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Prospect Check-In: Defensemen

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Moving out from goal, let’s see how the blueliners are doing!

Zboril defends against a Hartford Wolfpack player
Providence Bruins/Flickr

We’re going outward from the net in our prospect check-in, this time with the blueliners!

As before, we go from the top down:

NHL:

Jeremy Lauzon - LHD:

NHL GP: 3

AHL GP: 6

NHL pts: N/A

CF%: 48.28%

AHL pts: 1g - 3a - 4pts

Lauzon has had a whirlwind start to his year. Having a productive early season with Providence then immediately being called up due to the near constant injury problems on the back-end. He’s been alright, sometimes definitely looking like a rookie, but other times really knowing when/where to completely shut down an offensive shift along the boards and not committing profoundly stupid acts. Still, he’s a rookie , tossed into the lineup because of extenuating circumstances, so it’s fine if he’s slightly below average in suppressing NHL level talent right now. He’s gonna grow into it.

Urho Vaakanainen - LHD

NHL GP: 2 (technically speaking)

AHL GP: 6

NHL pts: Didn’t have a chance to get any.

NHL CF%: 59.26%

AHL pts: 0g - 2a - 2pts

He was doing well and would probably be playing right now were it not for the poster-child of self-unaware dillholes Mark Borowiecki, who is also spending time out for another idiotic elbowing, this time of Cody Eakin.

It is at this time that I wish to use this time to express my exact opinion and complex feelings of Senators player Mark Borowiecki and his blatant disregard for the rules of the game, which I choose to use through this .gif:

Thank you, Get well soon, Urho.


Providence - AHL:

Connor Clifton - RHD:

GP: 9

Points: 0g - 3a - 3pts

Clifton has been chugging away in Providence, being a fairly positive player on the ice. One hopes that he can continue his playmaking/extending skills and keep racking up assists and even goals if he gets greedy enough.

Emil Johansson - LHD

GP: 5

Points: 0g - 1a - 1pt

Fun Fact: Johansson, who is 6’ even, will sometimes play with Wiley Sherman, who makes him look positively tiny. Also, he’s a profoundly unexciting player, but he’ll definitely make sure the puck stays out of the net. A defensive defenseman if ever there were one.

Jakub Zboril - LHD

GP: 8

Points: 1g - 1a - 2pts

Zboril has had a...weird season so far. Reports of him being dinged up seem to be pretty common and he’s been slotted out of the lineup occasionally as precaution.

Naturally, the skittish, impatient, and just plain foolish among us have decided that the guy who was 3rd in defenseman scoring last year for Providence is in fact not good anymore because his +/- isn’t great. Considering that A) he was 3rd in defender scoring last year for Providence, and B) he hasn’t been a minus player in over two weeks now, I think settling down is probably in everyone’s best interest. It’s one month.

Now, if it becomes a trend a couple months from now? THEN you can maybe start panicking, but until then...let’s wait and see, alright? Breathe. Center yourself. Drink some water. See your kids.

Wiley Sherman - RHD:

GP: 5

Points: Nada

Sherman hasn’t produced much since joining the P-B’s, which is kind of odd because he could do so somewhat regularly as a member of the Harvard Crimson.

Of course, he’s played a grand total of 7 games with Providence, so maybe focusing on getting chemistry with his partner, being the 6’6 large lad that he is and how to use it, and learning the finer points of picking his shots is a better thing for him to be doing right now.

Also, he punches people sometimes. That’s always fun!


Atlanta - ECHL:

Olivier Galipeau:

GP: 6

Points: 2g - 2a- 4pts

Quietly, Galipeau was sent from the AHL to the ECHL. Whatever the reason (and there are many beside the one you’re thinking of, you pessimist.), Galipeau has certainly found himself a place to be productive, as he currently leads the Gladiators in scoring with four points!

...He shares this distinction with 5 other players, but still! That’s a lot more than several other players on the blueline for Atlanta have!


Sweden - Allsvenskan

Axel Andersson - RHD:

GP: 10

Points: 0g - 1a - 1pt

This kid is going to look 10 years old forever.

Since being loaned to SSK, Andersson has been enjoying the realities of big boy sweden hockey...in that he’s not playing much as he’s a mere 18 year old playing against men, clocking in at the close to bottom of Sodertalje’s TOI/gp at 11:59. His point total will likely grow a bit as the year goes on and his coaches figure out the best way to use him.

Victor Berglund - RHD:

GP: 14

Points: 2g - 3a - 5pts

While he isn’t the highest scoring defender on MODO this year, Berglund has been quietly one of their better producers from the blueline. He’s definitely one to keep an eye on for Swedish defenders if one is looking for a reason to stay up late.


NCAA:

Cameron Clarke - RHD

GP: 4

Points: Zilch

Playing for a guppy amongst giants can be real “fun”. Fun in the sarcastic way. Ferris State is a literal .500 team who’s schedule doesn’t really kick off until this weekend, and he’s been alright for the Bulldogs. Time will tell whether or not he’s gonna be good against conference giants like Minnesota State, Michigan Tech, or Lake Superior, but Ferris State so far in Conference looks like they’re ready to bring it.


Junior:

Daniel Bukac - RHD:

GP: 15

Points: 1g - 2a - 3pts

This year, we wrote that this could be a very important year for Daniel Bukac, as he’s kind of trying to rehab himself after a rough 2017. So far with Niagara? He seems to be enjoying both himself and the prospect of a new him, as he’s already way above his previous years’ goal total (which was zero), and could be well on his way towards beating his 8 point total from last year. Still a long season, but the big guy could be ready to have a much improved season.


Junior A:

Dustyn McFaul - LHD

GP: 17

Points: 2g - 6a - 8pts

McFaul is almost halfway through his final OJHL season, and his team; the Pickering Panthers...will probably welcome the end of it, being 4th in Division and having only won 6 games total. He himself is in 2nd in defenseman scoring on the Panthers, and is only a point away from tying it, so even in a rough year, there’s still plenty of hope to be had.


Our prospect check-in will continue on Monday with the Forward group! Be ready for a long list.