WHL Prospect Watch (1/23/2011)

Kuemper Brick-Walls Moose Jaw

Minnesota Wild 2009 sixth-rounder Darcy Kuemper made 35 saves for the Red Deer Rebels in a 3-0 blanking of the Moose Jaw Warriors on Saturday night.

The shutout lowered Kuemper’s league-leading goals against average to 1.79 — almost one point lower than the second place tender — and his nine shutouts are five more than any other goalie. He bounced back from allowing three goals on just 20 shots in Friday night’s 5-3 win over Medicine Hat.

The Saskatoon, SK product made a four game appearance in the American Hockey League last season for the Houston Aeros (2-1, 2.41 GAA, .886 SV%) before they sent him back to Red Deer.

The WHL named Kuemper the Player of the Week last week when he went 3-0-0 and stopped 85 of 86 shots (.988 SV%) while picking up two shutouts.

More Good News for Wild

Fellow Minnesota Wild prospect Brett Bulmer had five points (two goals, three assists) for his Kelowna Rockets over the weekend — beating Seattle 6-3 on Friday and topping Spokane 5-3 on Saturday.

The 18-year-old has 41 points (17-24) in 42 games for the Rockets this year. Minnesota took him 39th-overall in the 2010 draft after his first full season in the WHL, in which he posted 13 goals and 27 assists in 65 games.

Howse Still Hot

Chilliwack Bruins forward Ryan Howse extended his goal streak to seven games with a goal and an assist in Friday and Saturday’s contests, respectively.

A 2009 third round selection by the Calgary Flames, Howse has eight goals and four assists over the course of the streak. He’ll put that streak on the line on Sunday night when the Bruins head to Vancouver to take on the Giants.

Simpson Shaken

Everett Silvertips goalie Kent Simpson (2009 28th-overall pick by the Chicago Blackhawks) took two losses over the weekend — including allowing seven goals on 21 shots in 30 minutes in Saturday’s 7-4 loss to Tri-City.

Simpson’s first loss came in a 31 save performance in a 3-2 loss to Portland on Friday night. Despite his shaky outing on Saturday, Simpson still ranks among the top 13 goalies in the WHL in GAA (3.07). He has just 12 wins in 36 starts for the Silvertips this year.

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