The Jackets currently have eight players developing in the Canadian Hockey League, the top junior circuit in the world. There are five forwards, a pair of blueliners and a goaltender.
Of the forwards, Michael Chaput, who was acquired at last year's trade deadline for Tom Sestito, is having the most productive season thus far. He's a member of the Memorial Cup-hosting Shawinigan Cataractes. More has been expected of the Cats this season, but they have plenty of time to add pieces and improve their play before they enter the tournament as hosts. Chaput currently leads his team in scoring.
Dalton Smith, the physical, gritty winger-and a player who drastically needed to improve his offensive totals-started his season off on the wrong foot. He was handed a ten game suspension for a hit on Belleville goaltender Malcolm Subban, and only just returned to action. He has yet to record a point. This pick may go down as another second round blunder by the Jackets.
A pair of QMJHL forwards-Petr Straka and Lukas Sedlak, are off to decent starts. Straka is on a poor Oceanic squad, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him shopped during the league's trade period. That said, it's difficult to trade European players in the CHL, given the fact each team can only carry two and most teams have their Euro situation decided early in the season. Sedlak isn't having a huge impact on the offense, but he is a rookie still making the adjustment to North America. He'll have plenty of time to work the kinks out.
Boone Jenner, Columbus' top pick in June's entry draft, is having a great start to the season. After being named captain of the team this past summer, he currently leads the Generals in scoring and continues to bring his solid two-way game every night.
On the blueline, prospect Brandon Archibald has been steady for the Saginaw Spirit. Some, including yours truly, expected more offensive production given his expanded role with the team, but in all likelihood he has plateaued offensively and will be a two-way blueliner long-term. Archibald was the recipient of a high stick by Oshawa's Christian Thomas, which led to a ten game suspension for Thomas. Austin Madaisky has played very well for a great Kamloops squad, he's currently the leading blueline scorer on the team.
The lone Columbus goaltender playing in the CHL is Mathieu Corbeil. After playing for a dreadful Halifax team, he was traded to the powerhouse Saint John Sea Dogs last season, but was the backup to Jacob Deserres. This season, however, he is the starter and has made the most of his opportunity. He currently leads the league in wins, shutouts, goals-against average, and is second in save percentage. Last week, he had back-to-back shutouts. The Sea Dogs have an excellent chance of repeating as Memorial Cup champions this season.
Here's a breakdown of each player's statistics:
Dalton Smith- Ottawa 67’s
Team: 14GP-10W-3L-1OT-0SO 1st East Division
4GP-0G-0A-0PTS EVEN 10PIM
Michael Chaput- Shawinigan Cataractes
Team: 20GP-12W-5L-1OT-2SO 2nd TELUS East Division
17GP-6G-17A-23PTS +16 12PIM
Boone Jenner- Oshawa Generals
Team: 17GP-7W-8L-0OT-2SO 3rd East Division
16-9-11-20 +8 23PIM
Lukas Sedlak- Chicoutimi Sagueneens
Team: 21GP-9G-7A-1OT-4SO 4th TELUS East Division
14-3-5-8 -4 23PIM
Petr Straka- Rimouski Oceanic
Team: 19GP-11W-8L-0OT-0SO 6th TELUS East Division
12GP-4G-4A-8PTS EVEN 9PIM
Brandon Archibald- Saginaw Spirit
Team: 16GP-6G-10A-0OT-0SO 5th West Division
16GP-1G-2A-3PTS EVEN 22PIM
Austin Madaisky- Kamloops Blazers
Team: 14GP-11W-3L-0OT-0SO 1st BC Division
14GP-3G-9A-12PTS +3 14PIM
Mathieu Corbeil- Saint John Sea Dogs
Team: 19GP-14W-5L-0OT-0SO 1st Maritimes Division
13GP 11-2-0-0 Record 2.01GAA 0.919SV% 3SO