Spotlight On: Martin Kaut (Colorado Eagles)
The Brno, Czech Republic, native spent his first season in North with the Colorado Eagles of the AHL and wrapped up the year this week. Kaut helped the club to the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs and netted both of the team's goals in Game 4 on Saturday as the Eagles fell 5-2.
During the regular season, Kaut tallied 26 points (12 goals, 14 assists) in 63 appearances with Colorado.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound forward represented his home country, Czech Republic, in the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. He was an alternate captain for the team and posted three goals and a helper in five contests during the tournament.
Kaut was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the first round (16th overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft, after recording 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in 38 regular-season games with Dynamo Pardubice of the Czech League in 2017-18. He also contributed three markers and two assists in seven playoff contests for the team.
The Colorado Eagles' inaugural season in the American Hockey League came to an end this week. The club fell 5-2 in both Games 3 and 4 of the best-of-five series against the Bakersfield Condors.
Sheldon Dries and Anton Lindholm netted goals for Colorado in Game 3 on Tuesday while Mark Alt, Nicholas Meloche and Dominic Toninato each added a helper. Eagles netminder Pavel Francouz made 36 stops in the loss.
In Game 4 on Saturday, Martin Kaut had a two-goal performance with assists from Shane Bowers and A.J. Greer. Francouz made 26-of-30 saves in net, but the Eagles fell 5-2 as Bakersfield took the series 3-1..
Colorado recorded a 36-27-4-1 mark in the regular season, finishing fourth in the Pacific Division. Andrew Agozzino led the team with 60 points (26 goals, 34 assists) in 56 contests during the regular season. Pavel Francouz paced Eagles netminders with 49 games played, posting a 27-17-3 record with three shutouts, a 2.68 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.
Utah's season came to an end last week as the team fell in five games in the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Grizzlies played three games that went into overtime, starting with a 3-2 overtime loss against the Idaho Steelheads in Game 3. Josh Dickinson recorded a goal and an assist in the contest, his fifth and sixth points of the postseason. Dickinson added another helper to his playoff total on a power play during Game 4, but the team lost 5-4 in the extra frame. The following day, Colorado lost 2-1 in overtime in Game 5, ending its playoff run.
Cale Makar (University of Massachusetts): Makar was named the Hockey East Player for the month of March and April after scoring 10 points (three goals, seven assists) over nine games during that span. The defenseman also received the 2019 Hobey Baker Award and was voted the Hockey East Player of the Year, Most Outstanding Player at the NCAA Northeast Regional and a Hockey East and New England All-Star. Makar helped the Minutemen to its first-ever trip to the NCAA Men's Division I National Championship Game after tallying 16 goals and 33 assists in 41 contests for UMass during the season. Following the conclusion of his college season, Makar signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Avalanche on April 14. He made his professional debut for Colorado in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Calgary Flames on April 15 and tallied his first career NHL goal in the outing. The defenseman has played in every contest since making his debut, totaling three points (one goal, two assists) over five games.
University of Notre Dame: Junior forward Cam Morrison was named to the NCAA Northeast Regional All-Tournament Team and finished the season tied for fifth on the team with 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in 32 games. Freshman defenseman Nate Clurman skated in both games at the national tournament and registered three assists in 39 outings during the main campaign. Fellow first-year blueliner Nick Leivermann, who played against UMass, recorded a goal and a helper in 23 appearances. Notre Dame finished the campaign with a 23-14-3 record.
Shane Bowers (Boston University): Bowers notched 21 points (11 goals, 10 assists) in 37 games during his sophomore campaign at Boston University. The native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, represented Canada on the world stage this year, playing five games and recording two assists at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. The 19-year-old signed a three-year, entry-level deal with the Avalanche and made his professional debut with the Colorado Eagles on an Amateur Tryout, appearing in four regular-season games and four playoff outings with the club, notching his first professional point with a helper on Saturday in the team's 5-2 loss to the Bakersfield Condors.
Sampo Ranta (University of Minnesota): During his freshman year, Ranta played in 36 games with Minnesota, racking up 16 points (six goals, 10 assists). He recorded a season-high three points (three assists) against Notre Dame on Jan. 11.
Denis Smirnov (Penn State University): Smirnov generated 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in his junior year with Penn State. The Russian-born forward registered a career-high four points on Feb. 22 against Wisconsin with two goals and two assists. Smirnov produced one helper in the Big Ten Tournament for the Nittany Lions.
Tyler Weiss (University of Nebraska-Omaha):The freshman produced 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 25 games during his first season of NCAA hockey for Nebraska-Omaha. Weiss missed the first part of his season due to injury.
Brandon Saigeon (Oshawa Generals): Saigeon finished his season in the OHL with the Oshawa Generals this week. The club fell 2-1 in overtime on Tuesday to the Ottawa 67's in Game 4 of the OHL Conference Finals on Wednesday. The Grimsby, Ontario, native led all Oshawa skaters in the playoffs with 16 points (six goals, 10 assists). During the regular season, Saigeon split time between Oshawa and the Hamilton Bulldogs, totaling a career-best 92 points (37 goals, 55 assists) in 68 contests.
Nick Henry (Lethbridge Hurricanes): Through 69 outings, the forward produced 94 points (29 goals, 65 assists) in the regular season split between the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Regina Pats. He added six points in the playoffs, notching four markers and two helpers in seven outings. Henry signed an amateur tryout contract with the Colorado Eagles and made his professional debut, playing in three regular-season contests and two postseason outings.
Petr Kvaca (Ceske Budejovice, Czech 2): Kvaca got the start in Ceske's final contest of the season on Tuesday. The club fell 6-4 to Chomutov, as the Czech netminder made 24 saves in net. In the regular season, he posted a 12-7 record with Ceske and a 1.80 goals-against average, .924 save percentage and three shutouts in 19 games.
Justus Annunen (Karpat, Liiga): The Finnish netminder did not dress in Karpat's three games against HPK this week. The series is now tied at 2-2 after the club fell 3-1 in Game 2 on Tuesday and 3-0 in Game 3 on Thursday, but recovered to even the series with a 4-2 victory on Saturday in Game 4. Annunen spent most of the campaign with Hermes of the second-tier Mestis league, where he produced a 13-8-0 record, 2.77 goals-against average and .891 save percentage.
Adam Werner (Farjestad BK, SHL): Werner, who completed his first full season with Farjestad BK, generated a 15-6-3-3 record through 26 tilts in the regular season and posted a 2.02 goals-against average and .926 save percentage with three shutouts. He also appeared in two playoff contests, posting a 1.54 goals-against average and .917 save percentage before Farjestad fell in seven games in the SHL semifinals.
Gustav Olhaver (Tingsryds AIF, Allsvenskan): In his first season with Tingsryds AIF, Olhaver generated eight points (four goals, four assists) in 51 appearances. Olhaver's 51 games played were a career-high for the 21-year-old.
Nikolai Kovalenko (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, KHL): The Russian forward joined Lokomotiv Yaroslavl's junior team for the playoffs and helped the club to the 2019 Kharlamov Cup, defeating Abto 1-0 on Wednesday in Game 7 to seal the championship. Kovalenko had three goals and six assists in 11 postseason appearances, the second-most on the team. The forward produced six points (five goals, one assist) in 33 regular-season appearances with Lokomotiv and added two assists in seven playoff games. He also recorded three points (one goal, two assists) in six games as he earned a bronze medal with Team Russia at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Danila Zhuravlyov (Bars Kazan, VHL): Zhuravlyov finished his first full year of pro hockey with Bars Kazan by registering five points (five assists) through 40 outings in the Supreme Hockey League (VHL) with Bars Kazan. After the club's season ended, he skated in the final four regular season games for Irbis Kazan, which also missed the postseason. Zhuravlyov earned a bronze medal in January with Russia at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship, where he registered one assist in seven contests.
Shamil Shmakov (Sibirskie Snaipery, MHL): In 23 appearances with Sibirskie this season, Shmakov posted a 7-11-1 record with a .915 save percentage and 2.57 goals-against average. He was named the MHL Goaltender of the Month (East) for November after posting a .963 save percentage, 0.99 goals-against average and a 5-0 record in seven games played.