Habsworld.net has named Kyle Chipchura the November prospect of the month for his impressive all round play while with both Prince Albert and Team WHL. Chipchura has consistently been one of the top players in the WHL and has been the leading scorer for Prince Albert, on what has been a disappointing team so far this year. What’s impressive has been his offensive production while getting little help from teammates, and his all round play as he leads the team in power play goals and is the only person on the team to record a shorthanded goal. Known for his character, grit, leadership and positive attitude, Chipchura did raise question marks last season when he suffered a major groin injury which hampered his offensive production. Going into this year Chipchura has erased any doubts of his offensive abilities to score at the junior level, as he was recently seventh in the league in scoring before suffering another major injury, as he had his Achilles Tendon slashed.
While this second injury is cause for alarm as to how it will effect his foot speed and skating, it could have been much worse, since at first it was thought he had ruptured his Achilles Tendon. After being rushed to the hospital, Chipchura has undergone successful surgery and had his right foot placed in a cast. He is expected to be out till April or longer, but Chipchura has stated he feels he will be ready to skate again by February, which may or may not happen, but speaks volumes about his positive attitude and desire to play the game. What seems unfair to many is the fact that Chipchura was almost a lock to receive an invite to Team Canada’s World Junior selection camp, and the fact that he was having such an impressive offensive season, as he was producing at over a point a game.
Also up for top rookie honors was defensemen Mark Flood, who is having a very strong season as the Captain of the Peterborough Petes in the OHL. Flood has helped the Petes rebound from last years disappointing season, as he has been close to a point a game average, leading the power play and playing a smart all round game. Flood was given the option of signing with the Canadiens and taking his chances in Hamilton or the ECHL, but he chose to go back to the OHL as an overager, and fans of the Petes are sure to be happy he chose that path. Also up for this months top rookie honors was last months winner, Christopher Heino-Lindberg, who continued to put up very impressive numbers for Hammarby of the tier-2 league. He has played in every game this season, while also being one of the top goaltenders in the league, as he is either leading or near the top of most goaltending statics. Heino-Lindberg also took part in the 4-Nations U-20 tournament, where he picked up a shutout in his only appearance and helped Sweden to win the tournament.