The trading deadline has come and gone and as expected the Belleville Bulls did very little, other then two minor moves. In their 1st move Belleville traded the rights to 2012 sixth round draft pick, goaltender Hayden Lavigne to the Kitchener Rangers. In return, the Bulls receive Sudbury's 15th round pick in 2014 along with a conditional fifth round selection in 2016. The Bulls will receive the fifth round pick should Lavigne, who is currently with the USHL's Tri-City Storm, play a game in the Ontario Hockey League. In their 2nd move the Bulls dealt netminder Jason Da Silva to the Peterborough Petes along with a fifth round draft pick in 2017 in exchange for sophomore goaltender Michael Giugovaz. Coach Burnett says this move makes them a little deeper in goal and that Giugovaz will challenge Charlie Graham for starts.
Work has kept us from posting as much as we like, but rest assured we have been keeping our eyes on the Belleville Bulls. The Bulls still believe they can squeak in to the playoffs. With 28 points after 42 games played, Belleville has a record of 12-26-2-2 and is in 10th place in the Eastern Conference. Our friends from Ottawa sit in 9th with 32 points with a game in hand and Niagara holds the last playoff spot with 34 points. The Bulls and 67s are pretty much running neck and neck but Ottawa leads the season series 3-1. A big home and home this weekend with Ottawa could decide the Bulls fate. 8th place Niagara is a different story they're 6-2-0-2 in their last 10 and have been playing good hockey, if the Icedogs have a good weekend, all of sudden their in the hunt for sixth.
Worst case scenario this season is the Bulls miss the playoffs, but is it really the worst thing that could happen ? As of right now, Belleville would draft 1st overall in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection. The name we keep hearing is Jr Canadiens defenseman Jakob Chychrun. At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds the hulking defenseman has become the runaway candidate for The Jack Ferguson Award next April. After initially planning to play as an underaged player in the USHL this season, Chychrun's application was declined by USA Hockey. Chychrun is NHL draft-eligible in 2016, and was one of only two players on Team Ontario's roster at the this years World Under-17 Hockey Challenge that doesn't play in the OHL. Jakob Chychrun is the son of former Kingston Canadian, NHL defenceman and Stanley Cup winner ( PENS 92) Jeff Chychrun.
Jakob Chychrun can play at both ends of the ice and can do a lot of different things. For a big defenseman he is an impressive skater with above average lateral ability. Chychrun plays with a high degree of physicality and his size, strength, and skating allow for him to deliver some big hits. Chychrun's offensive game is the real deal, he has a pro calibre shot and impressive offensive instincts.
Kyle Woodlief, chief scout and publisher of the Red Line Report had this to say when comparing Chychrun to Mississauga Steelheads rookie Sean Day who was given exceptional status this season to play in the OHL as a 15 year old. “ Chychrub is an absolute lock to be the No. 1 overall pick in the OHL draft this year. Sean Day is talented but I like Jakob Chychrun more,” Woodlief said. “Chychrun is meaner, a more physical guy and he has a lot more offence to his game. He has the size of his dad and can be tough like his dad but he’s not going to be that style of player. He’ll definitely lay out the body but he has great lateral agility for a guy that young and big. You’d expect guys at that age to be tall and gangly but he’s strong and when he takes the puck, he just goes with it. He’s the full package.”
Sean Lafortune Director of Scouting and GTHL Scout, at theScout.ca a go-to website for Canadian minor midget scouting, also has Jakob going 1st overall "“He’s a great skater, he’s raw offensively but he makes good decisions. He shows an ability to break things down and make quick plays. . . . everything about his game screams long-term potential,” Lafortune said. “He battles, he fights for every inch he gets. He's our top rated player for the OHL Draft, and I'll be honest, I can't see it changing unless he absolutely falls of a cliff. Big, mobile defender who can dominate on both sides of the puck. Aggressive, physically dominate down low but can turn the tempo up offensively and dangle with some of the best of them. Still makes some iffy offensive decisions, but 9 times out of 10 he makes the right read. Convinced he could play on any OHL team right now and not miss a beat."
The National Hockey League Central Scouting Service released it's Midterm Rankings in advance of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft Forwards Niki Petti and David Tomasek are both considered to be among the top 210 North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft.
Petti is in his sophomore season with the Bulls, having registered 5 goals and 6 assists in 34 games. Petti was Belleville's first round draft pick in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection. Petti skated with the Ontario Under 17 team in the 2013 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge . Petti was the 163rd ranked North American skater on the CSB's Midterm Rankings.
David Tomasek was the Bulls' first round (56th overall) selection in the 2013 CHL Import Draft. Having played with the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies program over the past three seasons, Tomasek came to Belleville familiar with the North American brand of hockey. The Czech forward is the 182nd ranked North American skater on the rankings and has 9 goals and 6 assists in 35 games this season.
Alumni Notes : P.K. Subban was one of eight defencemen named to Canada's roster for the 2014 Olympic games in Sochi Russia. Subban was a Bull from 2005-2009 and is the current franchise leader by all-time points by a defenceman with 42 goals and 148 assists in 234 games.
Former Bull Alex Carnevale has joined the Wellington Dukes after spending last season and starting this season with the Sarnia Sting.
Its no secret that the Bulls like some other clubs have to find ways to sell seats. Why not retire Mike Murphy's number ? Its time, have a Mike Murphy night, he's earned it.
Bring in some more alumni on other nights, have them drop the puck, sign some autographs, raffle a sweater or two, maybe give one away and your ticket stub is your entry in to the draw.