Archive for Jonathan Audy-Marchessault
The answer is simple: he’s the latest gem uncovered by Gordie Clark and New York’s superior scouting staff, which has developed something of a Midas touch over the last couple of years.
It wasn’t long ago that the Rangers were completely incapable of even getting a high first-round pick right. But now, Clark and company are unearthing NHL caliber prospects not just through the draft’s later rounds, but even from the ranks of those that have long been completely ignored throughout their junior careers.
Entering the first day of free agency it was widely thought that the Rangers would seek to upgrade their offense and add a depth defender.
Instead, the Blueshirts added grit on July 1st while watching several of their own free agents depart for greener pastures.
Here’s what went down on Sunday.
Fuss about Fogarty?
2011 third-round pick Steven Fogarty didn’t get a whole lot of attention this year because of the rise of Chris Kreider and stunning point total of Michael St. Croix, but the Penticton Vee had a monster season in his own right. Fogarty will attend the University of Notre Dame next year where he’ll be more in the spotlight. I’ll bet he’s the surprise prospect we’re all discussing this time next year and there will be brief discussion of his chances of making the team in 2013. He still needs a couple more seasons of development, but Fogarty may put himself on the fast track sooner than we were led to believe.
Lightning acquire Lindback
I don’t think Tampa Bay’s acquisition of goalie Anders Lindback got enough attention last week. Remember, the Lightning were one win away from the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals before falling apart this season, in large part due to lackluster goaltending. Lindback is relatively unproven, but in a small sample size he has shown the potential to be a solid starter. He could be the difference between a lottery pick and a playoff berth for Tampa.
Nashville will undoubtedly unearth a couple of All-Stars with the draft picks they received from Tampa, but the Lightning did well to hold on to their two first-rounders (#10 and #19 overall). I think the trade also marks the end of Dwayne Roloson’s NHL career and it opens the door for Toronto to get Roberto Luongo.
Before Friday’s draft it’s a good idea to take stock of what the Rangers already have in the system. If New York follows suit, then the Blueshirts will pick the best player available regardless of position. However, it’s worth evaluating where the team’s strengths lie, starting with a status update for the organization’s forwards.
J.A.M. burst onto the scene in 2011-2012 with a surprisingly strong showing at the Traverse City Tournament in September and he was only just getting started. Ryan Bourque’s old teammate with the QMJHL’s Quebec Ramparts earned a one-year contract with the Whale and made the most of the opportunity. He battled for the team points lead all season and finished with 64 (24 goals, 40 assists), tied for the team lead and good for third among AHL rookies. Audy-Marchessault still faces an uphill climb to the NHL thanks to his (listed) 5-foot-9, 175-pound frame, but he is much closer to achieving his dream than he was a year ago. The bad news is that J.A.M. may not even be Rangers’ property come July; the 21-year-old is an unrestricted free agent and may prefer to sign with a club that could better use his services. It’s hard to see exactly where Audy-Marchessault fits in the prospect depth chart and he’d likely garner several other offers following his banner year. GM Glen Sather will surely offer J.A.M. a contract, but the rest is up to him.
Bourque was one of the last cuts at training camp but disappeared for the first chunk of the season with Connecticut after suffering a concussion in his third game. He drew little attention the rest of the way because of his irrelevant offensive production (six goals and eight assists in 69 games), but suddenly Bourque was in the spotlight again as the Whale began its playoff run. Bourque was one player that noticeably raised his game in the postseason and even contributed a bit more offensively with two goals and an assist in nine postseason games. It’s tough to imagine Bourque being much of a scorer at the NHL level, but he has a very well-rounded game, is a terrific skater and is a major pest on the forecheck, qualities that could endear him to the Rangers’ coaching staff sooner than some of the organization’s more touted prospects. Bourque’s confidence is surely higher after a strong late season push and since he was one of the last cuts last year, it stands to reason that he could push very hard for a bottom-six role in New York next year.
HARTFORD, January 4, 2012: The American Hockey League announced today that Connecticut Whale forwards Jonathan Audy-Marchessault and Mats Zuccarello have been named to the Eastern Conference team for the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic January 29 and 30 in Atlantic City, NJ.
The Eastern and Western Conference All-Star Classic rosters were selected by committees of AHL coaches.
Audy-Marchessault ranks second on the Whale club in points and goals, and tied for second among AHL rookies in points, with 12 goals and 18 assists for 30 points in 34 games. A 21-year-old native of Cap-Rouge, Quebec, Audy-Marchessault signed an AHL contract with the Whale June 23, 2011, after a four-year career with the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, in which the 5-9, 175-pounder totaled 98 goals and 141 assists for 239 points in 254 games.
Zuccarello, a native of Oslo, Norway who is in his second North American pro season, is tied for third among Whale skaters in points, with eight goals and 14 assists for 22 points, despite having played in only 18 of Connecticut’s 34 games. The 24-year-old, 5-7, 174-pound Zuccarello has also skated in three games with the parent New York Rangers this season, going scoreless with two penalty minutes.
Signed as a free agent by the Rangers May 26, 2010, Zuccarello spent 42 games with New York last season, amassing six goals and 17 assists for 23 points. In 36 AHL games with the Whale/Hartford Wolf Pack in 2010-11, Zuccarello contributed 13 goals and 16 assists for 29 points.
The 2012 AHL All-Star Classic will feature the top young talent in the American Hockey League competing in an internationally televised showcase from historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. The 2012 AHL All-Star Skills Competition will take place Sunday, January 29, starting at 3:00 PM, and the 2012 AHL All-Star Game will face off at 7:00 PM on Monday, January 30. AHL All-Star Classic tickets, which include both the Skills Competition and the All-Star Game, are on sale now at the Boardwalk Hall box office, all Ticketmaster locations, by calling (800) 736-1420 or at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets are also available for the Post-Skills Party (January 29, 5:30 p.m.) and the 2012 AHL Hall of Fame Induction & Awards Ceremony (January 30, 11 a.m.) at Caesars Atlantic City.
Remember when Dan Girardi was an unheralded, undrafted, free agent nobody? Remember when he was playing ECHL hockey, then got an unnoticed promotion to the AHL and then an unlikely shot at the NHL? Yeah, that worked out pretty well for Mr Girardi didn’t it? Hope you’re enjoying that multimillion dollar contract Dan.
They’re don’t play the same position, aren’t the same stature, didn’t play in the same junior league and are at different stages of their careers but there’s some kind of potential parallel between Dan Girardi and the wonderfully named Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, aka JAM.
This season, in relative obscurity amid the Rangers impressive season, there is a little forward making waves in the AHL for the CT Whale who may be on his way to earning a shot at the NHL if he keeps his recent play going. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault has been an offensive surprise for the Whale this season – to the tune of 25 points in 29 games (good for the club lead) – and is getting better game by game.
Consider the AHL rookie, undrafted like Dan Girardi, began his first pro season scoreless in his five games as he got his feet wet and JAM is a point/game player for the majority of his first pro year. Impressive stuff. All this leads to the question of NHL/Rangers potential. Can eventually he make the jump?
Good friend of the blog, Brian Ring of the CT Whale, has seen JAM a lot this season. So what does Brian think of JAM, now and in the future?
I think the Girardi comparison is fair, as you’ve already noted they play different positions and are obviously of different build. They both, however, were maybe a bit overlooked before joining the professional ranks.
Audy-Marchessault has had an immediate impact on the Connecticut Whale, and as of this writing, he leads the team in scoring with 28 points on the season (10-18-28) in 31 games. With the call-ups to Hagelin and Mitchell, he has been getting the majority of his ice time on the top line with Kris Newbury and Andre Deveaux, who have also served as the primary power-play unit.
He couldn’t have landed in a better spot to debut as a professional, playing with former Quebec Remparts teammates Kelsey Tessier and Ryan Bourque. Tessier, a bilingual, not only helps JAM with his English but as a second-year pro knows the ropes as far as playing in the AHL and living in the Hartford area. Bourque is also surely a comfort as they go through the transition to the professional ranks together.
In his first extended time away from home, Audy-Marchessault has excelled and obviously adjusted quite well. He had his break-out game during a home-and-home set with one of the Whale’s most bitter rivals, the Springfield Falcons, on Oct. 22-23. He netted his first pro goal at Springfield, a third period equalizer, before tallying three points (1-2-3) the next night against the Falcons. The Whale won both games.
Since then, he’s been one of the most consistent Whale forwards, tallying 13 points in 11 November games and 10 points in 11 December games (two remain). He is third among rookie scorers in the AHL, eight points behind Norfolk’s Cory Conacher for the lead.
I don’t think there’s much question of whether or not he will make the jump to the next level or not. The ability and desire is certainly there and his tools are great, size hasn’t been an issue as he has withstood the punishment of nearly a half season without a problem. P.A. Parenteau has a size advantage over JAM, however Audy-Marchessault reminds me of him quite a bit. Look for him to add size and strength over the coming months as he continues to hone his professional game.
Following his quick rise to becoming a player relied upon for offense on a strong AHL club it seems JAM has a lot of potential and a promising future. It seems the Ranger scouting and player development may have found another gem.
Big thanks to Brian Ring for his contribution. For more updates on both JAM’s progress and the club as a whole be sure to check the Whale’s website as well twitter for as great insights from Brian and the Whale .
Two weeks ago, we noted that the Rangers had signed Jonathan Audy-Marchessault. Today, it’s official, as the organization was waiting to see how he played at prospect camp. Here is the press release:
WHALE SIGN FORWARD JONATHAN AUDY-MARCHESSAULT
Led Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in Playoff Scoring
HARTFORD, July 7, 2011: Connecticut Whale general manager Jim Schoenfeld announced today that the team has signed forward Jonathan Audy-Marchessault to an American Hockey League contract for the 2011-12 season.
Audy-Marchessault, a 5-9, 175-pound 20-year-old who hails from Pont-Rouge, Quebec, has spent the entirety of a four-year Quebec Major Junior Hockey League career with the Quebec Remparts. Audy-Marchessault led all QMJHL players in postseason points and assists this spring, totaling 22 assists and 33 points, to go along with 11 goals, in 18 games. That was after a regular season in which he led the league in game-winning goals with 11, while finishing fifth among QMJHL skaters in goals and tying for sixth in points, with 40-55-95 in 68 games. Audy-Marchessault paced the Eastern Division-champion Remparts club in points and goals.
In 254 career games in a Quebec uniform, Audy-Marchessault accumulated totals of 98 goals, 141 assists, 239 points and 180 penalty minutes. He averaged better than a point-per-game in playoff competition, with 17 goals and 37 assists for 54 points in 52 career postseason games.
JONATHAN AUDY-MARCHESSAULT’S AMATEUR RECORD
Year Team Lge. GP G A Pts. PIM GP G A Pts. PIM
2007-08 Quebec QMJHL 56 10 10 20 18 11 1 0 1 6
2008-09 Quebec QMJHL 62 18 35 53 75 14 2 4 6 10
2009-10 Quebec QMJHL 68 30 41 71 54 9 3 11 14 14
2010-11 Quebec QMJHL 68 40 55 95 33 18 11 22 33 12
With all the news that happened yesterday, the Rangers signing of Johnathan Audy-Marchessault slipped through the cracks. To be honest, I didn’t find out til I went to HFBoards and saw the post on it. JAM –sidenote: awesome initials– played four years with the Quebec Ramparts of the QMJHL, with this past season being his best. In 68 games, he put together an impressive line of 40-55-95, not including his line of 11-22-33 in 18 playoff games.
The 5’9 175 lb center finished his overage season on a high note, and was signed to a one year, two-way deal. From what I can gather from the French release of the article, JAM is friends with Rangers prospects Ryan Bourque and Kelsey Tessier, both of whom were teammates of his in the QMJHL. The 21 year old center will likely play with the Whale this coming season.