Dan LaCosta and Kris Russell top this week’s Columbia Gas Hot Prospects Report. LaCosta was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team and will play in the 2006 Bell OHL All-Star Classic on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2006, while posting a 4-2-0-1 record in January. Russell, meanwhile, won a Gold Medal with Team Canada at the World Junior Championships, scoring 1-3-4 at the WJCs.
Jared Boll (Plymouth) – Boll has recorded 14-12-26 in 14 games with eight power-play goals and three game-winning goals to help the Plymouth Whalers to a 23-18-1-3 record for 50 points and first place in the Western Division. Columbus' fourth pick, 101st overall, in the 2005 Entry Draft, Boll had a four-game point/goal streak from Dec. 12-30, scoring 4-2-6.
Trevor Hendrikx (Peterborough) – Hendrikx has scored 3-5-8 in nine games in January, with two game-winning goals to up his totals to 6-35-41, which ranks seventh amongst defensemen in the OHL, in 38 games for the Peterborough Petes. Hendrikx’s hot play has helped Peterborough to a 7-3-0 record over its last 10 games to push the club’s record to an OHL-best 33-10-1-0 for 67 points and first place in the Eastern Division of the Eastern Conference. Hendrikx entered the season with 25-68-93 in 232 career OHL games, coming off of a career-year with 15-33-48 in 68 games during the '04-05 campaign.
Dan LaCosta (Barrie) – LaCosta was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team and will play at the 2006 Bell OHL All-Star Classic on Wednesday, Feb. 1. The honor was well deserved as LaCosta, a third round selection by the Blue Jackets in the 2004 Entry Draft, has posted a 22-10-1-3 record with a 2.53 GAA and .918 SV% in 38 games played. He ranks fourth in wins, third in goals against average and second in save percentage. LaCosta’s strong play has helped the Barrie Colts to a 29-14-1-3 record for 62 points and first place in the Eastern Conference’s Central Division.
Adam McQuaid (Sudbury) – Has scored 0-2-2 with a +4 rating over his last four games to push his season totals to 2-9-11 in 70 games. McQuaid’s recent hot streak has coincided with the Sudbury Wolves posting a 3-0-0-1 record over those four games. The point streak has helped Sudbury improve its record to 22-19-1-3, for 48 points and into a potential playoff spot, if the season were to end today. Columbus' second round selection, 55th overall, in the 2005 Entry Draft, he entered the season with 6-22-28 and 123 PIM in 113 career OHL games.
Kyle Wharton (Guelph Storm) – Wharton started the season playing for the Saulte Ste. Marie Greyhounds, where he posted 6-16-22 in 34 games, but has since been dealt to the Guelph Storm, where he has scored 0-2-2 in three games with the new club. Wharton, along with Jason Pitton was traded by SSM to Guelph for Matthew Lyall, Josh Godfrey and a third round pick in 2006 and a fourth round pick in 2007. Wharton was Columbus' second round pick, 59th overall, in the 2004 Entry Draft, and has recorded 12-39-51 with 109 PIM in 139 career OHL games.
Philippe Dupuis (Moncton) – Dupuis leads his squad with 48 assists and 66 points in just 38 games. His 66 points also ranks 14th best in the QMJHL as he also has seven power-play goals and three game-winning goals. At 34-10-0-2, Moncton has the best record in the QMJHL, and has won 10 straight games, outscoring the opposition, 55-14 over that span.
Adam Pineault (Moncton) – Pineault, meanwhile, is fourth on the Wildcats roster with 19 goals, along with 18 assists for 37 points on the season. A second round pick by the Blue Jackets in the 2004 Entry Draft, he ranked among the QMJHL rookie leaders in most major statistical categories last season with 26-20-46 and +12 rating in 61 games.
Petr Pohl (Acadie-Bathurst) – Pohl skated for the Czech Team at the World Junior Championships, and led his team in scoring with 4-1-5 in six games and a +1 plus/minus rating with a team-high 21 shots. Pohl, who was selected by the Blue Jackets in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft with the club's fifth pick and 133rd overall, has scored 17-34-51 in 41 games played this season for the Acadie Bathurst Titans.
Justin Vienneau (Shawinigan) – Vienneau has posted 1-9-10 in 37 games this season, just two assists shy of his career high set last year. He also ranks 22nd in the QMJHL with 110 penalty minutes. A 2004 Entry Draft selection by the Blue Jackets, he entered the season with 4-18-22 and 275 PIM in 113 career QMJHL games.
Derek Reinhart (Regina) – Reinhart has posted 0-1-1 and a -1 plus-minus rating in 25 games. The defenseman was Columbus' sixth pick, 177th overall, in this summer's Entry Draft. He entered the year with 3-11-14 and 312 PIM in 123 career WHL games. Regina has posted a 24-20-0-3 record, which is third in the division.
Kris Russell (Medicine Hat) – Russell helped Team Canada win the Gold Medal at the World Junior Championships, scoring 1-3-4, with a +6 plus/minus rating, which was second on the team. His four points ranked eighth amongst defensemen, while his +6 was also tied for eighth in the tournament. Russell had an assist in the Gold Medal game, which Canada won, 5-0 over Russia. Columbus' third pick, 67th overall, in this summer's Entry Draft, Russell, a Team Captain for Medicine Hat this season, has scored 10-19-29 this season. His 20 points rank 12th amongst defensemen in the WHL, while his 10 goals rank second. Russell has scored 2-2-4 in the month of January, to help the club to an 8-2-0-0 record over their last 10, improving the Tigers’ record to 32-10-0-6, just one point back of the Calgary Hitmen for the best record in the league.