Triple Crown - October 2013
A point-per-game pace seems to be the theme for Vancouver Canucks forward prospects in the junior ranks this season as Cole Cassels, Brendan Gaunce, Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk are all producing at a high-level. Check out October's top performers:
Editor's note: This season the Triple Crown will only feature Canucks prospects in junior or the NCAA. For updates on the Utica Comets, check out the weekly Comets Rewind feature.
1). Cole Cassels, Oshawa Generals, OHL
He was impressive at Canucks Prospects Camp in July, he was impressive at the Young Stars Classic in September, and he has been impressive so far this season with the Oshawa Generals. It's looking like the Canucks got a steal with their 2013 third-round selection as Cassels was red-hot during the month of October, posting 16 points (6-10-16) in 11 games. The 18-year-old also had a plus-5 rating and notched two game-winners. Cassels has 23 points (8-15-23) in 17 games to date this season, while the Generals sit at 13-3-0-1 on the year and look to be championship contenders.
2). Brendan Gaunce, Belleville Bulls, OHL
Captain Gaunce picked up where he left off in the post-season last year, picking up 15 points (8-7-15) in 12 games during the month of October for the Bulls. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder has recorded 18 points (8-10-18) in 15 games overall this season. Gaunce took his game to a whole new level during a three-game weekend at the end of October where he netted five goals and two assists and was a plus-4. His stellar play in the early going of the season earned him the nod to represent the OHL in the Subway Super Series against Russia on November 21st and 25th. The Markham, Ontario product was selected to the team last year, but was unable to participate due to injury.
3). Anton Cederholm, Portland Winterhawks, WHL
You may be asking why a guy with only four assists in October ranks in the Top 3? Well, it's what Cederholm has been doing away from the puck that earns him the praise. The 18-year-old Swedish defenseman has made his adjustment to the North American game look easy, as he was able to pick up four assists in 11 games last month to go along with a stellar plus-10 rating. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder also dropped the mitts twice and is playing on the top defensive pairing with the WHL-leading Winterhawks, alongside Penguins prospect Derrick Pouliot. Through 17 games this season, Cederholm has netted eight points (1-7-8) and 28 penalty minutes to go along with a plus-13 rating, which ranks ninth in the WHL.
Honourable Mention: Bo Horvat, OHL
Horvat started off the season on fire, with six points in his first three games en route to 13 points (6-7-13) in 11 games during the month of October. The 6-foot, 200-pounder had five multi-point nights and was named the first star of the game on two occasions. The Rodney, Ontario native will join Gaunce in representing the OHL at the Subway Super Series later on in November. You can also catch Horvat and fellow prospect Miles Liberati on the Sportsnet documentary series "Quest for the Cup", which follows the Knights around all season as they prepare to host to 2014 Memorial Cup. Episode #2 airs on November 17th at 6pm PST on Sportsnet 360.
TY-BITS- Hunter Shinkaruk returned to the Medicine Hat Tigers line-up last month and posted 10 points (4-6-10) in seven games before suffering a minor injury that sidelined the sniper for the remainder of the month.
- Jordan Subban had a good month, picking up eight points (1-7-8) in 12 games with the Belleville Bulls.
- Miles Liberati netted a goal and assist in October, including a game-winner earlier in the month.
- Evan McEneny had a tough go of it in October, picking up three points (1-2-3) in seven games while also recording a minus-9 rating in the month.
- Ben Hutton picked up a goal and two assists in five games last month with the University of Maine. Expect a big season out of the Prescott, Ontario product.
- Yale forward and Canucks.com Oscars Analyst Matthew Beattie scored his first career NCAA goal on October 26th against Princeton. The goal was the lone-point for the 6-foot-3 forward in two games during the month of October.
- Joseph Labate and his Wisconsin Badgers have not gotten off to the start they hoped for, but then again, Labate and his teammates started slow last season before catching fire midway through the season. The Eagan, Minnesota product had two points (1-1-2) in four games in October.
- Mike Williamson picked up one assist in three games for Penn State in October. The freshman defenseman scored his first career NCAA goal on November 1st.