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St. Albert's NHL draft prospects highlight hockey coverage

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SPEEDSTER – Jaden Bogden rushes the puck for the St. Albert Slash in the Alberta Female Hockey League. The Slash entered the exam break at 18-1-1 (59 GF/17 GA) and nine wins were by shutouts. The Esso Cup midget AAA national champions the last three years are back in action Jan. 26 against the Red Deer Chiefs (2-17-1) at 2:15 p.m. at Go Auto Arena. CHRIS COLBOURNE/St. Albert Gazette

NHL prospects

Three former St. Albert Gregg Distributors Sabres are among 14 Canadian Junior Hockey League players listed in the NHL Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings.

Left-winger Carter Savoie and defenceman Michael Benning of the Sherwood Park Crusaders (36-6) and defenceman Ethan Edwards of the Spruce Grove Saints (31-11-2) are also the only Alberta Junior Hockey League reps to be identified as prospects.

The 2020 NHL Entry Draft is June 26-27 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

Savoie is the highest-ranked CJHL player at No. 52, Benning is second at No. 60 and Edwards is fourth at No. 85 among the North American draft-eligible players.

The trio played for the 2016/17 Sabres in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League.

They also participated in the 15th annual CJHL Prospects Game on Tuesday and Savoie and Benning scored for Team West in the 6-4 win over Team East at Dave Andreychuk Arena in Hamilton, Ont.

Robert Kincaid, a defenceman with the Camrose Kodiaks (21-18-3) and another product of the 2016/17 Sabres, was a Team West participant and one of nine AJHL players in the Prospects Game.

Kincaid, Benning and Savoie were members of the AJHL Selects, the CJHL and Hockey Canada reps and silver medallists at the 2019 Junior Club World Cup in August at Sochi, Russia. Benning was named the tournament’s top defenceman.

Benning, Savoie and Edwards were also Team Canada West selections for last month’s World Junior A Challenge at Dawson Creek, B.C., and the 22-man roster featured nine AJHL players.

Benning, 18, leads all AJHL defencemen in assists with 44 in 38 games and is the co-leader in points with 52.

The 2019 North Division All-Rookie team selection has compiled 95 assists and 113 points in 98 league games with the Crusaders.

Savoie, who will turn 18 on Thursday, is fourth in the AJHL with 66 points as the top goal scorer with 37 in 38 games.

The 2019 CJHL and AJHL rookie of the year has amassed 68 goals and 139 points in 96 games as a Crusader.

Savoie and Benning are committed to the University of Denver Pioneers.

Edwards, 17, is a first-year AJHL player with seven goals and 21 points in 36 games for the Saints and is committed to the University of Michigan Wolverines.

Kincaid, 17, has 15 assists and 16 points in 37 games and his AJHL career totals are four goals and 25 points in 55 games after joining the Kodiaks halfway through last season from the midget AAA St. Albert Nektar Raiders.

Midget AA games

Today’s schedule in the Northern Alberta Midget AA Hockey League includes games for both St. Albert teams.

The Steel (16-4-1) and SSAC Don Wheaton (9-12-3) hook up at Confederation Arena and the Source for Sports Crusaders (18-1-1) are in Fort Saskatchewan to play the Rangers (6-13-3) at JRC Arena. Start times are 5:15 p.m.

Monday the Steel host MLAC (16-3-2) at 8:30 p.m. at Go Auto Arena.

The next rivalry game between the Steel and Crusaders is 8:45 p.m. Friday at Mark Messier Arena.

The only loss for the defending Playoff Cup champions was 6-4 against the Steel on Dec. 14 to halt a 12-game winning streak.

The Steel were winners of eight in a row before last week’s 5-3 loss to the Sherwood Park Oilers (13-7-2).

Sean Mitchell, Joshua Cyr and Aidyn Hutchinson scored and two REM 15AA affiliates, Lucas Cadger and Josh McCormack of the St. Albert Royals, split time in net as the Oilers outshot the visitors 44-24.

Last weekend in Regina, the Crusaders competed in the Fred McBeth Western Canada Midget AA Tournament and finished 3-2 in the 16-team draw.

In pool D, the Crusaders lost 5-3 to the Battlefords Barons and posted wins of 2-1 against the Prairie Storm Extreme and 6-1 against the Saskatoon Screaming Eagles.

The results in the B playoff bracket were 6-2 against the Saskatoon Icehawks and the 5-4 loss to the Swift Current Broncos in the final.

Brady Harroun led the Crusaders in scoring at the tournament with four goals and nine points.

Kaelan Shelton and Owen Bourque produced three goals apiece and Shelton, Carter McDonald and Shea Spofford each had five points.

Flyers grounded

On tap today is the second game in four days between the St. Albert Flyers and Fort Saskatchewan Rangers in the Alberta Minor Midget AAA Hockey League.

Puck drop is 12:30 p.m. at JRC Arena.

The last tilt was Wednesday’s 7-2 rout by the Rangers (14-6-5) at Go Auto Arena.

Zakk Makeiff opened the scoring with the man advantage and the Rangers replied with five straight in the first period while outshooting the Flyers 28-6.

The overall shot count was 57-19 overall as Teagan Kendrick (5-4-2, 3.38 GAA) gave up four goals on 17 shots in the first and two of the three goals against affiliate Josh McCormack were power-play tallies in the third.

Mason Comeau also scored as the Flyers (9-11-6) suffered their sixth loss in eight games.

Sunday the Flyers are in Lloydminster to play the Bobcats (15-7-2) at 11 a.m.

REM 15AA Royals

The St. Albert Royals skate Sunday in Ardrossan in the Rural & Edmonton Midget 15AA Hockey League.

Faceoff is 5 p.m. against the Strathcona Warriors (9-13-3).

The Royals (9-9-6) had one win and two ties in the new year before playing MLAC (6-12-4) Friday at Kenilworth Arena and the score was unavailable at press time.

The team's previous result was the 7-4 victory over the Sherwood Park Senators (11-12-3) last weekend.

Ethan Podolas, Reese Wildeman, Kaiden Jean (power play), Sebastian Laurent and Tyler Fitka scored for the visitors and the second of two goals by Aidan Malinowski was an empty netter.

Josh McCormack (4-5-4, 3.77 GAA) was credited with 39 saves,

The next home game is 8:15 p.m. Thursday against the Senators at Go Auto Arena.

Jeff Hansen

About the Author: Jeff Hansen

Jeff Hansen joined the St. Albert Gazette in 1991. He writes about sports, athletes and teams from St. Albert and area.
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