the man advantage as Zachary Benson tallied his 9th of the year.  The Ice would find the winning goal in regulation and complete the third period comeback as defenseman Karter Prosofsky scored the game-winner for his 1st goal of the season as the Winnipeg Ice stormed back to defeat the Prince Albert Raiders 4-3.  McClennon finished this game with no points, a +1 rating, 4 shots on goal, and 4 PIMs.
  • On Tuesday (Apr. 27) the Winnipeg Ice took on the Regina Pats.  The Ice jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening period with goals from James Form and Mike Ladyman who both scored their 3rd goals of the season.  In the second period, Winnipeg extended their lead to 3-0 with Conor Geekie’s 9th goal at 2:50.  Regina would get a shorthanded goal to make it a 3-1 game, but the Ice responded before the end of the period as Michael Milne notched his 5th goal at 17:28 to make it 4-1 after 40 minutes.  Zachary Benson scored his 10th to give the Ice a 5-1 lead, but Regina’s Carter Massier’s 5th of the season was a thing of beauty as he scored a Marek Malik-esque through the legs goal which is undoubtedly a goal of the year candidate to make it 5-2.  After Milne scored his second goal of the game for the Ice to make it 6-2; Zack Smith scored twice on the powerplay in a span of 21 seconds to give himself a hat-trick but it was not enough as the Winnipeg Ice defeated the Regina Pats 6-4.  In his final game of the season, Connor McClennon was held without a point and finished the game with a +1 rating and 2 shots on goal.

            This season, Connor McClennon’s offensive production (33 points in 24 games) showcased him as a value selection for the Flyers in the 2020 NHL Draft that saw him get taken in the 6th Round (178th overall).  As the first player ever to be drafted from the Winnipeg Ice, McClennon is a small right-winger listed at 5’8 and 160 lbs who played on the first line and scored 1.38 points per game (an improvement from 1.17 PPG last season).  The former 2nd overall selection in the WHL draft demonstrated further growth in his game, particularly on the offensive side of the puck.  He possesses good offensive awareness, above average speed, good puck handling, and is confident as a puck carrier when gaining entry in the offensive zone.  On the powerplay, McClennon likes to set up in the left circle where he enjoys one-timing pucks on net.  He is also a good playmaker who sets up teammates well, and he isn’t afraid to head to the front of the net despite his smaller stature.  In terms of improvement, more work on the defensive side of the puck can be improved as well as his play away from the puck both offensively and defensively.  He does not hesitate to take shots on goal, but with a bit more work on his release he should improve to the point that he would convert more of his shots and scoring chances into goals.  McClennon has at times shown a bit of a lack in discipline and can take penalties while trying to respond to the physical play of opponents.  He has taken multiple penalties in a game (or even in a period) too much for my liking; especially in the second-half of the season.  McClennon has responded well with a ‘A’ on his sweater as part of the leadership group.  His season was very successful as he played on the top   line with 2019 NHL draftee Peyton Krebs.  While the two played exceptionally well together, it remains to be seen if McClennon can be the centerpiece of the offensive attack and will be an interesting player to watch heading into next season.        

Roddy Ross #31 (G) – Regina Pats (WHL)

SEASONGPWLSOMINSSHSAVGAASAV%
2021   1661009454674083.750.874
  • On Thursday night (Apr. 15), Roddy Ross got the start in goal as the Regina Pats faced the Saskatoon Blades.  The Blades scored first as a point shot was lost by Ross, took a few funny bounces in front and both the puck and Ross ended up in the net as Saskatoon took a 1-0 lead at 8:07.  Rhett Rhinehart was credited with the goal, and would score a second only 3:34 later off a wrist shot from the slot found its way in through numerous bodies in front.  In the second period, Regina would cut the lead to 2-1 as Logan Nijhoff scored his 9th of the season at 3:08 as his breakway attempt was stopped but a Blades defenseman kicked the puck into his own net.  But Saskatoon would get that goal back at 18:23 as Rhinehart scored his hat-trick goal off a wicked wrist shot from the slot to make it 3-1.  The Blades would finish the game off in the third period with an empty-net goal to hand the Regina Pats a 4-1 loss.  Ross was tagged for the loss in this one and allowed 3 goals on 34 shots (31 saves).  Ross was named as the Third Star of the hockey game. 
  • The Regina Pats were back in action on Sunday (Apr. 18) as they took on the Prince Albert Raiders.  Roddy Ross got the night off as Matthew Kieper got the start in goal and Spencer Welke served as his backup.  Regina took the 1-0 lead with the only goal of the first period as Cole Dubinsky scored his 3rd of the season at 4:13.  In the second period, there was a flurry of goals with the Pats and the Raiders finding the back of the net three times apiece.  After the Pats took a 2-0 lead, the Raiders got on the board with a powerplay goal at 9:03.  The Pats replied only 48 seconds later with Dubinsky’s second goal of the game to make it 3-1.  The Raiders scored two goals in 1:22 to tie the game 3-3, but the Pats scored a powerplay goal of their own as Drew Englot scored his first goal of the season to make it 4-3.  Regina would end up defeating Prince Albert by that same score as there were no goals scored in the final period.   
  • Tuesday (Apr. 20) had Roddy Ross back between the pipes as the Regina Pats faced the Saskatoon Blades.  The opening period was scoreless as both goaltenders stopped all shots that came their way with Saskatoon holding an 8-7 shots advantage.  The scoring got underway quicky in the second period as the Blades took the lead only 38 seconds in with a wrist shot from the point that Ross wishes he could have back.  Ross made the initial save on the point shot but he could not control the puck as it fell, hit his skate, and went into the net.  The Pats responded with the tying goal at 4:11 as Carter Chorney scored his 4th on a shorthanded breakaway; and a go-ahead goal from Layton Feist at 8:30 to make it 2-1.  Saskatoon tied it with a breakaway goal of their own as Brandon Lisowski went high blocker to beat Ross.  Carson Denomie took a pass from behind the goal line and notched his 13th of the season for the Pats to regain the 3-2 lead.  The only scoring in the final period would come from an empty-netter as the Pats put the game out of reach with Kyle Walker’s 1st of the season to secure Regina a 4-2 win over the Saskatoon Blades.  Ross won his 5th game of the season allowed 2 goals on 22 shots (20 saves).
  • On Thursday (Apr. 22) the Regina Pats played the Swift Current Broncos with Roddy Ross getting the night off.  Rookie Spencer Welke got the start with fellow rookie Matthew Kieper as his backup on the bench.  In the first period, the Broncos opened the scoring at 18:41 to take a 1-0 lead into the intermission.  The Pats scored two consecutive goals (both on the powerplay) to take a 2-1 lead in the second period.  The goals were scored by Logan Nijhoff (his 10th) at 7:38, and Carson Denomie notched his 14th of the season at 16:20.  Swift Current would tie the game late in the second period with a powerplay goal of their own to tie the game 2-2 heading into the third period.  In the third period, the Broncos would take the 3-2 lead at 8:04 and add an insurance marker with the Pats net empty as the Swift Current Broncos defeated the Regina Pats by a score of 4-2.  
  • Friday (Apr. 23) had the Regina Pats face the Moose Jaw Warriors with Roddy Ross returning to the lineup and getting the start.  Moose Jaw would have the advantage of the play in the first period with a 14-9 shots advantage, but Ross would deny the Warriors with some solid play.  It must be said that Ross was also bailed out by his defensemen at least twice in the period, as a puck was cleared off the goal line preventing a sure goal for Moose Jaw.  Cole Dubinsky scored his 5th of the season with the Pats on the powerplay to give Ross a 1-0 lead.  In the second period, Regina would extend their lead with two goals only 13 seconds apart.  The first was another powerplay goal by Layton Feist (his 5th) at 15:30 and an even strength goal by Drew Englot (his 2nd) at 15:43 to pace the Pats to a 3-0 lead.  In the third period, Zack Smith led a shorthanded 3-on-2 opting to shoot the puck himself and score his 4th goal of the season to give Regina a 4-0 lead.  Ross’ bid for his first shutout of the season was broken at 12:46 as Moose Jaw finally got one past the Pats netminder.  Ross would end up picking up his 6th win of the season as the Regina Pats defeated the Moose Jaw Warriors 4-1.  Ross was named the Second Star of the game and only allowed 1 goal on 31 shots (30 saves).
  • On Sunday (Apr. 25) the Regina Pats were back in action as they took on the Brandon Wheat Kings.  Roddy Ross was assigned to backup Matthew Kieper who got the start in goal.  In the first period, Regina had a 15-11 shots advantage but found themselves down 1-0 after 7:53 as Ridly Greig scored his 10th of the season while Brandon was shorthanded.  The Pats would tie the game 1-1 in the second period through Tanner Howe’s first goal of the season only 3:47 in.  However, late in the period the Wheat Kings Lynden McCallum would score twice in a span of 31 seconds to give Brandon a 3-1 lead.  McCallum continued to be a force in the third period and would score another two goals (at 0:27 and 1:08 of the third period) to bring his total to four goals for the game.  It should be noted that all four of McCallum’s goals came via the powerplay, but regardless the Wheat Kings handed the Pats a 5-1 defeat on the night.  
  • Tuesday (Apr. 27) saw the Regina Pats play the Winnipeg Ice.  Roddy Ross got the start in the Pats final game of the season.  The Ice jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening period with goals from James Form and Mike Ladyman who both scored their 3rd goals of the season.  In the second period, Winnipeg extended their lead to 3-0 with Conor Geekie’s 9th goal at 2:50.  Regina would get a shorthanded goal to make it a 3-1 game, but the Ice responded before the end of the period as Michael Milne notched his 5th goal at 17:28 to make it 4-1 after 40 minutes.  Zachary Benson scored his 10th to give the Ice a 5-1 lead, but Regina’s Carter Massier’s 5th of the season was a thing of beauty as he scored a Marek Malik-esque through the legs goal which is undoubtedly a goal of the year candidate to make it 5-2.  After Milne scored his second goal of the game for the Ice to make it 6-2; Zack Smith scored twice on the powerplay in a span of 21 seconds to give himself a hat-trick but it was not enough as the Winnipeg Ice defeated the Regina Pats 6-4.  Ross took the loss and allowed 6 goals on 27 shots (21 saves).

Roddy Ross had a difficult first season with the Regina Pats.  As a new offseason addition on a clearly rebuilding team during a COVID season, Ross was counted on to provide stability as a veteran between the pipes for a team that was going to have all eyes focused on underage rookie phenom Connor Bedard.  While Ross did see his play improve slightly in the second half of the season, the first half was not the start that he or the Pats would have hoped for.  In all honesty, the defensive play from the Pats defense was atrocious in the early going with many goals coming due to lapses in coverage, defensive zone giveaways, and overall passivity.  Sounds a lot like what Carter Hart had to go through this season with the Flyers!  While Ross did not get much help in the first-half of the season, his play did improve as the Pats team played better defensively in front of him (particularly after Bedard left the club to join Canada’s World U18 team) thereby forcing the squad to adhere to more of a cooperative and devoted system of team defense.  In the second half, Ross did enjoy some dominant periods with big saves at key times and even was named one of the Three Stars a few times down the stretch when the Pats relied on him to come up big during Bedard’s absence.  Still, even Ross would be disappointed with how slowly he came out of the gate and that he only got his first win of the season in his 6th start.  In terms of improvement, Ross needs to work a bit more on his ability to track the puck particularly on rebounds that hit him up high.  Too often, Ross would lose sight of a puck that hit him only to have the puck sit dangerously in the crease or ricocheting into the net off of his skate.  More awareness and care in this area needs to be exhibited by Ross.  He continues to be good at squaring himself to the shooter, and is good at making the first save.  He also has the ability to get hot and gain confidence the busier that he gets in a game.  When he is not as busy, Ross can find it difficult to get in a groove and may allow a goal or two (particularly in the early parts of periods when he is still cold).  Ross will be counted on to take a larger role with a more experienced but still growing Pats team next year.  In what should be his final WHL season, Ross should be able to bounce back and have a stronger regular season.

QMJHL (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League)

Egor Serdyuk #18 (RW) – Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL)

REG. SEASONGPGAPTS+/-SPIM
20212681119+55516
  • On Friday night (Apr. 23) the Victoriaville Tigres opened up their first round best-of-5 series against the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in the QMJHL Playoffs.  The Huskies would open the scoring with the man-advantage to take a 1-0 lead, but Tigres goaltender Nikolas Hurtubise came up with a huge glove save on a Huskies breakaway to keep the deficit to one goal heading into the intermission.  In the second period, Victoriaville would score the equalizer as Sean Larochelle slapped a point shot past the Huskies netminder on the powerplay at 6:31.  The Tigres would take a 2-1 lead at 12:00 as Shawn Element took advantage of some sloppy puckhandling, stealing the loose puck and ripping a shot from the slot to take the lead.  Hurtubise stood tall in the second period as well, denying a few great chances for the Huskies including a huge two-on-one stop.  Rouyn-Noranda would end up scoring the tying goal as Zachary Gravel passed the puck carelessly into the slot that was pounced upon to make the game 2-2. In the third period, Hurtubise made a sprawling pad save on yet another breakaway to keep Victoriaville in the game.  The timely save would pay massive dividends as the Tigres would execute a tic-tac-toe passing play that went cross crease to a waiting Egor Serdyuk who scored the go ahead goal to give Victoriaville a 3-2 lead.  No more scoring would take place in regulation, and Serdyuk’s goal ended up as the game-winner with the Tigres defeating the Huskies 3-2 and taking a 1-0 lead in the series.  Serdyuk finished the game with 1 goal (GWG), a +1 rating, and 3 shots on goal.

Here is the video of Game #1 between the Victoriaville Tigres and the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies with Egor Serdyuk’s overtime winner.  This video is courtesy of the QMJHL.

  • Game 2 of the series took place on Sunday (Apr. 25) with the Victoriaville Tigres leading the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 1-0.  The Tigres had some jump in the opening period, outshooting the Huskies 12-7.  Victoriaville scored the opening two goals in the contest through Conor Frenette at 9:05 and Alexis Arsenault at 12:38 to take a 2-0 lead.  Although the Tigres enjoyed the shots on goal advantage, the Huskies had some great chances in the period including a breakaway that featured a beautiful glove save by Tigres goaltender Nikolas Hurtubise.  The Huskies did manage to get on the board less than a minute after the Tigres second goal to make it a 2-1 game.  In the second period, the Huskies tied the game at 6:26 but Victoriaville would regain the lead with a powerplay goal courtesy of Nicolas Daigle at 12:39 to make the game 3-2.  In the third period, the Tigres would put the game in the rearview mirror with goals from Mikhail Abramov (even-strength) and Shawn Element (powerplay) to make it 5-2.  The Huskies would get a goal back at 17:18, but Benjamin Tardif iced the game with an empty-netter to give Victoriaville a 6-3 win to take a 2-0 lead in the best of five series.  Egor Serdyuk was quieter in this game and finished with no points, a -2 rating, and 2 shots on goal.
  • Game 3 of the series took place on Monday night (Apr. 26) with the Victoriaville Tigres looking to sweep the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.  Both teams came out with a focus on physical play and finishing checks in the opening period.  Although the Tigres outshot the Huskies 13-5 in the opening period, both goaltenders played very well and made some timely saves to keep the game scoreless.  The second period saw the Huskies outshoot the Tigres 7-4 mainly due to Victoriaville taking three minor penalties in the frame, but once again both sides could not light the lamp.  The third period ended scoreless once again and overtime beckoned with the score knotted 0-0.  In overtime, Tigres Captain and best player throughout the series Mikhail Abramov scored the game-winning goal to clinch the series after Alexis Arsenault made a great play to knock down a Huskies clearing attempt, and firing a shot on goal where Abramov was able to slide the rebound home.  Victoriaville wins the series 3-0 and advances to the Second Round of the President’s Cup Playoffs.  Egor Serdyuk was held pointless for the second consecutive game and finished with an even rating and one shot on goal.     

Elliot Desnoyers #91 (C) – Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

SEASONGPGAPTS+/-SPIM
202137212849+1212524
  • Saturday (Apr. 17) saw the Halifax Mooseheads play the Charlottetown Islanders in their final regular season game.  Elliot Desnoyers did not play in this game and the Mooseheads had been thoroughly dominated by Charlottetown (who have the highest winning percentage and most points in the QMJHL) over their last few meetings.  The Islanders jumped out to a 2-0 lead with 2 goals in 1:04 starting with a powerplay goal at 7:08 and following that with an even strength goal at 8:12.  The Mooseheads would respond with a goal by Ethan Landry (his 1st) at 17:01 to make cut the lead to 2-1 and Halifax outshot the Islanders 10-6.  The remainder of the game was dominated by Charlottetown as they outshot the Mooseheads 16-4 and 16-5 in the second and third periods respectively, and outscored them 7-3 overall.  Despite goals from Captain Justin Barron and a second of the game from Landry in the second period, the Mooseheads would fall convincingly again to the Charlottetown Islanders by a score of 9-4.  The Mooseheads did not qualify for the Presidents Cup Playoffs and finished with the 13th best record in the QMJHL.

Overall, Elliot Desnoyers had a successful 3rd season in the QMJHL.  After two seasons with the Moncton Wildcats, Desnoyers enjoyed a very productive first season with the Halifax Mooseheads.  He centered the first line and responded to more ice-time and expanded responsibilities well.  He finished well over a point per game pace, and was a difference-maker for Halifax on the ice.  He was helped in his development by playing with expected 2021 first rounder Zachary L’Heureux, but regardless did show improvement in his skating, and finishing ability.  In terms of next steps, one area of the game that Desnoyers could work to improve would be his faceoffs.  He did win 51.3% of them this season while taking 993 faceoffs.  But, being a dependable and more consistent faceoff winner would be a good step toward ensuring that he continues progressing in his final year of junior hockey next season as he prepares to turn professional for the 2022-23 season.      

***

Hope you enjoyed this edition of the Flyers CHL Prospect Report.

Feel free to leave any comments or feedback via twitter or at www.brotherlypuck.com.

Until next time from BrotherlyPuck.com,

I remain,

Manny Benevides

@mannybenevides

Photo credit: lanouvelle.net

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