Saturday, September 14, 2013

Let the games begin

Loic Leduc (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles)
Welcome to the 2013-2014 prospect season as the QMJHL dropped the puck on their regular season and it was New York Islander prospect Loic Leduc (2012 4th) who got to see the first action of the regular season. Leduc and his Cape Breton Screaming Eagles were visiting the Acadie-Bathurst Titan for their season opener but fell to the Titan 4-1. Leduc a 6'6 215 defender missed most of last season after suffering a lower body injury (believed to be ankle) that ended his season after just 38 games.

Got to say that Leduc looked way better than he did last season as he is starting to fill out that huge frame of his. His efforts on opening night were not bad as Leduc was a +1 on 1 shot and 1 hit with a minor for unsportsmanlike conduct. Leduc is very much a project but as everyone loves saying "you cannot teach size".

Ryan Graves (NYR 2013 4th) is still with the Rangers at their training camp as his Charlottetown Islanders debut their new name and ownership (they were formerly the Prince Edward Islanders) with a solid 5-2 win over the 2013 Memorial Cup Champions the Halifax Mooseheads. Graves is expected to be returned to the QMJHL within the week.

Anthony Duclair (NYR 2013 3rd) also missed his Quebec Remparts season opener against the Chicoutimi Saguenéens. The Remparts gave away a 3-1 second period lead in losing in overtime 4-3. Duclair a forward is expected to be one of the leading scorers for the Remparts.

In exhibition action, defenseman Adam Pelech (NYI 2012 3rd) returned to the Erie Otters from the Islander camp as the Otters lost to the Kitchener Rangers 3-2. Fellow defender Troy Donnay (NYR 2013 UFA) is still with the Rangers but is expected back in Erie in time for their regular season opener next week.

Victor Crus Rydberg (NYI 2013 5th) made his debut for the Plymouth Whalers as they beat up on the London Knights 6-3. Rydberg did not score but according to reports looked very well for a rookie playing in his 1st North American game.

No word on whether defender Jesse Graham (NYI 2012 6th) played in his Niagara IceDogs 5-2 loss to the Windsor Spitfires. Graham is expected to carry a large share of the load for a very young IceDog team that is in rebuild mode.

Kyle Burroughs (NYI 2013 7th) was wearing an "A" after his return to the Regina Pat lineup from the Islander camp. I am going to like covering Burroughs as the 5'11 defender may not be the biggest dog on the ice but he doesn't back down from anyone. Regina was playing the Brandon Wheat Kings (missing Islander 2013 1st round pick Ryan Pulock) and lost 4-3 via the shootout.

Burroughs had an assist and a fight for the night.

Ranger goalie prospect Mackenzie Skapski (2013 6th) was the backup goalie as his Kootenay Ice lost to the Lethbridge Hurricanes 4-1. Skapski will not be spending much time on the bench for the Ice this season.

The fun has just begun as the other 2 CHL leagues begin their play next week.

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