Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tier Two Junior Scorers

With the CHL wrapping up and heading to their respective leagues playoffs, it's interesting to look at the next level down of junior hockey in Canada. Junior A Tier Two as it was once called is home to numerous leagues from British Columbia to the Maritimes that are great suppliers of talent to NCAA and even professional hockey. In fact, the just released ISS 2010 Draft Rankings list Penticton Vees, Beau Bennett (pictured) at 25th overall for the upcoming draft.
Bennett, a native of southern California tied for the lead in the British Columbia Junior Hockey League with 41 goals and 79 assists for 120 points in 56 games. He is committed to attending Denver University next season.
Tied with Bennett for the league lead was Mark Zengerle of the Salmon Arm Silver Backs (great name). His 120 points broke the team record for points that was held by Travis Zajac of the New Jersey Devils.
Bennett's linemate in Penticton, Denver Manderson notched 113 points in only 50 games. Manderson played a handful of games the last two years with Kitchener in the OHL. The main issue with guys like Zengerle and Manderson is size, each is under 6 feet tall and 180 pounds.
The top goal scorer in the BCJHL was Mitch MacMillan of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs who scored 61 goals in 59 games. He was the leagues first 50 in 50 player since Kyle Turris four seasons ago. 20 year old MacMillan has committed to Northeastern U next year.
The Burlington (Ont.) Cougars produced two of the top scorers in the nation in Josh Jooris and Greg Carey. Jooris' father Mark is coach of the Cougars and played for the Canadian National team in the late '80's before a successful stint in the German League. Son, Josh tallied 116 points including 90 assists in 50 games. Many of those helpers were on goals by Greg Carey who potted 72 goals and 114 points in 48 games. Carey bested the Ontario Junior Hockey League record for season goals previously held by Darren Haydar.
The top overall point man in Junior hockey actually plays in the Tier One (Junior B) Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League with the Brantford Golden Eagles. Josh McQuade piled up 64 goals and 86 assists for 150 points in 51 games. Thus, McQuade broke the record for points in a Junior B season set by Brian Wiseman in 1989/90. He also led the second place scorer in the league by a whopping 50 points. There were however some rumblings of assists being added by the volunteer Brantford scorekeepers. Enough rumbling that the teams' GM was suspended for two games and their volunteer staff was shuffled. Still, 150 point is 150 points. McQuade spent 24 games in 2008/09 with the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL managing 7 goals and 11 points.

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