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Preds Prospects Succeeding In Post-Season Action

Wednesday, 03.28.2012 / 3:16 PM CT / Features
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
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Preds Prospects Succeeding In Post-Season Action
Most amateur hockey leagues across North America are in the middle of their playoffs and several Preds prosopects are making the most of their post-season opportunities, including Zach Budish who helped the University of Minnesota win its NCAA Regional and advance to next week’s Frozen Four.

Budish recorded four assists in two games last weekend to lead Minnesota to wins over Boston University on Saturday and University of North Dakota on Sunday. Minnesota will face top seeded Boston College in the national semifinals next Thursday. For the season, Budish has scored 12 goals and 35 points in 42 games, while posting a +23 plus/minus rating. At 6-3, 229 pounds, Budish has the size and skill to develop into an NHL power-forward.

Two other Preds prospects participated in the NCAA Tournament; defenseman Garrett Noonan and BU lost to Budish’s Minnesota squad, while Chase Balisy and Western Michigan were eliminated by North Dakota. Noonan finished the season with 16 goals and 27 points in 38 games, ranking tied for first in the nation in goals by a defenseman. Balisy posted 13 goals and 37 points in 41 games with five game-winning goals.

Five Preds prospects are still playing in Canadian Juniors playoffs. Austin Watson’s London team, the No. 1 seed in the OHL Western Conference playoffs, holds a 3-0 lead in its first round series, while Josh Shalla and Saginaw, the No. 5 seed in the Conference playoffs, trail 2-1. Shalla, however has five points through the first three games of the series. In the QMJHL, Brent Andrews and No. 6 seed Halifax swept the first round series, 4-0, and Charles-Olivier Roussel, playing for No. 1 seed Saint John, is up 3-0 in the first round series. Out west, Cameron Reid’s Portland squad holds a 3-0 lead in the WHL Western Conference first round series.

Good News From Europe: Preds prospect Mattias Ekholm won the Borje Salming Award as the top defenseman in the Swedish Elite League. Ekholm, 21, opened the season in North America before returning to Sweden early in the season; he scored eight goals and 16 points with 55 penalty minutes in 40 games during the regular season and has added one goal and five points in eight playoff games. His team, Brynas, picked up a 4-2 win in the first round of the Swedish Eliteserien playoffs, with Ekholm assisting on the overtime forcing goal with under 30 seconds remaining in regulation of the series-deciding Game 6. Brynas has split the first two games of the second round.

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

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STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 57 36 17 4 158 130 76
2 DAL 54 34 15 5 174 145 73
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 52 32 17 3 144 119 67
5 SJS 52 28 20 4 149 138 60
6 ANA 52 26 19 7 117 122 59
7 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
8 COL 56 27 25 4 149 155 58
9 MIN 53 23 20 10 130 130 56
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 53 21 20 12 123 143 54
12 CGY 52 24 25 3 138 151 51
13 WPG 53 24 26 3 137 151 51
14 EDM 55 21 29 5 133 166 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 54 11 27 -3 38
F. Forsberg 54 17 18 -7 35
S. Weber 54 14 21 -5 35
M. Ribeiro 54 6 27 2 33
J. Neal 54 19 13 18 32
M. Ekholm 54 6 18 3 24
R. Ellis 53 6 16 2 22
C. Smith 54 11 7 -2 18
C. Jarnkrok 53 9 8 0 17
C. Wilson 37 4 12 -1 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 18 7 .903 2.54
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36