Prospects Playoff Updates
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Halifax Mooseheads vs Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
Halifax leads the series 3-1
Jakub Voracek, Columbus' first pick (seventh overall) in the 2007 Entry Draft, notched three assists in the opening round series finale over the Victoriaville Tigers, a decisive 7-0 Halifax win. Voracek had a goal in the Mooseheads' 4-3 quarter-final opening win over Cape Breton and then added an assist in a 5-4 Halifax victory in game two. The playmaker came alive in game three, registering a goal to go along with two helpers as the Mooseheads' took a 3-0 stranglehold on the series with a big 4-3 win. He had one assist in game four, won by the Screaming Eagles 4-3. In 10 post-season games, the young Czech has four goals and 11 assists.
Ontario Hockey League
Kitchener Rangers vs Sarnia Sting
Kitchener sweeps semi-final series 4-0
World Junior Championship gold medalist goaltender Steve Mason, selected 69th overall by Columbus in the 2006 Entry Draft, was brilliant in helping his Rangers sweep Sarnia in the second round of the OHL playoffs. After missing two starts in the opening series against Plymouth with the flu, Mason rebounded with a 38-save shutout in the first game versus the Sting and then stopped an amazing 62 of 64 shots faced, including 25 in three overtime periods, in a 3-2 3OT win. He was named the first star in both games and also earned OHL Player of the Week honors. But Mason left midway through game three and sat again for game four, both 6-2 Kitchener wins. It's believed that he is still suffering lingering effects of an illness. Overall, Mason is 5-0 with a 1.92 goal against average and a sparkling .946 save percentage in six post-season appearances.
Niagara IceDogs vs Oshawa Generals
IceDogs down 3-1 to the Generals
Stefan Legein, Columbus's second-round pick in 2007 (37th overall), had a hot hand in the opening round of the OHL post season, scoring four goals to go along with five assists in a 4-0 Niagara sweep of the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors. It's been tougher sledding for Legein and the IceDogs in round two as the Oakville, Ontario native has faced off with his childhood friend John Tavares, regarded as one of the best players in junior hockey and a possible future number one overall pick in the 2009 NHL Draft. Legein grabbed an assist in a game one loss but did manage to score twice in Niagara's lone victory, a 5-3 win in game two. He was held pointless in a game three IceDogs loss and had an assist in game four, a 6-4 Oshawa win.
Western Hockey League
Swift Current Broncos vs Calgary Hitmen
Series tied 1-1
Jesse Dudas, a big, puck-moving defenseman drafted 159th overall by Columbus in 2006, is still unable to suit up for the Broncos because of a broken wrist he suffered after being hit from behind in the opening round of the WHL playoffs against the Regina Pats.
Sioux Falls Stampede vs Lincoln Stars
Stampede down 1-0 in series
Jake Hansen, the Jackets' fourth selection (68th overall) of last year's Entry Draft, established himself as one of the premier point producers in American junior hockey this season with 31 goals and 27 assists in 60 games for the Stampede. He was held off of the scoresheet in the series opener with Lincoln but did manage to create some opportunities, registering five shots on goal. He was third in the league in that department during the regular season with 208. Game two is Friday night in Sioux Falls.
Chicago Steel vs Indiana Ice
Series opens Friday, April 11 in Indiana
The Steel feature Columbus draft pick Will Weber, a towering defenseman chosen 53rd overall in the 2007 Draft. Weber impressed as a first year junior, scoring eight times to go along with 10 assists, while posting a solid +12 rating. Three of his goals came on Chicago power plays. Weber also plays with plenty of grit and toughness – he had 137 penalty minutes in 46 regular season games – so he could thrive in the physical environment of the USHL playoffs.