Prospect Faceoff: Erie, London renew Midwest rivalry, two NCAA tournaments roll on, more from the CHL

by Ken McKenna
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Christian Dvorak - London Knights; Travis Dermott - Erie Otters - Prospect Faceoff for 3/18/16

Photo: The battle for the top spot in both the Midwest Division and Western Conference in the OHL is on the line this weekend as the London Knights’ Christian Dvorak and Erie Otters’ Travis Dermott square off in a key CHL matchup (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

 

 

The postseason tournaments are underway in college hockey, while the regular seasons in the three CHL leagues wrap up this weekend. This week’s Prospect Faceoff focuses on a couple of noteworthy NCAA semi-final games in the NCHC and ECAC while also taking a look at three CHL games with implications for next week’s playoffs. Read more»

Tigers’ Schneider leads short list of WHL goaltenders with NHL ties

by Glen Erickson
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Nick Schneider - Medicine Hat Tigers

Photo: Medicine Hat Tigers goaltender and Calgary Flames prospect Nick Schneider earned an NHL contract with a strong performance at the Flames’ training camp last fall (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

 

 

In past years, the ranking of the WHL goaltenders used a criteria whereby the goaltenders listed would all be drafted and or signed by NHL teams. Based on these parameters this season, the list is short, with only three netminders making the grade. Read more»

Hard work, opportunity leads to NHL contract for Medicine Hat’s Schneider

by Glen Erickson
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Nick Schneider - Medicine Hat Tigers

Photo: Medicine Hat Tigers goaltender and Calgary Flames prospect Nick Schneider was passed over at the 2015 NHL Draft, but parlayed a good showing at the Flames camp into an entry-level deal (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

 

 

Imagine what it would be like being a teenager with some hockey aspirations sitting in an NHL dressing room beside a player earning about $5 million a season. For many juniors across Canada, this is perhaps a rite of passage, the culmination of long hours of work, of diligence, of persistence. Read more»

2015-16 WHL Preview: Brandon, Red Deer could be the cream of the Eastern crop

by Chris Roberts
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Jake DeBrusk - Swift Current Broncos; John Quenneville - Brandon Wheat Kings - WHL East Division

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»

Jarry, Comrie the best of a thin lot of NHL-drafted WHL goaltenders

by Glen Erickson
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Tristan Jarry - Edmonton Oil Kings

Photo: Edmonton Oil Kings goaltender and Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Tristan Jarry and his OIl Kings teammates have had a more difficult season after winning the 2014 Memorial Cup (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

 

HF’s list of drafted WHL goaltenders playing in the Western Hockey League includes prototypical workhorses, netminders who in most cases are tending the pipes over 80 percent of the time their teams take to the ice. Read more»