CHL finals have begun, the AHL second round underway and some more CHL series predictions…
The three CHL finals have been set, which means it's time for another round of predictions. My overall record for every CHL series is now at 25-17.
OHL – (9-5 record)
London Knights (3) vs. Niagara IceDogs (4) – Prediction: Knights in 6 games.
WHL – (9-5 record)
Brandon Wheat Kings (1) vs. Seattle Thunderbirds (3) – Prediction: Wheat Kings in 6 games.
QMJHL – (7-7 record)
Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (1) vs. Shawinigan Cataractes (2) – Prediction: Huskies in 6 games.
Now to breakdown each final, The Knight's top line trio has already been well documented, so the hidden gem in this series could be goaltender Tyler Parsons (2016 draft eligible). Parsons was named the Vaughan CHL Goaltender of the Week ending May 1st. Allowing only seven goals in their third round sweep of the Erie Otters. Parsons is first in GAA (2.27) and SV% (.924), who's second in those stats? Alex Nedeljkovic (CAR) of the Niagara Ice Dogs (2.33 GAA, .918 SV%). This series could come down to goaltending, which is a surprise with all the elite players in the Ice Dogs and Knights' lineups.
Parsons draft stock is slowly moving up, he could be the first goaltender, but more than likely in the second or third round.
***Quick note: Max Jones (draft eligible) will make his return to the line up in Game 3 of this series, after sitting out his 12-game suspension for a blind-side hit in Game 4 of the first round.
London wins the first game of this series 4-1, Mitch Marner (TOR) and Christian Dvorak (ARI) have extended both their point streaks to 13 games with Marner's goal and assist and Dvorak's goal.
The high-powered Brandon Wheat Kings are facing the very hot Seattle Thunderbirds. Brandon has five of the top six points leaders, all with 20+ points scored through 16 games played. Only one Seattle Thunderbirds, Mathew Barzal (NYI), is on that list. The Thunderbirds are a scoring by committee with four players with double digit points in only 13 games played. Seattle has only lost one game all playoffs, losing Game 1 of the second round to the Everett Silvertips. Overager Landon Bow (undrafted) has been stellar within net, with a 12-1 record, 1.54 GAA, .936 SV% and has only allowed 21 goals in those 13 games. Bow will be in tough to keep the puck out of the net with the high scoring Wheat Kings, a recipe for a great WHL final.
The battle of the President Cup in the QMJHL is between Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and the Shawinigan Cataractes. Anthony Beauvellier (NYI) is leading the playoffs in scoring with 26 points (12-14) in 17 games played (1.53 pts/gp). Beauvellier's teammate