It was a good week for the Carolina Hurricanes 2012 draft class as their three picks playing in the OHL this season had a very solid set of games. Leading the way was defenseman Trevor Carrick with three points in two games as Carolina's 115th overall pick this year continues to improve on his rookie season in the OHL. Carick has been trusted with playing some important minutes on the Mississauga Steelheads this year and he has responded to the challenge well at both ends of the rink by being solid defensively and on-pace for his best offensive season in junior hockey. Carrick's three points over the weekend gives him 9 on the season, which is half of what he had last year with Mississauga and the previous year in the OHJL.
Coming out of the draft, Carrick was billed as a very safe pick for the Hurricanes in the fourth round and he seems to be developing nicely with the Steelheads this year. I still don't think we have a future star here, but I don't think it's too far-fetched to say that Carrick might be a player that get some NHL action in the not-so-distant future. I really like his game and think Carrick can turn into a useful NHL-er somewhere down the line, even if he has a ways to go before we can talk about this kind of thing. It's probably too early to proclaim anything because he is only 18 and in his second year of junior hockey and we'll probably find out more about Carrick as the year goes on, but it's worth noting that he has been good so far.
After the jump, we will talk more about Carrick's weekend and how the rest of Carolina's CHL prospect pool performed.
Ryan Murphy, Kitchener Rangers - 3 GP, 1 G, 2 PTS, 2 PIM
Murphy is still getting back on track after a rough start to the year and he turned in a solid performance this weekend with a goal and two assists. His week didn't start out on a good note, unfortunately as he sported a -1 in the Rangers 2-0 loss to the Niagara Ice Dogs. The rating is a little misleading, though since the only goal he was on ice for was an empty netter and there wasn't much he could do about it regardless. The Rangers' 0/2 mark on the powerplay, however, was something that he may have had some control over.
The Rangers were able to rebound the following night against Windsor with a 5-1 victory where Murphy recorded an assist. The Rangers powerplay also managed to find their stride by scoring on one of their two opportunities. Murphy would get on the score-sheet again the next night against Owen Sound, but in a much bigger way. He scored the game-winner goal in overtime to give the Rangers a 3-2 win. It wasn't all good news for Kitchener as their powerplay went 1/11 on the night, but they really made their one PPG count at least. Murphy also had a good night overall, as he was on ice for three Ranger goals and only one from the Attack.
Definitely a sign of progress for Murphy as he improves his scoring line to 11 points in 17 games. Let's hope he can continue to improve.
Brock McGinn, Guelph Storm - 3 GP, 0 G, 2 PTS, 10 PIM
McGinn had a good weekend overall with two assists in three gams but the same couldn't be said for his team, who were blown out and shutout on separate occasions. Things started off well for the Storm this weekend, when they rallied from a 1-0 deficit in the third period to defeat the Oshawa Generals 4-1. McGinn played a hand in the come-back by making a nice bump pass to Jason Dickinson, who fired home the Storm's first goal of the game.
Guelph would then lose their next game to the Niagara Ice Dogs by a score of 9-4. The Storm have been known for getting into a lot of high scoring games this year but they were definitely on the wrong end of this blowout, giving up three PPGs in the process. The good news for Hurricanes fans is that McGinn was able to avoid most of his mess, as he was on ice for only one Ice Dogs goal and recorded his second assist of the weekend. Guelph was unable to respond after this loss as they were shutout by the London Knights the next day and McGinn took two penalties, including a cross-check to the head call.
The Storm appear to be trending downward, but McGinn is heading in the right direction as he continues to tally up points as the season goes on.
Trevor Carrick, Missisauga Steelheads - 2 GP, 1 G, 3PTS, 2 PIM
Carrick was able to boost his point-total with a strong performance against the Peterborough Petes. He started off well by delivering a solid breakout pass to Adam Goldberg, who scored on a two-on-one chance. He would then get his second goal of the season on an empty netter. Carrick would get another assist the next night against Erie to give him nine total points on the season. I mentioned earlier that Carrick is on-pace for his best offensive season but he is getting it done at the other end, as well. The Steelheads allowed only 22 total shots on goal in both games and were 6/7 on the PK overall this weekend, which indicates a strong defensive performance by the team.
Austin Levi, Plymouth Whalers - 2 GP, 0 G, 0 PTS, 0 PIM
Completely horse-collars across the board for Levi this weekend and he was on-ice for two Whalers goals. I was hoping he would make more of an impact this year but arriving late after attending camp with the Charlotte Checkers may be having an affect on his performance. That or he is getting fewer minutes due to being behind the rest of the squad when it comes to learning the system. Hopefully he can regain his footing soon.
Keegan Lowe, Edmonton Oil Kings - 2 GP, 0 G, 0 PTS, 4 PIM
Lowe was quiet on the scoreboard this week, but the Oil Kings had fairly good defensive efforts in both of their games. More-so in their 2-1 win over Swift Current where they killed off all seven penalties than their 3-2 loss to Prince Albert where they blew a 2-0 lead in the third period. There isn't much that can be said about Lowe's performance, though since he didn't have much of an impact on the scoresheet and the highlights didn't show him doing much other than delivering a huge hit on a Swift Current forward. I'm sure he played a role in the Oil Kings fantastic PK effort against Swift Current, though.
Tyler Stahl, Victoria Royals - 1 GP, 0 G, 0 PTS, 0 PIM
After the Royals took a 6-2 loss to the Portland Winterhawks earlier in the week, they decided to insert Tyler Stahl back into the lineup for the rematch on Saturday night. Unfortunately, they ended up losing by the same score. The Royals also had a 2-0 lead in the first period which quickly dissolved, which sums up their season accurately up until this point. Stahl didn't appear to do much other than be on-ice for the second Victoria goal. Hopefully that's enough to keep him in the lineup? A man can hope.
Daniel Altshuller, Oshawa Generals - 3 GP, 5 goals allowed on 96 shots
Altshuller was able to bounce back after a rough week with three quality outings and his first shutout of the year. The weekend got off to a rocky start for him, though as Oshawa began the weekend with a 4-1 loss to Guelph, a game which they led going into the third period. Altshuller isn't completely to blame for the loss since there wasn't much he could do about the first goal and the second goal came off an odd bounce off the end-boards. The third goal, however, he looked a bit weak on as he over-committed to a fake shot by a Guelph forward and found himself stuck on one end of his crease, leaving an open net for the eventual goal-scorer to take advantage of.
The next night, Altshuller would record his first shutout as the Generals defeated Peterborough 5-0. Altshuller made the saves he needed to but the Generals provided him with a lot of support with five tallies and 53 shots on goal. Oshawa has one of the best offensive clubs in the OHL so Altshuller has a lot of nights where he gets plenty of help from the players in front of him and this was definitely one of them. The same can be said for their next game where they defeated Kingston 5-2, giving Altshuller 41 shots in support this time while surrendering only 31. Still a good week for Altshuller all-around, though.
Matt Mahalak, Plymouth Whalers - 2 GP, 6 goals on 50 shots
The Whalers had a back-to-back series against the Sarnia Sting this week and they went about as differently as you could imagine. In the first game, the Whalers were able to ride a strong performance by Mahalak to a 3-2 win where the young goalie had to make 32 total saves. The next game, however, Mahalak allowed four goals on 16 shots and did not play the entire game. Sarnia ended up putting up seven goals on the Whalers to defeat them 7-5. Mahalak had a very good stretch of games and was starting on a lot of consecutive nights, so I had a feeling that he would struggle eventually. Whether it was fatigue or just not being ready, Mahalak has definitely has definitely seen better games.