I have not seen Ben Thompson but I have a secret desire that can be the Devils next Jim McKenzie.
The increased scoring he saw this year(albeit as over ager in his last year of junior), his massive size in 6'4 -215 and nastiness gives me hope that he could be the type of player that can take a regular shift on the 4th and do some of the dirty work.
I hope he continues to improve in Albany next season. I think this type of player is very underrated in general...A mean tough guy that can take a regular shift is extremely valuable.
Team needs a Chris Neil. Let's hope he can be that player.
Both were very good teams in the regular season, but Portland's team is just a scoring machine. Myles Bell was Kelowna's top scorer at 77 points during the season (and he's not even playing due to injury), but he'd only be Portland's 6th best scorer. Amazing fire power on that Portland squad, although Kelowna does seem to have better depth scorers Portland just has a major advantage in terms of game-breakers. Not having Bell hurts a lot for Kelowna, so it would be fair to label them the underdogs.
Oddly, they don't have much in terms of NHL drafted prospects outside of Thomson and Dylan Blujus (Tampa 2nd rounder 2012) and Nick Paul (Dallas 3rd rounder 2013). Oshawa finished ahead of North Bay and has a handful of more touted NHL prospects (Laughton, Dal Colle, Cassels, Altshuller). Impressive that North Bay was able to sweep. Guelph is up 3-1 in the other series over Erie (Connor McDavid, Andre Burakovsky).