No. 1 Star - Alexis Vanier, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)
Talk about a sweet debut to the draft season. Alexis Vanier, a late-95 birthdate is a first-time eligible defenceman from the QMJHL who scored eight points in his rookie season for the Drakkar last year in 53 games. Not too bad for a rookie defensive defenceman, but unlikely to catch the eye of scouts.
Already this season in two games, Vanier has nearly eclipsed that total. After a two-point debut last week against Rimouski, Vanier led the Drakkar offence against the Quebec Remparts with a two-goal effort that resulted in five points. He now has seven points through his first three games. The Drakkar, incidentally, absolutely routed the Patrick Roy-less Remparts by a 7-4 score and out-shot them 40-18.
Also a pretty chippy game as well. Six powerplay goals were scored in the contest—four by the Drakkar, started off by Denis Gorbunov in the first. Baie-Comeau's powerplay came alive in the third, with Jérémy Gregoire potting a couple along with Nicholas Meloche's first ever Q goal. After two assists in his first two games, Baie-Comeau's first rounder this past draft finally tallied.
No. 2 Star - Travis Konecny, Ottawa 67s (OHL)
All eyes were on the 2013 Priority Selection's No. 1 pick Friday night, and Konecny delivered, drawing rave reviews on Twitter for his play from fans and press. He factored in on a couple of 67s goals—both assists—in Ottawa's come-from-behind 5-4 win over the Belleville Bulls.
Down 2-0 in the first, Konecny set up Stan Studnicka on a cross-crease pass, and he had the primary assist on a powerplay goal by Taylor Fielding in the third period that brought the 67s to within one. From there, it was Mike Vlajkov and Joseph Blandasi that scored the tying and winning goals as Ottawa kicked off their season with an important win, desperate to forget last season's mess.
No. 3 Star - Oliver Bjorkstrand, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
The Portland Winterhawks players are once again going to have to draw straws to determine which of their players get featured on the Three Stars. The Columbus Blue Jackets second rounder paced the Portland offence tonight that turned in a routine Portlandesque performance in their opener with a 9-2 win over Prince George. Bjorkstrand had a goal and four assists, leading the charge in a five-goal Winterhawks second period that ended any doubt.
This one also got chippy in the end, with the teams combining for 49 penalty minutes in the third period. Also of note in the third was Vancouver Canuck prospect Anton Cederholm's first WHL goal, from Adam Rossignol and Nic Petan.Read More »from Big D-Man’s five-point night steers Drakkar, big 67′s debut for Konecny: Friday’s Three Stars