Lehigh Valley Phantoms January Grades - Monthly Prospect Report

Thursday, February 4, 2016
The Phantoms were rolling heading into the All-Star break. How will they fare down the stretch? Photo: Nina Weiss/The Home News
Editor's note: The monthly feature aimed to inform fans about the progress the prospects have made each month is back. This is the fourth installment of the Flyers' AHL monthly prospect report and reflects the month of January, which spans a 12-game stretch from January 2nd to January 30th. For either of the previous month's reports, click below:
October Prospect Report
November Prospect Report 
December Prospect Report
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (22-21-2-1) have exactly 30 games left on their regular season schedule, and still sit on the outside looking in after a hot and cold month of January which saw them both win and lose five games in a row.

They finished the month riding a five-game win streak and come out of the break looking to make a push towards the postseason - just two points back of fourth place Providence for the final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.

Special Teams

Power Play

Season Stats: 46 games played, 31 for 193 = 16.1% - 19th in AHL (0 shorthanded goals against)
January Stats: 12 games played, 7 for 51 = 13.7% 

Penalty Kill

Season Stats: 46 games played, 154 for 186 = 82.8% - 17th in AHL (5 shorthanded goals for)
Janaury Stats: 12 games played, 39 for 49 = 79.6%

January's Three Stars

Third Star - Forward Taylor Leier - Grade A
2015-16 Season Stats: 41GP, 12G-16A, +3, 24 PIM
January Stats: 12GP, 4G-7A, +1, 8 PIM

Leier had his best month of the season in January, as the two-way forward is killing penalties well and scoring on the power play in addition to being a difference maker at even strength. He might be NHL-ready right now, but one thing is for sure - he's playing with a world of confidence right now.

Second Star - Forward Chris Conner - Grade A+
2015-16 Season Stats: 29GP, 10G-18A, +11, 8 PIM
January Stats: 9GP, 5G-7A, +6, 0 PIM

Since returning from his injury, Conner has been a big part of the team's offensive output in January. He's riding a seven game points scoring streak heading into February's games.

First Star - Forward Cole Bardreau - Grade A+
2015-16 Season Stats: 24GP, 7G-8A, +11, 21 PIM
January Stats: 11GP, 6G-6A, +11, 17 PIM

Bardreau was a healthy scratch on January 9th, as coach Scott Gordon said he was unhappy with his performance in the face-off circle. Since then, Bardreau has been a more complete player and is enjoying success - recently being named the AHL's Rookie of the Month for January.

An update on every player on the AHL roster after the jump.

Would you like to see my coverage of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms while they're on the road continue? Please lend a helping hand to keep me providing live coverage of the team while they're on the road this season by making a secure donation to my GoFundMe page.

Goaltenders

Anthony Stolarz - Grade C+
2015-16 Season Stats: 29GP, 15-10-3, 2.45 GAA, .915 SV%, 0 SO
January Stats: 7GP, 3-3-1, 3.63 GAA, .874 SV%, 0 SO

Stolarz, despite representing the Phantoms at the 2016 AHL All-Star Classic in Syracuse, has cooled off a bit since his hot start to the season. It's currently a 1A-1B situation in net for the Phantoms, as now Jason LaBarbera is healthy and playing well. Stolarz needs a strong finish to the year to keep his stock rising.

Jason LaBarbera - Grade B
2015-16 Season Stats: 16GP, 6-9-0, 2.80 GAA, . 906 SV%, 1 SO
January Stats: 6GP, 3-2-0, 2.27 GAA, .926 SV%, 0 SO

Now that LaBarbera is healthy, he's playing quite well and splitting starts with Stolarz - providing a one-two punch in net that wasn't there to this point in the season. The seasoned veteran understands the situation and has been in this spot many times. He's also helping Stolarz by giving advice and working with the younger netminder, trying to provide a good example for the second year pro.

Defensemen

Mark Alt - Grade B
2015-16 Season Stats: 45GP, 3G-10A, +12, 28 PIM
January Stats: 12GP, 1G-2A, -1, 8 PIM

Alt has been an important part of Sam Morin's development this season, as the two have been a pairing all season long. Sometimes Alt is hung out to dry when the rookie makes a mistake, but overall he's been solid this season and logging big minutes on the penalty kill as well as against other teams' top lines.

Sam Morin - Grade B+
2015-16 Season Stats: 46GP, 3G-10A, Even, 75 PIM
January Stats: 12GP, 1G-3A, +5, 22 PIM

Morin began the month with points in four straight games, but has since gone pointless. That's not to say he hasn't been effective - he was a plus five in 12 games. As I wrote two weeks ago, Morin is learning to keep it simple.

Robert Hagg - Grade D
2015-16 Season Stats: 36GP, 1G-3A, -8, 24 PIM
January Stats: 10GP, 0G-0A, -6, 16 PIM

Head coach Scott Gordon danced around my question about Hagg's absence as a healthy scratch last weekend, chalking it up to having eight defensemen on the roster. It's no secret, however, that Hagg's play has dropped off in the last month or so. Hagg himself told me the message from the coaching staff is simple. He needs to be better.

Davis Drewiske - Grade A-
2015-16 Season Stats: 43GP, 3G-5A, +6, 10 PIM
January Stats: 12GP, 3G-2A, +4, 2 PIM

After just three assists in his first 34 games, Drewiske has provided some timely scoring for the Phantoms in January with five points in his last nine games - something not expected from the stay at home defenseman. Call it an added bonus, as Drewiske has been solid in his own end for Lehigh Valley this season.

Maxim Lamarche - Grade C+
2015-16 Season Stats (AHL): 17GP, 1G-3A, -4, 13 PIM 
January Stats (AHL): 11GP, 0G-1A, -1, 9 PIM

Lamarche hasn't been overly noticeable in the last month, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing either. The defensive defenseman isn't costing his team games and doesn't look out of place in the AHL.

Andrew MacDonald - Grade A
2015-16 Season Stats: 39GP, 5G-25A, +11, 30 PIM
January Stats: 8GP, 0G-9A, +6, 6 PIM

At the AHL level, MacDonald is a difference maker. He's essentially a point-per-game veteran who plays in all situations and logs big minutes both at even strength and on the special teams units. The Phantoms are noticeably different without him in the lineup, as he is dealing with a lingering issue that has kept him out of a game or two here and there.

Forwards 

Tyrell Goulbourne - Grade C+
2015-16 Season Stats: 46GP, 6G-8A, -6, 30 PIM
January Stats: 12GP, 0G-4A, +3, 4 PIM

Goulbourne has gone 26 games without a goal, but he's learning to be an effective bottom-six forward that plays physical and with energy. He was only a minus player in one of the 12 January games last month and seems to be playing with a little bit more consistency.

Colin McDonald - Grade A
2015-16 Season Stats: 27GP, 9G-8A, +4, 19 PIM
January Stats: 12GP, 7G-4A, +2, 13 PIM

The captain had been playing well, but just not finishing his chances. That changed in the final week of the month as McDonald caught fire in his last four games - tallying six goals and four assists in route to being named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week. He's playing with a lot of confidence right now, which the team needs heading down the stretch.

Kevin Goumas - Grade D
2015-16 Season Stats: 43GP, 4G-4A, -12, 10 PIM
January Stats: 12 GP, 1G-0A, -6, 4 PIM

Goumas plays a large role on the penalty kill, but hasn't been overly effective at even strength the past two months. He brings speed and energy, and he gets in on the forecheck but isn't seeing much ice in important game situations for the Phantoms.

Danick Martel - Grade B
2015-16 Season Stats: 38GP, 14G-10A, Even, 43 PIM
January Stats: 12GP, 2G-5A, -2, 16 PIM

Martel continues to work hard and is complementing the 2nd line right now with grinder-types McDonald and Bardreau. The speedy winger is undersized, but not over matched in the AHL - he plays a feisty game and doesn't let his size prevent him from going to the net.

Nick Cousins - Grade A-
2015-16 Season Stats: 38GP, 12G-26A, +13, 45 PIM
January Stats: 12GP, 4G-6A, +4, 18 PIM

Cousins represented the Phantoms at the 2016 AHL All-Star Classic and has been a solid offensive player for Lehigh Valley all season long, maintaining a point-per-game average and getting some secondary scoring help from his teammates so he doesn't have to do it alone.

Tim Brent - Grade B-
2015-16 Season Stats: 37GP, 5G-14A, +4, 26 PIM
January Stats: 8GP, 0G-2A, -1, 7 PIM

Brent injured his hand in Bridgeport and after it was initially not expected to be a major issue, it took a turn for the worst and required surgery to repair. He'll be on the shelf for awhile.

Joe Rehkamp - Grade B-
2015-16 Season Stats: 25GP, 1G-2A, -4, 10 PIM
January Stats: 12GP, 1G-2A, Even, 8 PIM

Rehkamp is getting more comfortable at the AHL level and even began the month with points in three straight games, including his first career AHL goal in a game against Albany. Lately, he's been more aggressive and feisty in the hard areas of the ice - playing the fourth line role well.

Honorable Mentions

This section features players who either did not appear in enough games in January to receive a grade, or are no longer on the team/with the organization.

Jesper Pettersson - Grade Incomplete
2015-16 Season Stats (AHL): 23GP, 1G-2A, -4, 10 PIM 
January Stats (AHL): 5GP, 0G-0A, Even, 2 PIM

Pettersson is back with Reading in the ECHL, and with eight defensemen currently ahead of him in Lehigh Valley it looks like the Swedish defensemen will finish the year in the ECHL unless injuries/call ups arise.

Defenseman Christian Marti - Grade Incomplete
2015-16 Season Stats (AHL): 11GP, 0G-1A, -5, 2 PIM
January Stats (AHL): 5GP, 0G-0A, Even, 2 PIM

Marti fared better in January than he did in November with the Phantoms. It's still a long road for Marti to get into the flow of things in North American pro hockey, as he's one of eight healthy defensemen on the AHL roster.

Defenseman Matt Lashoff - Grade Incomplete
2015-16 Season Stats (AHL): 17GP, 0G-2A, -4, 28 PIM
January Stats (AHL): 1GP, 0G-0A, +1, 4 PIM

Lashoff was released from his PTO due to the over abundance of veteran players limiting his ice time. He signed overseas to play with Adler Mannheim in Germany.

Defenseman Adam Comrie - Grade Incomplete
2015-16 Season Stats (ECHL): 39GP, 15G-19A, +8, 57 PIM
January Stats (AHL): 4GP, 0G-1A, +1, 0 PIM

Comrie joined the Phantoms in late January and has been tearing it up offensively in the ECHL with Reading. He's hoping he has paid his dues and earned his spot in the AHL this season, and he's not looking back.

Forward Evan Rankin - Grade Incomplete
2015-16 Season Stats: 24GP, 1G-6A, -2, 6 PIM
January Stats: No Stats

Rankin was released from his PTO in mid-January and re-assigned to the ECHL's Toledo Walleye.

Forward Phil DeSimone - Grade Incomplete
2015-16 Season Stats (Austria): 39GP, 9G-13A, Even, 18 PIM
January Stats (AHL): 4GP, 0G-1A, -2, 0 PIM

DeSimone joined the Phantoms after spending the better part of three years playing overseas. He lived with current Phantoms forward Aaron Palushaj when the two played in the AHL in Hamilton (2011-12) and during DeSimone's senior year at the University of New Hampshire, he played with then freshman Kevin Goumas.

Aaron Palushaj - Grade Incomplete
2015-16 Season Stats: 35GP, 8G-9A, -7, 20 PIM
January Stats: 5GP, 1G-1A, -4, 2 PIM

Palushaj spent three games as a healthy scratch due to the team's veteran problems early in the month, then missed the team's last three games after receiving a slew-foot hit from Liam O'Brien on January 25th in Hershey. He hasn't been able to get into much of a rhythm lately.

Petr Straka - Grade Incomplete
2015-16 Season Stats: 38GP, 17G-9A, +8, 17 PIM
January Stats: 4GP, 1G-1A, +2, 0 PIM

Straka came back after blocking a shot in Portland at the beginning of the month and played two games, but was then ruled out for awhile after the injury apparently didn't heal properly.

Forward Pavel Padakin - Grade Incomplete
2015-16 Season Stats (ECHL): 17GP, 5G-8A, +3, 6 PIM
January Stats (AHL): 3GP, 1G-0A, +1, 2 PIM

The Phantoms sent Padakin to Reading to get ice time and his confidence back and the 17-game ECHL stint did the trick. He's playing much better now and has more confidence in his game at the AHL level, scoring his first career AHL goal in the final game before the All-Star break.

Jay Rosehill - Grade Incomplete
2015-16 Season Stats: 12GP, 1G-1A, -2, 10 PIM
January Stats: No Stats

Rosehill has been a veteran scratch for quite some time, and now has an undisclosed injury.

Forward Sam Gagner - Grade Incomplete
2015-16 Season Stats (AHL): 9GP, 1G-5A, +3, 4 PIM
January Stats (AHL): 8GP, 1G-4A, +2, 4 PIM

Gagner was with the Phantoms for three weeks, but it was clearly evident once he got his legs under him that he was a sure-fire regular NHL player on an AHL conditioning stint.


Would you like to see my coverage of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms while they're on the road continue? Please lend a helping hand to keep me providing live coverage of the team while they're on the road this season by making a secure donation to my GoFundMe page.


2 comments:

Zafor sadik Siam said...


Your website can help you reach potential clients by linking it up with other websites so that when people see your link, they will click to your website. Or, in the offline world, if you are networking, your website can be promoted to prospects as a place to get helpful information, including articles.
For more information visit: coaching Mannheim

Ummul Khair Fathama said...

Life Coaching is about helping you look at where you are now and where you would like to be. The process enables a letting go of the past, accepting what is and positively embracing the present moment to move forward and achieve your goals and realise your dreams.
For more information visit: Coach Mannheim

Post a Comment