Columbus Blue Jackets Canadian Hockey
League Update – February Review
The month of February is almost forgotten in the hockey world,
as junior clubs throughout the Canadian Hockey League are either
looking towards the playoffs, or looking towards the 2004-05 season.
Quite a few Columbus Blue Jacket prospects certainly do not want their
season ending early, and have stepped up their play considerably.
Players such as Tim Konsorada
of the Brandon Wheat Kings, former Columbus Blue Jacket Danny Fritsche of the Sarnia Sting,
and Philippe Dupuis of thee
Gatineau Olympiques are going to great lengths to make sure their clubs
are rolling come playoff time.
The Western Hockey League
The Columbus Blue Jackets have several players spending the 2003-04
season in the Western Hockey League. Brandon Wheat King teammates Tim
Konsorada and Ole-Kristian Tollefsen were selected in the 2002 National
Hockey League Entry Draft, as well as Steven Goertzen of the Seattle
Thunderbirds, also selected in 2002.
– Right Wing/Defense – Seattle Thunderbirds –
Selected in the 7th Round (225th Overall) in 2002
Although Steven Goertzen sits tied for fifth on the Seattle
Thunderbirds in goals scored, and is one point behind teammate Aaron Gagnon for fifth on the club
in points, the Columbus Blue Jackets have to be disappointed in
Goertzen’s offensive production in his third season in the Western
Hockey League. Goertzen will have only mildly improved his point totals
from his previous season, in which he registered 31 points on the
strength of 12 goals and 19 assists. One positive to take from
Goertzen’s season is the number of diverse roles he has seen this
season. His work on both special teams was increased in intensity over
the course of this season, and being a veteran, was counted on to be a
leader both on and off the ice, something the associate captain likely
didn’t take lightly.
– Right Wing – Brandon Wheat Kings – Selected in the sixth Round (168th
Overall) in 2002
Despite his shoulder not being at 100 percent, it was Tim Konsorada
that returned to the Brandon Wheat Kings lineup some 18 games ago. His
shoulder, as expected coming off major surgery, still gets fatigued
from game to game, making Konsorada less effective then the Wheat Kings
undoubtedly hoped. His physical play has not been sacrificed because of
this, however, and Konsorada has even dropped the gloves on several
occasions, displaying a nasty attitude patrolling the ice. His shot has
not been sacrificed either, and even quarterbacks the Wheat Kings
powerplay with fellow Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Ole-Kristian
Tollefsen. Brandon finally has their captain back.
|Brandon Wheat Kings||WHL||18||3||11||14||19||+1|
|Since Last Update||11||1||8||9||13||+1|
Tollefsen – Defense – Brandon Wheat Kings – Selected in the 3rd
Round (65th Overall) in 2002
Injury trouble reared its ugly head again for prospect Ole-Kristian
Tollefsen, who missed almost a month of action in February due to a
sternum/collerbone injury. Tollefsen missed 13 games in all, and was
very much relieved to return to the Wheat Kings line-up. Everyone
recalls the horrid string of injuries Tollefsen suffered last season,
ranging from whiplash suffered in a car accident, to a lacerated arm
from a skate, to a separated shoulder. Tollefsen has arguably been
Brandon’s top defenseman, and for the Wheat Kings to have him back in
the line-up will greatly improve their chances at a playoff spot.
|Brandon Wheat Kings||WHL||48||3||25||28||80||+8|
The Ontario Hockey League
The Columbus Blue Jackets have a pair of prospects currently playing in
the Ontario Hockey League. Defensemen Marc Methot of the London Knights
and Trevor Hendrikx of the Peterborough Petes are 2003 National Hockey
League Entry Draft Selections, while Columbus’ second round selection
Dan Fritsche, who may be returned to the Sarnia Sting, continues to
skate with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
– Center – Sarnia Sting – Selected in the 2nd Round
(46th Overall) in
For those waiting for Parma, Ohio native Danny Fritsche to break
out upon his return to the Ontario Hockey League have to wait no more.
Fritsche, after a relatively slow start adjusting back to the
junior level after a 19 game stint with the Columbus Blue Jackets, has
tallied eight times in his last eleven games, which includes eight
helpers as well for 16 points. Despite his tear in the month of
February, Frtische failed to earn player of the week or player of the
month honors for the Ontario Hockey League. Blue Jacket fans can take
comfort in knowing that Danny Fritsche did not lose his offensive touch
while with Columbus this season.
|Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||19||1||0||1||12||-5|
– Defense – Peterborough Petes – Selected in the 9th Round (283th
Overall) in 2003
It appears as though Peterborough Petes defenseman Trevor
Hendrikx is only doing two things out on the ice; being physical in his
own end, and being in the right place at the right time in the
offensive zone. Hendrikx, over his last ten games, has registered six
points. Through his entire rookie season, 46 games, Hendrikx had only
registered four points. With these points in February, Hendrikx has
effectively tripled his point totals from the 2002-03 season, which saw
Trevor register 9 points (1-8-9) through 56 games. This season,
Hendrikx has played in 57 games, registering seven goals, a career
high. His 22 assists are also a career high, surpassing his mark of
eight set last season.
– Defense – London Knights – Selected in the 6th Round (168th Overall)
Marc Methot continues to sit second in the Ontario Hockey League in
plus/minus, with a +37 ranking. Only teammate Dennis Wideman, who sits at +45, is
ahead of Methot. In fact, the top four players in the OHL in terms of
plus/minus, all belong to London, with Corey
Perry and Danny Syvret
both at +35 as well. This season, Methot is four points shy of his
career high, set in the 2002-03 season that saw him register 2 goals
and 13 assists for 15 points.
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
The Columbus Blue Jackets have two players currently playing in
the Quebec Major Junior League. Mathieu Gravel, selected in the eighth
round of the 2003 National Hockey League Entry Draft, as well as
Philippe Dupuis of the Gatineau Olympiques, selected four rounds
earlier in the same draft.
Mathieu Gravel – Right Wing – Shawinigan Cataractes – Selected in
the 8th Round (233rd Overall) in 2003
Mathieu Gravel continues his offensive mediocrity for the Shawinigan
Cataractes, who, like the Columbus Blue Jackets organization, expected
more offensive prowess from the big forward. His career highs appear to
be safe, as Gravel will be hard pressed to reach 24 goals and 50
points, set over the course of the 2002-03 Quebec Major Junior Hockey
– Center – Gatineau Olympiques – Selected in the 4th Round (104th
Overall) in 2003
Simply put, Philippe Dupuis has finally caught fire for the Gatineau
Olympiques, and his timing couldn’t be better. Gearing up for a playoff
run, Gatineau currently sits first in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey
League, two points up on Cape Breton. During this time, Philippe was
named Canadian Hockey League Player of the Week for the week ending
February 8th. He was named so after registering 11 points (4-7-11) over
a three game period. Finally, Columbus Blue Jacket fans are getting the
production expected from their fourth round selection in the 2003 National
Hockey League Entry Draft.
All statistics as of February 28th, 2004.
or comments about the Columbus Blue Jackets or their prospects? Please
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