Prospect Ramblings: WHL Playoffs Primer

by Hayden Soboleski on March 24, 2019

 

***

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

 

Lethbridge Hurricanes vs Calgary Hitmen

 

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!

Hayden Soboleski

@soboleskih