McNabb ends junior career; Sutch hurt as Majors move on

Written By Kris Baker on Friday, May 27, 2011 | 5/27/2011

Brayden McNabb's excellent junior career came to end Friday as the Kootenay ICE lost the Memorial Cup semifinal to Mississauga, 3-1.

As is often the case, the patrolling McNabb (-1) had his physical efforts highlighted by a solid open-ice pop, this time on Jordan Mayer in the second period.

He also showed discipline in the later stages, clearly peeling off an opportunity to label a guy knowing that he couldn't risk being penalized. Offensively he was somewhat limited in the contest despite the ICE's seven power play opportunities.

The 6'4 defender finishes the extended 82-game year (including the Memorial Cup) with a line of 24-78-102. It's expected that he'll play in the AHL next season, as his size and offensive skills are good to go but his feet look like they'll need a little grooming before fully developing into a top-four blueliner.

Mississauga forward Gregg Sutch left midway through the first period and did not return after laying a hit on the ICE's Jagger Dirk.

After the game, Majors coach Dave Cameron said he suffered a shoulder injury and is currently a longshot for Sunday's title tilt versus the Saint John Sea Dogs. (EDIT: it appears that Sutch actually broke his wrist on the play).

If Sutch is somehow able to play, it will mark the third straight year a Sabres prospect gets to play in the Memorial Cup Championship game. Kelowna's Tyler Myers was unable to capture the title in 2009, while Zack Kassian hoisted the Cup after Windsor's dominating run a year ago.


Anonymous said...

Hey Kris, I would have thought that the Sabres would have inked Riley Boychuk by now. Any idea if he is still in the mix? I thought that this was his last year of junior eligibility and thus re-entry into the draft. Also, is Henley going to get an extra year of junior because of his injury riddled season?

Kris Baker said...

I think Boychuk will definitely sign and head to the AHL, but the Sabres have no immediate pressure to ink him since he was only drafted a year ago (as a 19-year old). They retain his rights for two-years like any other CHLer drafted.

Depending on his curve goes next season, Henley may very well go back for the extra Q year. Surely more of a project player. Go year-by-year and hope he stays healthy. There's a fair amount of talent to develop into that big frame. As of now I probably pencil him for AHL in 2012-13 but we'll see.

Anonymous said...

Kris: With a contract such as Pysyk's, do the three years begin now; so that he'll be RFA after only two pro years? Or does he have to be in the AHL or NHL before that clock starts ticking?

Dave said...

The contract slides, it does not start until he hits the 10 NHL GP mark for this upcoming season which seems unlikely.

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