Christian Djoos is establishing himself as a legitimate Washington Capitals prospect.
RW - Miami (Ohio) University – 18
Freshman Riley Barber had another month to remember for the Miami RedHawks, but not before he ended his World Juniors debut in style. In the three January championship round games, Barber scored two goals, one assist, and went +2 to help lead his Team USA to the gold medal. He ended the tournament with three goals and three assists in seven games. Barber has also been in fine form with his NCAA team. In January, Barber, who turns 19 this month, appeared in six games, scoring one goal and three assists and going -1. On the season, Barber now has nine goals and 17 assists in 24 games. He has a +8 rating.
C – University of New Hampshire (NCAA) – 22
After making his return from a six-game absence with a shoulder injury in late December, Greg Burke’s injury woes continued into 2013. The forward, in his last year of NHL eligibility, managed to appear in only two games, going pointless and -2, before going down with an undisclosed injury. Burke now has three goals, two assists, and a +1 rating in 13 games this season.
C – University of Minnesota (NCAA) – 19
Much like Burke, Minnesota sophomore Travis Boyd had a pretty disappointing January. After a tremendous start to his season, Boyd saw action in seven games this month, but managed only one assist. Boyd’s numbers, however, are still rather impressive, as he now stands at three goals, nine assists, 12 points, and a +3 rating in 26 games.
D - Plymouth Whalers (OHL) - 18
Connor Carrick has been fighting his way through a bit of a rollercoaster season, but after a disappointing December, he impressed in January. Plymouth played well, and Carrick was a major reason why, racking up four goals and six assists for 10 points and a +2 rating in just 12 games. The defensemen now has 30 points in 50 games. His rating is +3. All-around, the numbers are very encouraging for the Caps fifth-round pick.
C - University of Notre Dame (NCAA) - 18
The difficult start to the season for fourth-rounder Tom DiPauli continued past the halfway mark, as the forward managed a rather miserable -3 rating with just one goal in eight games in January. DiPauli now stands at four goals and two assists through 26 games, though his +4 rating and continuous top-six exposure suggests his luck should soon turn.
D - Brynäs (Elitserien) - 18
Few Caps prospects had a better month of January than young Swedish defenseman Christian Djoos. It started with two World Juniors games, where he went -2 but did play a significant role as Sweden reached the final. He ended his debut WJC tournament with three assists and a -2 rating in six games. We’ll see him back next year. But it was in Elitserien play with Brynäs where Djoos really turned it on. In the first three games of the month, he was pointless, making it 31 games in a row where Djoos had failed to record a goal or assist. Then, his confidence surged, as he went on to score the first two goals and three assists of his pro career in the next seven games. He even received his first game misconduct for talking a little too much to the referee. His rating was -1. On the year, Djoos now has two goals and three assists for five points in 38 games. His plus-minus rating is +1 and he averages 14:32 of ice time per game. Those are incredibly impressive numbers for an 18-year-old in arguably the world’s second best men’s league.
RW - Leksand (HockeyAllsvenkan) - 18
Like Djoos, Forsberg had a great month of January, which began with his road to the World Juniors final. In the semi final and final, the Caps first-rounder and Team Sweden Captain scored one goal. He ended the tournament with three goals and two assists in five games, being named to the tournament All-Star team in the process. Forsberg has also been in fine form with Leksand in the Swedish second division. This month, Forsberg appeared in eight games, from which he scored an impressive four goals and five assists, along with a lofty +9 rating. In 30 games in 2012-13, the winger has 13 goals, 15 assists, 28 points, and a +12 rating. The guy is NHL ready.
D –Western Michigan University (NCAA) – 19
Garrett Haar did not play in January after picking up an undisclosed upper-body injury late in December, but is expected to return soon. He remains at three goals and three assists in 16 games and an even plus-minus rating.
C – University of Minnesota-Duluth (NCAA) – 21
After his miserable start to the year, sophomore forward Caleb Herbert’s resurgence continued into 2013. Though he is still well off the pace of his 2011-12 numbers, Herbert’s one goal and two assists in January suggest he is improving. That said, he remains at five goals and eight assists through 24 games, rather disappointing numbers for a player who was expected to become a leading NCAA scorer this season. His rating is -1.
D – Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL) – 20
Patrick Koudys continued his unremarkable season for the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks this month, totaling four assists, a -1 rating, and 28 penalty minutes in 11 games. The Penn State Nittany Lions-bound blueliner stands at 10 assists in 44 games this season, and is rapidly sinking off the radar of Caps prospects.
RW – Traktor Chelyabinsk (KHL) – 20
After continuing to improve his NHL stock through the first half of the season, the league’s top prospect had a comparatively quiet January, notching two goals and six assists in 11 games. Perhaps even more quiet was his -5 rating. Still, Kuzya showed progression from last year by reaching the 49-game mark with 42 points, as opposed to 41 in 2011-12, while his 20:46 average time on ice shows clearly the responsibility he carries for Traktor Chelyabinsk. As mentioned, he has 42 points through 49 games, which places him seventh among all KHL players. He is set to star for Russia in the upcoming Swedish portion of the European Hockey Tour.
D - Calgary Hitmen (WHL) – 19
The great 2012-13 continued for seventh-round pick Jaynen Rissling. A player not known for his offensive flair, the 6’4”, 225-pound defenseman racked up seven assists in 11 games. His rating was +7 and he also contributed with two fights. Eligible for an AHL contract at the end of this season, Rissling is making a good case to be a pro next year with four goals, 18 assists, +20, and 104 PIMs all being signs he is ready to make the next step in his development.
LW - University of Calgary (CIS) - 22
Very much a fringe prospect, Taylor Stefishen was solid in January, posting four goals and four assists for eight points through eight games. On the season, Stefishen has 20 points and a +9 rating in 25 games played.
LW - Regina Pats (WHL) - 18
Though a scary tendon injury disrupted his season, Chandler Stephenson will likely be happy with his performance this year. January was another good month. The grinding 2012 third-rounder scored two goals and six assists in 11 games, and posted an even plus-minus rating. He also had one fight. To date, Stephenson has totaled 10 goals and 16 assists through 26 games, numbers to be proud of for an 18-year-old playing in a very tough Western Hockey League.
G – Vålerenga (GET-Ligaen) – 19
After a very disappointing December, Steffen Søberg bounced back big-time in January, leading his Vålerenga to seven wins and a return to the summit of the GET-Ligaen. Personally, Søberg saw his save percentage rise from .911 to .915, and his goals-against-average drop from 2.54 to 2.42. Caps fans may be frustrated about his decision to stay in Norway last season, but his talent and potential is hard to question.
D – Boston College (NCAA) – 21
After a great start to the season, the #1 ranked BC Eagles struggled badly in January, managing to win only two of seven games. Caps blueliner Patrick Wey actually wasn’t that bad, going pointless but +3 in that stretch. He should play a major role should the Eagles manage to bounce back in February. Wey now has one goal and eight assists in 23 games, to go along with a +8 rating.
RW - Plymouth Whalers (OHL) - 18
In many ways, it was literally an unbelievable month of Tom Wilson. At times, he was superhuman, and at times, he was downright dangerous. It was a tale of two months for the 6’3” manchild, as he first totaled two goals and eight points in five games, then proved himself to be very near NHL-ready at Washington Capitals training camp, and then racked up 20 penalty minutes in two games on his return. He would also be suspended for five games, though he is eligible to return early on in February. Wilson has 13 goals and 36 points through 33 games.
RW - University of Notre Dame (NCAA) - 19
Thomas DiPauli may have had a rough start to the season, but it does not come close to the struggles Austin Wuthrich has been going through. The sophomore at Notre Dame was -2 with one goal in eight January games, but picked up an injury towards the end, and looks set to miss some time in February. To date, the winger, who it was hoped would step up to play a big role for the Fighting Irish this year, has two goals and four assists to go along with a -1 rating in 23 games.
DC Pro Sports Report Three Stars of the Month:
1. Christian Djoos (10Gms, 2G, 3A, 5P, -1)
2. Filip Forsberg (8Gms, 4G, 5A, 9P, +9)
3. Connor Carrick (12Gms, 4G, 6A, 10P, +2)