Tuesday, January 12, 2010

He is Really Heating Up

The other day after Chris Doyle (2008 5th) had a 3 assist effort that we said Doyle was needing to have a monster second half to earn a possible Ranger contract. Credit the young prospect as he appears to have gotten the message since the trade from Prince Edward Island to the Victoriaville Tigres.

In the 6 games since the trade, Doyle has caught fire going 3-5-8 and a 3 game scoring streak to boot. Against the Val-d'Or Foreurs Doyle scored the game's first goal and had a secondary assist on the second goal as the Tigre whipped the Foreurs 7-1 for their 6th straight win.

Doyle is starting to appear more relaxed and comfortable with his play as he adjusts to his new situation. Then again playing on a team for the first time in his QMJHL career that is a legit championship contender will do that for you.

Doyle now is 18-23-41 on the year as his Victoriaville Tigre now boast the 3rd best record in the QMJHL. Do we dare dream that this might be the first year where 2 Ranger prospects face each other in the Memorial Cup?

We ask that question because Sam Klassen (2009 UFA) and his Saskatoon Blades are a very legit WHL championship contender this season. On Tuesday night the new look Blades took to the ice to face the Swift Current Broncos.

The Blades added one of the key parts from last season's WHL champs the Kelowna Rockets as they brought in Curt Gogol. Gogol is a high energy tough guy who can chip in goals as he did in his debut with the Blades.

Klassen was scoreless but was a +1 to add to his season total of +29 (good for 4th overall in the WHL) as the Blades edged the Broncos 3-2 to take over as the number one team in the WHL.

The Blades currently have 64 points after this win which gives them a 1 point lead overall and a 4 point lead over Tomas Kundratek and his Medicine Hat Tigers for the WHL's Eastern Conference lead.

Chris Kreider (2009 1st) and his 12th ranked Boston College Eagles hosted the Providence Friars trying to end a 3 game losing streak. Kreider did not score and was credited with 3 shots on goal as the Eagles had little trouble with the Friars winning 4-1.

We have to admit that we are a tad puzzled at how Kreider could put up 6 goals over a 7 game stretch with Team USA but just 2-3-5 in 16 games with the Eagles. We will not question or judge why or how Boston College is using Kreider but we will raise this point to Paul Kelly who is head of the new College Hockey program.

Players who believe their future lies in the NHL will either leave school for the NHL or jump to the Canadian juniors if they feel that their growth as a player is not being taken care of by the colleges.

We seriously doubt that Kreider stays at Boston College for more than 2 years at the most but after what he did with Team USA then we will not be shocked either if he decides to play in the QMJHL next year to help speed up his professional development (and no we do not believe it is what Kreider should do).


The good folks at Blueshirt Banter Radio have invited me to be a guest tomorrow night for an hour between 8-9 PM to talk about the prospects. Please come check us out and give us a call to ask your questions.

The link is http://www.blogtalkradio.com/blueshirt-banter

(Pictures courtesy of Doyle/Katherine Ep, Klassen/Saskatoon Blades, Kreider/Dennis Peace)

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