Prospects Report: March 20
Jakub Voracek still earning over two points per game in QMJHL
18 years old, 6-2, 190 pounds (Kladno, Czech Republic)
Columbus' 1st pick, 7th overall, 2007 NHL Entry Draft
Voracek has continued his prolific offensive production throughout the QMJHL season, registering an average of almost two points per game for the Halifax Mooseheads. The Jackets' first selection in last summer's draft is first and foremost a playmaker – his 68 assists in 53 games has him tied for second in the league in that department, though he's played fewer games than most after a Christmas trip to his native Czech Republic for the World Junior Championships – but Voracek is every bit the finisher, as well. The Kladno native has scored 33 times, four of which have been game-winning goals. His consistency has certainly been appreciated by the Mooseheads' brass and fans – Voracek has the second-longest point-scoring streak in the league this season at 18 games (14-23-37 through that stretch). As Halifax heads into the opening round of the Q's post-season, Voracek will be relied upon to man the point on the power play, something he's done with great success this year (the Mooseheads power play was ranked fourth in the league at 21.2 percent).
20 years old, 6-1, 172 pounds (Hull, Quebec)
Columbus' 1st pick, 6th overall, 2006 Entry Draft
Following a quiet 17-game debut with the Blue Jackets, Brassard was returned to the Syracuse Crunch to get some more meaningful ice time. Prior to breaking his jaw earlier in the season, the gifted center was on a tear, sitting among the elite AHL rookies with a point-per-game output (five goals and 20 assists in 25 games with Syracuse). He missed 19 games with the injury, though he did get his first NHL goal (and an assist) while in Columbus. Brassard scored in a recent 3-0 win over Rochester and did have a big goal in a 3-2 victory over Toronto but overall, the return to the AHL hasn't translated into any offensive explosions. He has seven goals and 22 assists in 31 games with the Crunch this season.
Stefan Legein RW
19 years old, 5-10, 185 pounds (Oakville, Ontario)
Columbus' 2nd pick, 37th overall in 2007 NHL Entry Draft
Legein is one of the more energetic and gritty players in the Ontario Hockey League so missing most of the second half of the season as a result of a shoulder injury suffered in Team Canada's gold-medal game win over Sweden in the World Junior Hockey Championships simply didn't sit well with the Oakville native. Upon his return to the Niagara IceDogs lineup, Legein wasted little time making an impact both on the ice and in the dressing room – he had seven goals and three assists in the seven games since coming back, helping his team win five straight to close the OHL regular season. "You can't say in words what Stef means to our team," first-year IceDogs head coach Mario Cicchillo told OHL reporter Aaron Bell recently. "You can see it in the last couple games and how many points he's brought." Legein's physical game is tailor-made playoff hockey so his return couldn't have come at a better time for Niagara.
RW 18 years old, 6-1, 182 pounds (St. Paul, Minnesota)
Columbus' 4th pick, 68th overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft
Hansen has emerged as a sound two-player this season, evidenced by his impressive +17 rating through 53 games with the Sioux Falls Stampede. But the scoresheet is where Hansen has really made his presence felt. The future University of Minnesota player sits second in the USHL in goals with 31, 10 of which have come on the power play. Overall, he's racked up 56 points, ranking him seventh overall in the league scoring race. Hansen's been particularly hot of late, scoring three goals with two helpers in the Stampede's last five games, all of which have been wins. In one of those games, a 2-1 victory over Omaha, Hansen scored the team's lone goal in regulation and then finished off the opposition with a shootout winner.
19 years old, 6-4, 205 pounds (Traverse City, Michigan)
Columbus' 3rd pick, 53rd overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft
Weber has had a good run of late on the blueline for the USHL's Chicago Steel. He had two assists in a recent OT loss to Sioux City and in the two games prior to that outing, he scored a goal and had a +4 rating as the Steel beat the same Sioux City team 6-3 and 5-3. Weber had to sit for a while recently after suffering an injury to his left wrist but overall, his first season of USHL hockey has been an obvious success. The two-time league defensive player of the week has seven goals, 10 assists and a +14 rating through 42 games. Weber's physical play has also been a big component of an all-around game – his 129 PIM rank him a tie for 10th in the league that department.
Grant Clitsome D
20 years old, 6-0, 208 pounds (North Bay, Ontario)
Columbus' 9th pick, 271st overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft
After three seasons manning the Clarkson University blueline, Clitsome established himself as one of the more reliable defenders in the ECAC in his senior season. The assistant captain racked up a career-best 20 points (5-15-20), half of which (two goals and eight assists) came in a hot stretch since February 8. Clitsome led all ECAC players in plus-minus this season with a +23 rating.