Prospect Ramblings: Prospects to Watch at the 2016 Memorial Cup

Peter Harling


2016 Mem Cup

The Memorial Cup begins on Friday May 20 and the quest for the hardest trophy in all of sports begins. The final four teams include the Host Red Deer Rebels and the WHL Champions Brandon Wheat Kings. They are joined by the QMJHL Champion Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and the OHL Champions London Knights.  The Memorial Cup is some outstanding hockey and offers some prime scouting viewings for fantasy hockey.  All games will be broadcast on Sportsnet

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="">#CHL</a> announces Final Schedule and Game Times for <a href="">#MCMemorialCup</a> beginning May 20.<br><br>DETAILS: <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; CanadianHockeyLeague (@CHLHockey) <a href="">May 16, 2016</a></blockquote>

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The Host team is often the underdog in this tournament, but don’t overlook Red Deer. The Rebels boast several NHL drafted prospects starting with Haydn Fleury who was Carolina’s first round pick (seventh overall) in 2014 as the most prominent player. Fleury had nine points in the playoffs and five in the Brandon Series. Connor Bleackley is another interesting player from Red Deer. He is a Colorado Avalanche first round pick and was part of the trade that sent Mikkel Boedker to Colorado. The belief is that the Coyotes acquired Bleackley who if remains unsigned will re-enter the draft and Arizona will be compensated with a second round pick. Bleackley suffered a wrist injury in March and is likely to miss the tournament. Red Deer also added Boston Bruins prospect Jake Debrusk via trade. Debrusk was taken 14th overall in the 2015 draft and will be counted on to provide some offense. One prospect to watch will be St. Louis Blues 2015 fourth round pick Adam Musil. I recently spoke to the Blues Director of Player Personnel Tim Taylor and asked who some of their better but lesser known prospects are and his answer was Musil. He compared his game to the Blues Captain David Backes which is high praise. There are few 2016 NHL Draft eligible players on Red Deer but defenceman Josh Mahura is one to watch. Mahura is playing his way up the draft rankings and was invited to the scouting combine in Toronto. He is likely a third round candidate.

Staying in the West, the Brandon Wheat Kings will be a force to be reckoned with. The player I am most excited to watch is a 2017 draft eligible prospect in Nolan Patrick. Patrick is a 6-3 195 pound center who is a late birthday and missed this year’s draft by four days. Had he been bore a week earlier he would be a top five ranked player in this year’s draft. He is the early favorite to be the first overall pick in 2017. Patrick is the WHL playoff