Saturday, April 28, 2012

Koules Picks Medicine Hat

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Photo: John Sullivan

Like father like son, Miles Koules has decided that the Western Hockey League is the right fit for him and announced earlier today on Twitter that he'll join the Medicine Hat Tigers next season. The 5'10 right winger from California will follow in the footsteps of his father, former Tampa Bay Lightning owner Oren Koules, who played three years in the WHL with six different clubs including Medicine Hat. 

The news is good for Medicine Hat and the WHL but may sting a bit for the University of North Dakota where Koules indicated he would play had he opted for the collegiate route. According to Brad Elliot Schlossman, Koules is the third such player that UND has lost to the CHL in the past 10 months. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Record setting night in USHL

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What a night for Chicago Blackhawk prospect Alex Broadhurst.  The forward for the USHL Green Bay Gamblers set multiple league records Tuesday as his Gamblers beat Youngstown 6-3.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Oil Kings closing in on playoff records: Updated

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Ask an Edmonton Oil King player, coach, manager, trainer, broadcaster or booster and they'll all respond the same way, the streak doesn't matter, only the next win does.  It has to be that way for the team or else they start drifting off and setting up their opponents for 5 alarm chances.

WHL Dominates CHL Attendance Numbers

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Not only is the Western Hockey League the biggest member of the Canadian Hockey League but it's also the most watched. The 22-team circuit dominates when compared to the 2011-12 regular season attendance figures of both the 17-team QMJHL and 20-team OHL although the reigning fanbase still resides in La Belle Province.

Who was #1 overall? Who cracks the top 20 in the CHL? Where does the USHL rank by comparison?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Blackjack! - Oil Kings Win 21st in a Row

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The Edmonton Oil Kings hold a 2-0 series lead over the Moose Jaw Warriors and in the process pushed their winning streak to a remarkable 21 games. Despite a much better effort from the Warriors in game 2 it was the exact same result as the Oil Kings posted back to back 6-1 victories in the WHL's Eastern Conference Final. 

Some thoughts on the series and other things going on these days after the jump.

Friday, April 20, 2012

2012 WHL Bantam draft preview: Top Ten Goalies

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We've ranked the forwards and the dmen, so now it's time to show you who our panel of scouts think are the top 10 goaltenders, and a few knocking on the door, for the Western Hockey League bantam draft.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

ISS April rankings

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The 2012 draft is just over 2 months away and International Scouting Service has released it's April rankings.   The top 4 looks different then NHL Central's list as ISS includes European players in it's overall list.  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ryan Murray Gets Call From Canada

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Photo: Jon Howe / WHL.ca
As reported Saturday evening by Dean Millard via Twitter, Hockey Canada has talked to and is expected to invite 2012 draft eligible defenceman Ryan Murray to join their entry to the Men's World Championship in Sweden/Finland.

"We have confirmed that Ryan Murray has been approached by Hockey Canada to play in the World Championship.Should be announced tomorrow," was how Dean's tweet read.

As expected, the instant reaction from fans was surprise but that quickly gave way to speculation of what this may mean for the entry draft this June.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Warriors Get Rielly Back

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It's taken a couple of weeks longer than we were told it would but Morgan Rielly has finally been given clearance by his doctor to return to action, just in time for round 3 of the WHL playoffs. The timing couldn't be any better for Moose Jaw as they prepare for what most expect will be a lengthy series against the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The CHL's Undefeated Duo

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48 teams made the CHL playoffs and after the second round is finished only twelve clubs will move on to the third round. Of that even dozen, only two remain undefeated with perfect 8-0 records; the defending 2011 Memorial Cup champion Saint John Sea Dogs and the 2012 WHL regular season champions, the Edmonton Oil Kings.

A quick comparison follws...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pulock and Shinkaruk to be added for U18

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Sportsnet Patrick King reported what a little birdie told me tonight.  Defenceman Ryan Pulock of Brandon and Hunter Shinkaruk of the Medicine Hat Tigers will be added to Canada's U18 club that is already over in the Czech Republic.

This shouldn't shock anyone, both will be high first round picks next year,.  My partner on TPS Guy Flaming thinks Pulock could be the first WHL player taken.

Canada opens the tournament Thursday against Denmark, they can still add one more player to the roster.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

2012 WHL bantam draft preview: Forwards

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Previously in our bantam draft preview we featured defenceman. You can read that entry here, and after the jump, check out our panel of scouts top ten forwards heading into this year's draft. As always remember that this isn't personal and if your 'player' isn't on our list doesn't mean he's not on someone else's. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Work Continues Once Season Ends for Oilers

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The Edmonton Oilers 2011-12 season will end this weekend in Vancouver but there is still plenty of work to be done off the ice. With another lottery pick awaiting them at the draft in June, the potential exists for another strong performance by Stu MacGregor and his staff of which most have helped to add valuable prospects to the organization over the last decade.

But it's still in question whether some of the more recent draftees are going to be with the organization for much longer.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Canada names U18 World Championship team

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Hockey Canada announced today the 20 players it's taking to the Czech Republic for the World Under 18 Championship that starts in 8 days.

The entire team can be found here. It's interesting that Canada has chosen to take 3 goalies and only 6 defenceman, meaning they'll be in tough should an injury pops up.

10 from the OHL, 7 from the WHL and 3 from the QMJHL make up the team, with 6 players returning from the gold medal winning team at the Ivan Hlnika tournament last summer.

What does stand out is the amount of 2013 draft eligible players on the squad. 4 players were 16 years old for most of the season, while 3 have late birthdays pushing them to next year. In the case of Anthony Mantha, he misses the draft by one day.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

2012 WHL Bantam draft preview: Top 10 Defencemen

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Each year we gather the thoughts of WHL scouts and compile lists about the upcoming future stars for one of the best development leagues in the country. To kick things off, we'll start with blue liners. Some will be franchise players, others solid but silent, while others not on this list will also rise up successfully.

Please remember this isn't personal, and it's the opinions of scouts.