Monday, 12 March 2018

Prospects Report #1

The Lethbridge Hurricanes gave their fans a little glimpse into the future over the weekend.

Despite the pair of losses to Red Deer and Regina, the club has a playoff spot in its hands, so it makes sense to give a couple of prospects a chance to play during the final ten days of the regular season. Not only does it give them some experience, but it also gives some of the veterans a little break as they wind up for a playoff run.

That all said, I thought it would be prudent to give you some background on a handful of Hurricane prospects and how they have been doing this season.

#1. Nolan Jones
Interestingly, we chatted with Jones almost a year ago to the day. The 16-year-old defenseman played in his fifth game with the Canes during the loss to Red Deer. The 6', 150 pound rear-guard hasn't been putting up massive numbers this season, with seven goals and 11 assists to go along with 64 PIM in 35 games for the Moose Jaw Generals. But he is shaping up to be a solid all-around d-man when he gets the full-time call with the Canes. He has an assist and is -1 in his five games in Lethbridge, so he's not making glaring mistakes, which will be a welcome sight for the brass.

#2. Jacob Boucher
Another kid who got back into the lineup this weekend. He suited up against Regina, his second game with the Hurricanes thus far this season. The 15-year-old forward was a ninth-round pick of the Hurricanes in the 2017 Bantam Draft and has had a solid campaign witht he Fort Saskatchewan Midget AAA Rangers. He has six goals and 15 assists in 35 games. At 5'7" and 150 pounds, he's not a big kid, but GM Peter Anholt has said he likes Boucher's speed and compete, and he's not afraid to get physical, which means offensive chances might come eventually.

#3. Noah Boyko
Boucher's teammate in Fort Saskatchewan is a top-ten point-getter in Midget AAA this year, picking up twenty goals and twenty assists in 30 games for the Rangers. He also played for Team Alberta in the WHL Cup, where he put up five points in five games. With the Hurricanes, he's played three games thus far, putting up no points. The 2017 first-round pick is being touted for his size (6'1", 172 pounds) who can play all three forward positions, but he's also smart, which will come in handy as he lines himself up to play with the likes of Dylan Cozens and Logan Barlage.

#4. Bryan Thomson
One of two second-rounders in the last WHL Bantam Draft by the Hurricanes, Thomson has been playing with the Notre Dame Midget AAA Argos this season, getting in 28 games and putting up a 4.22 GAA in his first full season with the squad. He also saw four games of action with Saskatchewan at the WHL Cup. You gotta think Thomson, like many goaltenders, won't see a ton of action in the WHL over the next couple of seasons, but the 6'2", 160 pound netminder certainly fits the bill of the new style of puck-stopper, big and mobile.

#5. Jonah Regier
Taken right after Thomson in last year's draft, Regier will be familiar to Jones, as they were teammates with the Moose Jaw Generals. Regier's numbers won't make anyone stand up and take notice, as he put up six assists in 40 games. He just turned 16, so he has some time to grow and develop, but he's already 6'1" and 150 pounds. The left-hander is viewed as a strong puck-mover though, someone to be depended on in both ends, which could prove helpful with the stack of talent the Canes have on the back-end.

We'll take a gander at another five prospects in the coming weeks.

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