Player of the Week: Nikita Scherbak
Nikita Scherbak is by all accounts, one of the more dominant offensive forces in the WHL this season. He opened his week scoring two goals and an assist for the Everett Silvertips in a 4-2 win over the Spokane Chiefs. He marked two assists in his next game, a 5-2 loss to the Medicine Hat Tigers.
He replicated the same production in his next game, adding two assists to the scoresheet a 5-3 loss to the Portland Winterhawks. Scherbak is riding an 8-game points streak, having scored 3 goals and 11 assists in that time and is averaging 1.61 points per game, the 5th-highest mark in the WHL.
The Canadiens currently feature prospects playing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), the Western Hockey League (WHL), the USHL (United States Hockey League) and the NCAA (National College Athletic Association). These leagues can be considered the primary conduit towards professional hockey in North America.
Here's how the players playing in the aforementioned leagues performed last week
|Daniel Audette (C)||QMJHL||3||1||0||0||0|
|Jeremy Gregoire (RW)||QMJHL||0||0||0||0||0|
|Michael McCarron (RW)||OHL||3||1||1||2||8|
|Tim Bozon (LW)||WHL||3||3||1||4||0|
|Brett Lernout (D)||WHL||2||0||0||0||2|
|Nikolas Koberstein (D)||USHL||2||0||0||0||2|
|Josiah Didier (D)||NCAA||2||0||1||1||4|
|Jake Evans (C)||NCAA||2||0||1||1||0|
|Mark MacMillan (C)||NCAA||2||1||1||2||0|
Daniel Audette: Audette's early season scoring run has leveled out, leaving him in a middling scoring pace of late. He went pointless in his first game, a 4-3 shootout loss to Rimouski Oceanic. He marked a goal in his next game, a 6-2 loss to the Drummondville Voltigeurs. He missed the scoresheet in his final game, a 3-1 loss to the Chicoutimi Sagueneens.
Jeremy Gregoire: Gregoire continues to sit on the injured reserve list due to wrist surgery dating back to late October, he is not projected to play again until likely the middle of December.
Michael McCarron: McCarron's production seems to have cooled of late with the London Knights. He went pointless in a 4-0 shutout loss to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to start the week. He went scoreless in his next game as well, a 3-1 win versus the Plymouth Whalers. He got back on the scoresheet in his final game of the week, scoring a goal and assisting on the overtime game-winner in a 5-4 victory over the Oshawa Generals. McCarron's 14 goals in 20 games this season with his previous-season total of 14 goals, but in 46 fewer games.
Tim Bozon: Bozon's comeback trail with the Kootenay Ice is one of note in the WHL this season. He started the week marking an assist on the game-winning goal in a 2-1 over the Spokane Chiefs. He notched a goal in his next game, scoring the opening goal in a rematch with Spokane which led to a 3-2 Kootenay victory. He added two more goals to his totals to close out the week, in a 5-4 loss to the Tri-City Americans. Bozon is currently enjoying a 7-game point streak, scoring six goals and five assists in that stretch while maintaining a points per game average of 1.44.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/euq-uyfosx4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Brett Lernout: It has been a quiet stretch for Brett Lernout with the Swift Current Broncos He went pointless in a 5-2 win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes and a 6-4 loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings. He has 1 point in his last 5 games but continues to lead all Swift Current defenders in scoring with 16 points in 32 games.
Nikolas Koberstein: Koberstein continues to have a listless rookie season in the USHL. He went without a point in a 3-2 win over the Omaha Lancers and a 4-2 win over the Des Moines Buccaneers. He has 1 point in 22 games this season.
Josiah Didier: It has been a very quiet season for Didier with the University of Denver Pioneers. He marked no points in a 4-1 loss to Cornell University and picked up an assist in the following game, a 3-1 win over Cornell to tie the weekend series. Didier has just two points in 13 games this season.
Jake Evans: Evans continues to maintain a decent rookie output with the University of Notre Dame this season. He picked up an assist in a 7-5 win over the University of Massachusetts in his first game and went without a point in the following night's rematch, a 4-0 win for Notre Dame over Massachusetts. One note of concern is that Evans has only 1 goal in his last 11 games.
Mark MacMillan: MacMillan is maintaining very good form since returning from his wrist injury. He sccored a goal and assist a 7-4 win over Lake Superior State University to open his weekend. He went pointless in his next game, a 3-1 victory over Lake Superior State to close out the weekend series. MacMillan is second on his team in points-per-game with an average of 1.15.
Zachary Fucale: While he does battle consistency at times this season, Fucale does continue to exhibit flashes of excellence. He notched his 2nd shutout of the season in his first game of the week, a 28-save effort as the Halifax Mooseheads defeated the Charlottetown Islanders 5-0. He stopped 20 of 23 shots in his next game, a 3-1 to the Saint John Sea Dogs. Fucale has a season save percentage of .890, holding him at 13th overall in the QMJHL.
Hayden Hawkey: Hayden Hawkey has unfortunately been ruled out for the remainder of the 2014-15 season due to suffering tears in his Anterior Cruciate Ligament and Medial Collateral Ligament on November 29th.
The European report:
The SHL is the top professional men's league in Sweden and is at a comparable level to the AHL. Strong play here can often give indications that the player is moving towards being capable of playing in the NHL.
The Extraliga is the top professional men's league in the Czech Republic, while it is not at the level of the SHL, it is still a competitive pro league where solid production would give credence to a player's NHL potential.
Here's how the European prospects performed last week:
|Artturi Lehkonen (LW/RW)||SHL||3||0||0||0||0|
|Joonas Nattinen (C/RW)||SHL||2||1||0||1||2|
|Martin Reway (C/LW)||Extraliga||1||0||1||1||0|
Artturi Lehkonen: A very difficult scoring slump continues for Lehkonen. He marked no points in a 2-1 loss to HIFK Helsinki in a quarter-final match in the Champions Hockey League. He went without a point in a 1-0 loss to Lulea HF in the SHL, and scored no points in his next game, a 2-1 loss to Skelleftea AIK.
Lehkonen has now gone 10 games without a point including a Champions Hockey league game and has fallen to 8th overall in scoring among skaters under the age of 20 in the SHL.
Joonas Nattinen: There does not appear to be much progress in Nattinen's offensive efforts this season. He went without a point in a 3-2 shootout loss to Farjestads BK at the start of the week. He marked his 2nd goal of the season in a 5-2 loss to Orebro HK. Nattinen has just 2 goals in 28 games this season.
Martin Reway: Reway is keeping up a steady scoring run with Sparta Praha in the Extraliga this season. He scored an assist in his first game, a 4-3 loss to HC Plzen. He went without a point in the next game, a 3-2 overtime win against HK Hradec Kralove. Reway's 5 goals and 16 assists have him tied for 2nd overall in team scoring and tied for the team lead in assists.
Year to date statistics:
|Daniel Audette (C)||QMJHL||27||15||21||36||32|
|Jeremy Gregoire (RW)||QMJHL||0||0||0||0||0|
|Michael McCarron (RW)||OHL||20||14||14||28||52|
|Tim Bozon (LW)||WHL||16||12||11||23||6|
|Brett Lernout (D)||WHL||31||7||9||16||36|
|Nikita Scherbak (RW)||WHL||23||14||21||37||18|
|Nikolas Koberstein (D)||USHL||21||1||0||1||44|
|Josiah Didier (D)||NCAA||11||0||1||1||35|
|Jake Evans (C)||NCAA||17||3||6||9||8|
|Mark MacMillan (C)||NCAA||11||8||7||15||0|
|Artturi Lehkonen (LW/RW)||SHL||28||4||7||11||4|
|Joonas Nattinen (C/RW)||SHL||28||1||4||5||20|
|Martin Reway (C/LW)||Extraliga||22||5||16||21||36|