(Photo Credit – Larry Brunt – Spokane Chiefs Photographer)
Earlier today, the Boston Bruins released their 2018 Prospect Challenge roster with some additional information about the event. Amongst the many familiar faces at the event will be four camp invitees –– Carson Focht, John Ludvig, Justin Bergeron, and Dawson Weatherill.
Carson Focht – C – Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
Carson Focht had some WHL experience under his belt coming into this past season with the Tri-City Americans, 64 games of experience to be exact. Fast forward to a little less a month before his 18th birthday, he was traded to the Calgary Hitmen on January 6, 2018. This deal involved highly-touted Carolina Hurricanes prospect defenseman Jake Bean going to play for Tri-City, along with other pieces being exchanged. A pretty interesting year for such a young player.
The Regina, Saskatchewan native went undrafted in June after scoring 13 goals and adding 20 assists, good for 33 points in 69 split between the Tri-City Americans and Calgary Hitmen. Before heading back to Calgary for what is set to be his first full season as a member of the Hitmen, Carson will head to Buffalo, New York for the Bruins Prospect Challenge to make an impression after going undrafted.
As you’ll see in his draft reel below, Carson has some silky mitts and a nice shot to go with it. He is listed with the same height, and nearly the same weight as Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk on eliteprospects.com. He operates like DeBrusk as well in some of these clips and wears the same number that Jake did with Swift Current and Red Deer in the WHL.
(Via Western Hockey League on YouTube)
John Ludvig – F/D – Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
With the 2017-2018 season came John Ludvig’s first WHL season with the Portland Winterhawks. A Native of Kamloops, British Columbia, John took his talents to Portland, Ontario in his first season as a Winterhawk, scoring two goals and adding five assists, good for seven points in 51 games. He added a goal and two assists in 11 playoff games on top of his regular season stat line. A quandary on defense in Portland forced Ludvig to play forward a bit for part of last season.
The left-handed Winterhawks forward/defenseman went undrafted and stands at 6-foot-1, 187 pounds and just turned 18 on August 2, so happy belated birthday, John. He clearly likes to fight, as the clip below shows, so add a guy who can scrap to the talented bunch that will be in attendance at the Bruins Prospect Challenge. There are more where this clip came from, but this one, in particular, is a scrap-and-a-half.
(Via hockeyfightsplus on YouTube)
Justin Bergeron – D – Rouyn Noranda Huskies (QMJHL)
(Photo Credit – Marco Bergeron)
Another Canadian on the list is Justin Bergeron. Cool last name, Justin. That one holds some ground here in Boston. Justin is still 17-years-old and won’t turn 18 until four days after the conclusion of camp, as his birthday is on September 14.
The Magog, Quebec native, stands at 6-feet, 181 pounds and played 67 games with the Rouyn Noranda Huskies this past season. Bergeron, a left-handed defenseman, scored nine goals and added 21 assists, good for 30 points in the regular season, plus an assist in seven playoff games. He also played in eight games with the Huskies the year before and tallied one assist. Justin Bergeron looks to be an intriguing addition to the group at the prospect challenge.
Dawson Weatherill – G – Spokane Chiefs (WJHL)
The oldest of the camp invitees is 19-year-old and Red Deer, Alberta native, goaltender Dawson Weatherill. To this point in his WHL career, Weatherill has seen action in 87 games. His numbers have steadily improved over the course of his career as his workload has increased. Most recently, Weatherill appeared in 46 games and finished with an impressive 26-12-3 record, a 3.09 goals against average, a .893 save percentage, and two shutouts to boot. He also managed to obtain two penalty minutes as a goalie, so that’s interesting.
Back in mid-to-late October of 2017, Weatherill was named WHL goaltender of the week. Not a bad title to hold in the best season of your WHL career to this date. The towering tendy will look to make some noise amongst fellow goaltenders Dan Vladar and Kyle Keyser.
(Via Western Hockey League on YouTube)
These four CHLers and Canadian natives will be interesting additions to the talented bunch of young players at the Bruins Prospect Challenge. The event as a whole is set to be another exciting opportunity to watch some great young talent for whoever chooses to do so.