Corey Abbott

The CHL Report

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Hawks Prospects Rule

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


The Subway Super Series between CHL all stars and Russian junior stars has two games remaining, with each side having won two matches.  Next up for the CHL is the Western Hockey League, who will host Team Russia from British Columbia on Wednesday and Thursday. 

The leading scorer in the tournament is still the Florida Panthers’ first rounder Jonathan Huberdeau, who notched two goals and three assists in the first two contests of the tournament for Team QMJHL.  After him are a pair of Russian players drafted by NHL teams.  Chicago's Maxim Shalunov (a fourth-round pick in 2011) and Edmonton's Nail Yakupov (first overall in 2012) have recorded two goals and two assists each.

While this series is nearing its end, the CHL season has been merrily rolling along, so it's time to see who stepped up this past week: 

Mark McNeill (CHI - Prince Albert Raiders) - Another Chicago draft pick in 2011, McNeill was named the WHL player of the week for his efforts on Monday.  The Raiders forward registered two goals and five assists in three games to give his team two wins.   Price Albert's 13-6-0-2 record is good for second place in the Eastern Conference and McNeill leads the team in scoring with 24 points in 21 contests.  The first-round pick of the Blackhawks has surpassed the 30-goal mark in each of his past two seasons and this is the third straight year that he has averaged over a point per game. 

Mac Carruth (CHI - Portland Winterhawks) – Carruth is another Blackhawks prospect who shone last week, but the Portland goalie has really been playing superbly all season.  He is tops in the league with a jaw-dropping 0.963 save percentage and a minuscule 0.97 goals-against average in nine appearances.  Carruth stopped 89 of the 92 shots he faced last week en route to a 4-0 record.  The seventh-round choice of Chicago went 191st overall in 2010 and if he can keep up this level of play, he should shoot up the team's development chart. 

Connor Brown (TOR - Erie Otters) - Brown has received some headlines this OHL campaign, mostly because he gets to ride shotgun with 15-year-old prodigy Connor McDavid.  The Otters captain earned the league's player of the week honor after he produced five helpers and seven points in only two matches.  Brown enjoyed his first career four-point game in a 6-3 win over Peterborough on Friday.  He leads Erie in scoring with 16 goals and 28 points in 20 contests this season.  He also owns a plus-2 rating in 2012-13, which you may not think is significant, but given last year's alarming minus-72 rating, represents a colossal improvement not just for him but for the team as well.  The Leafs, who picked him 156th overall in 2012, have to be pleased with his progress.   

Daniel Catenacci (BUF - Owen Sound Attack) - Catenacci enjoyed a strong week for Owen Sound by racking up three goals and five assists for eight points in three games.  The Attack are currently the top team in the OHL with a 14-3-1-2 record and 31 points in the standings.  Buffalo grabbed Catenacci with their third-round choice, 77th overall, in the 2011 draft.  He has 32 points in 20 games this campaign, which places him in a five-way tie for third in the OHL scoring race heading into Tuesday night's action.    Catenacci has surpassed 70 points and 100 penalty minutes in each of his past two seasons and he's moving at a much quicker pace to reach those totals this year. 

Philippe Mailllet (Victoriaville Tigres) - Maillet took home the first star of the week distinction for the QMJHL after he amassed eight points, including three goals, in a mere two games for Victoriaville.  The 20-year-old veteran has 27 points in 17 games this season on a Tigres squad that sits ninth overall in the league's standings with a 10-7-2-1 record. 

Raphael Bussieres (MIN - Baie-Comeau) Bussieres tallied three goals and seven points in three road games for Baie-Comeau last week to earn the QMJHL second star honor.  The second-round pick of the Minnesota Wild in 2012 has enjoyed a great year so far with 22 points in 20 games and he has picked up at least two points in every one of his appearances.  His Drakkar squad owns the fourth-best record in the QMJHL. 

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Corey Abbott is an Associate Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him Twitter @CoreAbbott.
Email :Corey Abbott



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