Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Jones vs. Sandhu Trade Dividends/ Wednesday News and Links

On April 23rd 2012, the Portland Winterhawks made big news when they traded for the rights to negotiate with top pro prospect 17 year old Defenseman Seth Jones, who was playing for the U.S. National Developmental Team at the time.

Shortly thereafter, Jones signed with the Hawks, irking all Everett Silvertips fans, because he had refused to sign with them despite being taken 9th overall in the 2009 Bantam draft. Tips General Manager (and now also coach) Garry Davidson, a former scout with the Hawks, knew the Hawks prospects inside and out and was able to get 4 players of his choice for Jones. These included: 16 year old Forward Tyler Sandhu, 18 year old Defenseman Ben Betker, 16 year old Forward Mitch Skapski and 18 year old D-man Reece Wilcox. These players have helped a group of players that was lacking a lot of young u[-and-coming talent and from Sandhu, Betker and Skapski, at least, have even paid some immediate dividends.

Sandhu, a 5'10" 155 lb Center, drafted 42nd overall in the 2011 Bantam Draft had 19 goals and 14 assists for 33 total points this season. He has recently gotten a lot of top line minutes with Ryan Harrison out for the Tips and has shown a ton of offensive upside.
Tyler Sandhu

Betker, a 6'5" 200 lb D-man, at 18 was not going to crack the talented Defensive group the Winterhawks have and has benefited from some time among the top 4 in Everett's Defensive pairings. He had 1 goal, 5 assists, was a -21 and had 100 pims this year. He has fit into a role as a solid defensive Defenseman for Everett, getting a lot of penalty kill minutes.
Ben Betker

Skapski, a 5'9" 150 lb left wing, has shown flashes of something good for the Tips, but only got into 34 games this season, spending most of that time on either the 3rd or 4th line. He scored 2 goals this year, including one in the last game of the season, a game in which Sandhu had a hat trick.

Reece Wilcox, an 18 year old D-man, chose to play with Cornell University after being picked in the 5th round of the 2012 NHL draft by the Flyers.

Sandhu is looking like the real deal for Everett and could be somebody Portland really regrets giving away, especially with all of those draft picks that the WHL took away from them this winter. But, Jones has been as advertised for the Hawks, after getting used to the change in play the WHL brings, he has been part of one of the best Defensive pairing Hawks fans have seen. He fit right in with Tyler Wotherspoon and has been on the ice more and more, as the season progressed. He will be key in how far the Hawks advance this year and should feed off the boos he will receive from Everett fans in the first round.

Seth Jones
Jones led rookie Defenseman in scoring 14 goals and 42 assists despite missing 11 games, some of them due to winning gold at the World Junior's. He is widely believed to be the #1 pick in this June's NHL draft and has impressed me by getting better, seemingly with each game. It's sometimes hard to believe that this young man from Plano, Texas, just turned 18 years old.

Time will tell whether or not this was a good trade for the Hawks, but if Jones leads them to a Memorial Cup winning run, it will be hard to look back and say that Portland Coach/G.M. Mike Johnston didn't win this one.

-Portland finished 2nd in the CHL top 10, finishing in the top 10, all 26 weeks of the season.
-Ryan Harrison could be out for the first round series against the Hawks, dealing another blow to their upset hopes.
-The WHL had their bantam draft drawing this morning the Regina Pats won, meaning they will get the #2 pick. Vancouver get's the #1 pick due to their record.
-Nic Petan was named CHL player of the week to go with his WHL player of the week honors.
-Piece from about Petan changing the curvature of his stick going into this year. Gee from 35 to 120 points, guess that was the right move.
 -Petan's top 10 goals video:

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