The WHL’s bantam draft is set for Thursday in Calgary.
With the help of Tyler Neisz of Western Elite Hockey Prospects, we are providing a bit of advance coverage in the form of some of Western Elite Hockey Prospects’ rankings.
Today, here’s a look at WEHP’s top 15 forwards:
1. Jake Virtanen, Abbotsford BC, 5-11, 164
2. Ryan Gropp, Kamloops, 6-0, 146
3. Reid Duke, Calgary Royals, 5-10, 160
4. Reid Gardiner, Humboldt SK, 5-11, 162
5. Ty Mappin, Red Deer Rebels White, 5-10, 154
6. Conner Bleackley, Okotoks AB, 5-11, 170
7. Mile Warkentine, Prince Albert, 6-0, 165
8. Tanner Macmaster, Calgary Bisons, 5-8, 135
9. John Quennville, Southside Athletic Club, Edmonton, 6-0, 180
10. Rourke Chartier, Saskatoon Stallions, 5-7, 140
11. Adam Brooks, Winnipeg Hawks, 5-9, 153
12. Kolten Olynek, Saskatoon Outlaws, 5-7, 150
13. Collin Shirley, Saskatoon Bandits, 5-11, 150
14. Rhett Gardner, Moose Jaw, 6-1, 175
15. Blake Penner, Notre Dame, 5-8.5, 153
(SOURCE: Western Elite Hockey Prospects)
Brent Peterson, a former player and coach with the Portland Winterhawks, no longer goes on the ice with the Nashville Predators, even though he is an associate coach with the NHL team. He knows, too, that he won’t ever get to be an NHL head coach.
“His Parkinson's disease has finally worked over his body to the extent that he can't go on the ice any longer with the Nashville Predators,” writes Jim Matheson in the Edmonton Jounral. “It's a crying shame, really, but Peterson, who is Barry Trotz's right-hand man, can still be on the bench.”
Matheson’s complete story is right here.
Cleve Dheensaw of the Victoria Times Colonist bids a fond farewell to the ECHL’s Victoria Salmon Kings right here. The Salmon Kings, who are being bumped from their town by the WHL’s Chilliwack Bruins, trail the Anchorage Aces 3-0 going into tonight’s game in Victoria. Should the Salmon Kings lose this one, their run will be over. Permanently.
One of the QMJHL’s semifinals ended in a sweep, with the Saint John Sea Dogs taking out the Lewiston Maineiacs, while the other is headed to Game 7. The host Gatineau Olympiques beat the Quebec Remparts 4-0 on Sunday to tie that series 3-3. Game 7 will be played Tuesday at the Colisee Pepsi in Quebec City.
The WHL playoffs resume tonight with the Portland Winterhawks in Spokane to meet the Chiefs. Portland holds a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference final, with the winner to meet the Kootenay Ice for the Ed Chynoweth Cup. . . . According to a Chiefs news release, “Four of the last five playoff meetings between the two have gone the distance and each time Spokane has won a sixth game forcing the seventh and deciding game.” . . . Game 7, if needed, is scheduled for Portland’s Rose Garden on Tuesday. Should this series go the distance, the teams will finish up having played four games in five nights. . . . Yes, the Ice is smilin’ and hopin’.
THE COACHING GAME: The KIJHL’s Grand Forks, B.C., Border Bruins have signed Brent Batten as their new GM/head coach. Batten spent this season coaching at the Pursuit of Excellent academy in Kelowna. The Border Bruins, a junior B team, had relieved GM/head coach Jesse Dorrans of his duties in January.
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