Phillipe Dupuis and Kris Russell top this week’s Columbia Gas Hot Prospects Report. Dupuis has scored 3-11-14 in March, bringing his season totals to 30-74-104, leading his team in both points and assists; while Russell has scored 3-4-7 with a game-winning goal in six games in March helping the Tigers close in on the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Jared Boll (Plymouth) – Boll, Columbus’ fourth pick, 101st overall in the 2005 Entry Draft, has scored 3-4-7 with an even rating in the month of March to lift his season totals to 19-20-39 on the season with 10 power-play goals and four game-winning goals. Plymouth, 33-28-1-4 is in a dog fight for first in the West, tied in points with Saginaw with two games remaining.
Trevor Hendrikx (Peterborough) – Hendrikx has posted 0-4-4 with an even rating and 12 PIM in March, helping Peterborough clinch the Eastern Conference title with a 46-16-2-3 mark. Overall, Hendrikx has scored 7-46-53 with a +12 rating and 119 penalty minutes. His 46 assists are second on his team and sixth amongst OHL blueliners while his 49 points rank ninth in the OHL amongst defensemen.
Dan LaCosta (Barrie) – LaCosta has turned it on this month helping his team make a last minute surge toward the division title, as the club trails Brampton in the Central by a single point after posting a 41-21-1-3 mark for 86 pts. In March, LaCosta has backstopped his club to a 4-3-1 record with one shutout and a 2.83 GAA with a .906 SV%. For the season, LaCosta is 34-17-1 with a 2.57 GAA and a .915 SV%, which ranks second in the OHL. LaCosta, a third round selection by the Blue Jackets in the 2004 Entry Draft, has six shutouts on the season and his team has only won seven times in games he has not started.
Adam McQuaid (Sudbury) – McQuaid has scored 0-1-1 with a -1 rating and 12 PIM in the month of March, bringing Columbus' second round selection, 55th overall, in the 2005 Entry Draft, totals to 3-13-16, with a -7 rating and 107 PIM. The club has posted a 32-28-1-5 mark, good for seventh place and 70 points in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt. With four games to go, Sudbury is within striking distance of Toronto (four points back) and Belleville (two points back.)
Kyle Wharton (Guelph) – Wharton, Columbus' second round pick, 59th overall in the 2004 Entry Draft, has scored 1-4-5 this month in six games. He posted all 1-4-5 of his points in the first game of the month on Mar. 3 vs. Kitchener and has been held scoreless since. The Storm are firmly entrenched in the fourth spot in the Conference with a 39-23-1-3 record.
Philippe Dupuis (Moncton) – Dupuis has scored 3-11-14 in March, bringing his season totals to 30-74-104, leading his team in both points and assists. His 104 points also ranks ninth best in the QMJHL, despite missing 10 games for the World Junior Championships, while he also ranks tied for fourth in assists and 12th with a +39 rating. At 50-15-0-3, Moncton leads the Eastern Division of the QMJHL, outscoring the competition 336-181.
Adam Pineault (Moncton) – Pineault has posted 29-28-57 in 53 games this 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 has scored 3-3-6 over the last five games, bringing his totals to 26-43-69, which ranks fourth on his squad. Pohl, who was selected by the Blue Jackets in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft with the club's fifth pick, 133rd overall, has helped Acadie-Bathurst to clinch second place in the Eastern Conference of the QMJHL, posting a 42-18-3-5 record.
Justin Vienneau (Shawinigan) –Vienneau has posted 1-15-16 in 54 games this season, setting a career high in assists. He also ranks 17th in the QMJHL with 164 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.
Gilbert Brule (Vancouver) – Brule posted 2-3-5 over the last five games to help the Vancouver Giants to a 3-2-0 mark over that span as the Giants fend off Kelowna for the top seed in the Western Conference. At 46-18-0-6, Vancouver holds a slim four-point edge on the Rockets with two games remaining. Overall since his return to the WHL, Brule has posted 20-15-35 with a +5 rating in 25 games. Columbus’ first pick, sixth overall, in the 2005 Entry Draft, scored 2-2-4 with the Blue Jackets in seven games.
Derek Reinhart (Regina) – Reinhart has posted 0-1-1 with a +3 rating in the month of March to bring his totals to 0-5-5 with an even rating and 101 PIM this season. His play has helped the Pats to a 39-26-1-4 record, for 83 points, just two points behind Saskatoon as the two teams jockey for playoff position, fighting for the fourth seed and home ice advantage over the other in the first round playoff series. 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 32-26-0-4 record, which is third in the division.
Kris Russell (Medicine Hat) – Russell has scored 3-4-7 with a game-winning goal in six games in March helping the Tigers close in on the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Columbus' third pick, 67th overall, in this summer's Entry Draft, Russell, is a Team Captain for Medicine Hat this season, leading the club to a 40-16-1-7 mark with a two point lead over the Calgary Hitmen in the race for the Eastern Conference crown. Overall, he has scored 14-31-45, which is tops amongst defensemen on his team and seventh in the WHL amongst blueliners. His twin brother Ryan has scored 33-42-75 for the Kootenay Ice.