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Red Deer’s Noah Danielson Leading Tight AMBHL Scoring Race

By Neil Hilts on January 12, 2017

Noah Danielson of Red Deer Rebels leads the AMBHL in scoring with 63 points and has a four point cushion. However, the race for the lead is very tight and the closest since 2009-10. (Courtesy of the WHL)

More than two-thirds of the way through the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League (AMBHL) season, the scoring race is as close as it has been in more than five years.

On top of the leaderboard is Red Deer’s Noah Danielson, who has 63 points in 29 games, including a league-high 35 assists. Behind Danielson is Lethbridge’s Kadyn Chabot with 59 points.

The top goal scorer, Ethan Leyer of St. Albert, has 30 goals and 56 points. That’s where the scoring race gets very bunched: eight players have from 50 to 56 points. Ridly Greig (Lethbridge) also has 56, Ozzy Wiesblatt (Calgary) has 55, while Zack Stringer (Lethbridge) and Carter Savoie (St. Albert) both have 54 points.

Wiesblatt is a potential first round pick in the 2017 WHL draft, has played five fewer games than Danielson, and has the highest points-per-game at 2.29, so he could push for the top.

Stringer is the lone 2003-born in the thick of things. He’s being touted as as a top five pick for the 2018 WHL Draft and will join Yale Academy next fall, following the lead of other top Bantam players this year.

One of the most amazing stories is 2004-born Matthew Savoie, who has 50 points and is having a massive year for a player who should be in Peewee. Next year, he should be a lock for 100 points should he stick in the AMBHL. His brother, Carter, is two years older and also scoring in bunches with 54.

Eleven players are over the 50-point threshold and several players are averaging more than two points per game. Teams have between seven and 12 games left this year, so there’s plenty of time for flipping at the top of the leaderboard.

It’s highly unlikely any of the players will meet the benchmark set by 2016 No.1 Western Hockey League (WHL) Draft Pick Peyton Krebs, who had 102 points in just 27 games played. Behind Krebs, three players hit the 70-point plateau, with Ethan Browne and Liam Keeler, also first round picks in the WHL, both reaching 77.

In 2014-15, Kirby Dach scored 100 points, the year prior, Josh Patterson had 97, and in 2012-13, Tyler Benson (146) and Sam Steel (104) both broke the 100-point benchmark.

Barring a torrid run, no players reach that level this year, but a scoring race hasn’t been this competitive since 2009-10, when the top five players finished within eight points of each other.

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By Neil Hilts| January 12, 2017
Categories:  Minor Hockey
Keywords:  AB Minor Hockey

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