Monday, March 31, 2014

And Poof Several Were Gone

Brady Skjei (Minnesota Golden Gophers)
With the majority of the first round of the Canadian Junior playoffs decided and the NCAA Tournament already down to their "Frozen Four," it is time to see who is still left playing and what might be happening to those who have been eliminated.

Brady Skeji (NYR 2012 1st) and his Minnesota Golden Gophers punched their ticket to the "Frozen Four" with a pretty easy 4-0 win over the St. Cloud State Huskies in the West Regional. Skjei was scoreless on 1 shot and a +2 for the game and pretty much had a quiet game. As his Golden Gophers advance to the "Frozen Four," expect that to change as Minnesota will be facing a tough North Dakota team when play resumes on April 10th.

Teammate Taylor Cammarata (NYI 2013 3rd) had a primary assist on Minnesota's 3rd goal and it was a highlight reel passing play with the entire line quick passing to set up a wide open Justin Kloos for the goal. Jake Bischoff (NYI 2012 6th) was a healthy scratch for the 2nd day in a row.

That leaves

Ryan Graves (NYR 2013 4th) of the Val-d'Or Foreurs who will be facing the Drummondville Voltigeurs in the 2nd round of the QMJHL playoffs. The Foreurs will be the favorites in this series.

Troy Donnay (NYR 2013 UFA) of the Erie Otters as they will be facing the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the 2nd round of the OHL's Western Conference Playoffs. Erie should be favored in this series as well.

Mackenzie Skapski (NYR 2013 6th) of the Kootenay Ice will advance to face the Medicine Hat Tigers in the 2nd round of the WHL's Eastern Conference playoffs. Skapski lost his starting job due to some poor play will most likely get another chance down the road.

One last word on the Ranger prospects and that is the word is that Adam Tambellini is going to head to Hartford for the rest of their season signing an ATO. Tambellini because he left North Dakota of the NCAAs is not subject to the age requirement. Those in Calgary expect Tambellini to sign his Entry Level Contract with the Rangers and not return next season to the WHL.

For the Islanders

Adam Pelech (NYI 2012 3rd) of the Erie Otters will go up against the Greyhounds as already mentioned when we talked about Troy Donnay.

Griffin Reinhart (NYI 2012 1st) of the Edmonton Oil Kings will be facing Ryan Pulock (NYI 2013 1st) and his Brandon Wheat Kings in the 2nd round of the WHL Eastern Conference Playoffs. The winner heads to the Conference Finals while the loser won't be heading to join either the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL or the Islanders as both of those teams will see their season end before this series does.

Loic Leduc (NYI 2012 4th) of the Rimouski Oceanic will be facing the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the 2nd round of the QMJHL playoffs. This series will feature the teams that were seeded 4th and 5th so this one should be a closely contested one.

Last word on the Islanders is that Kyle Burroughs (NYI 2013 7th) of the Regina Pats is expected to join the Sound Tigers now that Regina has been eliminated. To be honest given the number of times that Burroughs missed games due to injury that I would have simply told him to get some rest then get ready for the post draft prospect camp.

With the next round of games not expected to begin until Wednesday at the earliest then I will be taking off until then unless something newsworthy happens.

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