Kristopher Bras is an Ottawa-area writer and lifelong hockey fanatic. A graduate of Algonquin College’s Professional Writing program, he has worked as a consultant for Ottawa Sport Council, a web content writer for the Cornwall Colts Jr. A Hockey Club and as the NHL Eastern Conference Editor for Hockey’s Future. He became a contributor to HockeyNow in 2014, covering both Junior A and Major Junior leagues. After a brief departure, Kristopher has returned to the publication as its new CHL Insider, with bi-weekly CCHL articles.
A CHLer’s season is never really over. While NHL draft-eligibles tested their physical capacity this week at the NHL combine, young goaltenders are beginning the evaluation process for the upcoming year’s national junior teams.
On Sunday, the Windsor Spitfires became the seventh host team to win the Memorial Cup without winning its respective league championship. The win has many criticizing the format, some even spouting off that the Spitfires didn’t deserve to win—but that’s nothing but a lot of hot air.
When HockeyNow published its Memorial Cup issue last week, we did a panel where four of us made our predictions for the tournament results. Three of us picked the Spitfires to finish last, with one of us figuring them for third.
The Windsor Spitfires are underdogs at this year’s Memorial Cup, but the team has plenty of weapons at its disposal – and a tank full of gas. The City of Windsor last hosted the Memorial Cup in 1981, back when it was held in neutral cities. Since the format was restructured in 1983, the Spitfires have played in the tournament three times – advancing to the final on each occasion. They won twice, in 2009 and 2010.
All three CHL leagues are down to two teams, and the final round is set to begin this week. All three league powerhouses have advanced to the finals, but they’ll have to overcome some hot underdogs to advance to the Memorial Cup.
The Carleton Place Canadians have succeeded at winning their fourth consecutive Bogart Cup. Now, the team looks ahead to the Fred Page Cup, which commences today in Terrebonne.
When the CHL playoffs began (and throughout most of the year), there were three clear favourites in every league: the Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL), the Erie Otters (OHL) and the Regina Pats (WHL).
When I started this “Hot and Cold” column at the beginning of the playoffs, I had a feeling that it could get repetitive. Given that the Otters generally score twice as many goals as everyone else, they have four or five guys who will always be tearing up the stat sheet.
The game of hockey is evolving all the time, and the same is true for the tools available to minor hockey associations. But in a hockey system populated with old-school veterans of the game who have always used the same management strategies, are teams making the most of the resources available to them?
The CHL playoffs have made it through two rounds. In each league, several noteworthy players have turned in clutch efforts to help their teams advance. Here are the top performers to watch from each league in Round Three—at every position
The Carleton Place Canadians have advanced to the CCHL finals for the fourth consecutive season, and for the second year in a row, are facing the Ottawa Jr. Senators for the Bogart Cup Championship.
The first round of NHL Entry Draft always contains a liberal helping of CHL talent, and this year will be no different. Typically, there are a few players who gain considerable attention during their draft year.
We’re now well into the second round of the OHL playoffs, and each matchup has played at least two games. During that time, some players have stood up to play some of the best hockey of their career, while others have faltered.
The Ottawa Jr. Sens have taken a 2-0 series lead on the Cornwall Colts, who went into the playoffs as the league’s second seeded team. The Jr. Sens surprised the Colts with a 5-1 victory on Thursday, March 30th, and followed it up with a hard-fought 2-1 win on Saturday.
The OHL’s Erie Otters, the WHL’s Regina Pats and the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs have been the CHL’s darlings all year. Now, the three teams are undefeated and on their way to fulfilling their destiny to create what could be one of the greatest Memorial Cups in recent memory.
The OHL playoffs are off to a great start, and although the top-seeds have offered no surprises, a few matchups have been heated – including a great battle between the Kitchener Rangers and the Owen Sound Attack.
That’s it for another CHL regular season, folks. The last handful of games are over with, and to commemorate the season, I’m counting down the top five CHL goals of 2016-17.
The 2016-17 CCHL Playoffs kicked off on March 15th, and for the fourth year in a row, the Carleton Place Canadians are the clear favourites. With the Cornwall Colts and Ottawa Jr. Sens also playing terrific hockey, the Canadians could face their biggest challenge of the year—provided they get past Nepean Raiders in the first round.
The Charlottetown Islanders have been playing in another team’s shadow all season—namely, the star-studded Saint John Sea Dogs (say that five times fast!). Spoiled with a few upper-tier talents of their own, the Islanders aren’t just an obstacle in the path of any QMJHL team with Memorial Cup aspirations.
The 2016-17 OHL Regular Season is almost complete, and the playoff picture is beginning to solidify. With just a handful of games left, there is just the matter of scoring records to attend to—and a few teams are fighting for their seasons.
As teams in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL suit up for their last games of the season, we’re seeing leaders hold steadfast and others jumping ahead in the knick of time. Here’s a look at the top performers and contenders in the CHL as the countdown to the postseason begins.
The Windsor Spitfires will be hosting the Memorial Cup this year from May 1818 to 28. Despite possessing several top NHL prospects, the team will most certainly enter the tournament as underdogs.
The 2016-17 regular season is just about wrapped up, and it’s become clear who should walk away from it with an armful of hardware. Two players might end up with two trophies apiece, and both are Otters. Here are my predictions.
The CHL Import Draft is an opportunity for European prospects to give NHL scouts a better look at their skills. This season, five 2016 imports have made the most of their chance to showcase themselves.
Alex DeBrincat became a part of OHL history on February 20, 2017. In the Erie Otters’ game against the Oshawa Generals, DeBrincat scored twice to become the first player in 40 years to score 50 goals in three consecutive seasons.
There are roughly 10 games left in the junior hockey season, and bonafide Memorial Cup contenders are separating themselves from the rest of the pack.
The Firebirds franchise suffered through a messy inaugural year in Flint, thanks to some nepotistic drama, a full-team walkout and an OHL intervention. A year later, the team is preparing for its first appearance in the playoffs since rebranding — and could unseat a powerful team in the first round.
Hockey is a family sport, and over the years there have been too many great sets of brothers to count. Today, each junior league in the CHL has several pairs of brothers in its ranks. To satisfy geographic and logistic concerns, they often end up playing together on the same team.
In the CCHL, young players get the chance to prove they can excel at higher levels of hockey. While some players win scholarships and move on to become solid NCAA players, others become leaders at the next level—and continue to dominate.
It has now been a month since the trade deadline came and went across the CHL leagues, and one team from each has put themselves in a terrific position to compete for junior hockey’s most treasured prize—the Memorial Cup.
A tragic, hate-fueled mosque shooting on Sunday night made for a sombre Monday morning in Quebec City, but after some deliberation it was decided that the CHL/NHL Prospects game would proceed as planned.
1) Prospect Profiles: Ty Smith, Andrei Svechnikov & Joe Veleno
2) CSSHL Expanding in 2017-18 Season
3) Oilers Assistant Coach Jay Woodcroft on Creating Offence from the Cycle
4) Prospect Profile: Jonny Tychonick, Evan Bouchard & Benoit-Olivier Groulx
5) Mom Mondays: Giving Thanks for Hockey!