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10 WHL Storylines To Follow This Season

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Old
09-13-2012, 12:16 PM
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10 WHL Storylines To Follow This Season

Put together a blog piece and posted it today. Covers 10 storylines I expect to happen during the 2012-13 season, several of which are draft related. Give it a read. Here's a sample:

Quote:
3. Seth Jones will be the highest drafted WHL player and win rookie of the year - The WHL boasts a fantastic class for the 2013 NHL Draft and the head of the class is Seth Jones. He's a 6'4 D from the Portland Winterhawks and is set to make his WHL debut next week after transferring to the league from the US National Program over the summer. He's a smooth skater, can pass the puck, play defence and play physical. He's a physical specimen and the son of a former NBA player. He has all the tools to be a top end prospect and in my mind will be the 2nd player drafted into the NHL next June, behind Nathan MacKinnon of the Halifax Mooseheads. Other players to contend for top WHL draft slot include Hunter Shinkaruk (Medicine Hat) and Curtis Lazar (Edmonton). I also thing a solid first year by Jones makes him the favorite to be named WHL rookie of the year. I would pencil him in for atleast 40 points this year. There should be some solid competition for this title with guys like Jake Virtanen (Calgary), Brayden Point (Moose Jaw) and Leon Draisaitl (Prince Albert) all expected to have above-average debut seasons in 2012-13.
Quote:
9. Expect big things from the WHL at the 2013 NHL Draft - I will call it right now. I expect atleast 8 WHL players to be taken in the 1st round of the 2013 NHL Draft. That might not seem like a huge number, but it is when looking at the history of the last few drafts. Six WHLers were taken in the first round of 2012, five went in 2011, with seven going in 2010. That 7 is the highest total in the last several years and I expect it to be passed in 2013. The league possesses a great crop of players for 2013 and it's very balanced at each position. Top end forwards, defenceman and even an elite goalie prospect highlight the bunch for 2013. Names to watch include Seth Jones, Curtis Lazar, Hunter Shinkaruk, Josh Morrissey, Ryan Pulock, Eric Comrie, Madison Bowey, Alex Forsberg, Shea Theodore, Morgan Klimchuk, Connor Rankin, Matt Needham and others. It's a very good group, arguably the best the WHL has had to offer in the last number of years.
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10. Alberta Showdown - Lazar vs. Shinkaruk - This final storyline relates to point 9. The WHL's top two forward prospects for the 2013 are Curtis Lazar (Edmonton Oil Kings) and Hunter Shinkaruk (Medicine Hat Tigers). Both are hard-working kids who happen to be fantastic offensive players. Shinkaruk is better offensively, while Lazar is definitely more well-rounded and physical. So who will go first in the NHL draft? I expect it to be a battle all season long. As it stands right now, I rate Shinkaruk just ahead of Lazar, but it's close. There is a lot to like about Lazar and in my mind he projects to be similar to a player like Shane Doan at the pro level. So, it wouldn't be shocking at all to see him drafted ahead of Shinkaruk. Both will face challenges this year with Lazar needing to up his offensive responsibilities and Shinkaruk needing to prove he can lead a team without Emerson Etem by his side. Both are up for the challenge and I can't wait to keep track of this battle all season long.
Full post here: http://whl-from-above.blogspot.ca/20...hl-season.html

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Old
09-13-2012, 03:02 PM
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Nice writeup.

I've heard that both Lazar and Shinkaruk have gotten bigger (taller and heavier) over the summer, so that could make a world of difference, especially for Shinkaruk.

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09-13-2012, 03:15 PM
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As I continue to read about Shinkaruk the more I'm starting to really like him

How does Lazar compare to Barkov and/or Monahan?

Will Ryan Pulock be the 2nd D-man drafted in 2013?

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Old
09-13-2012, 03:37 PM
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TheKingSlayer
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I really hope point #4 is bang on. The more people getting excited about hockey the better, and it all starts at the junior level.

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09-13-2012, 03:49 PM
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Awesome read. If you do not mind me asking who are the big guns in Saskatoon? This will be my first year that I pay hardcore attention to the WHL.

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09-13-2012, 04:51 PM
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Is Portland really going to regularly ice 10+ Americans in their lineup? That has to be a CHL record.

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09-13-2012, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeywrench View Post
Awesome read. If you do not mind me asking who are the big guns in Saskatoon? This will be my first year that I pay hardcore attention to the WHL.
Brenden Walker - Over 80 pts last season, undrafted, likely leading team scorer
Shane McColgan - Rangers 5th rounder in 2011
Matej Stransky - Stars 6th rounder in 2011
Josh Nicholls - Leafs former prospect, 7th rounder in 2010
Lukas Sutter - Jets 2nd rounder in 2012

Dalton Thrower - Habs 2nd rounder in 2012
Duncan Siemens - Avs 1st rounder in 2011
Darren Dietz - Habs 5th rounder in 2011

Andrey Makarov - Russian G from WJHC

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09-13-2012, 05:03 PM
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So Patrick Holland is staying for his overage season in Tri-Cities this year, not going to Abbotsford? (Inferred from the Rattie leading goal-scorer prediction)

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09-13-2012, 05:07 PM
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Also, do we think Edmundson could potentially be on the move to a contender like Edmonton if Moose Jaw really struggles? I don't think the D is exactly unimpeachable, can't say I fully believe in Lowe without his security blanket Pysyk this year and Corbett and Sautner struggled as playoffs went along last year (however, both were playing at least double the amount of games they played the previous year). I expect Gernat to be a force this year and we have a good 17-year-old in Geertsen who showed flashes last year and a solid if unspectacular 19-year-old in Ryan Dech, but if injuries hit I could see this being a problem.

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09-13-2012, 05:30 PM
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Shinkaruk looks like he could be Kessel's little brother, haven't really watched him play but it seems to me like he would be a comparable player as well.

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09-13-2012, 05:41 PM
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Here is a WHL dark-horse power forward beast for this season; Adam Lowry.
http://www.whl.ca/roster/show/id/484

Played injured for the first part of last season with a difficult to diagnose wrist injury; missed the rest of the year following his surgery. Give him some time to get acclimatized again and he will be a freakin' bull out there.

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09-13-2012, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabid Ranger View Post
Is Portland really going to regularly ice 10+ Americans in their lineup? That has to be a CHL record.
Bitner,De Leo,Iverson,Schoernborn, and Turgeon at forward
Jones and Hansen on Defense

Burke in Goal

8 for sure I think

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09-13-2012, 05:42 PM
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Quality write up as always.

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09-13-2012, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gump Hasek View Post
Here is a WHL dark-horse power forward beast for this season; Adam Lowry.
http://www.whl.ca/roster/show/id/484

Played injured for the first part of last season with a difficult to diagnose wrist injury; missed the rest of the year following his surgery. Give him some time to get acclimatized again and he will be a freakin' bull out there.
If he stays healthy he could have a Mark Stone like season for points this year. I expect the Blades to go after him hard as well at the trade deadline

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09-13-2012, 05:51 PM
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great write-up I'll need to watch a lot more whl games this season lock out or not

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09-13-2012, 06:32 PM
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I think the Oil kings should move Lazar to RW, but hes honestly my favourite player at the draft good guy too, reminds me a ton of Iginla but faster and better shot, Shinkaruk, I met him before and hes kind of a dick, reminds me of Kane/Kessel, but anyways.

The Oil Kings should trade for McNeill and Murray, wouldn't be a bad idea, those teams are rebuilding anyways, and the Oil Kings could win the Memorial cup with them on their team.

Kulda-St. Croix-Lazar
Wruck-McNeill-Legault
Moroz-Samuelsson-Foster
Sieben-Pollock-Baddock

Murray-Reinhart
Lowe-Gernat
Geersten-Sautner
Corbett

Brossoit
Jarry

I dunno, but it looks pretty sick, certain people would get traded, but wouldn't be a bad idea to add Lowry.

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09-13-2012, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gump Hasek View Post
Here is a WHL dark-horse power forward beast for this season; Adam Lowry.
http://www.whl.ca/roster/show/id/484

Played injured for the first part of last season with a difficult to diagnose wrist injury; missed the rest of the year following his surgery. Give him some time to get acclimatized again and he will be a freakin' bull out there.
Agree.

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09-13-2012, 08:06 PM
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A bit surprised that Nikkel wasn't mentioned in the Brandon portion as seemingly every other Brandon defenseman was.

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09-13-2012, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabid Ranger View Post
Is Portland really going to regularly ice 10+ Americans in their lineup? That has to be a CHL record.
Might be the most ever in the WHL. I know Saginaw Spirit played at least 12 Americans last year and of course Oleksiak would be considered by some 13, I don't think so anymore and not trying to start that debate. Now whether or not all guys are truly regulars is certainly up for debate. Also the Plymouth Whalers have had years with a bunch of Americans.

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09-13-2012, 08:20 PM
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My prediction? Saskatoon finally wins their first ever WHL championship. They'll add even more veteran firepower over the regular season (the Blades are probably the WHL team that benefits most from an NHL lock out) and will have the veteran team they haven't had since 1994.

Portland and Saskatoon represent the WHL in the Memorial Cup. Although it would be nice to see Kamloops/Saskatoon in the WHL final... I betcha Lorne Molleken would love a re-do from the early 90s. I've heard that when Saskatoon visits Kamloops he doesn't even look up at the banners in the rafters in the Interior Savings Centre.

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09-13-2012, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daneurism View Post
A bit surprised that Nikkel wasn't mentioned in the Brandon portion as seemingly every other Brandon defenseman was.
Nikkel is at least #3 on the WK's defence, he's miles ahead of Miller and Hunter. I think Waltz will be ahead of those 2 guys also as the season goes along.


Last edited by sbtatter: 09-13-2012 at 10:48 PM.
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09-13-2012, 10:51 PM
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So Patrick Holland is staying for his overage season in Tri-Cities this year, not going to Abbotsford? (Inferred from the Rattie leading goal-scorer prediction)
Actually he is Habs property (part of Cammalleri trade) and is expect to be in Hamilton this year.

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09-13-2012, 11:07 PM
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Was hoping for a mention of Ty Rattie, was not disappointed. I think 120 points is a little optimistic, but I'd love to be wrong. Quality write up all the way around.

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09-13-2012, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoobs View Post
My prediction? Saskatoon finally wins their first ever WHL championship. They'll add even more veteran firepower over the regular season (the Blades are probably the WHL team that benefits most from an NHL lock out) and will have the veteran team they haven't had since 1994.

Portland and Saskatoon represent the WHL in the Memorial Cup. Although it would be nice to see Kamloops/Saskatoon in the WHL final... I betcha Lorne Molleken would love a re-do from the early 90s. I've heard that when Saskatoon visits Kamloops he doesn't even look up at the banners in the rafters in the Interior Savings Centre.

Calgary will finish higher than the Blades.

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09-13-2012, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Ashasx View Post
Quality write up as always.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintAnton View Post
great write-up I'll need to watch a lot more whl games this season lock out or not
Thanks. And thanks, and yes, you do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daneurism View Post
A bit surprised that Nikkel wasn't mentioned in the Brandon portion as seemingly every other Brandon defenseman was.
Sorry my bad, he should have been mentioned for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyMo35 View Post
Was hoping for a mention of Ty Rattie, was not disappointed. I think 120 points is a little optimistic, but I'd love to be wrong. Quality write up all the way around.
Thanks.

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Originally Posted by I am the Liquor View Post
Calgary will finish higher than the Blades.
I would put a money wager down on this. Name your price.

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