The prospect report is back and we’ve got a lot to touch on. We’ve got a few pieces of news to hit on this week too! First up, Samu Tuomaala and Sport mutually agreed to terminate his contract, and he’ll now be joining Jukurit for the rest of the season. He only played 13 games with Sport and had his minutes very limited, so the hope is that he can get a better shot at some meaningful playing time with Jukurit.
Also, the KHL has decided to cancel the remainder of their regular season due to COVID concerns and jump right into their playoffs after the Olympics wrap up. This will, of course, affect Ivan Fedotov and CSKA Moskow and Aleksei Kolosov and Minsk.
Speaking of the Olympics, Noah Cates is there with the US team, and they’ll finally kick off their slate of games tomorrow bright and early at 8:10 am ET.
Now, on to this week’s standouts!
1. Bobby Brink
It’s been a very good season for Brink on the whole, but man did he really have himself a weekend. In Denver’s pair of games against St. Cloud State, he picked up one goal and five assists, factoring in two six of Denver’s ten total goals scored. He was continuing to do what he does best in driving offense, and that work was really paying dividends for him and his teammates.
And don’t look now, but he’s up to 41 points in 26 games played, and he’s leading the whole of the NCAA in points per game, and his pace of 1.58 points per game is well above the next player behind him (Nathan Smith, with 1.46 points per game). Not too shabby at all.
2. Jay O’Brien
As our headline tells us, it’s Beanpot time, folks! The Flyers are pretty well represented again in this year’s tournament, and O’Brien had himself a strong showing in its opening weekend. He had a good game heading into it earlier in the week against Maine, where he was held off the board but put up five shots on goal, and he just seemed to pick up steam from there. He put up a goal and an assist in BU’s 4-3 win over Harvard to punch their ticket to the final.
BU will be back at it this weekend against Northeastern for all the marbles, as it were, and we can expect O’Brien to (hopefully!) be a big factor in their push for their first win since 2015.
3. Isaac Ratcliffe
Fresh off his NHL debut before the break, Ratcliffe was sent back down to get some more games in with the Phantoms over the weekend and was he ever on a tear. He picked up a goal and two assists in his two games played, and contributed nine shots on goal between those two games. He’s finding a role as something of a volume shooter, and while it’s taken a little while for it all to come together, he’s starting to see the results of that process paying off. Ratcliffe’s been a very good driver of offense for the team (something that perhaps wasn’t fully appreciated until he was called back up on Tuesday, leaving the Phantoms without him, and very much missing him as they were shut out by the Belleville Senators last night). He’ll be back in the Flyers’ lineup tonight, and we’ll see how well he’s able to keep this ball rolling.
Jack St. Ivany
In the interest of fairness, we also want to toss a nod St. Ivany’s way, since we’re talking about the Beanpot this week. He picked up an assist in his first game of the week against UMass Lowell, and even though he was held off the board in BC’s loss to Northeastern in the Beanpot, he still contributed four shots on goal in an overall quite solid individual showing.
BC is without two of their top players (Drew Helleson and Marc McLaughlin, off with our pal Noah Cates at the Olympics) and some of their workload has fallen on St. Ivany, but he’s taking that all well in stride.
This one feels a little like cheating, including Frost on here, as he feels like he’s just barely holding on to prospect status with his time spent in the NHL, but he was sent back down to join the Phantoms before the break, and he’s still down there for... reasons. But hey, he’s getting big minutes in more games than the Flyers are playing right now, and he’s doing well in them. He chipped in one goal and one assist in his first three games back with the Phantoms, he’s getting a nice bit of special teams time (both power play and penalty kill), and really just continues to look like he’s a little too good to be there. Hopefully he isn’t much longer.