We have a few more weeks to go in the NHL, but in the Canadian Junior Leagues its finally playoff time!
To kick off the coverage, here’s a rundown of the prospects to keep an eye on as fantasy risers/fallers in the WHL first round match-ups:
Prince Albert Raiders vs Red Deer Rebels
- Ian Scott (TOR) continues his breakout season in the crease, but a disappointing playoffs could temper the hype.
- Brett Leason (2019 Draft Eligible) and Noah Gregor (SJS) will lead the offensive charge, with help from Cole Fonstad (MTL).
- If healthy, Alex Alexeyev (WSH) is the type of d-man whose stock could skyrocket from a strong all-around performance.
- He’s not considered a top prospect just yet, but after his 102-point season keep an eye on Brandon Hagel (CHI) who will turn pro next season.
Saskatoon Blades vs Moose Jaw Warriors
- Jett Woo (VAN) will be be trying prove he’s ready for pro after signing his ELC recently, and is currently a fantasy riser.
- Josh Brook (MTL) has been a riser all season, and big-minute d-men have the chance to look really, really good in the playoffs.
- It’s hard to gauge pro-readiness when an over-ager is playing against younger competition, but big playoff performances would do wonders for Justin Almeida (PIT) and Tristin Langan (undrafted).
- Brayden Tracey (2019 Draft Eligible) could boost his draft position with a good run, while Kirby Dach (2019 Draft Eligible) is already expected to be a very high pick, so has more to lose from a poor showing.
Edmonton Oil Kings vs Medicine Hat Tigers
- Trey Fix-Wolansky (CBJ) is the only top scoring prospect to catch in this match-up
- Mads Sogaard (2019 Draft Eligible) will try and propel himself even higher up the goalie rankings for the upcoming draft
Lethbridge Hurricanes vs Calgary Hitmen
- Lots of Hurricanes to watch in this series. Nick Henry (COL), Jordy Bellerive (PIT), and Jake Leschyshyn (VGK) are all poised to turn pro next season, and how well they do here could give them an edge come 2019-20 training camp.
- Dylan Cozens (2019 Draft Eligible) is expected to be a Top-10 pick and can boost or drop his position based on playoff output.
- Because he’s a Leafs pick, eyes will be on Riley Stotts (TOR). Good play will skyrocket his exposure and fantasy value.
Vancouver Giants vs Seattle Thunderbirds
- Milos Roman (CGY) has had a sneaky good year and could earn an ELC if he keeps it up. Could be a sleeper pick long-term if he keeps up his pace.
- Bowen Byram (2019 Draft Eligible) is yet another highly-ranked prospect vying for an improved draft position in the playoffs.
Victoria Royals vs Kamloops Blazers
- Kamloops’ cinderella run continues with a potential goalie controversy. Dylan Ferguson (VGK), returning from injury, will try and make it an easy decision.
- Griffen Outhouse (undrafted) has been a rock in net for a few years and never got signed. He has one more shot to peke some pro interest.
Everett Silvertips vs Tri-City Americans
- Connor Dewar (MIN) has not stopped scoring goals and his SOG numbers are out of this world (over 5-per-game). Let’s see if he can keep this going in the playoffs – he’s an under-the-radar fast riser this season.
- Kyle Olsen (ANH) is still looking to regain our trust after his huge drop in production from 2016-17 to 2017-18, despite a big, big rebound this campaign.
Spokane Chiefs vs Portland Winterhawks
- Jaret Anderson-Dolan (LAK) didn’t have the impact he wanted in the NHL at the start of 2019-20. His WHL season has been strong, but he needs to dominate to convince us he’s as close as he looks.
- Ty Smith (NJD) is going to have his hands full against some top scorers, but handling top competition breeds top d-men.
- Some goes for Filip Kral (TOR) who has been seeing more ice.
- Joachim Blichfeld (SJS) never stops shooting and never stops scoring. He’s the type of producer who’s stats jump off the page when the team is successful, and can draw a lot of attention in fantasy.
- Cody Glass (VGK) just needs to play hard and show us that we don’t need to worry about his recent knee injury. We aren’t worried about his point totals.
FIRST NHL GOALS TIME!
Max Veronneau didn’t take long to impress Sens fans:
Matt Roy makes the most of his time with the big club:
Thanks for reading!
- Robinson: Final 2019 NHL Draft Rankings
- Prospect Deep Dive: Kirby Dach
- Robinson: Final 2019 NHL Draft Rankings (Part 3)
- Robinson: Four (More) Bold Predictions for the NHL Draft
- Hedlund: Top Swedish Prospects for the 2019 NHL Entry Draft
- Prospect Ramblings: 2019 NHL draft by the numbers
- Prospect Deep Dive: Arthur Kaliyev
- DPR Episode 56: First Round Review with Cam Robinson