The Summerside Journal Pioneer had an article on Sea Dogs prospect Spencer Smallman last week. Smallman was a fourth round pick of Saint John in this summer’s QMJHL Entry Draft.
Smallman is listed at just 5’07” and 140 lbs on the Sea Dogs website. According to the article, "at five-foot-10 inches and 165 pounds, he is the same weight and just two inches shorter than his father was at the end of his junior career."
“At the start of this year he was quite small, and I think a lot of people probably don’t realize he’s grown as much as he has,” explained his father Stacy Smallman who, as the article explains, has some history with Gerard Gallant.
NHL.com is doing a 30 teams in 30 days feature this month. Part of the feature involves ranking the top 10 prospects for each organization.
Nathan Beaulieu is ranked second in the Montreal Canadiens system.
“An offensively-gifted defenseman who fell to the Canadiens at No. 17 at the 2011 NHL Draft, Beaulieu will try to hone the other aspects of his game in the American Hockey League this season, barring a miracle at Canadiens training camp,” writes Arpon Basu. “His play in his own end is nowhere near NHL caliber, but his skating and ability to move the puck out of his zone makes him a considerable prospect for the future.”
Beaulieu is ranked third in the Habs system by Hockey Prospectus.
Former Sea Dog defenseman Eric Gelinas is ranked fourth in the New Jersey Devils organization by NHL.com.
"Eric was one of the kids who developed throughout the year, was a contributor for us in all three zones each and every night," Albany general manager Chris Lamoriello told the Daily Gazette, via NHL.com. "He's certainly someone we have expectations to be better [in 2012-13]."
Gelinas had a solid year in his first season of pro hockey, recording 16 goals and 21 assists in 75 games with the AHL’s Albany Devils.
Stanislav Galiev is ranked third in the Washington Capitals system by NHL.com.
“Will he need some time in the American Hockey League,” asks Corey Masisak. “Probably, but there aren’t a lot of certainties on the wing in Washington’s top six beyond Ovechkin and Brouwer. The Capitals have the salary-cap space to add someone as the trade deadline approaches, but if Galiev can produce as a professional, he might get an audition.”
In the Canucks system, former Sea Dogs defenseman Yann Sauve sneaks in at No. 10.
"Yann was involved in a bad accident his first year pro and missed the first three months of the season -- and will now have his third new coach in three years, unfortunately something he doesn't always adjust well to," Vancouver's director of player development Dave Gagner said. "He currently has upside as a No. 6 or No. 7 NHL depth defenseman."
Sauve, who made his NHL debut in 2010-11, registered three goals and six assists in 73 games with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves last year. He added an assist in three playoff games.
Sports-Bite.com has one of the first QMJHL season previews to hit the interweb this year.
“Meanwhile we will finally see the Sea Dogs’ true colors, as many players will be departing for greener pastures in the AHL or NHL this year,” writes Samuel Desbiens.
The Hockey House has an article on Jonathan Huberdeau.
“Many, including myself, believe that Huberdeau will make the Panthers roster out of training camp, as he is too good for the QMJHL now and isn’t age eligible for the AHL as of yet,” writes Bradshaw Furlong. “The Panthers finished 3rd in the Eastern Conference and won the Southeast Division so adding a player like Huberdeau who is so skilled will be a huge boost for them and they should have another strong year. Huberdeau, if he makes the roster, should challenge for the Calder Trophy because of his talent and the offensive players around him in Florida.”
Of note, Huberdeau and Team Canada begin the 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge on Thursday afternoon.
Hockey Prospectus has ranked the top 10 prospects in the Minnesota Wild organization. Charlie Coyle comes in at No. 4 while Zack Phillips is ranked sixth.
“Last year, he would show flashes of playmaking skill, but that area was more consistent this year and he looks like a legit above-average passer,” writes Corey Pronman about Coyle. “He works hard in board battles, and is responsible defensively.”
Pronman says Coyle “could be a great second-line center" and Phillips "could be a great second-line forward."
Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation