The Seattle Thunderbirds defied all odds in the Western Hockey League playoffs. From missing out on a divisional banner to the Everett Silvertips, to losing starting goaltender Rylan Toth due to injury and being an overwhelming underdog against the CHL’s top-ranked Regina Pats — the T-Birds have heard it all before, but none of that stopped them from avenging last season’s heartbreaking loss in the final and punching their ticket to the Memorial Cup.
Major junior coaches demand a lot of their players and three teams delivered in a big way with championship seasons. They’ll now join the host Windsor Spitfires at this year’s Memorial Cup, where it’s up to the coaches to guide the way as everyone gives an extra push towards national glory.
Many expected that the 2017 Memorial Cup would feature 1, 2 and 3 from CHL’s Top Ten. But Seattle defeated the No. 1 Regina Pats to leave us with 2 and 3 in the Otters and Sea Dogs – and to remind us that anything can happen.
The Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy brought meaning to its moniker on Thursday at Calgary’s Deerfoot Inn. The Kelowna-based bantam AAA program sent six players to six different Western Hockey League teams in the opening round of the 2017, with five hearing their name called in the Top 10.
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.
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).
Conor Timmins has been climbing ISS Hockey’s rankings all season and is making his debut on the Top 31, jumping from #47 to #28. The 2014 OHL fourth round pick has been showing steady improvement all season and came into his own in the postseason prior to the Soo’s second round exit
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
When Medicine Hat Tigers head coach and general manager Shaun Clouston selected John Dahlstrom at 76th overall in the Canadian Hockey League import draft over the summer, he expected the big Swedish forward to play a key role in the team’s future.
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.
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 only junior A entry on ISS’s Top 31 Prospects this month (and this season), Cale Makar has been killing it since he joined the Bandits last year, earning AJHL and CJHL Rookie of the Year honours and this year’s league MVP award.
1) B.C.’s Top Young Players Compete at Pacific Elite Prospects Showcase
2) Prospect Profile: Brendan De Jong, Jonah Gadjovich & Drake Batherson
3) Prospect Profile: Dylan Coghlan, Ryan McGregor & Cédric Paré
4) 2017 Season of Tournaments
5) Prospect Profiles: Matthew Wedman, Marian Studenic & David Noel