Two moves in particular had a major impact on our Top 10 Prospects list. Rookie winger Jordan Caron had skipped right over prospect status when he made the big club out of camp, but he was demoted to Providence on Monday. He had been a healthy scratch since Marc Savard returned from post-concussion syndrome and now will get a chance to log big minutes in all situations with the P-Bruins.
He’ll also be eligible for our top 10 list, and he’ll make quite a splash as he debuts in the top spot.
Caron’s addition forces some juggling of the rest of the top 10, but it won’t knock anyone out of the list completely. That’s because Steve Kampfer, the top-rated defenseman on the list, earned his first call-up to Boston after Mark Stuart suffered a broken hand.
Kampfer has graduated from prospect status for now, but there’s still plenty of talented youngsters in the system battling for spots in the top 10.
The Bruins also shook up the Providence lineup quite a bit on Thursday, swinging a pair of trades. Forwards Jordan Knackstedt and Jeff LoVecchio were sent to Florida for defenseman Sean Zimmerman and a conditional seventh-round pick, while Levi Nelson was shipped to Tampa Bay for Juraj Simek.
Knackstedt, LoVecchio and Nelson were never able to crack the top 10, but will Zimmerman or Simek earn a spot sometime this year? They won’t make it this week, but here’s what the latest top 10 does look like after the recent flurry of moves.
Last week: Unranked
1. Jordan Caron, LW/RW
Caron skipped right over the prospects list this season as he made the big club out of camp. But after being demoted to Providence on Monday, the 2008 first-rounder makes his season debut in the top 10 by taking over the top spot. Caron was caught up in a numbers game in Boston, but he showed he belonged in NHL (3-4-7 totals,plus-4 in 20 games) and should get plenty more opportunities in Boston.
Last week: No. 1
2. Ryan Spooner, C
Spooner gets bumped down a spot through no fault of his own, as the more accomplished Caron now rejoins the prospect pool. Spooner isn’t playing like a guy who wants to stay out of the No. 1 spot for long, though, and had a goal and an assist in two games this week. He also scored in two shootouts as both games went to the tiebreaking skills competition. He got the only goal for Kingston in the breakaway competition in a loss to his former club Peterborough, then scored another in a shootout win at Ottawa. Overall, he’s at 16-15-31 in 24 games.
Last week: No. 2
3. Joe Colborne, C
Colborne scored the game-winner with a power-play goal in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Manchester, but that was his only point in three games. He was also a minus-2 for the week and is now minus-5 on the season, with 7-7-14 totals in 23 games.
Last week: No. 3
4. Jared Knight, C/RW
Knight had a relatively quiet week. He did manage London’s only goal in a 4-1 loss at Plymouth, but he was also a minus-2 that game and was scoreless in two other contests as the Knights struggled to an 0-3-0 week. Knight still stands at 12-16-28 and is even with 21 PIMs in 29 games.
Last week: No. 4
5. Jamie Arniel, C
Arniel added another goal to his team-leading 10-7-17 totals, but that was his only point in three games this week. He also leads the P-Bruins with 75 shots in just 22 games, and has been one of the few bright spots on offense for Providence.
Last week: No. 5
6. Yury Alexandrov, D
Alexandrov had no points and was a minus-2 in three games this week, and has now gone five straight games without a point and is a minus-5 in that span. He remains at 4-5-9 totals and is a minus-3 in 23 games in his first season in North America.
Last week: No. 7
7. Max Sauve, C/LW
Sauve appears close to finally getting back in action, perhaps this weekend after returning to practice this week. He has missed 19 games with an injury to his left wrist. Sauve had 3-1-4 totals and was a plus-1 in four games before the injury.
Last week: No. 8
8. Matt Bartkowski, D
Bartkowski picked a bad time to go into a slump, as he was a minus-5 in three games this week. He was the final cut on defense in camp, but Kampfer moved ahead of him on the depth chart during the season in Providence and earned the call-up to replace Stuart. Bartkowski did have an assist this week and has 2-6-8 totals and is a minus-7 in 21 games in his first pro season out of Ohio State.
Last week: No. 9
9. Ryan Button, D
Button had a pair of assists in the Raiders’ 5-1 win at Lethbridge, but Prince Albert was shut out in its other two games against Red Deer and Kootenay. Button now has 1-15-16 totals with 25 PIMs and a minus-7 rating through 32 games.
Last week: No. 10
10. Craig Cunningham, C
Cunningham had a pair of assists in three games, but remains in third place in the WHL scoring race after leading the league for much of the season. He has 9-35-44 totals through 30 games.