Photo: Team WHL forward Nick Merkley (#10) battles for position with Russia defenseman Alexander Shchemerov in front of Russian goaltender Maxim Tretiak in the WHL’s 4-2 win over Russia in Kamloops, BC (courtesy of Kelvin Harrison/CHL Images)
It wasn’t the cakewalk that the first game of the CHL Canada Russia Series turned out to be, but Team WHL nevertheless came away with their second consecutive win over Russia, 4-2, to sweep their portion this yearly affair. Read more»
Photo: Edmonton Oil Kings forward and Dallas Stars prospect Brett Pollock leads the Oil Kings in scoring so far in 2015-16, posting five goals and 16 points in 17 WHL games (courtesy of CHL Images)
One doesn’t have to look far to find a potential pro comparable for Edmonton Oil Kings forward Brett Pollock. The 19 year old Sherwood Park, AB native actually rubbed shoulders with said comparable during the past two Dallas Stars‘ training camps – Jamie Benn. Read more»
Photo: Edmonton Oil Kings forward and New Jersey Devils prospect Brandon Baddock has produced 369 penalty minutes in 203 WHL games (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)
Brandon Baddock could be playing for the AHL’s Albany Devils this season. His career season with the Edmonton Oil Kings in 2014-15 certainly would have warranted a contract from the New Jersey Devils, the team that selected him in the sixth round of the 2014 NHL Draft. Read more»
Photo: Heady defenseman Alex Peters needs a healthy season for the Flint Firebirds to stay relevant as a Dallas Stars prospect (courtesy of John Rivera/Icon Sportswire)
The Dallas Stars continue to exhibit a very balanced prospect group where a good variety of player types abound. They have a veritable cornucopia of players designated as prospects by Hockey’s Future’s standards – 42 in all, including 18 defensemen (not including Jamie Oleksiak and Jyrki Jokipakka). As a result, some very noteworthy players such as bulky winger Brett Ritchie, QMJHL champion goalie Philippe Desrosiers and the Swedish defense duo of Patrik Nemeth and Mattias Backman will not be mentioned below.
Photo: Two players important to their WHL East Division teams in 2015-16 are Swift Current Broncos forward and Boston Bruins prospect Jake DeBrusk, and Brandon Wheat Kings forward and New Jersey Devils prospect John Quenneville (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
The WHL’s Eastern Conference was the – slightly – more competitive conference last season, and that should ring true again in 2015-16.
Last season in the East it took 73 points to make the playoffs, while in the West three teams qualified with less than 73 points. The East also featured the league-leading Brandon Wheat Kings, who finished the season with 114 points, two more than the Kelowna Rockets. The Wheat Kings may have lost a couple of pivotal 20-year-olds from last year’s team, as well as Ryan Pilon (NYI), who has taken an indefinite leave from hockey, but the team still boasts depth better than any organization, with a wealth of young, up-and-coming stars. The Wheat Kings, in fact, have landed atop the CHL 2015-16 preseason rankings. Read more»