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.
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