Monday, February 22, 2010

That's A Wrap In The "A" & The "B"

The AJHL and BCHL have wrapped up their regular seasons.  Here's some info about how the various future Seawolves faired (Brett Cameron, Rob Gunderson, Wes McLeod, Quinn Sproule, Scott Allen, Sam Mellor and Andrew Pettitt).  The USHL and NAHL seasons continue until the end of March.  I'll recap future Seawolves (Matt Bailey, Matthew Friese, Mark Pustin and Derek Docken) in those leagues at that time.  The lone recruit outside of those leagues is Gustav Bengtson whom I'll include here.

Gustav Bengtson (F) - Sollentuna (Sweden)
Gustav's team (I don't know the club's "nickname") has just started some sort of demi-playoff round between the top ten teams in two different conferences.  Gustav is their leading scorer.  In the last 15 games he has 29 points on 13 goals and 16 assists.  He is reportedly in "excellent shape" and his play "really sticks out".  On the season, (30 games) he has 40 points by way of 19 goals and 21 assists.  Gustav will be joining the Seawolves this coming fall after being pushed back one year.  He was one of the earliest verbal commitments that the Seawolves program ever sought, committing while he was still playing Midget Major's in Utah.  He had some difficulties throughout his Junior A career but proved during his stint with Texas that he can contribute. 

Brett Cameron (F) - Spruce Grove Saints
Brett totaled just 31 games this season due to a concussion received in early November.  Brett was projected (not just by me) to be one of the top scorers in the league this season.  There wasn't much written about the injury so I must assume he continued to have concussion symptoms up until recently.  Brett was listed as playing in a few of the Saints last games.  Being on the Saints is a true blessing for a player like Brett.  As skilled as he is, the Saints really didn't need to push him back into the lineup.  Credit to Coach Steve Hamilton for recognizing that.  In his 31 games Brett scored 9 goals and added 20 helpers for .9 points per game.  Brett will be joining the Seawolves this coming fall.

Rob Gunderson (G) - Brooks Bandits
Rob had a reasonably quality season playing on a team that had the 9th most points in a 16 team league.  The Bandits went 28-27-1-4 overall and Rob went 20-17-1-3 for his part.  His save percentage of exactly .900 and gaa of 3.30 both put him at #14 in the league.  Described as talented and having good fundamentals, the numbers and comparisons don't do him justice (as is often the case with goaltenders).  Rob will be joining the Seawolves this coming fall and will likely see plenty of action as a freshman.

Wes McLeod (D) - Spruce Grove Saints
After being traded to Spruce Grove from the "B". Wes compiled 4 goals and 6 assists in 14 games.  Going to the Saints is a fantastic late season development for Wes.  He already had a great season of accomplishments filled with individual select invites.  Wes is highly regarded for his skating, shot and hockey sense.  The Saints should really get to the RBC barring any upset.  And any upset could be considered major.  They've been at the top or near the top of CJHL rankings all season.  They just set an AJHL record for # of wins and fewest goals against.  They're a powerhouse with a deep talented roster.  The competition level of a long playoff schedule should help Wes hone his blueline skills for when he joins the Seawolves this coming fall.

Quinn Sproule (D) - Okotoks Oilers
The Oilers finished atop of the South Division going 38-18-1 and will get a bye to start the playoffs.  During the regular season Quinn scored 9 goals and added 17 assists in 59 games to lead his team in goal scoring from the blueline.  In 08-09, he tallied 12 goals and 19 assists over 59 games.  There is no obvious statistical explanation.  Okotoks essentially maintained their GF/GA ratio for both seasons.  My best guess for Quinn's decrease in goal production would be that as the top veteran D man his coach asked him to be more defensively oriented this season.  The Oilers only tallied 23 goals from the backline this season, compare that to 39 for Spruce Grove.  Quinn joins the Seawolves this coming fall.

Scott Allen (F) - Spruce Grove Saints
Look for Scott Allen to appear at or near the top of the AJHL points leader board for most of next season.  Scott will be coming to UAA in 2011-2012.  His 25 goals and 26 assists in 58 games this season gave him the 13th most goals and 21st most points in that league this year.  Scott was the 5th leading scorer for the Saints.  The Saints look to return to prominence next year with a stable full of '90s, 91s, 92s and 93s already in their system.  Scott will almost certainly be one of the leaders on the ice.  A potential captain there?

Sam Mellor (F) - Trail Smoke Eaters
Sam was nominated by the league today for the Interior Conference rookie of the year award along with Beau Bennett and Joey Laleggia.  Bennett is a full year older and finished at the top of the league regular season scoring table.  He's a lock for the award.  But Mellor put up the 2nd most goals in the entire league by a rookie and was the class of his age group (92's) overall.  Sam notched 28 goals and added 35 assists while playing at team that is 13th out of 17 teams.  Sam will join the Seawolves in 2011-2012. 

If his development curve continues as it has over the last 18 months then I have to assume Sam will be at the top of the league scoring tables all of next season.  I really have no idea if anyone is trying to bring Sam in a year early or if such a thing is possible.  I had mentioned that potential as a measure to ward off any possibility that Mellor could be lured to the WHL.  There's no doubt he would be a target.  But I have some sense that he is committed to the college route.  So I don't think the folks in Trail will have to hate us for taking their prospect early.

Andrew Pettitt (F) - Powell River Kings
Andrew finished the BCHL regular season with the 5th most goals in that league.  His 36 goals and 25 assists gave him the 3rd highest point total on the Powell River squad.  The Kings finished in 2nd place in the Coastal Conference with the 5th highest points amongst both conferences.  Andrew is originally from Whitehorse (i.e.. Tuton's hometown).  This season he nearly tripled his points production from 08/09 going from .4 per game to 1.1 per game.  That's always a good sign.  He should be right up near the top of that league again next season.  He'll be wearing Seawolves green and gold in 2011-2012.


Anonymous said...

I dont think you have much to worry about on Mellor....all indications show he wants to honor his commitment...he could have jumped to the WHL this season had he wanted and didnt...that being said he is a beauty..its been a pleasure watching him.....hope he gets to UAA and does well

Suze said...

Thanks for all your hard work putting this information together for us Donald.

See ya Friday!

Donald Dunlop said...

Thanks for the info. I think Sam would be best served by playing another year in Trail. First, because they should have a nice team next year that will be more competitive versus one that just squeaked into the playoffs this year. That's a really young squad and just getting into the playoffs was a nice accomplishment. But wow, next year they could be really really strong.

Playing on a winning team next year will do nothing but good things for Sam. If he were to come to UAA, he'd see lots of ice time but the truth is ... it is hard for a WCHA freshman to score goals, even for highly drafted NHL picks. That isn't to say Sam wouldn't benefit developmentally from playing up. I think he would. But another year in Juniors will bolster his confidence greatly. And maybe just maybe he can then come to UAA still as an 18yo and be one of those few freshman to be impactful in their first year.

He's a gem. Hopefully, UAA staff are contacting him often and expressing their excitement at how well he is doing. It's only by offering early that UAA is typically going to get a kid like Sam. So they have every reason in the world to nurture and encourage him at every opportunity they are allowed.

I have selfish reason for imagining him coming a year early. It's just because I want to see him play live for my team. By waiting a year Sam will hit the ice with what right now looks to be a better team than 2010-2011 ... 2011-2012 is probably UAA's next chance to move up the WCHA ladder and make some noise. This coming season is quite frankly going to be a rebuilding year.

Anonymous said...

Another Rebuilding year ?

Donald Dunlop said...

Just a comparative term. Don't attach too much meaning to my usage. This season there are 14 upperclassmen on the roster. That means it's not a rebuilding year. Next season there will be 11 (and possibly less i.e ... Grant could get a pro offer and speculation has Bryce not returning).

So in those terms, it's a "rebuilding" year next season. That doesn't mean we won't see a similar or perhaps even better record. But much of that will depend on the sophomore class next year. They have all had a baptism by fire as freshmen, so perhaps they'll play more like veterans than typical sophomores?

But all that said, I'd tend to think the label is generally appropriate.

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