Wednesday, April 04, 2007

CHLers Signed to ATOs and Entry-Level Contracts

Sorry for the delay in posting playoff results and analysis. Family issues have kept me offline for several days, however, over the next few days I will get caught up (in time for the second rounds). In the meantime, some CHLers have signed ATOs over the last 2 weeks and are playing with CHL teams.

Kevin Beech (G, OHL, Erie Otters)--signed by Springfield Flacons 3/18. After spending his 4th OHL season split between Sudbury and Erie, Beech (the Tampa Bay Lightning's 6th round pick in 2005) is getting a chance to play in Springfield. Thus far, he has started 3 games, and relieved Jon Boutin in another. He has a 2.39 GAA and a .915 save percentage since he was signed to the ATO.

Kaspars Daugavins (LW, OHL, Toronto St. Mike's Majors)--signed by Binghamton Senators 3/21. After being drafted by the Ottawa Senators last year (3rd round, 91st overall), Daugavins came from Latvia to play in the OHL this past season. On one of thee wrst teams in the league, the left wing put up somoe very good offensive numbers. In 61 games, he had 60 points, 64 PIM, and a -19 plus/minus. Since being signed to an ATO by Binghamton, Daugavins has played in 6 games, with no points.

Ben Wright (D, WHL, Lethbridge Hurricanes)--signed by the Syracuse Crunch, 3/23, released 3/30. Wright just completed his 3rd, and most productive, season in the WHL. Wright(CBJ, 4th round, 2006) is a tough, big 19-year old, who has become an offensive threat this past year. In 64 games, he registered 47 points and 108 PIM, while maintaining a +5 plus/minus. He did not play any games hile a member of the Crunch.

David Desharnais (C, QMJHL, Chicoutimi Sangueneens)--signed with Bridgeport Sound Tigers 3/31. Fifth overall in scoring in the Q in scoring this season, the 20-year old centre just completed his 4th year with the Sangueneens. At 5'7" (on stilts), Desharnais may be small in stature, but there is no question that he has great hands and a nose for the net. This season, he recorded 108 points in 61 games, while accumulating only 32 PIM. Since joining the Sound Tigers last week, Desharnais has played in 2 games and scored 1 goal.

Bobby Bolt (LW, OHL, Kingston Frontenacs)--signed with the Portland Pirates 4/3. Anaheim's 5th round pick in 2005, Bolt signed an ATO contract with the Pirates just yesterday. He has just completed his 4th OHL season (3 of which have been as a member of the Fronts), and 06/07 would have to be considered a breakout year for the future power forward. Bolt had 50 points in 62 regular season games with 70 PIM, and a +1 plus/minus. In the recently completed playoffs he recorded 6 assists in 5 games.

Chris Stewart (RW, OHL, Kingston Frontenacs)--signed with Albany Rver Rats 4/3. The 19-year old Stewart has been an OHL star for the last 2 seasons. A first round draft selection of the Colorado Avalanche last summer, Stewart just signed an entry-level contract with the Avs yesterday and is not expected to return to the OHL next season. In 61 regular season 2006-07 games, Stewart garnered 82 points (108 PIM, -8) and then 6 points (4 G, 1 A) in 5 playoff games in the last 10 days, despite the fact that his mother had passed away a little over 2 weeks ago.

Trevor Lewis (C, OHL, Owen Sound Attack)--signed with Manchester Monarchs 4/3. One of the Los Angeles King's top prospects (1st round, 2006), Lewis comes off an excellent rookie OHL season. With 73 points in 62 major junior regular season games (5th among rookies in the league), and a very good World Junior performance under his belt, the 20-year old will almost certainly remain in the professional ranks from now on.

Nicholas Blanchard (C, QMJHL, Chicoutimi Sangueneens)--signed with Albany River Rats, 4/3. Blanchard, who had a solid year for the Sangueneens (57 points in 62 games, 41 PIM, -1), was the Carolina Hurricanes' 6th round pick in 2005. It was Blanchard's third season in the Q, and most likely his final one. Yesterday, Blanchard signed an entry-level contract with the Hurricanes prior to signing the ATO.

Cody Bass (C, OHL, Saginaw Spirit)--assigned to Binghamton Senators 4/3. This will be the 20year old Bass' second stint with the AHL team, after signing an NHL entry-level contract ith the Ottawa Senators in June 2006. This past season, the 20-year old former fourth round selection of Ottawa (2005) played for the Mississauga Ice Dogs (where he was captain of the team) and then for the highly talented Spirit, who were eliminated from the post-seaosn this past Sunday. In 53 games for both OHL teams during the regular 2006-07 season, Bass posted 45 points, 86 PIM, and a +14 rating. During the playoffs, he recorded 3 points in 6 games for Saginaw.

As for other NHL signings of CHL players, last week the Columbus Blue Jackets signed OHL Plymouth Whalers winger Tommy Sestito. Sestito was the Jackets 3rd round pick in 2006, and was rewarded for what has been an excellent season thus far. In 60 regular seaosn games, the big winger had 64 points, 135 PIM, and a +6 plus/minus rating. Sestito is never one to shy away from physical contact, but he has shown this season that he can do more than that. He has the potential to be a power forward in the NHL, and Columbus looks like it made very good use of its third round pick last year. Thus far in the playoffs, Sestito has registered 4 goals in as many games (including a hat-trick and the game-winner last Tuesday night).

Ryan Parent (D, OHL, Guelph Storm) is signed to a contract with the Philadelphia Flyers (after his rights were traded from Nashville in the Peter Forsberg deal) and was practicing with the NHL team earlier this week. He traveled with the NHL team to Toronto for last night's game but was not added to the roster for the contest.

Ty Wishart (D, WHL, Prince George Cougars) signed a NHL contract with the San Jose Sharks late last week. Wishart was the team's 1st round selection in last summer's entry draft. Wishart will remain with the Cougars through at least this next round of the playoffs (Prince George will play against Everett in the second round). During the regular season, the big defenceman recorded 49 points in 62 games, with 59 PIM, and a +15 rating.