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2012-13 Seasons Kick Off For Preds Prospects

Friday, 09.21.2012 / 1:00 PM / Features
By Kevin Wilson  - Nashville Predators
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2012-13 Seasons Kick Off For Preds Prospects

-- Canadian Hockey Leagues Kick Off Tonight --

All five of the Nashville Predators prospects begin what they hope is the road to the 2013 Memorial Cup in Saskatoon, Sask., as the three branches of the Canadian Hockey League kicks off their 2012-13 regular seasons tonight.

Nashville has a pair of 2012 draftees playing in the Western Hockey League in second rounder Colton Sissons of the Kelowna Rockets and third-round pick Brendan Leipsic of the Portland Winter Hawks. Sissons – now in his second season as captain the Rockets – travels to Kamloops looking to build on a 2011-12 season which saw him post 41 points (26g-15a). Leipsic and the Winter Hawks host the Seattle Thunderbirds tonight. After finishing with a 49-19-4 record and advancing to Game Seven of the WHL Finals a season ago, Portland appears to be a favorite again with such talent as potential 2013 first-round pick Seth Jones, 2012 eighth overall selection Derrick Pouliot, in addition to Leipsic.

Two players claimed in the CHL Import Draft will represent the Predators in the Ontario Hockey League this season, with 2011 fifth rounder Simon Karlsson joining the Plymouth Whalers and 2012 fourth-round pick Mikko Vainonen latching on with the Kingston Frontenacs. Karlsson joins the Whalers via Malmo in Sweden, and will travel to Sault Ste. Marie to battle the Greyhounds. Vainonen, whose team hosts Barrie, will make his North American debut after coming over from HIFK in his homeland of Finland.

The organization’s lone player in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is Brent Andrews of the Halifax Mooseheads, a 2011 seventh-round pick known for his face-off prowess and defensive play.

In the United States, NCAA play doesn’t start for three more weeks, but the United States Hockey League – the nation’s highest level of junior hockey – is currently holding the 2012 USHL Fall Classic in Sioux City, a preseason tournament which leads up to the regular-season start on September 28. 2012 fourth rounder Zach Stepan is among the Waterloo Black Hawks team leaders in points through three games (2g-1a), but has already been playing competitive hockey for more than a month. In August, the Black Hawks earned a silver medal at the 2012 Junior Club World Cup in Omsk, Russia, as Stepan notched three points (2g-1a) in six games.

Across the pond, European leagues are in full gear. Below is a breakdown of how all of Nashville’s European prospects/players are faring in the early goings of the 2012-13 season.

NAME
CLUB (LEAGUE)
 
GP
G
A
PTS
PIM
+/-
Pontus Aberg
Djurgarden (Sweden-2)
 
3
0
1
1
0
2
Simon Fernholm
Frolunda Jr. (Sweden Jr.)
 
3
0
2
2
0
3
Konstantin Glazachev
SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)
 
6
0
1
1
4
-2
Max Gortz
Farjestad (Sweden)
 
2
0
0
0
0
0
Linus Klasen
Lulea (Sweden)
 
2
0
1
1
0
1
Denis Kulyash
Ak Bars Kazan (KHL)
 
6
1
0
1
2
1
Teemu Laakso
Severstal (KHL)
 
5
1
0
1
2
-1
Alexander Radulov
CSKA Moscow (KHL)
 
6
1
5
6
4
-1
Joonas Rask
Jokerit (Finland)
 
2
0
1
1
0
0
Miikka Salomaki
Karpat (Finland)
 
3
0
1
1
2
2
Grigory Shafigulin
Dynamo Moscow (KHL)
 
4
0
1
1
2
0
Sergei Soin
Dynamo Moscow (KHL)
 
5
0
1
1
0
2
Ryan Thang
Augsburger (Germany)
 
1
1
0
1
6
1
 
GOALTENDERS
CLUB (LEAGUE)
 
GP
W
L
OT
GAA
SV%
SO
Atte Engren
TPS Turku (Finland)
 
1
0
1
0
2.93
.870
0
Marek Mazanec
IHC Pisek (Czech Rep.-2)
 
3
2
1
0
3.33
.895
0
Chet Pickard
Djurgarden (Sweden)
 
3
2
1
0
1.67
.925
0
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