Blades’ Prospects off to Hot Start
The Saskatoon Blades have a plethora of talented young prospects in the system. With the news that 7 Blades’ prospects, the most of any WHL team, would be heading to the WHL Cup this year, now is an excellent opportunity to check up on how future Blades’ not listed on the main roster have started their season.
For a complete list of all Blades’ prospects in the system, click here.
Kyle Crnkovic – F
Acquired: 1st round (10th overall) at 2017 WHL Bantam Draft
Last season: Pursuit of Excellence Bantm Prep (CCSBHL): 30 GP, 40-39-79
Crnkovic is now playing for the Northern Alberta Xtreme Midget Prep team in the CSSHL. Thus far in 5 games he leads his team in points, recording 4-3-7, for an average of 1.4 points a game and collecting 1 game wining goal. In the season opener on September 23rd against the OHA Edmonton Midget Prep, Crnkovic recorded a 3 point game with 2 goals and an assist as the Xtreme beat OHA 4-3 in overtime despite being outshot 44-29.
Kalen Szeto – F
Acquired: 5th round (102nd overall) at 2017 WHL Bantam Draft
Last season: Burnaby Winter Club Bntm A1-T1 (PCBHL): 67 GP, 97-81-178
Szeto is playing for Burnaby Winter Club Midget Prep in the CSSHL this season. He is currently ranked 11th in the league for scoring, recording 3 goals and 5 assists for 8 points in 5 games played. He is averaging 1.6 points a game and recorded a 4 point game against the Pacific Coast Hockey Academy Midget Prep team, scoring a goal and chalking up 3 assists.
Aiden De La Gorgendiere – D
Acquired: 1st round (5th overall) at the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft
Last season: Yale Hockey Academy Bantam Prep (CSSBHL): 30 GP, 5-21-26
Yale Hockey Academy Elite 15s (CSSHL E15): 4 GP, 2-2-4
This season sees De La Gorgendiere playing for the Yale Hockey Academy Midget Prep team in the CSSHL. Thus far he has only played 2 games, but has managed to record 5 points in that time as a defender. In fact, all 5 (1G, 4A) of those points came in his second game of the season against the Pursuit of Excellence Midget team.
Kurtis Smythe – D
Acquired: 2nd round (42nd overall) at 2017 WHL Bantam Draft
Last season: Delta Hockey Academy Bantam Prep (CCSBHL): 30 GP, 2-15-17
Smythe has suited up for all 7 of Delta Hockey Academy Midget Prep’s games this season in the CSSHL. In that time he has recorded 3 assists, with a season high 2 coming in a game against Coeur d’Alene Hockey Academy Midget Prep. Smythe’s Delta team currently lead their league with a 6-1-0 record.
Koen MacInnes – G
Acquired: 2nd round (35th overall) at the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft
Last season: Burnaby Winter Club A1 (PCBHL)
MacInnes lead Burnaby to the Western Canada Bantam Championship title last season and is now playing in the CSSHL with Burnaby Winter Club’s Elite 15 side. In two starts this season, MacInnes is undefeated. He is currently carrying a 2.02 goal against average with a .934 save %. He also managed to record an assist against Pursuit of Excellence’s E15 team.
Nolan Maier – G
Acquired: 2nd round (25th overall) at the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft
Last season: Yorkton Maulers (SMAAAHL): 24 GP, 12W-9L, 2.72 GAA, .920 SV%
The 2017-18 season sees Maier playing for the Yorkton Terriers in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. There Maier is pit against teams armed with more 20 year old players than WHL teams are allowed. This feat is made even more impressive by the fact that Maier is the youngest goaltender in the league as the only 2001-born tender in the SJHL.
In 3 starts, Maier has a 0-2-1 record with a 5.02 GAA and a .844 SV%. His overall statistics are hurt by his first game of the season where he allowed 7 goals from 37 shots. However, his follow up performances have been far stronger, posting a .929 SV% in a game where he faced 42 shots and following up with a .900 SV% performance in an overtime loss where he faced 50 shots in just over 63 minutes of hockey.
Maier is currently with the Blades’ and will back up Joel Grzybowski on the weekend of October 6 through 8 due to an upper-body injury to starting goaltender Ryan Kubic.