Lots of CHL action this weekend so no sense dillydallying. The league announced its award winners for the 2017-18 season, as follows:
Sportsnet Player of the Year:
Alex Barre-Boulet (TBL)
Not that 116 points in 65 games is bad or anything, but this was definitely a shocker for me, as I thought goaltender Carter Hart had it locked up. Regardless, good for ABB, who the Lightning signed earlier this year as an undrafted free agent. Free value right there. Jumping to the AHL next season with plenty of competition to beat out before seeing NHL time.
RCS Defenceman of the Year:
Nic Hague (VGK)
I’m glad I didn’t have to decide this award. So, so many talented d-men emerged this year and we will see evidence of that in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Hague had an outstanding year, and is hopefully going to cause people to start realizing that the Expansion Draft wasn’t the only draft that Vegas succeeded in last Spring.
Vaughn Goaltender of the Year:
Carter Hart (PHI)
No surprise here. 0.947 save %, 7 shutouts on a team that did not have the firepower to carry it like many other squads. He was an MVP in every possible regard. Its rare to jump straight from Junior to the NHL but he might pull it off in 2018-19.
Wawanesa Rookie of the Year:
Alexis Lafreniere (2020)
Already a favorite to the the 1st pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, Lafreniere passed 40 goals as a rookie. He’s already 6’1″ and 185 a a 16-year-old. Start the hype train.
B2B Sportsman of the Year:
Aleksi Heponiemi (FLA)
Essentially the Selke trophy of the CHL (lots of points, minimal PIM, be a good person). Nice little award for a 118-point-player who deserved some sort of hardware for his killer campaign.
SW Top Draft Prospect:
Andrei Svechnikov (2018)
Pretty sure we already knew this, but add one more accolade for the soon-to-be 2nd-overall pick.
For a list of all nominees (and some less fantasy-relevant awards), check out the official CHL site here:
Onto the Memorial Cup…
For wrap-ups of games played prior to Friday, check out the recent Ramblings by Pat Quinn here:
On Friday, Hamilton faced Regina for a trip to the final against Acadie-Bathurst. Despite Hamilton putting 46 shots on net, Regina pulled off the victory 4-2 (one goal was empty-net). None of the goals were on the powerplay, which is my kinda game.
1st Star: Max Paddock (REG) (saved 44/46 shots against)
2nd Star: Kaden Fulcher (HAM) (saved 20/23 shots against)
3rd Star: Sam Steel (REG) (1G, 1A, plus-3)
Lots of fantasy prospects to mention in this game:
- Sam Steel (ANH) continues to impress and has solidified himself as a bona-fide top prospect (although he had convinced most people already).
- Josh Mahura (ANH) also managed a plus-3 rating on the night along with an assist.
- Libor Hajek (NYR) was a plus-1 with 4 SOG from the blueline.
- Nick Henry (COL) went scoreless despite being hot this tournament, but was a plus-3.
- Will Bitten (MTL) put up a goal in the loss.
- Robert Thomas (STL) had NINE(!) shots on goal but ended up disappointed with no points and a minus-2 rating.
- Matthew Strome (PHI) was also held off the scoresheet.
The final is played today at 5pm MDT.
Random fantasy notes:
- Elias Petterson (VAN) signed his ELC this week and got Canucks fans hyped. After everything he’s accomplished in the SHL it would be foolish to doubt him.
- Rasmus Asplund (BUF) signed his ELC and will be another high-profile Swede to watch in the AHL next year (I’m assuming he will have a year or two of AHL seasoning),
- Antti Niemi signing in MTL means that Charlie Lindgren (MTL) will have to fight for the backup role against next year,
- The Red Wings signed Gustav Lindstrom to an ELC. I’m not convinced he’s fantasy relevant just yet but it never hurts to add to your organization.
Thanks for reading! I hope you can find time for the excellent hockey still to be played this season.