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09-20-2012, 06:03 PM
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25 WHL Players To Watch in 2012-13

Just posted this piece. Discuss!

Basically, this list is a grouping of 25 players I can't wait to watch this WHL season. They range from forwards, to defenceman, to goalies and also include players who have been drafted and players eligible for future NHL drafts. The WHL is a great league with a ton of talent, so take a look at my list of some players to keep a close eye on this season.
7. Hunter Shinkaruk - Many have the newly named Medicine Hat Tigers captain penciled in as the top forward prospect the WHL has to offer for the 2013 NHL Draft. At this point, that's pretty tough to argue considering his point totals the last couple of years. He's a fantastic player and could be in the running as a top scorer for the 2012-13 season. But, he also faces some pressure as the Tigers roster lost a ton of talent after last year including Emerson Etem and Tyler Bunz. This is now Hunter's team.

8. Matej Stransky - The Dallas Stars draft pick led the Blades in scoring last year and is now scheduled to start the year with the Blades two top acquisitions from the summer, Brenden Walker and Shane McColgan. The chances of Stransky scoring 40 goals this year are high, but those expectations also come with pressure. Can he repeat his 2011-12 success during such a pressure-filled year? Time will tell, but I can't wait to see how Stransky handles it.

9. Sam Reinhart - I already touched on the growing pains potentially ahead for the Ice and for them to counter that, Sam Reinhart will need to continue his upward swing. The kid has been lighting the WHL on fire ever since he first played full time with the Ice during the playoffs in 2010-11. He's not eligible for the NHL draft until 2014, so he still has a ton of time to dazzle people with well rounded play. I can't wait to see him play live several times this season. A truly unique talent.

10. Patrik Bartosak - The Red Deer Rebels are poised to be one of those middle-ground teams in the WHL's East in 2012-13. One guy that could elevate them above that is their goaltender Patrik Bartosak. He entered the WHL as a rookie last year and had a fantastic first half of the season before tweaking his knee and missing the rest of the year. He's a big, talented goaltender who is one of those many European wild cards the WHL seems to offer this season, especially in goal.

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