When Kyle Beach revealed himself as John Doe in the Chicago Blackhawks sexual assault case, it hit close to home. I called CHL games when Kyle played in Everett, Lethbridge and Spokane. I remember when he was chosen 11th overall in the 2008 NHL Draft. I remember how tough he was, how talented he was.
I bring this up because, watching Kyle play and knowing he had the clout of a first-round pick, many people might think he would not be vulnerable or susceptible to such actions. His coming forward proves anyone can fall victim to predatory behaviour. I can only hope his courage will inspire anyone in this space who has fallen victim to similar predatory behaviour. As my colleague Caroline Cameron succinctly pointed out on Wednesday Night hockey, there is help available and you’re not alone.
If you or someone you know is in need of support, those in Canada can find province-specific centres, crisis lines and services here. For readers in America, a list of resources and references for survivors and their loved ones can be found here.
Joakim the Dream
A big story developing in Finland is the play of 17-year-old Joakim Kemell. He leads the Liiga with 17 points through JYP’s first 15 games played, while averaging over 17:00 of ice time. To put that into context, here are the best seasons for a 17-year-old in Liiga play, with thanks to Elite Prospects.
|Mikael Granlund||2009-10||40 points in 43 games|
|Kaapo Kakko||2018-19||38 points in 45 games|
|Joel Armia||2010-11||29 points in 48 games|
|Jesperi Kotkaniemi||2017-18||29 points in 57 games|
’03 of the Week
The story of Cape Breton’s Connor Trenholm is fascinating. Diagnosed with a heart condition in September of 2013, he was told to cease playing competitive team sports. Upon clearing his yearly check-up in July of 2016, he was given the green light to resume playing. Just three years later, Cape Breton selected in him in the third round of the QMJHL draft.
Like everyone else in his age group, Trenholm's draft minus-1 year in 2019-20 was cut short due to the pandemic. COVID-19 also cut short his draft season in 2020-21, although Connor put up 10 goals and 20 points over 37 games. He was ranked 137th by NHL Scouting prior to the 2021 draft, but did not get selected. Trenholm was invited to Florida’s camp this fall, but that did not result in a contract.
Considering five of the past eight years were limited for him, Trenholm is a prime candidate for a breakout season. Through Cape Breton’s first nine games, Trenholm has four goals and seven points.
Ruslan Gazizov will suit up for the London Knights. The 12th overall pick in the 2021 CHL Import draft, Gazizov was playing for Omskie Yastreby in the MHL (Russian junior league). Gazizov put up 10 points in five games at the 2021 Hlinka-Gretzky Cup. The 5-foot-11, 187-pound forward is a B-rated prospect for the 2022 NHL Draft by NHL Central Scouting.
In keeping with a trend from previous weeks, where we focus on a 2023 draft eligible player, how about Drummondville freshman Tyler Peddle? The son of St. Francis Xavier coach Brad, Peddle has lit the QMJHL on fire with eight goals and 10 points through 10 games.
Congrats to Team B.C., winners of the 2021 WHL Cup. The final game pitted B.C. against Alberta at the Peavey Mart Centrium in Red Deer. Saskatchewan captured bronze with a 3-2 win over Manitoba.
The WHL Cup is the key event for WHL scouts and, as a result of the pandemic, the 2021 WHL draft will take place on December 9, pushed back from its regular date in May to allow scouts to have more viewings.
Team B.C. captured all three forward spots on the tournament All-Star team with Jordan Gavin, Miguel Marques and Tomas Mrsic. Alberta’s Keith McInnis and Manitoba’s Jonas Woo were named top defencemen, while Manitoba goalie Ethan McCallum got honours at his position.
2022 Memorial Cup
Another story to follow is the 2022 Memorial Cup, which will be held in Saint John, N.B. The host Sea Dogs have yet another new coach in Gordie Dwyer. Still in the adjustment phases of this new regime, the Sea Dogs sit seventh in the Eastern Conference. The top team in the conference, in the league and in the CHL are the Quebec Remparts.
The Remparts were the other organization in the bid process for the Memorial Cup. Having hosted the Cup in 2015, it didn’t seem right to go back there for 2022. Having said that, a big part of the decision making process is the quality of the hockey team. The Remparts are loaded, and are far and away the highest scoring team in the league. They’ve also given up the fewest goals against.
While there is plenty of time for Saint John to sort things out, the CHL is always concerned about an inadequate host team. The Sea Dogs aren’t void of talent, as they do have five NHL drafted players.
Two prospects to keep an eye on: Theo Rochette and Nathan Gaucher, teammates with the Remparts.
Rochette is the QMJHL's leading scorer with seven goals and 18 points in 10 games. Passed over in two drafts, Rochette went to camp with Toronto this fall.
Gaucher is a big, late-birthday centre who is also having a great season, scoring goals five and six Wednesday night. He’s up over a point per game and is draft eligible in 2023.
Thank you, next
Huge thanks to Sportsnet, CBC and the CHL. For the past 15 years I’ve been calling CHL games on Sportsnet. For seven years before that, I had the opportunity to call games for local Rogers networks in Toronto (St. Michaels Majors), Mississauga (IceDogs) and Brampton (Battalion). When the rights moved from Sportsnet in-part to CBC, all three parties agreed that I could be a part of the CHL on CBC broadcasts. There’s nothing like seeing the future of the game.
The past three games have produced shutouts. Shawinigan’s Charles-Antoine Lavallee made 24 stops in a 3-0 win over Rouyn-Noranda. Calgary’s Brayden Peters stopped all 25 of Red Deer’s shots on October 23 in a 2-0 win. On Saturday, it was St. Louis Blues prospect Will Cranley with the blanking. He was brilliant in stopping 28 Barrie shots in a 3-0 win over the Colts.