Minnesota Wild Prospects Update: NCAA Tourney & CHL Playoffs Begin

GPW’s weekly Minnesota Wild prospects update.

Alexandre Belanger, G, 2013 7th Round

Belanger has been out injured for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles for most of the team’s stretch run, giving over the starting netminder job to Miguel Sullivan. However, Belanger returned for the Eagles’ final two games of the season, getting the start on Friday in a 5-4 loss to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

Belanger allowed five goals on 24 shots for a .792 Sv% Friday night. In a rematch on Saturday, Cape Breton gave the net back to Sullivan, which may have had more to do with not overworking Belanger after he comes off an injury than just being a performance-based decision.

The Screaming Eagles will take on the Quebec Remparts in round one of the QMJHL playoffs, starting on Friday.

Louie Belpedio, D, 2014 3rd Round

Belpedio and his Miami (Ohio) Redhawks captured the NCHC crown this weekend are headed to the NCAA tournament.

Belpedio added a goal in a 6-3 semi-finals win over the University of Denver, who is also headed to the NCAA Tournament. Then, he put in an assist on one of three Blake Coleman (2011 New Jersey Devils draft pick) goals on Saturday, ending in a 3-2 championship win over St. Cloud State.

Miami (Ohio) will start the tournament on Saturday against Providence.

Tanner Faith, D, 2014 5th Round

Faith won’t join the Kootenay Ice in the first round of the WHL playoffs, as he remains out with a shoulder injury that was expected to keep him sidelined 3-5 months. He hasn’t played a game since December 6, 2014.

Pavel Jenys, C, 2014 7th Round

The Sudbury Wolves closed out the season by losing three more games, giving them a final record of 12-54-1-1 for a total of 26 standings points. The next worst team in the OHL finished with 52 points.

While Jenys and the Wolves aren’t going to be in the playoffs this year, the bright side is that Jenys did lead the team in points at season’s end with 15 goals and 30 assists through 63 games. He also finished with a minus-36 rating, which is the best plus/minus among the team’s top seven scorers who played the full season with Sudbury.

UPDATE: It looks like the Wild will sign Pavel Jenys to an amateur tryout on Tuesday and have him finish the season with the Iowa Wild.

Dylan Labbé, D, 2013 4th Round

Labbé’s Shawinigan Cataractes are headed to the QMJHL playoffs as well. They will be taking on the Halifax Mooseheads beginning on Friday. Labbé suited up for only two of the team’s three games this week.

Labbé grabbed 11 games with the Iowa Wild last season after the Shawinigan Cataractes swift elimination from the 2014 playoffs, with Labbé only seeing three playoff games. Though the organization hasn’t tipped their hat, I’d expect that Labbé would do the same this year when the Caratactes are eliminated.

He finished the regular season with career-high marks in goals and assists, totaling 15 goals and 36 assists in 63 games.

Here’s a video with some Labbé highlights that went up this week. You’ll have to wait through over a minute of The Matrix soundtrack before you get to something besides Labbe making passes to off-screen skaters in slow motion though.

Chase Lang, C, 2014 6th Round

Lang was held without a point in three Calgary Hitmen games this week, all of which the team won. The final two wins came against the Kootenay ICE, who the Hitmen will open the WHL playoffs against on Friday.

Steve Michalek, G, 2011 6th Round

Michalek and Harvard found their way into an ECAC Championship over the weekend, defeating No. 7/7 Quinnipiac 5-2 in the semi-finals and then beating Colgate 4-2 in the championship game.

In the semis, Michalek stopped 20 of 22 Quinnipiac shots, while Harvard jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period. Quinnipiac would make the start of the third a closer game, having scored two unanswered goals in the second. But a pair of empty net goals, including Jimmy Vesey’s second of the game, would ice it for Harvard.

Michalek would play a bigger role in the championship game, which was tight from the outset, stopping 30 of 32 Colgate shots. A pair of second period power play goals would, however, give Harvard a lead they never relinquished.

Harvard will start in the NCAA tournament on Saturday with a game against the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks.

Alex Tuch & Adam Gilmour, F

Alex Tuch and Adam Gilmour will start the NCAA Tournament on Saturday when Boston College takes on the University of Denver. If they win, they’ll play the winner of Miami (Ohio) and Providence.