Hockey playoffs are in full flight; OHL, WHL, QMJHL, AHL and NHL. If you like playoff hockey, you are tuning in at exactly the right time.
The OHL third round (Western Conference) has already started, London Knights and Erie Otters took to the ice for Game 1 of their series on Wednesday night. This series is going to be full of scoring, that doesn't mean the goalies or defensive talent is terrible, it has more to say about the offensive punch both of these teams bring. The game ended at 7-4 for the London Knights. The Knights first line of Mitch Marner (TOR), Christian Dvorak (ARI) and Matthew Tkachuk (2016 draft eligible) combined for 6 of those goals, the lone goal they weren't involved in was from Olli Juolevi (2016 draft eligible). Marner finished the night with one goal and three assists, Dvorak had two goals and three assists and Tkachuk with the hat trick and added an assist. The Knights' offense is very dangerous because of those three guys. Alex DeBrincat tried to keep his Otters in the game with a hat trick of his own, but the Otters just couldn't keep pace with London. But, really, who could right now? The Knight's trio currently has 76 points combined in 11 games. Yes I will repeat that for you, 76 points combined in 11 games played for London's first line.
Time to reveal my CHL third round predictions.. My record for the CHL playoffs is 21-15.
OHL – Eastern Conference (6-2 in first round, 2-2 in second round)
Barrie Colts (2) vs. Niagara IceDogs (4) – Prediction: Colts in 6 games
OHL – Western Conference
Erie Otters (1) vs. London Knights (3) – Prediction: Knights in 5 games
WHL – Eastern Conference (5-3 in first round, 2-2 in second round)
Brandon Wheat Kings (1) vs. Red Deer Rebels (3) – Prediction: Wheat Kings in 5 games
WHL – Western Conference
Kelowna Rockets (2) vs. Seattle Thunderbirds (3) – Prediction: Thunderbirds in 6 games
QMJHL (4-4 in first round, 2-2 in second round)
Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (1) vs. Moncton Wildcats (6) – Prediction: Huskies in 6 games.
Shawinigan Cataractes (2) vs. Saint John Sea Dogs (3) – Prediction: Sea Dogs in 7 games.
The AHL playoffs have begun. The bracket is all set and two Game 1's have already been played on Wednesday. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton beat Providence 3-2 and Lake Erie defeated Rockford 5-2.
With the AHL playoffs starting, there are a lot of players joining their NHL affiliate teams on ATO contracts or who have recently signed entry-level contracts.
Blake Speers (NJ) and Colton White (NJ) have joined the Albany Devils on ATO contracts. Both Speers and White were eliminated from the OHL playoffs when Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds were eliminated in the second round.
Mike Amadio (LAK) and Spencer Watson (LAK) have joined the Ontario Reign on ATO contracts, both of which have signed entry-level contracts that begin next year. Watson's Kingston Frontenacs and Amadio's North Bay Battalion were both eliminated in the second round of the OHL playoffs.
Daniel Sprong (PIT) has joined Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after his Charlottetown Islanders were eliminated in the QMJHL playoffs.
IIHF Under-18 Men's Championship has finished their round robin, they are now onto the playoff tournament. A lot of young talent showcased in this tournament, especially leading into the NHL Draft in June. Top five scorers in the tournament after the round robin is below.
To see more of the top NHL draft prospects profiles, head to our Draft Eligible Page to find a few other names in the IIHF tournament. If you haven't already, check out our top Fantasy Ranked Draft Eligible Prospects, put together by our very own Peter Harling, along with many other big name scouts and writers. The top 30 fantasy prospects along with comparables to a NHL player, very good read leading into fantasy off-season drafts.
More signings, seems daily that there are a few new signings to report:
Defensemen Gabriel Carlsson (CBJ) signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets worth $2.775 million, $925,000 cap hit.
Defensemen Keaton Thompson (ANA) signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Anaheim Ducks worth $2.775 million, $925,000 cap hit.
Goalie and Hobey Baker finalist Thatcher Demko (VAN) signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Vancouver Canucks worth $2.775 million, $925,000 cap hit.
With all of these leagues playoffs being played, it may be tough to keep up with who's winning what series. I update my daily brackets for the WHL, OHL, QMJHL, AHL and NHL all throughout the playoffs every single day. Be sure to check out my twitter page (@zwambag) to see all of those bracket updates.
Feel free to leave comments, questions or concerns below, have fun playing the game of Fantasy Hockey.