Photo: Prince Albert Raiders forward and 2014 draft prospect Leon Draisaitl is a finalist for the WHL's Rookie of the Year award (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
The Prince Albert Raiders have struggled to make the playoffs for the last several years, despite the best efforts of players like current team leader and first-round NHL draft pick, Mark McNeil (CHI). Enter Leon Draisaitl, a German-born WHL rookie and 2014 draft-eligible forward who scored at nearly a point-per-game pace in his rookie season. Draisaitl and McNeil combined for 125 points and led the Raiders to their first post-season appearance in almost a decade.
Photo: Dallas Stars' prospect Matej Stransky and his Saskatoon Blades teammates did not fare well in the WHL playoffs, but they will nevertheless get another shot at winning the Memorial Cup as the host team for that event (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
Many of the WHL’s top players achieve success due in part to their versatility, as most forwards will take a spin from time to time at the center position. The following ranking includes wingers that are currently property of a National Hockey League team.
Photo: U.S. NTDP forward and 2014 NHL Draft prospect Ryan MacInnis has made great strides in his game since the beginning of the 2012-13 season (courtesy of Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
The first thing that most people notice about Ryan MacInnis is his size. Even just having turned 17 years old a couple of weeks ago, MacInnis already stands 6’3” and weighs 174 pounds. His size is imposing, even on a U.S. National Team Development Program team that is peppered with big bodies.
Photo: Portland Winterhawks goaltender and Chicago Blackhawks prospect Mac Carruth has his team in the hunt for another run to the WHL Championship (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
For purposes of this list, we assessed potential as NHL prospects using the criteria whereby we ranked only NHL drafted or signed goalies currently playing in the WHL.
Photo: Portland Winterhawks forward Nic Peten (R) is one of a trio of Winterhawks' players expected to have their names called early in the 2013 NHL Draft (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
The current tale of the tape, Western Hockey League style, quite convincingly suggests the Portland Winterhawks will probably supply the “long and short of it” when the time comes for NHL teams to make their selections at the 2013 NHL Draft in Newark, New Jersey.