Caps Prospect Roundup: Ilya Samsonov Plays … And Wins

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Posted November 24, 2015

The highlight of this week’s roundup has already been given away by the title (Ilya Samsanov finally got his shot between the pipes again). But don’t worry, there are plenty other surprises below. Here’s a hint: They’re not all good.

Don’t want to give anything away, so on to the roundup:

ISamsonov_MetallurgIlya Samsonov: Goaltender for Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL; drafted first round, 22nd overall in 2015

Here’s a good surprise. Metallurg played two games last week, but since Samsonov only played in one of those games, we’re going to focus on that. He stopped 23 of 25 shots for a 0.920 save percentage. For an 18-year-old playing in the KHL as a backup goaltender who just sat six straight games, that’s not bad. Unfortunately, the only video highlights seem to show Samsonov getting scored on. But he had to have made some good saves at some point. Video is below for those interested.

Metallurg is back at it on Wednesday. Fingers crossed that Samsonov gets a start. Or at least some playing time.

Jonas Siegenthaler: Defenseman for the ZSC Lions of the Swiss league; drafted second round, 57th overall in 2015

JSiegenthaler_ZSC

It’s hard to determine how well defensemen are playing just based on the stats sheet. The real skills come in how well you can read a play, and unfortunately that’s not a stat yet. For Siegenthaler, that’s made extra difficult by the fact that he’s playing in the Swiss league. The best way to follow Siegenthaler’s progress is through plus/minus (guess the Swiss haven’t caught on to the fancy stats trend yet). In his case, it’s his lack of plus/minus that seems to be a good sign. ZSC lost 4-3 on Friday and won 2-1 Monday. Aside from a recording a shot in each game, Siegenthaler did not appear on the scoresheet. But hey, at least he hasn’t been on the ice for a ton of goals against, right? On the season, through 17 games, he’s a plus-7. Not bad for a little nugget. “Little” in this case meaning a 6-foot-3, 220 pound defenseman.

ZSC is back at it on Friday and Saturday.

Zach Sanford: Sophomore left wing at Boston College; drafted second round, 61st overall in 2013

ZSanford_BC

Sanford and the Eagles only played one game since the last post, a 6-3 win at New Hampshire. Sanford notched an assist, threw four shots on goal and took two penalties (for charging and kneeing – tsk tsk). He also went 8-for-15 on the faceoff dot, a 53 percent success. For a left wing, Sanford sure did take a bunch of faceoffs. Check out highlights of the game below.

Thanksgiving weekend won’t stop these Eagles from soaring. No. 2 Boston College will host RIT on Saturday.

Sanford wears No. 24 for Boston College. His assist is at 0:57.

Thomas DiPauli: Senior center at Notre Dame; drafted fourth round, 100th overall in 2012

TDiPauli_NotreDame

Now that Alex Ovechkin has officially broken the NHL goals scored by a Russian record, it looks like the disallowed-goal-due-to-goalie-interference bug has moved on to DiPauli. In Notre Dame’s 2-2 overtime tie with UMass-Lowell on Friday night, for a split second, it looked as if he could give the Fighting Irish the win. But alas, his one-timer was waived off because apparently the goaltender was interfered with. If he ever wants to make it in a Caps sweater, DiPauli better get used to those calls. They tend to happen with the Caps. A lot. However, DiPauli’s (not Notre Dame’s) luck broke in the second game of the series. His team may have lost 3-1, but DiPauli scored the lone goal for the Fighting Irish – his fifth of the season – not only earning himself a third star, but also tying for first on the team in goals. Notre Dame’s highlights from the weekend are below.

No. 18 Notre Dame will look to avenge its two losses, and dropping two spots in the rankings, when it participates in the Shillelagh Tournament. The fighting Irish will face No. 8 Harvard on Friday and either Western Michigan or RPI on Saturday.

DiPauli scores at 1:08 in game 2. He wears No. 14 for Notre Dame.

Shane Gersich: Freshman center/left wing at University of North Dakota; drafted fifth round, 134th overall in 2014

SGersich_NorthDakota

You’ve already read some of the good news from this weekend, so here’s some of the bad. This was not a weekend for Gersich. Or the newly-named University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks. North Dakota split the series with St. Cloud State, winning the first game 4-3, but losing the second 6-1. Gersich also split the series. On Friday night he played. On Saturday, he did not. It’s not entirely clear what was wrong with Gersich aside from the simple assumption he was scratched. A tweet from North Dakota men’s hockey’s account merely said he was “replaced,” so read between whatever lines you’d like. In his past three games, Gersich amassed three shots and was a minus-1. If Gersich was benched to send a message to the freshman, he shouldn’t feel too bad; it happens to the best of us. Just look at Andre Burakovsky.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens when No. 5 North Dakota (it dropped another spot) visits Michigan State on Friday and Sunday. In borderline unrelated news, it looks like FCSC is airing a special on North Dakota hockey called “UND hockey with Brad Berry”. Who knows if Gersich will be mentioned, but there may be talk of a North Dakota alum Caps fans might recognize. Some guy named T.J. Oshie? Supposedly he’s pretty good at hockey.

Connor Hobbs: Defenseman for the Regina Pats of the WHL; drafted fifth round, 143rd overall in 2015 In other good news, Hobbs came back this weekend. That was only half good news for the poor Regina Pats who CHobbs_Reginajust can’t seem to catch a healthy break. While Hobbs returned, fellow Caps prospect Colby Williams was sidelined against for both of the weekend’s games. But more on that below. Hobbs, meanwhile, had a very interesting first weekend back. And interesting in a good way. While Regina dropped both games – 2-1 to Brandon on Friday and 4-3 to Prince Albert on Saturday – Hobbs was certainly not left off the scoresheet. On Friday, he roughed a kid up and got two minutes in the penalty box. On Saturday, however, he washed off the concussion rust and was in full swing. He recorded two assists, the first of which when he hurled a shot on net and a teammate tipped it in, finished with a plus-2 rating and had a whopping 17 penalty minutes. In the second period, he received two minutes for instigating, five for fighting and a 10-minute game misconduct. Why? Well, Hobbs got absolutely flattened rushing up the wing and didn’t like it. But boy can he throw some punches. Be sure to check out the fight below. Seriously. Regina continues its nine-game road trip this week. The Pats travel to Red Deer on Tuesday, Edmonton on Wednesday, Calgary on Friday and back to Red Deer on Saturday. Good luck getting your homework done on this trip, guys. Hobbs wears No. 44 for Regina. In case you needed help spotting him.

Steven Spinner: Freshman right wing at University of Nebraska-Omaha; drafted sixth round, 159th overall in 2014 SSpinner_omahaSpinner continued his consistently uneventful streak as Omaha tied Miami 3-3 in overtime on Friday and won 3-2, also in overtime, on Saturday. On the weekend he recorded two shots, one in each game, was a minus-1 on Friday and blocked a shot on Saturday. But while his stats aren’t something worthy of anxiously awaiting his rise to the NHL, remember that Spinner IS a sixth-round-drafted freshman. There’s plenty of potential there and also plenty of time to grow and take on more of a leadership role with the team. Also keep in mind that Omaha has five upper classmen forwards. Getting a consistent spot in the lineup is good enough for now. No. 6 Omaha will host Ohio State in back-to-back games this weekend, starting on Friday.

Colby Williams: Defenseman for the Regina Pats; drafted sixth round, 173rd overall in 2015 Another weekend, another Williams injury. Per Phil Andrews, the play-by-play announcer for the Pats, Williams CWilliams_Regina“is day to day with an injury that is separate from the one that kept him out earlier this year.” That sure doesn’t sound good, but at least he didn’t rush a return from the previous injury. That’s even more not good. Fingers are crossed that Williams will be ready to go this weekend.

Brian Pinho: Sophomore center at Providence College; drafted sixth round, 174th overall in 2013

BPinho_Providence

Pinho may not have highlighted the score sheet, but with 5-2 and 3-0 wins over Northeastern, it’s OK. Getting this kind of experience is good development for the sophomore. Besides, if he can turn it up in the playoffs, that’s what matters. But back to the regular season. Pinho may not have scored last weekend, but he recorded three shots (one on Friday, two on Saturday), was a plus-2 in Friday’s game and a plus-1 in Saturdays, blocked a shot on Saturday, and continued to dominate the faceoff circle. On Friday he went 8-for-12 – or 66.7 percent – and 7-for-14 on Saturday. Highlights from Providence’s wins are below.

It’s also important to note that No. 1 Providence is one of just two teams still undefeated. The Friars have not lost a game since March 15 in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs (that’s a 15-game win streak). No. 2 Quinnipiac is the other undefeated team.

Knock on wood that didn’t just jinx Providence as it takes on No. 10 Yale in a one-game matchup on Saturday. Sorry in advance if it did.