Monday, February 15, 2010

McColgan/Bulmer the next Long/Benn?

  • Could Shane McColgan and Brett Bulmer evolve into as dynamic a duo as former Kelowna Rockets Colin Long and Jamie Benn? Bulmer and McColgan were born in vastly different environments, with Bulmer hailing from Prince George, BC while McColgan grew up in Hermosa Beach, California. They are separated by close to 28 hundred kilometers geographically, yet both bring a confident swagger that can be backed up on the ice by some impressive offensive statistics. Long and Benn combined for 173 points in their 19 year-old seasons while playing primarily on the same line, so is it inconceivable to think Bulmer and McColgan could match that mark in two seasons if the coaching staff elect to play them together?
  • While McColgan is clearly the best 16 year-old rookie in the Western Conference, let's not overlook Bulmer's accomplishments. Bulmer has the 4th most points of any 17 year-old rookie in the WHL. Only Nino Neiderreitter and Ryan Johansen of the Portland Winterhawks and Medicine Hat's Emerson Etem have more points than Bulmer as a 17 year-old rookie. Neiderreitter and Johansen play on a team that has scored 42 more goals than the Rockets while Etem is with a Tigers team that is only bettered by the Brandon Wheat Kings when it comes to goals scored in the WHL.
  • Speaking of comparisons, is Rockets forward Mitchell Callahan a younger version of former 20 year-old Brady Leavold? Both can score, and both love to get involved physically. Leavold had 27 goals in his final season in the WHL with playing alongside Benn and Long. Callahan already has 19 goals in just his 18 year-old season.
  • The Rockets should learn this weekend if they are officially playoff bound. Seattle remains mathematically alive with 16 games left in the regular season. The T-Birds have 32 possible points available to them while the Rockets have a 26 point lead in the standings. The T-Birds play this afternoon against Vancouver and tomorrow night in Kamloops. The Rockets don't play until Friday, when they host Calgary.
  • When the Rockets meet the T-Birds on Sunday, the game could be meaningless for the home team.
  • Captain Lucas Bloodoff will play in his 250th WHL game Sunday in Seattle.
  • Collin Bowman is 6 games shy of 200 for his career.
  • Dallas Jackson is five points shy of 100 for his career.
  • Goaltender Adam Brown has helped the Rockets earn a point in 11 of his last 12 starts. I can say all I want about Saturday's game, but you can't argue with that result.

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