The Kelowna Rockets and Portland Winterhawks have been the class of the Western Hockey League’s Western Conference for the past few seasons, but there is some strength building in the U.S. Division. The Everett Silvertips and Seattle Thunderbirds appear poised to challenge the Winterhawks and Rockets. Read more»
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»
For the first time since the 2006-07 season, the Boston Bruins found themselves on the outside looking in at the NHL playoffs despite a 41-27-14 record and 96-point finish. While the Bruins still had a chance to make the playoffs during the final days of the season, missing the party was enough for the team to pull the trigger on many changes within the organization. The biggest was at the general manager position, where former Bruins defenseman Don Sweeney replaced Peter Chiarielli, who departed to take the same job with the Edmonton Oilers. Read more»
Here’s a look at our top 10 prospects for the 2015 NHL Draft from the Western Hockey League, with the consensus top four rather apparent.
Our list contains six forwards and four defensemen. A total of six players toiled in the Western Conference. Only the Brandon Wheat Kings managed two players in our ranking. There is a definite Canadian presence in our ranking, with seven canucks on the list. Two Americans and one Russian round out the ranking. All 10 were invited to the NHL Combine. Read more»