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Introducing the WHL 98-born Class

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Old
03-03-2014, 06:48 PM
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zjh
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Introducing the WHL 98-born Class

I did this last year with the 1997-born class and I will again bring people up to date on prospects in Western Canada born in 1998, and entering the WHL next season. This is considered one of the strongest draft classes in some time. Note: I have seen all these player live at least once, this is just my brief impressions for people wanting more information. I'll start with the first rounders then add on after that.

97 Thread: http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh....php?t=1466663

1st Round

Tyler Benson - Vancouver Giants
We all know Tyler. An extremely powerful forward that displays elite hockey sense that allows him to produce offense. He has a wicked wrist shot that will no doubt be turning on red lights in the WHL next season. Needs to improve on his skating and will also have to prove he can continue to play his style of game at the next level.

Sam Steel - Regina Pats
Dynamic and highly skilled forward that is as effective at a stand-still as he is at top speed. Fast thinker that always seems to find a creative way to attack at the offensive end. Smaller frame, but with his unique blend of skills, he shouldn't have a problem producing at the WHL level and beyond.

Josh Anderson - Prince George Cougars
A big and mobile defender that sees the ice well and shown he has the ability to transition the puck up ice well for a player his size. Has a physical edge, and his mixture of reach and smarts make him tough to play against at the defensive end.

Nolan Patrick - Brandon Wheat Kings
Power forward with some of the best pure hockey sense in the group. Good skater for his size, is able to drive the puck wide with a strong upper body and has the vision and shot to put up some points. Very good cycle player that always puts himself in good positions to succeed.

Brett Howden - Moose Jaw Warriors
Following in the same mold as his brother Quinton, he is a big bodied forward that likes to go to the dirty areas to score. Like Patrick, he has excellent hockey sense shows a good work ethic. Saw Howden in one of his games with the Warriors and he was a complete stud playing on the top line already.

Kale Clague - Brandon Wheat Kings
A highly skilled defenseman that dominates with elite skating abilities and strength. Dynamic thinker that maneuvers the ice so smoothly. Strong in the defensive zone, but excels as a player that can transition it up ice. Can be you PP quarterback and log minutes in all roles.

Tyson Jost - Everett Silvertips
An offensive spark plug center that controls the center of the ice with elite puck handling skills and poise in traffic. Jost has quick feet and the explosiveness to separate in open ice. Mature offensive player that regularly finds and attacks holes in the opposing defense. Note: Not signed with the Silvertips yet

Dante Fabbro - Seattle Thunderbirds
An offense first defenseman that loves to throw crisp passes up ice and has also shown the ability to skate it out of trouble when needed. No slouch in the defensive zone either though, as he isn't afraid to pop a guy with his head down coming over the blue line or feed someone a few slashes in front of the net. PP QB and all around puck-moving stud. Note: Not yet signed by the T-Birds

Jared Legien - Kootenay Ice
Big bodied forward that has good hands and loves to use his frame to his advantage. Very strong in puck battles along the wall and has a good knack for scooping up loose pucks around the net and in traffic. Not the most skilled or best skater, but he has potential. Needs to get a little more aggressive.

David Quenneville - Medicine Hat Tigers
Another highly skilled defenseman. Quenneville plays a high energy game from the back end. Very aggressive on the break out with a booming slap shot. Loves to catch kids with their heads down. Lacks the size to dominate on the defensive end, but his strength and athleticism will allow him to succeed going forward. Competes very hard are loves to win.

Dante Hannoun - Victoria Royals
Smaller offensive player that has shown high level creativity and smarts with the puck. What he lacks in size he makes up for with good feet along the wall and quick hands that allow him to create extra time. Agile and elusive skater that is hard to track. Will need to prove he has the durability to succeed at the WHL level.

Tyler Steenbergen - Swift Current Broncos
A good offensive pivot that is a solid in almost every aspect of the game. Savvy goal scorer that finds dangerous spaces in the offensive zone but also has the smarts to excel at the defensive end. Steenbergen works hard always seems to make the right play.

Jake Kryski - Kamloops Blazers via PA
A strong playmaking center that has a good raw frame and an enticing skill set. Kryski is a smooth skater that displays confident puck carrying skills and very good vision. Plays hard in the defensive zone, asset off the half wall on the PP. All-around good prospect with a lot of upside.

Jeff de Wit - Red Deer Rebels
Power forward style forward that has a pretty good stride. Very long reach allows him to protect the puck in traffic and change his angle of attack. Will need to work on his overall agility and continue to grow his offensive game.

Parker Aucoin - Tri-City Americans
A true character forward that has an excellent wrist shot. Aucoin always seems to place himself in dangerous areas of the ice, and if he gets the puck he tickles the twine more often than not. Willing to block shots for the team and is one of the those guys that can do it all. Future captain. Needs to work on his foot speed.

Jeff Faith - Spokane Chiefs
An enormous defensive dman that loves to take the body and make things hard for the opposition in his end. A pretty clumsy skater at this point, will certainly have to improve in that aspect, but if he can put together the pieces he is going to be a solid dman. Gritty, get it done kind of player.

Stuart Skinner - Lethbridge Hurricanes
A huge goalie that covers a ton of the net. Plays a butterfly style and covers the bottom half of the net well. Plays a bit deep in his crease and relies more on his size. Has very good hands and his rebound control is solid. Needs to work on playing pucks at his feet and fighting to find vision through screens.

Beck Malenstyn - Calgary Hitmen
A big two-way player that is comfortable in all three forward positions. Just an all-around stud and one of my favorites. Explosive skater in a big frame. Good offensive skills and hockey sense, but really takes care of his own zone too. Blocks shots, does it all. No doubt stud.

Quinn Benjafield - Kamloops Blazers
A smart and industrial forward that has good size and isn't afraid to throw the body around. Benjafield spends a lot of time around the blue paint and is a garbage goal type player. Raw skills with the hockey sense to put it all together. Solid skater that gets around, but I'd like to see him smooth out his stride a bit.

Dillon Dube - Kelowna Rockets
Skilled forward that has exceptional vision. Very explosive when he wants to be and always seems to be thinking offense. Dube seemed a bit inconsistent in the games I saw him, but when he was on he was constantly threatening to score and the puck just followed him around the ice.

Kaden Elder - Seattle Thunderbirds
Smaller centre that plays a strong two-way game. Kaden plays a pretty simple game opting for chips and short passes over extravagant plays. Very competitive player that isn't afraid of physical confrontations. Good hands in a strong base. Very mature player that should have a long and successful WHL career.

Not viewed - Matt Barberis - Vancouver Giants

I will post players from the 2nd round and beyond later when I have the chance. Feel free to ask questions if you'd like to know more about a player as these were just brief descriptions.

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Old
03-03-2014, 06:54 PM
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Yog S'loth
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Well, it's official. It took a while but it finally hit me. 1998 was the year I graduated college:

I'm *** old.

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03-03-2014, 06:57 PM
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This is an extremely strong class, Benson, Steel and Patrick obviously being the most intriguing of the bunch.

What are your thoughts on Clague? I've heard mixed opinions, he did break Phaneuf's scoring record in Alberta major midget didn't he?

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03-03-2014, 07:24 PM
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Cheers bud.

Any of those first rounders stock improved or gone down?

Malenstyn looked good via TV when he was up with the hitmen.

I've heard bad things about Anderson and his ability to handle speed on the rush. I hope he turns into a player. PG needs to build on heir decent success of this year.

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03-03-2014, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velociraptor View Post
This is an extremely strong class, Benson, Steel and Patrick obviously being the most intriguing of the bunch.

What are your thoughts on Clague? I've heard mixed opinions, he did break Phaneuf's scoring record in Alberta major midget didn't he?
He was phenomenal when I saw him. Dominated at the U16's, was excellent in league play too. Just so smooth and dynamic. He is a really dependable player, and he can mix in a crazy play that just leaves you in awe. Really good shot too. Had a natural hat trick at the Mac's to lead his team back from a three goal deficit. Really a special player. I could see him putting up 30 points as a rookie dman next year. I've never heard a bad word about him.

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03-03-2014, 07:55 PM
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I'm guessing David is related to the Brandon Quenneville's?

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03-03-2014, 08:12 PM
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I'm guessing David is related to the Brandon Quenneville's?
yes, he is. Might be the most talented of the bunch.

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03-03-2014, 09:24 PM
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It'll be interesting to see if Hannoun grows a couple inches or not. That he's fairly mature looking makes me doubtful.

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03-03-2014, 10:58 PM
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What forward position is Benson primarily?

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03-03-2014, 11:01 PM
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is kyle olson 99?

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03-03-2014, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Mozesmadness View Post
What forward position is Benson primarily?
Benson in my viewings have been a center. Took a lot of draws. Also took shifts on the wing too.

And to the above - Kyle Olsen is a 99. Very talented player, but I'm not sure how high he will go in draft due to size.

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03-04-2014, 08:48 AM
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Hannoun was amazing when he played for NSWC during his draft year. By far the best player on that team.

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03-04-2014, 06:24 PM
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Thanks for the list btw. Any 97s playing midget that have caught your eye?

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03-04-2014, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Daneurism View Post
Thanks for the list btw. Any 97s playing midget that have caught your eye?
Curtis Miske was decent for Leduc, Spokane 2nd rounder. Don't think he ever becomes a star, but he is a good WHL prospect. Was up there in scoring with 98 Noah Gregor who I'll comment on later.

Rykr Cole was solid for Moose Jaw. Strong two-way player with a bit of jazz offensively. Made his debut with Regina the other night.

Ty Schultz, Med Hat's first rounded was just OK in his second year of midget. Still a decent prospect, but definitely gets overshadowed by Fabbro for the NW Giants.

Couple of the 16 year-old on the Okanagan team were pretty dirty. Wagner, Finley, etc.

Devon Sideroff on OHA is a beast. Tons of skill, great puck handler. Has played quite a few games with the Blazers. That team also features Blades prospect Wyatt Sloboshan and Royals prospect Matthew Campese, who were just average when I saw them, but has a lot of promise. Can also read more about them in my 97 group. Really like the raw talent from OHA goalie Cole Kehler too. Size and athleticism, but has bit of work to do. Another Blazers prospect that has played a few games for them this year.

Hitmen defensive prospect Loch Morrison is a stud. Plays for the PA Mintos. Judging by his play in a short recall with the Hitmen, he is going to be a good one. Could easily be on the team this year. Hitmen AP Layne Bensmiller from the Red Deer Optimist Rebels is also a promising kid, good physically and skates well.

Might be some I am forgetting. But you get the point.

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03-09-2014, 03:47 PM
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Dante Hannoun is really lighting it up in the first round of playoffs with 10 points in 3 games(including a 6 point game).

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03-10-2014, 10:13 AM
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2nd Round

Ryley McKinstry - Vancouver Giants
A strong skating defenseman that has no trouble taking it himself. McKinstry isn't the flashiest or most dominant player at either end of the ice but he has solid tools and can contribute in a multitude of situations

Kody McDonald - Prince George Cougars
Well built forward that has very good puck skills and shows flashes of high end explosiveness and physical play. Never really took over when I saw him, but he put in a pretty good effort and was contributing to his teams success even when he wasn't creating scoring chances

Tanner Kaspick - Brandon Wheat Kings
A talented offensive forward that has a good frame to grow into. Kaspick seemed to be solid in almost every aspect of the game, good skater, skill, size, defensive awareness. All-around good prospect.

Nolan Volcan - Seattle Thunderbirds
Smart offensive player that packs a pretty solid punch inside a smaller frame. Volcan impressed at both the U16 and WHL level this season by playing a heads up game and making good mental decisions throughout. Solid skater that isn't afraid to go to the greasy areas of the ice to make a play.

Tak Anholt - Lethbridge Hurricanes
One of the fastest players of the bunch, Anholt can really stretch out a defense in the neutral zone. Has pretty decent offensive skills, but will need to improve his 200-foot game. I could see Tak becoming a good penalty killer and overall change of pace player.

Vince Loschiavo - Kootenay Ice
Loschiavo is a big power forward type player that skates surprisingly well. Gets off the line with ease and has the hands and feel for the ice to make plays. Not the most physical player yet, but he has a lot of upside.

Mason Shaw - Medicine Hat Tigers
An extremely smart player that has as much offensive producing capability as anyone in the class. Was among the leaders in AMHL scoring despite playing fewer games. Shaw always seems to make the right play when he's out there and does so without ever making things too hard on himself. Size could be an issue going forward.

Matt Phillips - Victoria Royals
Another smaller offensive player, Phillips plays a high energy game and has outstanding puck skills in traffic. Very good motor and just a kid that knows how to put it in the back of the net. Seems to find holes in the defense with regularity and has a knack for getting open behind traffic.

Cole Johnson - Swift Current Broncos
Similarly to Shaw and Phillips, Johnson is a offensively inclined forward that has a promising career ahead of him. One of my favorite 2nd round players. Johnson has good physical tools and glues it all together with high-level thinking ability. Pretty well filled out for a 15 YO, has the ability to thrive in both open ice and along the walls.

Josh Mahura - Red Deer Rebels
Two-way defenseman that skates at a high level and makes a good first pass look easy. Will contribute at both ends because of his smarts and maturity on the ice. Seriously don't know how he went this late in the draft. All-around solid defenseman that should have a long, successful WHL career.

Ralph Jarratt - Victoria Royals
A stay-at-home defenseman that is hard to play against. Jarratt has a very enticing package of size and skating ability that should allow him to make the transition to the WHL game somewhat easier. Will never be a game breaker, but he is the type of player you want out there in the last minute of a game to defend a lead.

Dalton Hamaliuk - Spokane Chiefs
Another personal favorite of mine, Hamaliuk is a two-way defenseman with grit in the defensive zone and a propensity to create offense with smarts plays through the middle the ice. Very smooth skater and has a nice frame. Has all the pieces to become an outstanding defenseman one day.

Ryan Kubic - Vancouver Giants
Pretty much the polar opposite in style to 1st goalie taken Skinner. Kubic is a smaller sized goalie that relies a lot on positioning and athleticism in his side-to-side movements. Kubic is an outstanding scrambler and has a good mental makeup as well.

Dawson Martin - Calgary Hitmen
Solid two-way forward that can score. Martin doesn't dominate at either end of the ice, but he plays a mature game and makes simple plays to forward the puck. Martin has good hockey sense and shows flashes of creativity and a physical spark that could make him a above-average contributor going forward,

Nolan Reid - Saskatoon Blades
Really smart blueliner that plays a responsible two-way game. Strong skater that moves fluidly across the ice. Reid seems to pick apart forechecks with his poise and execution. PP QB with a good shot, and his aforementioned smarts shine through in his ability to distribute the puck and find gaps to get shots through.

Not Viewed This season
Ryan Jevne - Medicine Hat
Nolan Yaremko - Tri-City

Not Viewed
Patrick Khodorenko - Everett
Liam Schioler - Regina
Davis Koch - Edmonton
Cal Foote - Kelowna
Parker Smyth - Saskatoon

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03-10-2014, 12:56 PM
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2nd Round

Tak Anholt - Lethbridge Hurricanes
One of the fastest players of the bunch, Anholt can really stretch out a defense in the neutral zone. Has pretty decent offensive skills, but will need to improve his 200-foot game. I could see Tak becoming a good penalty killer and overall change of pace player.
From what I saw during his bantam year, he had an all-round offensive game complimented with said speed. Not necessarily labelled a playmaker, powerforward, or goal-scorer, but can do all of them once he's in the offensive zone. Decent build as well to round it off nicely.

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03-16-2014, 09:54 PM
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5th rd pick Morgan Geekie made his debut for Tri City tonight. Put up intriguing stats in Manitoba midget and lo and behold, he scores in his debut.

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03-16-2014, 10:14 PM
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Patrick has played the last 3 games for Brandon has a goal and had another taken away on a dubious penalty. Looks really solid at center and looks huge for a 15 year old. Really soft hands and he sees the ice extremely well.

I think he will have a better start to his career then Brayden Schenn did with Brandon and that is saying a lot.

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03-16-2014, 11:37 PM
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Patrick has played the last 3 games for Brandon has a goal and had another taken away on a dubious penalty. Looks really solid at center and looks huge for a 15 year old. Really soft hands and he sees the ice extremely well.

I think he will have a better start to his career then Brayden Schenn did with Brandon and that is saying a lot.
I've heard two highly regarded scouts mention he is a potential 1st overall pick in the 2017 draft, he is that good!

Saw Stu Skinner in net the other night and he was sick. Showed a different level of athleticism that I hadn't seen before.

Beck Malenstyn broke his hand or wrist so won't be playing with the Hitmen during the playoffs.

David Quenneville made his WHL debut on Saturday night with the Tigers.

I'll try to roll out some more player profiles in the next little while.

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03-16-2014, 11:51 PM
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Some very lean times for the Oil Kings are looming.

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03-17-2014, 01:35 AM
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Wheat kings are gonna be pretty scaring in the future with Patrick, Clague, Kaspick

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03-17-2014, 11:46 AM
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Some very lean times for the Oil Kings are looming.
They aren't too bad. Guys like Lane Bauer, Pollock, Irving/Mayo take on bigger roles in the next few years, Jarry is back and they have Patrick Dea coming up to likely be his backup next year. Also have a few prospects that haven't been able to crack the squad like Andrew Koep and Garan Magnes. They will be competitive for a few years still.

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03-17-2014, 11:50 AM
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I've heard two highly regarded scouts mention he is a potential 1st overall pick in the 2017 draft, he is that good!

Saw Stu Skinner in net the other night and he was sick. Showed a different level of athleticism that I hadn't seen before.

Beck Malenstyn broke his hand or wrist so won't be playing with the Hitmen during the playoffs.

David Quenneville made his WHL debut on Saturday night with the Tigers.

I'll try to roll out some more player profiles in the next little while.
Skinner looked really good in that game on shaw, obviously made some "rookie" mistakes, but was the only reason the game was close throughout. Very athletic, seemed quite confident too. Looked like he got caught overplaying a bit. The league will slow down for him soon.

You think he'll be a starter in Lethbridge at 16 next year? Or is that too much - will they screw his development like Vancouver seems to have done with Lee?

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03-17-2014, 11:52 AM
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Wheat kings are gonna be pretty scaring in the future with Patrick, Clague, Kaspick
Guys that are already playing like Gabrielle, Hawryluk, Pilon, and Quenneville are very good too.
They also nabbed the rights to former minor hockey teammates Colt Conrad (Pilon trade) and Wade Allison (listed), who have committed to Western Michigan but could be impact players if they choose to play in the league.

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