Welcome to the Thursday (life made these late) Saturday ramblings. Let me go over the completed CHL playoff brackets and on to the prospect watchers second favorite tournament, The Memorial Cup.
The host city for the Memorial Cup is the Halifax Mooseheads. Typically the host cities are strong but do not make it to the finals, this time the Mooseheads brought the champion Rouyn-Noranda Huskies to six games and still have a strong chance to win the Memorial Cup
The Guelph Storm are your OHL playoff champions after defeating the powerhouse Ottawa 67’s. The absolute stand out of the series was Nick Suzuki (MTL) who powered the Strom past Ottawa with 10 points in the final four games Guelph took, after getting just one point in the first two games Ottawa won. The big story for Ottawa was Michael DiPietro (VAN) going down with injury in game two, but you still have battle for wins even with a back-up goalie as Ottawa did not sweep three straight series because of JUST DiPietro. In the first two games Ottawa outscored Guelph 11 to five, and in the final four games Guelph outscored Ottawa 24 to 12.
Sasha Chmelevski (SJ) had 10 points in the series for Ottawa and was the main stand out, but no player was very spectacular for Ottawa once Guelph had the momentum. The simple fact is that from game three onwards the top players for Guelph just took over and the top players for the 67’s vanished. In the last four games for Guelph Isaac Ratcliffe (PHI) had eight points, Sean Durzi (LA) had seven points, and Alexey Toropchenko (STL) had six points, five of them goals.
It was a tight battle for the first four games of the series in a back and forth affair, with both Halifax and Rouyn-Noranda splitting the series, but in the final two games the Huskies took over outscoring Halifax 10 to three. The series completed at six games with the Huskies taking the championship.
The stand outs for Rouyn-Noranda were:
- Joel Teasdale (MTL) – 3 Goals, 5 Assists for 8 points; he also finished first in playoff scoring with 34 points in 20 games
- Félix Bibeau (2019) – 3 Goals, 6 assists for 9 points
- Noah Dobson (NYI) – 2 Goals, 7 Assists for 9 points
The stand outs for Halifax were:
- Arnaud Durandeau (NYI) – 3 Goals, 4 Assists for 7 points
- Maxim Trépanier (2019 overage draftee) – 1 Goal, 6 Assists for 7 points
- Jared McIsaac (DET) – 6 Assists
Raphaël Lavoie (2019), who finished second in playoff scoring with 32 points in 23 games, was held to just five points (3 Goals and 2 Assists) in the series.
This finals series between the Prince Albert Raiders and the Vancouver Giants was the best of the three leagues to watch with Prince Albert taking the series in seven.
With Prince Albert up in the series 3-1, Vancouver won two straight games to tie the series 3-3, and then a dramatic win in overtime with Dante Hannoun (FA) scoring the overtime winner for Prince Albert. Noah Gregor (SJ) was a stand out in the final game with two goals and the primary assist in the 3-2 OT game. Milos Roman (CGY) scored both goals for Vancouver in the loss.
Brett Leason (2019) has been an absolute stand out for the Raiders in the playoffs finishing second in scoring (25 points in 22 games), and the series (nine points), likely boosting him up many teams draft board in the end of the day. Also for the Raiders Hannoun had nine points, Gregor had eight points, and Aliaksei Protas () had seven points.
For the Giants Bowen Byram (2019) improved his draft stock, putting himself in to some scouts’ top five, as he lead the WHL in playoff scoring (26 points in 22 games), and although he had eight points in the seven games, he was held to four points in the final six games. Jared Dmytriw (FA) had eight points in the series and was the only other real big scorer for the Giants.