WHL Review: First Round Playoff Recap

sullydraftgeek

2017-04-05

With the first round of playoffs just finishing up, it's time to highlight some of the top performers in playoffs. For anyone not closely following here's how the series turned out (Best of Seven Series):

Regina 4-0 over Calgary

Swift Current 4-3 defeats Moose Jaw in seven

Medicine Hat sweeps Brandon 4-0

Lethbridge comes back to beat Red Deer 4-3

Portland over Prince George 4-2

Kelowna 4-2 over Kamloops

Everett beats Victoria 4-2 (Their 5OT contest was the longest in WHL history)

Seattle sweeps Tri-City 4-0

 

Michael Spacek (Winnipeg Jets – 2015 – 108th Overall)

The 2016 Memorial Cup veteran led WHL scoring in the first round of playoffs with 12 points in seven games. He was a key contributor in game three with four points and was one of the more consistent performers with a point in all seven contests. Spacek is still unsigned by the Winnipeg Jets and could possibly re-enter the NHL Draft this summer. He is an elusive offensive threat who can create with his playmaking abilities, and also posesses some underrated finishing abilities in tight which helped guide him to a 30-goal season. Through the past few years he has learned to better control and protect the puck, as well as create space for himself.

 

Sahvan Khaira (NHL Draft Eligible – 2017)

One of the more surprising entries on this list, brother of NHLer (Jujhar Khaira) Sahvan saved his best performance for playoffs. A notorious road performing player, the athletic right handed defender was consistent in the series and shown improvement as the games went on. He only managed one point but was a consistent defensive juggernaut for Swift Current. Personally I have liked Sahvan in my live viewings because of his 6'3" frame and the competitive nature he brings to the lineup.

 

Keegan Kolesar (Columbus Blue Jackets – 2015 – 69th Overall)

When you think of the Seattle Thunderbirds you often don't think of Keegan Kolesar as much as you should. However, with Ryan Gropp and Mathew Barzal out of the lineup, the Columbus third rounder in 2015 was clutch posting 11 points in four games. He is a versatile gritty forward who works hard and shows consistent determination. It is expected that he will join Cleveland next season and start his professional hockey career.

 

David Quenneville (New York Islanders – 2016 – 200th Overall)

Recently returning from a lower body injury, Quenneville hasn't missed a beat. Tied for the playoff lead by defenders with nine in four games, David helped propel Medicine Hat to a sweep of the Brandon Wheat Kings. With three multi-point games, the New York Islanders seventh round pick has had a solid season and has come a long way in his development. He has a big right-handed shot that is utilized well on the power play and an underrated gritty side to himself defensively. Standing at 5'8", David plays much bigger than his size dictates and has vastly improved his skating. A dynamic offensive presence on any CHL blue line, it will be interesting to see how far Quenneville can take Medicine Hat and how he can build on his successful season.

 

Caleb Jones (Edmonton Oilers – 2015 – 117th Overall)

One of my personal favourite defenders in the WHL, Caleb Jones has developed temendously in Portland and was a key reason why the Winterhawks bested the highly touted Prince George Cougars in six games. The mobile left handed defender has played a versatile role for Portland all season and has been a leader on and off the ice. A solid puck transporter, Caleb is starting to get noticed more and more as a top prospect in the Oilers system and is expected to step into