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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Western Elite Hockey Prospects Top 5 lists

Now that all the leagues have started up and we a pretty good feel of the teams and players, we thought it would be a good time to offer up a top 5 lists on various categories from teams to players etc....

Top 5 British Columbia
1.  Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy -  It is no secret that this team is built from players from various parts of Canada.  However, can anyone deny that defense they have which could result in 4 first rounders? How about Jordan Kawaguchi?  Could he rise to the top of the pack, we think top 10 for him.  How about 98 born Tyson Jost, he is quickly rising up the charts for his age group.  Lots of promise here if they can remain calm and discaplaned.

2. Burnaby Winter Club Bruins - Our thought was that this team would be unstoppable entering the season but with the injury to Musil early and Barzal with his ankle has kind of put them on hold.  Can you imagine if Chris Seto stayed at the club?  The team has loads of top end talent with Barzal, Szeto, Musil, Ronning etc...but can the 98's like Uy and Fabbro chip in like the first years did last year? Time will tell.

3.  Semiahmoo Ravens - It has been a while since they have been a force in the PCAHA Flight 1, however this year it seems different.  They have some top end guys like Plotnikoff, Bradley and Craighead who came over from Cloverdale.  Add in 98 born Michael Regush and a strong goaltender in Paille and they have a chance to make noise.  They beat NSWC 3-1 this week already.

4.  North Shore Winter Club Winterhawks -After a down season, they NSWC program is back and in a big way.  They just came off a Chilliwack tournament victory over BWC 2-0 with Dante Hannoun scoring both, not bad for a '98 born!  They have tonnes of balance up front with Dabb, Babych and others who make them a team who you can't just focus on one line like some of the other teams.

5.  Cloverdale Colts - Cloverdale has loads of talent but may lack a bit of defensive depth and goaltending. However, when you look at Tyler Soy who has been injured all year so far and due back at Xmas along with Chris Seto, Jakob Stukel and Tyler Fraser on defense.  They have more than enough to be a good team this year in B.C.

1.  Edmonton CAC - There is no denying the offensive talent of this team with Stewart, Marshall, Burke, Dykstra and Gammer who can run 3 lines and beat you.  However, the team has been without its top 2 dmen in Greer and Hetherington all season long which has made it tough on the team in keeping the GAA down.  We think in the end the GAA will come around the CAC is the team to beat.

2.  Calgary Bisons - Another year, another year at the top for the Bisons once again.  The torch has been handed from Merkley/Klimchuk to Point/Macmaster now to Shmyr and Merkley.  This duo has what it takes and more and has led the league in scoring all season long about 1/4 way through.  The Bisons are averaging about 6 goals per game and Merkley and Shmyr are on track for almost 100 points.

3.  SSAC Southgate Lions - In a year where many thought they would take a huge fall down the standings, there they are once again at the top with just one loss in 7 games and scoring over 6 per game. The main difference this year though is that there is no Papirny type goalie to bail them out sometimes. However, Giorgio Estephan is a player who could go 1st overall and is averaging more than a point per game and add in the play of Quinn Greenly and 98's David Quennville and F - Tyler Benson and we'll hear from them all season long.

4.  Lloydminster Heat - Any team that has Kale Clauge and Andrew Koep should be able to compete and perhaps win the league.  But it is there defensive game that has impressed us.  They have allowed just over 2 goals per game.  The defensive style of play is something they will have to hang their hat on all season if they wish to stay up this high in the November rankings.

5.  Calgary Royals - Close call between them and Medicine Hat here.  However, the Royals have shown the ability to roll 3 lines, beat top teams and have a defense that is hard to play against.  They won't "wow" you with pressure like last years Royals led by Duke will but they don't allow alot and are tough to play against.  We don't see this  changing.  Captain Anklewich leads the way offensively, we like his game!

1. North East Wolfpack - A team who has built for this year for quite sometime is finally the top dog in the Saskatchewan AA circuit.  Led by a group of forwards who can wear you down such as Caleb Seaman, Zach Paziuk, Tristan Elder, Kalem Zary along with dmen Fiske and goalie Amundrud.  This is a team who should be the odds on favorites to represent Saskatchewan at westerns.

2.  Balgonie Prairie  Storm - There is no doubt about the talent of sniper Jayden Halbgewachs who has started with 7 goals in 2 games already.  Add in top defenseman such as Jake Riddle and Troy Murray and you have a team who should be tough to beat in the South Division of the SBAAHL.

3.  Notre Dame Hounds - They have added arguably the top forward from Manitoba and the Saskatoon Jr. Blades program in Rylee Zimmer as well as Salt Lake City, UT phenom Angus Scott.  Scott scored 4 goals on Saturday against the Midget AA Estevan team!  It will be very interesting to see how this team can do in Medicine Hat cause I believe they don't have the same level of talent as in years past. 

4.  Weyburn Red Wings - Regan Nagy is a first round prospect and as good as they come in Saskatchewan for forward talent.  They have a defense that is mobile and can skate as well as any in the province.  We wonder if the offensive depth after Nagy can show up and can speedy Dmytriw make a difference as a first year?

5.  Saskatoon Bandits - If there is a team from Saskatoon to make noise in the province it will be this team.  Led by Jimmy Lambert who should put up over 60 goals and you add in the likes of the Hobbs bros. with Declan a 98 born and Conner a 97 born as well as Curran Reeve, Kody White and Caylan Chartier and this should be a team to be heard about in tournaments this year.

1.  Winnipeg Sharks -  It is very tempting to not have this team ranked 1st due to their slow start. However, we can't overlook the talents of Dallas Miller, Ryan Gardiner on defense, Purtill and Uhryniak.  So what is the problem?  Why the slow start?  I guess we'll find out soon but a 4-0 loss to Brandon who can't be overlooked should make them give their heads a shake!

2.   Winnipeg Monarchs - They have started off with a bang this year going 3-0-0 and are ranked behind the 0-1-2 Sharks?  We just want to see a bit more but soon enough it will be time to put the Sharks down. The Monarchs are led by a couple very talented forwards named Dylan Thiessen who is a 98 playing aged advanced and could led the league in scoring.  Zach Court is going to make noise this season as well.  Leipsic can score and Noah Layte is a star in the making on defense.

3.  Brandon Wheat Kings - It has been a while for Brandon to make noise in Manitoba as a primarily AA squad but they can beat any of the Winnipeg teams on any given night.  Led by Bradley Schoonbaert Jr. and 98 born Tanner Kaspick the offence can compete this year.  Braden Compton and James Shearer on defense given Brandon a huge edge on many teams in that regard.

4.  Pembina Valley Hawks  - Colt Conrad is going to go lower than he should in the bantam draft but this player has been dynomite in rural Manitoba for years.  He is coming off a tournament victory at the innagural Manitoba Showcase and had  8-5-13 in 4 games, his line-mate Tyler Jensen ledthe tournamant with 15 points in 4 games.  This is a team with loads of depth that could likely beat the Winnipeg teams head to head.

5.  Winnipeg Warriors- Just beating out Kirklan Lycar and his 7 goals in 3 games at showcase are the Monarchs due to depth.  They can roll 3 lines and have a defense that is strong and confident.  Led by that strong defence, they should stay at or near the top early on.

Players - 97 born
1.  Matt Barzal - He still hasn't lost his hold on the #1 spot but players like Gardiner from Winnipeg, Estephan from Edmonton are hot on his heals. How can that ankle injury progress?

2.  Giorgio Estephan - Over shadowed by Barzal in the past couple seasons, Giorgio likely was the most dangerous players for the Alberta champ Lions last year as a first year player.  He will challenge 50 goals and100 points this year.

3. Ryan Gardiner - The top ranked player from Manitoba without much doubt.  Smooth skating, Morgan Reilly type player.  Was called up last year in westerns as was the top dman despite being a year younger than every player on the ice.

4.  Nick Merkley - His brother Jon went 3rd overall and we think Nick has far more potential.  Strong draft year makes him a bit lower but he could easily move up if a team believes in him, we do!

5. Aaron Kellogg - Him or Ethan Bear, take your choice, they are both tied for 5th overall right now.  Kellogg has the best comination of toughess and offensive potential in the draft for defenseman bar none.He

98 born
1.  Jaeger White - He is playing in one of, if not THE best bantam leagues in Canada and started off with 4 multiple goal games in a row.  He smashed Ty Rattie's goal record by 30 or so last year and this year is on track for over 50 as a first year bantam....Want more?

2. Kale Clague - He is neck and neck right now in our scouts minds for 1st overall.  However, his offensive game seems to have gone a bit and is holding back.  He is a top talent who could still go #1 overall, lets see what happens.

3.  Dylan Thiessen - Playing aged advanced yet again, scoring more point than playes a year older than him yet again.  Ho hum, ho hum... look for Dylan to challenge and stay at or near the top all season and next season.

4.  Dante Fabbro - Another in the long lines of talented BWC players.  However, this time it is a dman named Fabbro who will make noise.  Look for Dante to be drafted as high as Griffin Reinhart from Hollyburn a few years ago!

5.  Nolan Patrick - Bloodlines, bloodlines and more bloodlines is what the Patrick name is about in Manitoba.  His uncle, is a coach with Buffalo and Nolan is a pure scorer who won't be stopped.  He started this season with 4 assists in 2 games.  He will find the net more and more as we move forward.

Honorables...Dante Hannoun - NSWC, Dennis Cholowski - Langley, Alex Rotundo - K of C and Tyler Benson - EDM SSAC

For much more, check out the newsletter.


Anonymous said...

Good grammar will add credibility. Just sayin'

Anonymous said...

What about Matthew Phillips (6g, 2a), or Mckinstry for 98's

Anonymous said...

Med hat plays royals and bisons this week which may change the Alberta list. Or may not

Anonymous said...

NSWC should be tops. Beat semi 7 to 0 won the tournament. Look for big things from this team at Medicine Hat.

Anonymous said...

Ya, I can see how the Prairie Storm could be rated so high. That defensive juggernaut Yorkton tied them 2-2 on the weekend. And then powerhouse Weyburn lost to Yorkton. Let me guess, they were missing 2 or 3 of their best players. Or not. Sure Balgonie won 2 league games. I guess tournament games dont count when it comes to ranking teams. Unless those teams are POE or BWC.

Anonymous said...

I thought the bashing was suppose to stop on here.

Anonymous said...

Prairie Storm has a good team, Weyburn has a good team, North East has a good team, but in the end they are good teams in their region and all are beatable by the other teams in Sask. The parity in Sask. this year is very close.

None of these teams will win games at Westerns as the depth of teams in Sask. is not strong enough, there is not enough registered players in the province to allow for a team to challenge for a Western Canadian Championship. A team needs to have high end talent on defense, game stealing goaltending, and a forward crew that has both depth and high end scoring. No team in Sask. has all of these attributes. If a team gets close then they need to go to a top tournament outside of Sask. so that they can see what they are up against and then maybe someone could compete.

Anonymous said...

Rankings are simply an opinion by a person or group. It doesn't mean anything or give anyone any benefit over anyone else. I enjoy reading other's opinions and often disagree with them but really, what does it matter? In the end the best teams will win and the best kids will be determinded in about 10 years! Until then its only speculation and opinions.

Anonymous said...

Yet I find it interesting(seriously) that the Saskatchewan Midget AAA League can be considered the best in the country. Per capita Saskatchewan supplies the most WHL players.

Anonymous said...

October 19, 2011 10:43 AM

Great response!

October 19, 2011 11:19 AM

Yes the SMAAAHL is considered the best in Canada, but that is because of the top 6 or 7 teams not annual the weak sisters.

Hockey Manitoba and Winnipeg have made a change to try get some respect by dropping their teams to only 2 in a city of just under 700 000. Manitoba is regional so you need to tryout in your region only, Saskatchewan allows players to go where ever so this philosophy should make sure that all the best players are playing the top level and helps to improve weaker regions by bringing players from outside.

Anonymous said...

Phillips and mckinistry. U must be a bisons parent! Haha they are good players. But top 5. .. Not a chance . Those guys are 3rd-4th round

Anonymous said...

per capita is fine for arguments sake as per sask., but reality is almost all of the teams are AA at best...per capita maybe the most but still generally not good teams...look at how brutal Sask has been in westerns last few years...stop begging for them to be ranked higher because any ranking of them in the top 15 is generous...rural Sask teams are the same as rurao or small town teams in BC don't throw a hissy fit..just the facts...BC has its powerhouse pay to play teams...the winter clubs and the non residency exemptions...AB has strong least 3 or 4 of the top 10 in Western Canada...having only 4 teams in million people cities helps a lot...Ab rural doesn't stand a chance against the good city teams...its all about numbers and math people...that is why people go to the poe's and bwc's or North shore...staying in your area generally means you are an inferior team...stop all the bashing

Anonymous said...

North East and Prairie Storm are solid 1 and 2 picks (i'm beginning to believe the Wolfpack could be as dominant as PA was last year). Notre Dame, being a AAA team, shouldn't be on the list. Once again, the GSHL will be the most competitive league, with any team able to win. That said, i would put the Bandits behind the Maniacs and the Generals. Maniacs will be capably led offensively by Sloboshan and Korol. Their top 3 D - Constant, Thakurdeen, and Conway - perhaps don't have the name recognition of some others, but i would take them over any other top 3 with the possible exception of the Generals' trio of Bigsby, Abrook, and Beierle. Both teams have strong goaltending: Pongracz for the Maniacs and Swystun for the Generals. Pederson should give the Generals an offensive threat on most nights.

Anonymous said...

Bantam 2 Winnipeg hawks (98's) look like they have another great team on their hand this Year lead by Patrick(#5 overall) Vince Loschiavo and Connor Barley up front. Big D man Liam Schoiler, and Kubic in the pipes. look for great things with this team through the next couple of years.

Anonymous said...

Ya, but they were missing their top 2 dmen and their top foward was sick. Credibility shredibility, if that was a concern we wouldnt be here looking for the holy grail, lol.

Anonymous said...

Hear anything about Noah Turanski a 6 foot 1 98 from vernon?

Anonymous said...

North East lacks any pure goal scorers, they work hard and will beat teams because of that and the best goaltending tandem in Sk. A weak defense and 8th, 9th, 10th forward depth, though will be their downfall.

Prairie Storm lacks the overall depth of North East and strong goaltenders.

These two teams are the best in Sk.

Forget about the Saskatoon teams as they are not allowed to participate in provincials because of misinformation and misrepresentation by their association leaders, not to mention that they have teams full of extremely undersized players. Were talking small, small, small.

Saskatoon will probably have the least players drafted to the WHL in years because their size.

Anonymous said...

You must be Ken Holland, if you can already tell me what round the two 98's in Mckinstry & Phllips are going to go next year. You're good.

Just mentioned them, thats all. Phillips has 8 pts already as a 98... Hard not too mention him.

But, you're a professional im sure.

Also, I am not a bison parent. Wish I was, they're ranked pretty high :)

Anonymous said...

Those 2 can not be ranked top 5. Dont get me wrong they are good players but top 5 in western Canada. Not a chance! They are maybe top 5 in Calgary.. Maybe!

Anonymous said...

I think some are under-estimating the Prairie Storm Team this year. I believe they do have depth. Up front with Halbgewachs 97, as well as a strong 98 Ross who both can score and Defenceman Riddle, Murray and 98 born Reid. And between the pipes both Roh and Pyne, I believe are really going to suprise some dis-beleivers. I think this team will have some great potential and may suprise some.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure you arent a Bison parent. You sure sound like a Bison parent, lol.

Anonymous said...

2:56 PM
I haven't heard anyone take Prairie Storm lightly yet, other maybe their goaltending. Most are saying that North East and Prairie Storm are the best 2 teams.
For your information though, depth doesn't mean who are your top 2 or 3 players it is speaking about the 7th, 8th, 9th and even 10th forwards or the 5th or 6th defenseman. Now as for the rest of Saskatchewan all the other teams are hoping that the coaches and players from North East and Prairie Storm are reading these types of comments so that they will get over confident. The gap from them to the next level of teams is not very big and over confidence can the biggest killer of a team with a good record.

Anonymous said...

As with most teams from Sask Prairie Storm has one line and if they make it out of Sask, they won't fair well at Westerns just like PA last year. It comes down to the talent pool just isn't big enough to compete with teams drawing from big centers. If Sask ever wants to compete at Westerns they are going to have cut their teams from 24 to 12 or maybe even less.

Anonymous said...

2:56 PM
Sorry, I didn't see any negativeness. I guess we just needed to wait.

I guess October 21, 2011 10:31 AM's kid and his team have been left off of the lists.

Saskatchewan will never drop from 24 to 12, that would be idiotic. The new look teams are fine and the reality is Saskatchewan will never compete consistently at Westerns.

Ultimately what does that mean? Nothing. Saskatchewan has the highest player to population ratio drafted into the WHL. What does this mean? Nothing.

If the kids are not having fun it all means nothing!

Anonymous said...

The way I see it the south should be. Cac. Royals. Ssac Lloydminister med hat

Anonymous said...

The reason for that is that Saskatchewans population is 1 million and the kids that want to be good, work at being really good, whereas with Alberta being around 3.5 million, they spend too much time telling everyone how good they are, as opposed to working at getting good. Or are there other reasons. I look forward to hearing other theories.

Anonymous said...

to: October 25, 2011 3:52 PM Did you see the draft last year? AB had 13 of 22 in first round of Bantam draft--every year is different but c'mon man! 95% of posts on this site are from BC parents. Man and Sask parents don't have anything to add as they have many fewer kids, by real numbers to write about. AB spends little time can you not see that?

Anonymous said...

At least 9 out of 27 comments on this thread alone are Alberta based, 33%. I can see how little Alberta comments are being made!

anounymous said...

Noah turanski and jagger williamson from vernon anyone know were there ranked