WHL Wrap Up Report Part 1 – May 2021
Welcome back to the second instalment of the 2021 WHL report! If you missed our April edition you can find it Here. With the season now wrapped up we will be taking a look at how each team faired in the new divisions and pinpoint some positives and negatives for each individual squad. In part 1 we will breakdown the U.S. and B.C. divisions. In case you were wondering, no there are no playoffs this year.
A special congratulations goes out out to WHL players, Thomas Milic (G, Seattle Thunderbirds), and Tyler Brennan (G, Prince George Cougars), Nolan Allan (D, Prince Albert Raiders), Denton Mateychuk (D, Moose Jaw Warriors), Olen Zellweger (D, Everett Silvertips), Logan Stankoven (F, Kamloops Blazers), Conner Roulette (F, Seattle Thunderbirds), Connor Bedard (F, Regina Pats), Dylan Guenther (F, Edmonton Oil Kings) and the rest of Team Canada on winning gold at the IIHF U18 World Championship.
Connor Bedard finished tied for second in the tournament with fellow Canadian, Shane Wright with 14 points. Yes Bedard is still 15 and yes we are still impressed.
Now back to the WHL, let’s take a look at how each team did within their divisions:
The U.S. division went as expected with Everett and Portland being the clear top two teams in this division. The Everett Silvertips won an impressive 19 out of 23 games with Cole Fonstad (formerly drafted by Montreal and not signed) and Gage Goncalves (TBL) leading the way with 34 points which was good for third in the league. Fonstad was also fifth in the league in goals with 16. On the backend, Olen Zellweger had an excellent campaign with 13 points in 11 games. He then proceeded to record eight points in seven games for Canada at the U18s. It should have happened sooner, but he is now a riser on everyone’s lists. Last but certainly not least, and tell me if you have heard this one before, Dustin Wolf (G, CGY, 2019) dominated with a 0.940 save percentage. The 20-year-old net minder is ready for the pro level after four seasons in the WHL, all of which had at least a 0.928 save percentage.
he aren’t what they once were but the Portland Winterhawks had a respectable season with 13 wins in 24 games. Leading the way for Portland was Jaydon Dureau (TBL, 31 points), Simon Knack (Undrafted 2020, 16 goals, 29 points) and Carolina’s 2020 first round pick, Seth Jarvis (15 goals, 27 points). Jarvis did see a steep decline from the 1.69 pts/gm that he recorded last season but with that being said he did also record an impressive seven goals and 11 points in nine AHL games this season. Simon Knak will likely get some looks as a late round option as he enters his second NHL draft but at the same time I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if he’s passed over again. Nick Cicek, who turns 21 later this month, was the leader on the backend with 21