Blujus, Dylan

Rookie Defenseman Blujus Making Progress in Syracuse


By Jeremy Houghtaling

While Dylan Blujus broke through for his first goal last week, his real strides have come in his own zone.

With an increase in ice time due to injuries and call-ups, the defenseman has started to find his groove with the Syracuse Crunch. Head coach Rob Zettler has seen steady progress in Blujus' game since he made his professional debut nearly three months ago.

"I would say over the last month, (Blujus) has been a much better defenseman, meaning he's going back for pucks more confidently and he's not as prone to get rid of pucks as quickly," Zettler said of the Buffalo native. "The beginning of the year, he'd get back and rim it around the boards and it would [cause] a cluster in our end for a little while because of it. He's just being a little bit more patient with the puck and smarter with the puck."

AHL Game Night: 1-9-15 Crunch at Wolf Pack

Blujus, Vasilevskiy can't hold off the Pack.

SYR-2
HFD-3 (OT)

Anrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 38 shots for the OT loss. He almost helped Syracuse overcome what ended up being a 38-26 shot deficit.

First Period
HFD C. Bourque, (15) (Kostka, Lindberg), 12:00 (PP)

Second Period
HFD O'Donnell, (2) (Nehring, Spinell), 2:58
SYR Ikonen, (3) (Vermin, Angelidis), 3:56

Third Period
SYR Blujus, (1) (Namestnikov), 3:58 (PP)

Overtime
HFD McIlrath, (1) (Hrivik, Kristo), 2:34

Congratulations to Dylan Blujus, who scored his first pro goal on the PP to tie the game at 2-2 and eventually force OT. Blujuspalooza!

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Day: 11-12-14 Crunch at Devils

The Gourde and Richard Show rolls on.

SYR-3
ALB-2 (SO)

Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 22 shots and stopped 2 of 3 in the penalty shot session for the SO win.

First Period
ALB Timmins, (5) (Thompson), 1:06
SYR Gourde, (3) , 4:49

Second Period
SYR Vermin, (4) (Dotchin, Marchessault), 2:52

Third Period
ALB Sestito, (3) (Scarlett), 2:44

Overtime
NONE

Shootout
SYR- Gourde, Richard
ALB- Thompson

Joel Vermin and Tanner Richard were the game's first and third stars. After posting just 1 point in 8 games in the month of October, Yanni Gourde had 3 goals and 6 points in 5 games in November. Richard, who faced the same futility at the scoresheet in October, has 2 goals and 5 points in 5 games this month, and obviously had the shootout winner tonight.

I also remain pleasantly surprised by the production of some of the Lightning's middle-tier rookie blueliners. Both Dylan Blujus and Jake Dotchin continue to hover around a half a point a game and are on the plus side of the ledger for the year.

With the win, Syracuse climbs into 8th place in the Eastern Conference, just 2 points back of division leaders Hartford and Bridgeport. Syracuse faces Hershey next on Friday.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 10-17-14 Falcons at Crunch

Legends were born tonight in Syracuse, New York.

SPR-2
SYR-3

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 29 shots for his first professional victory in North America.

First Period
SYR Marchessault, (1) (Cote, Blujus), 8:44
SPR Tyrell, (1) (Madaisky, Sedlak), 15:45

Second Period
SPR Monardo, (1) (Sifers, Madaisky), 3:53
SYR Paquette, (3) (Marchessault, Kunyk), 18:51

Third Period
SYR Drouin, (1) , 7:18

Some dude named Drouin, Jonathan Marchessault, and Cedric Paquette completed a Quebecois sweep of the three stars selections tonight.

I envy the folks who were in the arena tonight. Not only did they get to witness the first North American pro win by Vasilevskiy, but the first pro point by one of the truly great young players in the game. A future immortal. A young man who needs no introduction. 50 years ago when they recount this night to their grandchildren, and they will, they'll speak his name with the hushed reverence it deserves...

Dylan Blujus

But, seriously. We love Blujus here at Bolt Prospects, and we love Vasilevskiy, but all that was overshadowed by the professional debut of Jonathan Drouin, who lived up to his billing. He was +3. He was dangerous all night in helping to tilt the ice in Syracuse's favor. And, of course, he scored the game winner on a partial break that began with a quick little defensive play in his own end and was completed with a top shelf, cookie jar breaking shot.

Syracuse gets Binghamton tomorrow night as the Jonny (Jouer au) Hockey road show continues on its short run in the AHL.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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Blujus Settling In On Syracuse Blueline


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Two games into his professional career, Dylan Blujus is showing he belongs in the AHL.

The 20-year-old defenseman made his pro debut with the Syracuse Crunch Saturday against Springfield, and over two games last weekend had an even plus-minus rating with six shots.

"It went pretty well, just getting that first pro game under my belt felt nice," Blujus said. "Get the nerves out early, now I can start playing my game and start making plays."

Despite a few expected hiccups, Crunch coach Rob Zettler was impressed with the puck movement by each of his rookie defensemen.

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