Western Hockey League Report: March



With the end of the year in the WHL nearing, it is important to focus on the players whose team are in the playoff picture or are fighting for a playoff spot. As of right now it seems like the East wildcard is the only place where teams are still really in the hunt, but anything can happen and there is a lot of time left to do it. These are the players to watch down the late stretch.


Ethan Bear (Seattle Thunderbirds) – The Edmonton Oilers draft pick has had a good 19-year-old season so far with Seattle, leading WHL defenders in scoring with 67 points in 61 games and a +29 rating. He also led defensemen in scoring last year in the playoffs and will be crucial to Seattle’s success. Seattle has already made playoffs for this season.

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Edmonton Oilers pick Ethan Bear is your WHL player of the week. The Seattle D-man had 10 points in five games</p>&mdash; Ryan Kennedy (@THNRyanKennedy) <a href="https://twitter.com/THNRyanKennedy/status/833805139572035585">February 20, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}


David Quenneville (Medicine Hat Tigers) – Coming off a lower-body injury earlier in the season, the New York Islanders prospect is finally back and can return to being a crucial player for the Tigers down the stretch. He was leading the WHL in power play goals at the time that he was hurt and nobody in the league has been able to figure out how to stop his shot. He currently has 49 points in just 40 games.

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WHL?src=hash">#WHL</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/tigershockey">@tigershockey</a> David Quenneville leads all <a href="https://twitter.com/CHLHockey">@CHLHockey</a> in rearguard goals w/ 19. Most at Christmas break (WHL-wise) since at least 2008.</p>&mdash; Geoffrey Brandow (@GeoffreyBrandow) <a href="https://twitter.com/GeoffreyBrandow/status/812157253168074752">December 23, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}


Zach Sawchenko (Moose Jaw Warriors) – The undrafted goalie has really found his groove in his third WHL season, sitting fifth in the league in goals against average and fourth in save percentage. With Moose Jaw already in a playoff position, it is fair to say that this playoff run is not only crucial for the team but also for Sawchenko. He should be a potential goalie taken this time around at the 2017 NHL Draft.


Mathew Barzal (Seattle Thunderbird) – The WHL player of the month put up 33 points in February and has been an offensive force since returning from the Islanders earlier this year. With Seattle already in a playoff spot, and a solid veteran team, it is fair to say that Barzal could not only take Seattle to the finals but manage himself an MVP award at the same time. The New York Islanders former first round selectionhas 71 points in 37 games so far.

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/Barzal_97">@Barzal_97</a> of the <a href="https://twitter.com/SeattleTbirds">@SeattleTbirds</a> is the WHL Player of the Month for February!<br><br>DETAILS ? | <a href="https://t.co/ljp2oSygBY">https://t.co/ljp2oSygBY</a> <a href="https://t.co/1x3EhKpeyG">pic.twitter.com/1x3EhKpeyG</a></p>&mdash; The WHL (@TheWHL) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheWHL/status/837078064857145344">March 1, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}


Reid Duke (Brandon Wheat Kings) – As one of the top overage prospects in the WHL, Reid Duke is currently leading the WHL in goals scored first in the game and has put himself in a position where a team like Las Vegas may give him a contract. With Brandon fighting for a wild card spot, the 20-year-old veteran is going to need to come up big to once again make a playoff push in his final WHL season.


Kole Lind (Kelowna Rockets) – The highly touted NHL draft eligible is the only first year eligible on this list, and currently leads his team in scoring with 78 points, which is 20 more than the next closest on his team. Kelowna currently sits in a playoff spot in the Western Conference, and possesses a strong, well-rounded team that could contend with some good performances. Kole Lind is one of those players who could be a game changer.


Sam Steel (Regina Pats) – The current WHL leading point producer and Anaheim Ducks 2016 first round pick is having a great third WHL season. With 115 points this season on the best team in the CHL, Steel has been a key to the Pats success. On most nights he does everything for Regina and plays a versatile role. Regina has their eyes set on this years Memorial Cup and has won the host bid for next years Memorial Cup.

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Prospect Sam Steel (ANA, 30th overall, 2016) is having a dominant season. With 102 points in 49 games, he's averaging two(!) points per game</p>&mdash; Derek Neumeier (@Derek_N_NHL) <a href="https://twitter.com/Derek_N_NHL/status/832271438673371136">February 16, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}


Tyler Wong (Lethbridge Hurricanes) – The captain of the Lethbridge Hurricanes and 20-year-old veteran is looking to grab a spot in the finals this year in his last WHL season. He currently leads the WHL in goals with 47 and is third in points with 93. Wong has been crucial and consistent for the Hurricanes. He is a player who I think could get an overage entry-level contract at some point. Lethbridge already has a playoff berth.


Colby Sissons (Swift Current Broncos) – The New Jersey Devils prospect has put together a strong sophomore campaign with the Broncos, registering 6 goals and 19 assists throughout the course of the season. The 6’2” defenseman has been a stabilizing force for Swift Current, proving to be an all-situations defender, and has added a visible leadership aspect to his game. The Devils inked Sissons to an entry-level contract after going undrafted in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.


Current Bantam Draft Order

  1. Kootenay Ice
  2. Prince Albert Raiders
  3. Vancouver Giants
  4. Edmonton Oil Kings
  5. Saskatoon Blades
  6. Spokane Chiefs
  7. Calgary Hitmen
  8. Swift Current Broncos (Via RD)
  9. Brandon Wheat Kings
  10. Portland Winter Hawks


Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Antti Tuomisto 4.5 6.0
Aku Räty 5.8 5.0
Miko Matikka 6.5 6.5
Nathan Smith 6.2 6.0
Jan Jenik 7.2 6.5
Ilya Fedotov 6.0 3.0
Noel Nordh 6.5 7.0
Daniil But 8.5 7.5
Julian Lutz 7.0 7.5
Dylan Guenther 8.5 8.5