Monday, October 20, 2014

WHL Lines - Oct. 20th

These lines provide an outline of each team’s depth chart through player usage.  




They are not projections.  






They are based on the actual lines used in the team’s last game played.  













Note that the * signifies a repeated trend. If the star is located at the top of a team’s header it signifies

an identical lineup has been used for at least two games in a row. A star beside a specific line


or defensive pairing means the group has been together for at least two consecutive games, with the

number beside the star saying exactly how many games it’s been.




“Others” are players who were not in the lineup last game due to being injured, scratched or recently traded.
Questions and comments are greatly appreciated. Reach me at cnickolet@gmail.com.























BRANDON (Last updated Oct. 19)















Forwards















#13 Bukarts (95) #23 McGauley (95) #15 Quenneville (94) *3




#21 Coulter (96) #27 Duke (96) #8 Hawryluk (96)





#12 Gabrielle (97) #19 Patrick (98) #28 Lisoway (95)





#16 Kaspick (98) #25 Campbell (96) #22 Shmyr (97) *2












Other F:  #17 Quenneville (96) #14 Lewis (98) #18 Nejezchleb (94)















Defence
















#9 Provorov (97) #6 Pilon (96) *9





#5 Waltz (95) #7 Roy (94)






#10 Clague (98) #20 Erkamps (95)













Other D:
#3 Taraschuk (97) #29 Matsuba (97)















Goalies
















#33 Papirny (96)







#1 Thompson (97)














Notes:  21 and 28 swapped spots from Friday night. 5-10 had been





together for 8-straight games before Saturday
















HC: Kelly McCrimmon







GM: Kelly McCrimmon







Sunday, October 19, 2014

WHL Lines - Oct. 19th


These lines provide an outline of each team’s depth chart through player usage.  They are not projections.  They are based on the actual lines used in the team’s last game played. 

Note that the * signifies a repeated trend.  If the star is located at the top of a team’s header it signifies a nearly identical lineup has been used for at least two games in a row. A star beside a specific line or defensive pairing means the group has been together for at least two consecutive games, with the number beside the star saying exactly how many games it’s been. “Others” are players who were not in the lineup last game due to being injured, scratched or recently traded.

BRANDON
(Last updated Oct. 19)

#13 Bukarts (95) – #23 McGauley (95) – #15 Quenneville (94)*3
#21 Coulter (96) – #27 Duke (96) – #8 Hawryluk (96)
#12 Gabrielle (97) – #19 Patrick (98) – #28 Lisoway (95)
#16 Kaspick (98) – #25 Campbell (96) – #22 Shmyr (97)*2

Others: #14 Lewis (98), #18 Nejezchleb (94), #17 Quenneville (96)

#9 Provorov (97) – #6 Pilon (96)*9
#5 Waltz (95) – #7 Roy (94)
#10 Clague (98) – #20 Erkamps (95)

Others: #3 Taraschuk (97), #29 Matsuba (97)

#33 Papirny (96)
#1 Thompson (97)

Notes: 21 and 28 swapped spots from Friday night. 5-10 had been together for 8-straight games before Saturday.

HC: Kelly McCrimmon
GM: Kelly McCrimmon

Saturday, October 18, 2014

WHL Lines Oct. 18th


These lines provide an outline of each team’s depth chart through player usage.  They are not projections.  They are based on the actual lines used in the team’s last game played. 

Note that the * signifies a repeated trend.  If the star is located at the top of a team’s header it signifies a nearly identical lineup has been used for at least two games in a row. A star beside a specific line or defensive pairing means the group has been together for at least two consecutive games, with the number beside the star saying exactly how many games it’s been. “Others” are players who were not in the lineup last game due to being injured, scratched or recently traded.

BRANDON
(Last updated Oct. 18)

#13 Bukarts (95) – #23 McGauley (95) – #15 Quenneville (94)*2
#28 Lisoway (95) – #27 Duke (96) – #8 Hawryluk (96)*2
#12 Gabrielle (97) – #19 Patrick (98) – #21 Coulter (96)*2
#16 Kaspick (98) – #25 Campbell (96) – #22 Shmyr (97)

Others: #14 Lewis (98), #18 Nejezchleb (94), #17 Quenneville (96)

#9 Provorov (97) – #6 Pilon (96)*8
#5 Waltz (95) – #10 Clague (98)*8
#7 Roy (94) – #20 Erkamps (95)*4

Others: #3 Taraschuk (97), #29 Matsuba (97)

#33 Papirny (96)
#1 Thompson (97)

Notes: Only change from last game was Kaspick in and Matsuba out.

HC: Kelly McCrimmon
GM: Kelly McCrimmon

Friday, October 17, 2014

2015 NHL Draft Rankings - First Edition


Now that the junior hockey season is well underway with most teams playing 7-10 games each, I figured it was time to post some early WHL rankings for the 2015 NHL Draft.  While the WHL’s class doesn’t appear to have any player worth a top 5 pick this time around, the depth appears to be very good at this stage of the proceedings.

Before we get into the list, there are a few things to remember and I will go over them briefly. 

First of all, I readily admit that I am yet to see all of these players live this season.  With that being said, I have seen the vast majority of them live within the last year. Along with that, I have seen all of them play at least a couple of times online in the first few weeks of this season.  While I understand that’s not the same as being in the rink for each viewing, it’s the best I can do until I have a chance to catch the player live later in the year when they stroll through my neck of the woods.

Second of all, there are a few teams I haven’t seen enough of yet this season and readily admit that. I have listed them below as well, noting that there are likely at least a couple of players that would have cracked my early-season top 20 had I managed to catch more of their play this year.  A player like Connor Hobbs of Medicine Hat is a good example of that.

Third, please keep in mind that no second-time eligible players crack this list.  There are quite a few that I have some interest in from a scouting-perspective, but have chosen to only include first year guys this time around.  By the time my final rankings come out in the late spring, these “overage” guys will be included.

Finally getting to it, below you will find my top 20 ranked WHL players for the 2015 NHL Draft.  I have also included a list of honourable mentions and a few more “names to watch”.  I hope to update these rankings every couple of months so stay tuned as the year goes on.  Don’t be afraid to shoot me any questions or criticisms on here or on Twitter, either.  I welcome any and all feedback as I continue to push myself to be the best I can be when it comes to analyzing prospects and hockey in general.

Thanks for reading and away we go…


1. Matt Barzal – C – Seattle Thunderbirds – A dynamic offensive player featuring quick hands, quick feet and hockey sense.  A borderline top 10 pick in the deep class of 2015 who shows me flashes of Matt Duchene in the way he plays the game.

2. Paul Bittner – LW – Portland Winterhawks – A towering winger who has improved his skating immensely over the past couple of seasons. Thinks the game well, possesses a good shot and shows a good amount of versatility.

3. Nick Merkley – C – Kelowna Rockets – Only 5’10, but is a very powerful skater and plays with a lot of jam.  Sees the ice extremely well, can fill the net while also possessing the ability to make the players around him better with high-end vision.

4. Jansen Harkins – C – Prince George Cougars – An extremely smart two-way centre who is always in the right spot at the right time.  Should at least double his rookie season point totals this year and is one of the better playmakers the WHL has to offer in 2015.

5. Brandon Carlo – D – Tri-City Americans – A towering American blueliner who plays a mean and aggressive style of game. Can play in all situations and skates very well considering his 6’5 frame. Projects well as a pro defender. Arguably the most pro-ready WHL player in the draft, too.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

WHL Lines - Oct. 16th


These lines provide an outline of each team’s depth chart through player usage.  They are not projections.  They are based on the actual lines used in the team’s last game played. 

Note that the * signifies a repeated trend.  If the star is located at the top of a team’s header it signifies a nearly identical lineup has been used for at least two games in a row. A star beside a specific line or defensive pairing means the group has been together for at least two consecutive games, with the number beside the star saying exactly how many games it’s been. “Others” are players who were not in the lineup last game due to being injured, scratched or recently traded.

BRANDON
(Last updated Oct. 14)

#13 Bukarts (95) – #23 McGauley (95) – #15 Quenneville (94)
#28 Lisoway (95) – #27 Duke (96) – #8 Hawryluk (96)
#12 Gabrielle (97) – #19 Patrick (98) – #21 Coulter (96)
#25 Campbell (96) – #22 Shmyr (97)

Others: #14 Lewis (98), #18 Nejezchleb (94), #17 Quenneville (96), #16 Kaspick (98)

#9 Provorov (97) – #6 Pilon (96)*7
#5 Waltz (95) – #10 Clague (98)*7
#7 Roy (94) – #20 Erkamps (95)*3
#29 Matsuba (97)

Others: #3 Taraschuk (97)

#33 Papirny (96)
#1 Thompson (97)

Notes: After dressing the exact same lineup in back to back games, the Wheat Kings made some changes Monday. They rotated their RW’s and sat Kaspick, opting for 7 defenders instead against the Oil Kings.

HC: Kelly McCrimmon
GM: Kelly McCrimmon

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WHL Lines - Oct. 15th


These lines provide an outline of each team’s depth chart through player usage.  They are not projections.  They are based on the actual lines used in the team’s last game played. 

Note that the * signifies a repeated trend.  If the star is located at the top of a team’s header it signifies a nearly identical lineup has been used for at least two games in a row. A star beside a specific line or defensive pairing means the group has been together for at least two consecutive games, with the number beside the star saying exactly how many games it’s been. “Others” are players who were not in the lineup last game due to being injured, scratched or recently traded.

BRANDON
(Last updated Oct. 14)

#13 Bukarts (95) – #23 McGauley (95) – #15 Quenneville (94)
#28 Lisoway (95) – #27 Duke (96) – #8 Hawryluk (96)
#12 Gabrielle (97) – #19 Patrick (98) – #21 Coulter (96)
#25 Campbell (96) – #22 Shmyr (97)

Others: #14 Lewis (98), #18 Nejezchleb (94), #17 Quenneville (96), #16 Kaspick (98)

#9 Provorov (97) – #6 Pilon (96)*7
#5 Waltz (95) – #10 Clague (98)*7
#7 Roy (94) – #20 Erkamps (95)*3
#29 Matsuba (97)

Others: #3 Taraschuk (97)

#33 Papirny (96)
#1 Thompson (97)

Notes: After dressing the exact same lineup in back to back games, the Wheat Kings made some changes Monday. They rotated their RW’s and sat Kaspick, opting for 7 defenders instead against the Oil Kings.

HC: Kelly McCrimmon
GM: Kelly McCrimmon

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Carlo And Wotherspoon Provide The Best Of Both Worlds


Sophomore Tri-City Americans defencemen Brandon Carlo and Parker Wotherspoon both appear to be well on their way to being high drafts picks in the 2015 NHL Draft.  And while they have this road and life goal in common they’re nearly opposites in every other capacity, starting with their passports.

Carlo is an American from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Wotherspoon is a Canadian from Surrey, British Columbia.

Carlo is 6’5 and plays a mean and aggressive style of hockey.  Wotherspoon is 6’0 tall and not even 175 pounds, opting to play a smooth and cerebral style of game.

Carlo is one of the older players available for the 2015 NHL Draft as a late-1996.  Wotherspoon is one of the youngest of the class, being only three weeks away from being eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft.

Carlo is right-handed while Wotherspoon is a lefty.

Despite all these differences each player has played their way into discussions, making a name for themselves among NHL teams. 

WHL Lines - Oct. 14th


These lines provide an outline of each team’s depth chart through player usage.  They are not projections.  They are based on the actual lines used in the team’s last game played. 

Note that the * signifies a repeated trend.  If the star is located at the top of a team’s header it signifies a nearly identical lineup has been used for at least two games in a row. A star beside a specific line or defensive pairing means the group has been together for at least two consecutive games, with the number beside the star saying exactly how many games it’s been. “Others” are players who were not in the lineup last game due to being injured, scratched or recently traded.

BRANDON
(Last updated Oct. 14)

#13 Bukarts (95) – #23 McGauley (95) – #15 Quenneville (94)
#28 Lisoway (95) – #27 Duke (96) – #8 Hawryluk (96)
#12 Gabrielle (97) – #19 Patrick (98) – #21 Coulter (96)
#25 Campbell (96) – #22 Shmyr (97)

Others: #14 Lewis (98), #18 Nejezchleb (94), #17 Quenneville (96), #16 Kaspick (98)

#9 Provorov (97) – #6 Pilon (96)*7
#5 Waltz (95) – #10 Clague (98)*7
#7 Roy (94) – #20 Erkamps (95)*3
#29 Matsuba (97)

Others: #3 Taraschuk (97)

#33 Papirny (96)
#1 Thompson (97)

Notes: After dressing the exact same lineup in back to back games, the Wheat Kings made some changes Monday. They rotated their RW’s and sat Kaspick, opting for 7 defenders instead against the Oil Kings.

HC: Kelly McCrimmon
GM: Kelly McCrimmon

Monday, October 13, 2014

WHL Lines - Oct. 13th


These lines provide an outline of each team’s depth chart through player usage.  They are not projections.  They are based on the actual lines used in the team’s last game played. 

Note that the * signifies a repeated trend.  If the star is located at the top of a team’s header it signifies a nearly identical lineup has been used for at least two games in a row. A star beside a specific line or defensive pairing means the group has been together for at least two consecutive games, with the number beside the star saying exactly how many games it’s been. “Others” are players who were not in the lineup last game due to being injured, scratched or recently traded.

BRANDON *2
(Last updated Oct. 13)

#13 Bukarts (95) – #23 McGauley (95) – #21 Coulter (96)*2
#28 Lisoway (95) – #27 Duke (96) – #15 Quenneville (94)*2
#12 Gabrielle (97) – #19 Patrick (98) – #8 Hawryluk (96)*3
#16 Kaspick (98) – #25 Campbell (96) – #22 Shmyr (97)*2

Others: #14 Lewis (98), #18 Nejezchleb (94), #17 Quenneville (96)

#9 Provorov (97) – #6 Pilon (96)*6
#5 Waltz (95) – #10 Clague (98)*6
#7 Roy (94) – #20 Erkamps (95)*2

Others: #3 Taraschuk (97), #29 Matsuba (97)

#33 Papirny (96)
#1 Thompson (97)

Notes: Dressed the exact same lineup in back to back games.

HC: Kelly McCrimmon
GM: Kelly McCrimmon

Sunday, October 12, 2014

WHL Lines - Oct. 12th


These lines provide an outline of each team’s depth chart through player usage.  They are not projections.  They are based on the actual lines used in the team’s last game played. 

Note that the * signifies a repeated trend.  If the star is located at the top of a team’s header it signifies a nearly identical lineup has been used for at least two games in a row. A star beside a specific line or defensive pairing means the group has been together for at least two consecutive games, with the number beside the star saying exactly how many games it’s been. “Others” are players who were not in the lineup last game due to being injured, scratched or recently traded.

BRANDON
(Last updated Oct. 12)

#13 Bukarts (95) – #23 McGauley (95) – #21 Coulter (96)  
#28 Lisoway (95) – #27 Duke (96) – #15 Quenneville (94)
#12 Gabrielle (97) – #19 Patrick (98) – #8 Hawryluk (96)*2
#16 Kaspick (98) – #25 Campbell (96) – #22 Shmyr (97)

Others: #14 Lewis (98), #18 Nejezchleb (94), #17 Quenneville (96)

#9 Provorov (97) – #6 Pilon (96)*5
#5 Waltz (95) – #10 Clague (98)*5
#7 Roy (94) – #20 Erkamps (95)

Others: #3 Taraschuk (97), #29 Matsuba (97)

#33 Papirny (96)
#1 Thompson (97)

Notes: A few minor tweaks from their last game, which was a week ago, but still lots of consistent “pairs” throughout their lineup.

HC: Kelly McCrimmon
GM: Kelly McCrimmon