With hockey season now in full swing, pre-season prognostications have been replaced by early on-ice results.
While there’s still lots of hockey to be played, the landscape across the B.C. hockey world is starting to take shape.
At the quarter pole of the WHL season, the Red Deer Rebels, Brandon Wheat Kings and Prince Albert Raiders are pulling away from the rest of the pack in the Eastern Conference, while the Victoria Royals and Kelowna Rockets are emerging as early favourites in the West.
In the BCHL, the two-time defending champion Penticton Vees are leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the league with just one loss in their first 19 games. While there are obviously no guarantees, a third straight league title is looking like a very real possibility, if not a likelihood at this point. With a third of the season gone, they are 11 points ahead of the their closest rivals and it’s becoming hard to imagine anyone in the league that could beat them in a best-of-seven series.
Many of the smaller leagues around the province are still getting their feet wet early in their seasons, but it won’t be long until favourites start to emerge heading into the final month of 2015.
As I’m sure most of you know by now, the WHL is celebrating its 50th season. In honour of this very special milestone, this issue is dedicated – at least in part – to the occasion. Check out our cover story where we take a look back at the last 50 years of the Dub. I had the opportunity to speak to league Commissioner Rob Robison and Hockey Night in Canada’s Kelly Hrudey for the piece, and you won’t want to miss reading both their thoughts on the league’s history and some of the memories during their time with the league.
I would also like to remind our wonderful readers to vote in HockeyNow’s first annual Fans’ Choice Awards. We are recognizing the best of the best businesses, services and equipment makers who help keep us all on the ice year-after–year. The nominations are in and posted on our website. We will be announcing the finalists and winners in each category in our Dec. 5 issue, so head over to HockeyNow.ca/fans-choice to cast your votes today!
I would like to thank everyone who participated in last month’s contests and we’re at it again this month. Visit the contest page on our website for your chance to win some great prizes.
Billy Blueliner is back again, find him hidden in an image somewhere in this issue, snap a pic and submit on our contest page and you’ll automatically be entered to win.
You can also submit a minor hockey story to our Hometown Rink Report from B.C., Alberta and Ontario to have your work published on our world-class website and for a chance to win an Easton hockey stick.
As always, thanks for reading and don’t forget to visit HockeyNow.ca every day to find the latest and best news from the junior, collegiate, minor and women’s hockey worlds.
1) Former NHLer Jason York Now Part of Kemptville 73’s Ownership Group
2) Where Are They Now: 2016 Player of the Year Owen Lalonde
3) Justin Sourdif Named 2017 HockeyNow Player of the Year for B.C.
4) Introducing the 2017 HockeyNow Minor Hockey Players of the Year
5) Peter Goulet Leaves Pro Ranks To Focus On OJHL’s Kingston Voyageurs