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Friday, August 31, 2012

Top 1-2 Defensive Pairings

Last week, we discussed who we thought were the top 1-2 offensive punches up front in western Canada.  This week, we will look at who may have the top 1-2 possible defensive pairings.  In the case of a few teams, it goes much deeper than just 2 good defenseman, as evidence by the BWC Bruins and the Calgary Bisons who go at least four deep.

1.   BWC - Fabbro/Barberis
- Both defenseman have a chance to go very high or at the very least in the first round of the 2013 WHL bantam draft.  At this point, there isn't another team that can claim that.  Add in possible top 3 round picks such as Ginnetti and this makes BWC at or near the top for defense.

2.   Calgary Bisons - Mckinstry/Tanaka
- The Bisons received a couple nice additions in the off-season with Tanaka coming over from Airdrie and Drohan from the Northstar Sabres.  However, Mckinstry and Tanaka as a 1-2 pairing would be the 2nd best right now in western Canada.

3.   Notre Dame Hounds - Reid/Faith
- A pair of outstanding defenseman who have moved to Notre Dame from Balgonie.  They were part of a very good team in 11-12 which included high WHL draft pick defenseman Riddle/Murray last year.  Good skaters with huge upside here.

4.   St. Albert Sabres - Mahura/Deighton
 - The Sabres should be another very good defensive team in western Canada led by the returning Mahura and a very good addition from AA in Connor Deighton who is one of our dark horse players this season.

5.   Lloydminster Heat - Clague/Petrie
- Kale Clague is perhaps the top in Western Canada at this point so an argument could be made that you could add any defenseman with him and rank them here.  However, we feel people will be surprised in Tristan Petrie this year as his skating has improved, which was the one thing holding him back.

6.   OHA - Rizzolo/Khaira
- Khaira was the only 98 born on a stacked Cloverdale team last year while Rizzolo comes over from Mission.  Should form a very good 1-2 punch.

7.   POE - Turanski/Jarrett
- POE has once again recruiting several good defenseman.  Maybe not to the level of last years group but still a deep group led by Turanski who is a big, stay at home type and Jarrett who has good size and can do a bit of everything.

8.   Winnipeg Hawks - Thurlbeck/Thorsteinson
- The two leaders of a pretty good Hawks defense.  They combine size, skill and leadership and have a chance to move up the rankings this year we feel.  The news today of the loss of Liam Schioler to Shattucks is a huge blow to a team who has designs on making westerns.

9.   Winnipeg Warriors - Friesen/Thornton
- Friesen is a big, strong stay at home type while Thornton is a pure gamer - but a bit small.  Nonetheless, a very good 1-2 punch for the Warriors this year.

10.  SSAC Southgate - Quenneville/???
- Fill in the blank here.  If anyone can even play half decent, this could be a top five position for SSAC.  However, it is still a bit un-clear as to who will step up to play with and help the reigning AMBHL North defenseman of the year!

Once again, feel free to debate this list as certainly it is up for debate until we get well in to the season.


Anonymous said...

Bison are extremely deep on D would not be surprised if a AA dman gets drafted out of the SE.

Anonymous said...

Hawks lost Schoiler to Shattuck/St. Mary's - but Thurbeck/Thorsteinson good pairing

Anonymous said...

Bwc has top forward 1-2 combo. Best D man 1-2 combo and has the best goalie in western Canada. Doubt this team will be beat .People bash white every year and every year he proves people wrong , will be no different this year. Also look for NSWC F Dante Hannoun to be a real force

Anonymous said...

We will see in two weeks what BWC is made of

Anonymous said...

The CANAM tournament is a tryout tournament. Bwc won't even have there roster playing

Anonymous said...

No question, Barberis & Fabbro and the cream of the crop.

Anonymous said...

That's a ridiculous comment. So are you trying to say a team that only uses 2 lines of forwards and their top 4 Dman will dress what at the canam tournament? Their A2 roster? BWC plays to win, if you think they are actually going thru a tryout process during that tournament, give your head a shake.

Anonymous said...

12:25 AM The final rosters are not due for awhile. They will dress a few from the A2 teams to forecast if players need to be brought up due to injuries,etc. They will dress some but not all. I am sure POE,NSWC,OHA will do the same. Not sure why you think this is such a surprise. All of these teams play to win. Winning in Sept means nothing compared to winning in March.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is missing out Prchal and Georgeopoulos from Vancouver. Martin Prchal is one of the best puck moving defensemen of his age and Georgeopoulos has the most heart of any guy ive played agaisnt

Anonymous said...

Wpg Sharks Kuklica/Lavoie is the best pair Manitoba has to offer. Both boys are big and physical, can contribute offensively and are sound in their own end.

Anonymous said...

How does this top D list look now as we are one month into the season?
St Albert seems a little weak, south side continues to be strong and Sherwood Park has some impressive d men in Paradis who is a returning player and Krushen who came from AA. Krushen is a big solid d man with good hands. They have played against Benson and Clague and contained farly well.

Anonymous said...

St albert is looking much better with a new coach. Mahura and Deighton are very strong, with Mahura being more offensive and Deighton being a strong punishing thinking Defenseman. They also have Sherburne and Huot, they might not be as high in the 2013 Draft rankings as Deighton and Mahura but they both are good at their position.

St. Albert is simply lacking forwards that can use the whole ice to gain the lead. They have been playing well of late under former NHLer Norm Lacombe.