Sunday, October 8, 2017

Early Season Thoughts

Early Season Thoughts

Overage Deadline
The overage deadline is October 10th which is almost here. The Tigers need to be under the limit of 3 Overagers and 25 players.  Decisions will need to be made SOON. They still  have 28 players and 4 overagers

Dalton Gally & Defenceman
I noticed his weight has dropped 10-12 lbs from last season.(depending on what site you get your stats from.

 Last year I half wrote him off as a guy I wasn't keen on. A "defensive filler" so-to-say, but his work ethic has completely changed. He is a lot leaner physically and looks way more mobile on the ice.  So far he has my vote as the most improved player.

Gally has been behind the veteran defenceman on the depth charts. He is being given 3rd line minutes as expected with other veterans ahead of him. As a 19yr old with limited offensive numbers in his whl career, his trade value is low, but he is giving the Tigers great experience and value on the 3rd line.

In an ideal situation you'd want your 3rd unit to be younger up and coming guys, unless you plan on an "up" season and wish to maintain a veteran presence.(Which is what we want this year to be)

Going forward the Tigers will be answering the question on what to do with their younger defenceman and Gally's improvements has made that decision tougher. They still have 10 defenceman on the roster.

Current Combo's
Quenneville Nassen
Rubins Macpherson
Gally  Clayton/Macphee

Moving Gally means more regular ice-time for Clayton/Macphee, and being able to keep another guy such as Joel Craven, Daniel Baker, or Trevor Longo.

IF we look at turnover for next year the Tigers assuredly loose 2 of their top 4, with potentially a 3rd in David Quenneville.

IF the Tigers want to "go for it" keeping Gally is probably a better option. IF they are unsure about how good they will be(which I am)  going with some younger defenceman is probably a better route. as those younger defenceman will need to play 2nd line minutes next season, and exposing them to a regular 3rd pairing would do more for their development.

The Tigers have been guilty of having last years depth guys takeing icetime away from newer players.

So this decision on defenceman is quite important going forward for next season and this season.

Mark Rassell -
6 goals in 6 games. He has been the Tigers most dangerous threat on the ice. He is the type of player that has a lot of 1v1 skill, and can create chances for himself rather than relying on a systematic "overwhelm with speed" approach the Tigers have been known for the last dozen years.

Tyler Preziuso & Gary Haden
Last season I was disappointed in the improvement paths of both players. The Tigers only dressed Haden for a paltry 32 games and he didn't see a lot of ice-time.

Both players are playing better, but I fear that their age and their value are in danger of becoming mis-aligned. As 18 yr olds they need to become impact players with hopes that next season they turn into top 6 forwards. I don't see that from either of them yet.

The Tigers need those two to play top 6 minutes next year, and right now that is  a scary thought because they need to find big improvements in their game. Both are behind schedule so they need to step their games up.

Josh Williams
He was good in the pre-season. He shows potential for very high 1v1 skill. He is still learning the ropes and adjusting to faster play. I'll give you a little tip when it comes to recognizing who the next breakout player will be.

The direct sign before a point breakout is consistently winning the small battles that may or may not translate into points. Coming up with puck possession on  50-50 scenarios, skating past a guy standing still, stealing/stripping pucks away from veteran players. Central 1v1 positioning and only taking off after receiving puck possession and not before.

 These are the types of small battles that don't necessarily generate points by themselves, but are the starting blocks to something more

Williams is on the step before that.

 He isn't yet consistently winning the small battles outright, but he is coming out in advantageous positions.  I feel that it may take some games for things to click, but when it does it may click quickly. He has a lot of skill for a 16yr old.

Jordan Hollett
Still need to see more from him, but I'm getting a Dawson MacAuley vibe, but a little more mobile. A big goaltender who stops the first shot and his size will prevent lots of second shots.

The Tigers are great at training mobility and stick-handling puck control with their goaltenders, and those are two areas Hollett will look to improve upon.

Their is a reason why most goaltenders in the NHL are 6"2 or taller.  I have a feeling that fans may not see Hollett as talented as other goaltenders because he isn't as mobile as what the Tigers have seen in the past. While that may or may not be true, he needs to work on his mobility and likely will have some up and down games.

The reason you don't see small goaltenders in the NHL is that shots are now much faster than what a goalie can react too. A smaller goalie simply needs to react to a longer distance.

It is too early to judge Hollett's potential, but so far his showing has been decent.

Linus Nassen
The first couple games he played really well. I  expected maybe a slight bit more  from a 3rd round NHL Pick. He isn't a bad player, but he needs some time to get used to the North American game. I understand why Florida wanted him to play Junior, as he needs some seasoning and a little more aggressiveness/drive to his game. I notice he is becoming a little hesitant in high traffic areas, and they need to nip that in the bud before it becomes a bigger issue.


Dislikes - Overall chemistry
With Mason Shaw out for the majority of the season, the Tigers don't have a legit 2nd line centreman and are using a player who shouldn't be in the top 6.  They have (Hamblin, Chyzowski, Haden, White) as their centremen, and Hamblin is the only one who should be in the top 6.

The lack of a 2nd line centreman and trying to keep the roster balanced, has seen production dips from Zach Fischer and James Hamblin.

Will they re-balance their lines and put a winger at Centre? or will they continue to try and force what they have and hope something changes? Receiving a 2nd line centre in return for Gally is too much to ask for and would need more going back, and I haven't seen the Tigers trade a key youngster unless they demand a trade.

Rookies & Sophomores.
I like the group of newer players the Tigers have. Ryan Chyzowski is leading the way and has shown a noticeable improvement. The Tigers next season could be a little lean up front and someone like Chyzowski will be looked to provide a scoring presence. As the season goes on I expect to see Chyzowski, Rybisnki, Heathcote  become more noticeable.

I would like more time to watch Heathcote and Rybisnki they both look strong on the puck and look to have solid 1v1 potential.

Ryan Jevne
He is showing big improvements in his skating & work ethic.  We know from last year he has a very good shot. If he can connect the dots between his skating and his shot by improving his puck handling ability,  points will rise. He is better slotted into the 3rd line, but I'm hoping to see those dots start connecting.


Defence

The Tigers have been ok. Not great, but not terrible. 3 of the 6 games their shots against has been pretty low, which is great!! I think their is a lot of room for improvement here.

I see some communication issues and getting used to new players/roles.

An Example:

Their was a battle for the PUCK inside P.A's blueline. Macpherson took a slightly risky line change, just as P.A gained puck possession and fed the puck up the ice.

Now if Quenneville noticed this, he could have been more aware of the approaching P.A raider, but he was not aware, and was caught flat footed at center.  Now this play is not entirely Quenneville's fault, but a combination of a communication fault, with Macpherson making a slightly risky late change and Quenneville not being aware of it.

Quenneville has been a lot better defensively so far, but this is one play where 2 veterans misplayed the situation with poor communication.

Rubins
Looked amazing in his first game back, not so much in his second game, but then again their whole group looked flat against P.A

Overall
An average start to the season which was almost expected with some late returnees and injuries. It is good to finally see everyone healthy minus Mason Shaw.

 The Shaw injury completely changed things. Him being out has diluted the skill, and it may take the Tigers a few games to work out solutions.

The good thing is that I don't expect Fischer and Hamblin to be held off the scoresheet forever. Once they start scoring the Tigers should start rising from .500.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Tigers Start Season 1-1

WHL & More Statistics
I was pleasantly surprised that the whl is now publicly keeping track of more statistics. Shots on goal are now tracked. Also faceoff wins/losses are now tracked on the game box-scores.

Through the first 2 games the Tigers dominated the faceoff circle. Canes Giorgio Estephan took almost half of the Lethbridge faceoffs, but the Canes other centremen Jadon Joseph and Dylan Cozens were a combined 6/29 Saturday night.

Scratches
Tigers were without Jordan Hollett, Zach Fischer, Mason Shaw, Kristians Rubins.  David Quenneville returned in time for the 2nd game in Medicine Hat. The Tigers only dressed 2 OA's for the opening games due to their injury situation.


Thoughts
I felt like the Tigers were pretty rusty in their first game in Lethbridge. They played ok, but ran into some penalty troubles which really hurt them. They looked a bit uncoordinated at times, but that is to be expected with so many new faces in the lineup.

New Faces Playing Their First WHL Games
Linus Nassen, Daniel Baker,Trevor Longo, Mick Kohler, Henry Rybinksi  all played their first WHL Games.

Newcomers Cole Clayton, Baxter Anderson, Dawson Heathcote, Josh Williams all saw some action last season filling in for injuries.

Roster Players Who didn't Dress
Joel Craven(17), Nick McCary(16), Jaxon Steele(17)
The Tigers dressed 7 Defenceman for the 2nd game.

Linus Nassen
What a boost getting him into the lineup. He logged a ton of ice-time through both games.  The scouting report says he needs to improve his defensive game but he looks to have a pretty active stick and skates pretty well. Reminds me of former Tiger Import Tomas Kundratek. He was used as their #1 Dman through the first couple games

Josh Williams
We are going to love this guy. He looks like an 18 year vet ready for a breakout season. Extremely quick for a 16 yr old. 16 yr olds don't usually contribute a whole lot in their first season, but Williams took a place on the top line for both weekend games and did not look out of place scoring his first WHL regular season goal

Cameron MacPhee
He was very physical throughout the opening games. He will probably become a fan favorite.

James Hamblin
Continued his strong play from last season. He only had 1 assist, but looked dangerous and was a catalyst for a lot of chances.

Dalton Gally
I think he knows coming into the season with a lot of new faces that he has to push his game to another level. Their is a lot of good young talent on the back-end that want his ice-time and Gally played well and needs to keep pushing his game.

Import Debate
I really liked what I saw from both Imports. Kohler is a big body that protects the puck. Nassen was the #1 dman on the ice.

The Tigers have 2 different options here:
1)  Release Rubins and either keep Bullion or get another overage player.
2) Release or trade Kohler and keep Rubins & Nassen.

Kohler is the type of forward the Tigers need as a bigger body on the ice, but the Tigers won't be able to replace the minutes that Rubins and Nassen will eat on the back-end.

I think in this case it makes more sense to keep both Rubins & Nassen because of the reason above as well as they give up assets to gain an overage, and they will gain assets to trade Kohler.

Tricky Situation
That leads to a tricky temporary situation when Rubins&Fischer return, and Hollett isn't quite ready to go. It means either McGovern may be relied on for a weekend or two, or they will want Rubins+Fischer to take their time recovering until Hollett is ready to go.


Players in Danger
Tyler Prezusio - I feel like he is in danger of falling behind the new talent on the roster. I didn't really like his opening games. If his production dips between now and November his ice-time may fall. He will have to take his game to another level to ensure the rookies don't take his ice-time away.

Michael Bullion - It's because of his OA status.  Unless something unexpected happens his stay may only be for a few more weeks.

Baker(16), Longo(17), Craven(17) - these 3 are fighting for the 8th defensive spot. I could easily see the Tigers keeping 8dmen this year due to the talent in the lineup. Also Nassen might play for Sweden at the world juniors.

Overage Deadline
I'm not sure when this is, but it is usually the 2nd week in October, which means it is a couple weeks away.

By this deadline the Tigers need to decide on their Overagers, Imports and be under the 25 player limit.  IF a player is injured past this date the Tigers then have just over a week to release a player.

Once the Injured players returns the dominoes should fall as expected, unless of course something unexpected happens like a blockbuster trade or injury.



Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Linus Nassen Reportedly Headed to the Hat

Edit: Linus Nassen is now listed on the Tigers Roster page




I also found this Swedish news article that confirms his home club in Sweden confirming the move.
http://www.luleahockey.se/artikel/1ofraj7rm-30c4d/linus-nassen-lanas-ut


It appears that despite the bad luck and rash of injuries, some good luck is finally happening;, however this now makes the overage/Euro Situation a little tricky and may prompt some moves to be made.

Fischer & Rassell Return
The Medicine Hat News & Calgary Flames are reporting that Zach Fischer & Mark Rassell have been sent back to the Tigers

http://medicinehatnews.com/sports/local-sports/2017/09/19/flames-send-tigers-fischer-rassell-back-to-medicine-hat/

https://www.nhl.com/flames/news/flames-reduce-roster-by-21/c-291172766?tid=282300716


Overager Situation
It appears(not confirmed) that Brad Forrest had been released as he is no longer listed on the Tigers roster sheet. Someone also commented last post that he was released.

The Tigers have 3 Imports
Kristian Rubins
Linus Nassen
Mick Kohler

With 4 Overagers
Kristians Rubins
Mark Rassell
Zach Fischer
Michael Bullion

This begs the question on if Kristians Rubins would be the odd guy out or will they drop/trade Mick Kohler?


Edited: 5:00PM

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Schultz Not Returning Confirmed

Medicine Hat News
The Medicine Hat News has answered our questions about the unconfirmed rumors of Ty Schultz not returning to the Tigers and potentially going to china.  You can read the full article on their website.
http://medicinehatnews.com/sports/local-sports/2017/09/07/schultz-wont-be-returning-to-tigers/


Rumors
Rumors started cropping up after he wasn't listed on the Tigers pre-season roster.
One poster brought forward an article from NBC. It shed light that shultz was potentially looking to play for Team China as well as being injured. Another commentor mentioned that he was going to go over and play in the KHL.


Ty Schultz Injury
The article goes on to mention that despite recovering from a broken leg, he was battling a nagging groin issue the rest of the season and well into the off-season. He estimated it will take a few more months for his injuries to heal.

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The Overage Situation 

Remaining OA
Kristians Rubins
Zach Fischer
Mark Rassell
---
Michael Bullion
Brad Forrest

Couple Questions Remain
Their are still a few questions. Uncertainty remains in their goal-tending situation with Michael Bullion's overage status and whether the Tigers will use Hollett as the starter to keep an extra OA at forward/defence

Their is also uncertainty on  the availability of Zach Fischer should the flames decide to keep him in the AHL.  Linus Nassen looks doubtful he will come to camp, since the Tigers haven't heard anything from him at the start of camp. That means that Rubins would be a lock to stay. He played already in a pre-season game so it appears he has fully recovered from his off-season recuperation. If Nassen suddenly decided to show up that could make things  interesting.
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Tigers At Camp
Lots of NHL Rookie Camps are set to get underway this weekend
NHL  is live-streaming a lot of prospect games
https://www.nhl.com/video/live-san-jose-vs-colorado/t-281013894/c-52155910

Young Stars Classic Sept 8th - 11th
Flames Facebook Page is live streaming their games: https://www.facebook.com/NHLFlames
Zach Fischer - Calgary Flames
Mark Rassell - Calgary Flames


Traverse City Prospects Tournament Sept 8-12th
Mason Shaw - Minnesota Wild

Buffalo Prospect Challenge Sept 7th -11th
James Hamblin - Boston Bruins

Toronto Rookie Tournament Sept 8-10th
Jordan Hollett - Ottawa

Arizona Coyotes

Max Gerlach

Ottawa Senators
Jordan Hollett - Not attending due to sickness.





Friday, August 18, 2017

Darren Kruger Joins Calgary Flames

Edit: Training Camp Update
http://tigershockey.com/article/2017-training-camp-schedule-and-rosters


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http://chatnewstoday.ca/article/523546/kruger-accepts-scouting-position-calgary-flames

Kruger Headed to the Flames
Wow, The Tigers lost a big piece of their Head Office today. Senior Director of Player Development Darren Kruger, has joined the Calgary Flames as an NHL scout with a focus on the Eastern Conference.

Congrats to Darren Kruger. He's had a profound effect on the Tigers success the last 12 years. He will be greatly missed.
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Training Camp
I've had a few people ask about training camp. While nothing has been officially announced as of yet, typically they have opened camp up next Friday (Aug 25th). They usually announce something in the early stages of next week. If they do announce something I will edit this section.

Tigers Off-season.
Their has been some OA movement this off-season as expected so lets go through a quick recap.

May 22nd
Tigers Traded: Matt Bradley, 2nd round (2018), 3rd round( 2018 conditional), 5th round(2019), for Regina's Jordan Hollett(goaltender, 5th round NHL draft pick).

May 24th
Tigers traded Nick Schneider to the Calgary Hitmen for a 4th round 2019 conditional pick.

June 28th
Selected Mich Kohler 19 - F Committed to come over
Selected Linus Nassen 19 D - Status unknown

August 1st
Tigers traded Jordan Henderson to Kootenay for a 6th round 2019 conditional pick

Current Overage Crop

Ty Schultz ***
Zach Fisher ***
Mark Rassell ***
Brad Forrest *
Kristians Rubins **
Michael Bullion **

Ideal Situation 
To maximize the potential for their lineup next season I feel the optimum route would be
Zach Fischer
Mark Rassell
Ty Schultz

If you're asking,  Hey, where is Kristian Rubins?....... Well in this scenario Linus Nassen one of their Import picks would replace him in the lineup and it would let the Tigers keep an extra veteran defenceman...essentially keeping 2 vets instead of 1. This up coming season they may have another very good year so it would make sense to keep the extra veterans.

However....

Their are 3 events that need to happen for that to take place
#1 Zach Fischer comes back from the Flames Training Camp
#2 Recently Acquired Jordan Hollett can prove to be a #1 starter
#3 Linus Nassen ( Import defenceman 3rd round 2016 NHL draft pick) reports to the Tigers so they free up an overage spot over Rubins

IF any of those scenarios don't happen it changes the whole ballgame.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Eastern Conference 2017-2018 Pre-Season Preview

Eastern Conference 2017-2018 Pre-Season Preview
My first attempt at doing this. These rosters are "current snapshots" with 1st round 2016 WHL Bantam draft picks and imports.

Rosters are guaranteed to change.

Golden Rule: It is never about what a team losses. Sure a high turnover generally means a younger roster, and less experienced group, but what a team retains and improves upon on is a much bigger deciding factor.

How to Read the Numbers
Example: Ty Lewis(19)(.97/.48)
-Ty Lewis will be going into his 19yr old and 3rd WHL season.  he put up .97  .48 PPG respectively


The Following ARE NOT LINE COMBOS, they are loose depth charts. Players will be in wrong positions, it is just a basic look at depth. 

Brandon Wheat Kings

Question Marks
  • Nolan Patrick -  NHL
    • Top picks  have great track records of playing in the NHL the following season. It is almost a guarantee that he starts the season in Philly and that is why I am not including him in Brandon's Lineup. 
  • James Shearer (overage)
    •  He is out with a torn Achilles tendon and will be out for 4-6 months which means he will miss the start of the season. He is an overage.

Offense

Ty Lewis(19)(.97/.48)  Stelio Mattheos(18) (0.88/.6)  Tanner Kaspick(19)(0.92/.57/.34)
Connor Gutenberg(19)(0.56/.23) Caiden Daley(17)(0.17)  Martin Kaut(I)(18)
Cole Reinhardt(17)(0.11) Linden McCorrister(19) (0.21/.18)  Baron Thompson(18)(0.15)
Zach Russell(18)(0.13)  Tak Anholt(19) (0.13) Rylan Bettens(17)(0.08)
  • Very potent top line
  •  Their secondary scoring may be a little inconsistent at times.  Ideally you want a solid top 6, and Brandon will need Guttenberg+ their new import have good seasons for a top 5. Currently their offense has some volatility. 
  • I would not be surprised to see them add or upgrade an overage forward to provide more depth up front.
  •  They have some players I would describe as "fillers"  Where newer prospects may be able to push them out for ice time.
  • No word yet if Martin Kaut will be reporting.

Defence

Kale Clague (19)(0.83/.61/.65)) Higson Schael(19)(.28/.15/.12)
Daniel Bukac(I)(18)(0.24)  Kade Jensen((20) D
Garrett Sambrook(17)(0.13) Zach Wyntinck(18)(.03)
Braden Schneider(16)(1st round 2016 pick)
INJ - James Shearer(20)(0.48)
  • Clague is a 2nd round NHL draft pick, Bukac is a 7th rounder.
  • Their 12th overall pick from 2016 will likely have room to make the team 
  • They have a good mix of ages and this group appears solid. Defense could be a strength for Brandon
  • Do they keep Kade Jensen, Shearer and Clague? It will be a cause for high turnover next season

Goaltending

Logan Thompson(20)(.908/.898)
New Player
  • Thompson will be their go to guy because they have no one else. As an overage, their goal-tending should be solid as long as injuries don't force their hand. An injury will post risks to their Goals Against Totals.

Other Overagers

Not Included in Depth Charts
Meyer Nell F - Depth forward
  • With the injury to James Shearer Mayer Nell could likely start the season in Brandon.
  • They have some room to tinker.  Based on their roster I feel like they may look to bolster their forward group.

Imports: 2

Daniel Bukac(18)(0.24)
Martin Kaut(I)(18) - Unknown if reporting.

Age Index(Not including all new prospects)

18.33

Drafting Outlook 

2016-16's: Mid position no 3rd
2015-17's: Last position
2014-18's:  Early mid+ 1st overall
2013-19's: Early + 2 1sts
2012-20's Mid
  • Suggests that Brandon should have a very strong team this year.(may not be the case) The potential loss of Nolan Patrick could negates that.
  •  Their incoming prospects has potential to be on the weaker side due to later positioning in the 15/16 drafts. Their 16's next season may be higher quality.

Intangibles

  • Nolan Patrick's Return
  • How does their 2nd euro perform
  • Overage Situation - Do they upgrade their offense?
  • I felt last season Brandon was unlucky 

TigerTurf's Projected Goal Scoring:

 225 Goals 
  • A forward OA  will boost this.
Potential to Increase in Value
Depends on their euro reporting, Nolan Patrick's Return, as well as filling in a 3rd overage with a scorer.  I think it will be hard for them to push past MJ, or Regina. If  Patrick returns and they get an OA forward up front, their value significantly increases to the point where I would bump them up a whole tier, because their defense looks solid.

Potential to Decrease in Value
If their euro doesn't report, if they decide not to bolster their forward group they are hurting for secondary scoring and could be at risk of missing the playoffs. Any long term injury to a top line player will eliminate secondary scoring. Their is just as much potential for them to drop behind, as rising forward.  If they do drop behind I would not be surprised to see them sell as they have some very attractive assets.

Prognosis
My initial instincts... This is a roster that is at best average right now. I see too many "if's in regards to having a stronger roster, but that doesn't mean their isn't potential.

I see Moose Jaw and Regina being barriers that will be tough for them to cross unless some of those "If's do indeed fill out. Patricks return and an OS upgrade could turn this roster into an above average roster, where I would bump them up into competing for a Home Ice spot. Most likely a successful season would be a 3rd place in the division. A disappointing season would be missing the playoffs with an elder lineup.

After doing evaluation on all Eastern Division teams 3rd place in the division will be no easy task.

Calgary Hitmen

Questions Marks

  • Jake Bean -  Either NHL or Juniors for Bean. He was the 13th overall pick in the 2016 Entry Draft. Carolina has 6 signed guys; however, they have a very inexpensive blueline and their is room for Bean to play his way onto the team. He will likely be given a very long look and If he is sent back it may not be until late. Since he is 19 and drafted out of the CHL he is ineligible for the AHL. Losing bean early would be a massive blow
  • Overage battle between Stukel & Reagan.The Stukel vs Regan may be a closer battle than it appears largely because their defence may be a weak point in comparison with their offense...more about this below.

Offense

Beck Malenstyn(19)(0.80/.36/.24) M. Gennaro(20)(1.16/.6/.43/.25) Jakob Stukel(20)(0.76/.87/.37)
Jake Kryski(19)(0.78/0.58/0.37)   Mark Kastelic(18)(0.52/.17)  Andrei Grishakov(18)(0.50)
Luke Coleman(19)(0.47/.41)  Andrew Fyten(19)(0.19/.13) Lucas Cullen (18)(0.22)
Matt Dorsey(18)(0.18) Justyn Gurney(17)(0.13) Murphy Stratton(18)(.09)

  • This group is largely intact from last season. It is a now veteran group with a great deal of potential. They have a very formidable top 6 IF Stukel is kept
  • Their bottom 6 depth is a little weak initially, however we may see some newer prospects give this group more competition for roster spots.

Defence

Jake Bean(19)(1.05) Vladislav Yeryomenko(18)(0.40)
Jakib LaPoint(19)(0.15/0.10) Jameson Murray(18)(.09)
Drea Esposoiti(17)(0.06) Jackson Van de Leest(2016 16th overall  pick)

  • Bean is a 13th overall NHL selection
  • Their defense was a big weak point last season., and they have a medium amount of turnover 
  • This season they are top heavy with little experience on positions 3-6.
  • I feel like they are  below average. If Bean gets plucked off to the NHL they will have a big gap. Bean will likely be gone at the start of the season so defensively they may struggle out of the gate.
  • They may need some extra oomf and suddenly keeping Reagan looks like a much more attractive deal. This is the type of decision though that fans don't like.

Goaltending

Nick Schneider(20)

  • They should be solid, but their is some volatility here. Schneider lost the starters job 2 years in a row in the hat. He should provide a lot more presence in net that what the Hitman have received the last couple years.

Other Overagers

Brady Reagan D
  • Reagan could very well end up on the blueline. Stukel likely had a lot of value, and the hitman need some D help. 

Imports:2

Andrei Grishakov(18)(0.50)
Vladislav Yeryomenko(18)(0.40)
The Hitman did not re-draft a euro. Their euro's put up great numbers last season as 17's. They will both look to have impact years.

Age Index(Not including all new prospects)

18.45

Drafting Outlook

2016-16's: Late ( 2-2nds, no 4th)
2015-17's:  Late (no 3rd, 4-4ths)
2014-18's:  Late (no 1st, 3 4th's)
2013-19's: Late ( 2 5ths)
2012-20's: Late (no 3rd, 2 4ths)
  •  Their later drafting  position and lack of 1st rounder in 2014 suggests they should have a weaker team.  However their drafting prowess looks like they have at least recovered offensively.

Intangibles

  • Stukel vs Reagan - More than likely their could be a decent market for stukel. If they could get a decent return for him it could make a lot of sense to keep Reagan. That way they would have a solid top 4 with a defensive defenceman rounding up a solid top 4.
  • New coach and GM - Their new GM comes from Kootenay which has a long history on smart intelligent defensively aware systems. 

Potential to Increase in value
If they can shore up their back-end depth, while still dressing a competitive top 6. I'd say they would be able to compete for 2nd in the division. I feel right now if they keep stukel they need 2 key defenceman to challenge for a higher spot. IF they keep Reagan, they'll need 1 defenceman and 1 forward.

Potential To Decrease in value
Loosing bean their MVP defenceman would deal a significant enough blow to their back-end where they could be fighting for the 8th wildcard spot.

TigerTurf's Projected Goal Scoring:

252-276
  • I might be overestimating them here

Prognosis

Almost their entire offensive core returns. As a result they look to have an above average group up front. Defensively their is potential for concern and that is likely why they choose to go with the band-aid of acquiring an OA goalie.

I feel the Hitman have a tough choice of being good offensively and below average defensively. Or being average defensively and average offensively.

They could be anywhere from 2nd in the division to missing the playoffs as their defensive situation is concern-able. I am putting them into the average Tier
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Edmonton Oil Kings

Offense

Davis Koch(19)(0.97/.40/.48) Trey Fix-Wolansky(18)(.77)Colton Kehler(20)(.49/.39)
Kobe Mohr(18)(0.35/.24)) Nick Bowman(17)(0.23) Brett Kemp(17)(0.37)
Ty Gerla(18)(0.26) Murray Davis(18)(0.21) Tyson Gruninger(19)(0.24/.16/.18)
Andrei Pavlenko(17) Liam Keeler(16*)(.29) Brian Harris(18*)(.20)
  • Their vets are underwhelming.
  • This is a developing year. They are pretty young

Defence

Connor McDonald(18)(0.45/.08) Will Warm(18)(0.36)
Brayden Gorda(18)(.29/0.20)  Anatolii Elizarov(I)(19)(.19/.14)
Ethan Cap(17)(0.16) Wyatt McLeod(17)(0.15)
Jordan Dawson(19)(0.07/.12)
Matthew Robertson(16*)(0.14)
Jayden Platz(17*)(0)
  • Younger group that should get better as the season progresses.

Goal-tending

Travis Childs(20)
Liam Hughes(18)(.895)
Josh Dechaine(18)(.876)
  • Acquired an overage goalie in the off-season to shore up goaltending.

Other Overagers

Adam Berg F
Jesse Roach F
  •  none are trade-able here. They have room to upgrade an O/A spot. 

Imports:2

Anatolii Elizarov(I)(19)(.19)
Andrei Pavlenko(17) NEW unknown report status

They know they aren't "going for it" so they went with a younger Import to develop with their 12th overall Import selection. Their 17yr old age group has potential to be well above average

Age Index
17.9

Drafting Outlook
2016-16's: Early ( 2 - 1sts, no 2,3, 2 -4ths)
2015-17's: Mid 
2014-18's:  Late ( no 2nd)
2013-19's: Late ( no 1st, 5th)
2012-20's: Last ( no 3rd)
  • Their championship seasons of the past have caught up with them. Their drafting position suggests a weaker year, where next season this group will look to be back into the average territory.

Intangibles

Potential to Increase in value
They have a number of younger players that could potentially be poised to start breaking out. If they do get a bunch of them to breakout, it could be a "where the hell did this team come from type scenario"

Potential To Decrease in value
A younger developing group. Their youth and inexperience could be too much. If their prospects flatten out it would lead to a delay in recovery.


TigerTurf's Projected Goal Scoring:

225 Goals


Prognosis

They won't be a top tier team looking to win a championship,  however. This is the type of roster where everyone could predict them finishing last, and surprise, surprise, they end up making a push in the 2nd half. I think they are still too young to make legitimate noise, but I don't know the inn's and outs of their roster.

This is a pure developing roster, as such their is a lot of volatility on how much "developing" they will do. As teams make playoff pushes Edmonton should also get a lot better in terms of their players gaining experience.

I think making the playoffs will count as a huge success, but I don't expect them to make it. 3rd/wildcard would be considered a good season.
-------------------
----------------------

Kootenay Ice

Offense

Colton Kroeker(20)(1.1/.42/.12)  Vince Loschiavo(19)(0.84/.16/.16)  Brett Davis(18)(0.56/.17)
  Peyton Krebs(16*)(1) Gillian Kohler(17)  Jake Elmer(18)(0.35)(0)
Noah Philp(19)(.29)(.33)  Barrett Sheen(19)(.33)(.26)  Max Patterson(18)(.24/.16)
Keenan Taphorn(17)(.13) Michael King(17)(.14)  Kaeden Taphorn(17)(.17)
Tanner Sidaway(18)(.12)  Cameron Hausinger(18)(.24/.19) Reed Morison(19)(.11)

  • They have 2 big newcomers Their 1st overall pick in 2015, as well as their 3rd overall pick in the last Import draft. Both are very young, but will be impacts in Kootenays lineup.
  • Their isn't enough meat to be a contender &  They will have a "developing roster"
  • They have struggled the last couple seasons filling out a roster with  filler type players. 
  •  Their will be some pruning to do, they have a number of players

Defence

Cale Fleury(19)(0.54/.41/.19) Jordan Henderson(20)
Dallas Hines(19)(0.34/.17) Jordan Henderson(20)
Fedor Rudakov(19)(.14) Ryan Pouliot(19)(.24)(.14)
 Martin Bodak(19) Sam Huston(18)(.11)
  • Veteran and older group. This group gave up a league high 335 last season
  • 6 players 19yrs an older. They should make moves to change this.

Goal-tending

Jakob Walker(18)(.868)
Mario Petit(20)(.896)
  • Career backup will be their starter.

Imports

Gillian Kohler(17) F- confirmed to report
Martin Bodak(19) D

Age Index
18.4

Other Overagers

Kurtis Rutledge D(20)(.12/.12)
Austin Wellsby F(20)(.3/.25/.03)

Drafting Outlook
2016-16's: 1st ( 3 4ths)
2015-17's:  Mid (no first, no 5th, 2 6th)
2014-18's:  Mid ( no 3rd)
2013-19's: mid ( 4 5ths)
2012-20's: mid ( no 5th, 2 6ths)
  • Suggests an average roster.

Intangibles

  • Do they keep an older roster, or do they make moves to balance it out for next season.
  • Their defence age wise, is very old. 6 players that are 19 and older suggests a huge amount of turnover next season. I think they will want to balance this out.
  • I could be  wrong with this team, because they are an older group
Potential to Increase in value
If their 19yr old age group have huge seasons.  If their 1st overall pick from 2015, and their 3rd overall selection at the Import Draft prove to big big contributors, they could push the ice up to the average tier.

Potential To Decrease in value
Can't get much lower than last season. If they aren't looking great at the deadline they may have a forward and 2 defenceman who may be quite valuable in trade.

TigerTurf's Projected Goal Scoring:
210 Goals

Prognosis

Their drafting positions suggest they should be mid pack. They have one of the older rosters in the division with lesser scoring potential, similar to Saskatoon.

This is a lineup that I see a lot of potential to tinker with. Having a veteran roster that misses the playoffs is not a good thing to have.

Their defence is a bit concerning age-wise It is an older group that gave up a league high last season. If they don't make changes they will have a lot of turnover.

Due to their age/experience A successful season would be getting a wildcard spot.
-------------------------
-------------------------

Lethbridge Hurricanes

Question Marks
  • 1. Do they keep an Overage Import in Babenko or go with Alec Baer?
  • 2. Will Estephan be back? He went unsigned. He is in camp with the wild

Offense

Giorgio Estephan(20)(1.3/1.25/.8/.4) Jordy Bellerive(18)(.8/.55)  Ryan Bowen(19) (.67/.21)
 Ryan Vandervlis(19)(.42/.30/.21) Tanner Nagel(19)(.22/.03)  Alec Baer(20)(.56/.57/.42/.3)
Jadon Joseph(18)(.22) Dylan Cozens(16*)(.6) Zane Franklin(18)(.22)
Yegor Zudilov(17)F Josh Tarzwell(17)(.14)

  • Missing their top 2 guns from last season
  • Core is a year older
  • Overall scoring depth is quite a bit lower than most teams in the East.

Defence

Brennan Menell(20)(1/.77/.37) Calen Addison(17)(.52)
Igor Merezhko(19) (.29/.18) Brady Pouteau(19)(.25/.16)
Kyle Yewchuk(19)(.19/.11) Ty Prefontaine(18)(.08)
  • Veteran experienced group, all key players return
  • Should generate a lot of offense from their D

Goal-tending

Stuart Skinner(19)(.905/.920/.909)
Ryan Gilchrist(19)(.890)
Adam Swan(17)(.860)
  • Skinner is a 3rd round NHL pick

Imports

Igor Merezhko(19)D (.29/.18)
Yegor Zudilov(17)F - unknown if reporting

  • They have a choice between an older veteran player or a younger player.
Age Index
18.5

Other Overagers

Brennan Riddle(20)(.26/0.08/.1)

Drafting Outlook

2016-16's:  Late
2015-17's:  2nd ( no 4th,5th)
2014-18's:  2nd ( 3 2nds, no 3rd, 3 4th, 2 5th)
2013-19's: Early ( no 4th, 2 5th)
2012-20's:  Early ( 2 1sts, 2-6ths)
  • Suggests that the Canes should have a strong year

Intangibles

  • I always wonder how much of Tyler Wongs' influence had on the canes.
  • Will their 2nd and 3rd lines step up with a scoring by commitee approach to improve their Scoring depth?  
  • Defence and ability to keep the puck out of their net will be a strong point. Will they have enough offensive power?
Potential to Increase in value
They have championship experience with a veteran roster. If come the trade deadline they are near the top they may be looking to acquire some more meat in their top 6.

Potential To Decrease in value
I think their potential to decrease in value is higher than their potential to increase. Their scoring depth up front might be a little shallow, which could lead to scoring inconsistencies. They didn't need it last season, but a key injury could really set them back. Did they play too much over their head last season? 

TigerTurf's Projected Goal Scoring:

220 Goals

Prognosis

I feel like last season they played way over their heads. However they came very close to the WHL Finals. If I were to avoid their accomplishments from last season I would say they are slightly above average.  However almost everyone returns minus their overagers, and I put more weight behind that.

I look at their roster, and it makes me think that if  they can can be that good based on what they have, I am underestimating everyone else, or their coach will get promoted to the pro's.

Young Calen Addison will be a player to watch. .5PPG as a defenceman in a 16yr old year is quite impressive.

The Hurricanes  keep their defensive and goaltending core last year that brought them into the Eastern Conference Final.  Their forward core is a year older up front. Their goaltending is solid with skinner in net. It is hard to see this team not competing for 1st or 2nd in the division as long s they don't run into long-term injuries which could easily derail them.

Their offense has a very impressive top line, and the rest should score by committee. They seem like a team with a very solid roster. They should be an above average  team in the central competing for 2nd in the division. I think they will need to boost their roster and if they do so up front, they will compete for the division.
---------------------------
----------------------------

Medicine Hat

Questions:
  • Will Fischer get plucked to the pro's? 
  • How will Mick Kohler perform?
  • Will they keep Rubins over the 2 other Imports the Tigers drafted.
  • Goaltending - will their starter be an overage or the 18yr old Hollett
  • In an ideal world both new Imports come over and Hollett can be a starter. If that doesn't happen they will need an extra aquision to shore up offense or defence.

Forwards

Max Gerlach(19)(.86/.63)  Mason Shaw(19)(1.32/0.9/0.39) Zach Fischer(20)(1.02/0.37/.19)
 Mark Rassell(20)(.85/.39/.21) James Hamblin(18)(.68/.06)  Mick Kohler(19)
Tyler Preziuso(18)(.31/.17) Josh Williams(16)   Ryan Jevne(19) (.39/.15)
Ryan Chyzowski(17)(.23) Gary Haden (18)(.25)

  • Deadly top 6, the Tigers won't have scoring issues
  • Great bottom 6 depth. Jevne/Prezuiso's will be looking to become impact players

Defence

Kristians Rubins(20)(.49) Dylan Macpherson(19)(.18)
David Quenneville(19)(1.2/.86/.3) Dalton Gally(19)(.16)
Cameron MacPhee(18)(.06)



  • Veteran group 
  • Premier powerplay quarterback
  • If Nassen reports and Hollet can be the #1 and Fischer comes back. Add nassed to Rubins spot, and Add Schultz(20) or Henderson(20) to their D core 
Jordan Hollett(18)(.901/.887)
McGovern(18)
Michael Bullion(20)(.901/.867/.900)
  • Will Hollett become the starter which makes Bullion expendable? The Tigers have a few options.

Imports(3)

Kristians Rubins(20) - likely injured to start the year.
Mick Kohler(19) - Unsure if reporting
Linus Nassen(19) - Unsure if reporting

Age Index


18.5

Other Overagers
Brad Forrest
Ty Schultz
Michael Bullion(20)(.901/.867/.900)
  • If Nassen reports and the Tigers don't choose Rubins, and the Tigers don't go with overage Bullion it opens up a spot for Schultz

Drafting Outlook
2016-16's:   Early ( 2 2nds)
2015-17's:  Late ( 2 5ths)
2014-18's:  Late ( 2 3rds, no 5th)
2013-19's: Mid ( 2 2nds, no 5th, 2 6th)
2012-20's: middle-late ( no 3rd/4th) 


  • Mid and late positions with extra early picks suggests an above average roster.

TigerTurf's Projected Goal Scoring:


310 


Intangibles

  • The Tigers could have a potential championship team without needing to acquire anyone if the pieces of the puzzle regarding Imports & overagers fall into play.
  • If those puzzle pieces don't fall correctly, they may need to look at aquiring a veteran defenceman

Potential to Increase in value
If Nassen reports, Hollet retains the starters job it opens up an extra slot for a veteran defenceman. The Tigers will be exceptionally strong.

Potential To Decrease in value
If Fischer gets plucked to the Pro's, Nassen doesnt report, Hollett can't control the starters job. the Tigers will simply be above average. Most likely still in contention, but their are more holes that need to be filled.

Prognosis

The Tigers Maintain a wicked top 2 lines. Gerlach, Shaw, Rassell, Fischer all have the potential to reach the 40 goal plateau. Defenceman David Quenneville, and James Hamblin may also be knocking close by.

Offence for the 2nd straight year will not be a problem. This will be a high scoring team. Their question mark or unknown factor is how strong their defensive game will be.  If the pieces as mentioned above fall into place I will expect them to have a dominant team. If they don't fall into place they will have a run and gun, football type scoring games.
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-----------------

Moose Jaw Warriors

Offense

B. Burke(20)(1.34/1.51/0.83) Jayden Halbgewachs(20)(1.42/.59/.14)  Brett Howden(19)(1.4/.94/.68)
Noah Gregor(19)(1.17/1) Tanner Jeannot(20)(0.73/.46/.1) Justin Almeida(18)(0.45/.13)
Luka Burzan(17)(.41)  Branden Klatt(19)(0.3/.19) Tristan Langan(19)(.26/.32)
Chance Petruic(18)(.07) Brecon Wood(17)(.04)  Brayden Tracey(16)
  • Exceptionally strong top 6
  • Great overall depth
  • Next year their will be a lot of turnover

Defence

Josh Brooke(18)(0.58/.33) Dmitri Zaitsev(19)(.29)  
Jeff Woo(17)(.34)  Colin Paradis(19)(.14/.1)
Oleg Sosunov (19) Brandon Armstrong(18)(.06)

  • I'm very unfamiliar with them, but they appear to be solid. They may need a little more experience to fill out their top 4.& I have suspicions that they may look to shore this area up
  • They got a huge 6'8 russian in the import draft, but scouting reports say he is more of a physical take care of your own end defenceman.
  • Massive size
  • If I'm very picky they might be missing a PP quarterback, but I'm guessing their top 6 forwards may play apart in that department

Goaltending

Brody Willms(19)(.907/.906/.886)
Adam Evanoff(17)
  • Williams looks more than capable of becoming a starter.

Imports

Dmitri Zaitsev D(19)(.29)
Oleg Sosunov D (19) - 6th round NHL pick+signed

Age Index


18.4

Other Overagers
Spencer Bast(20)(0.3/.26)

Draft History
2016-16 :Late (no 2nd/4th)
2015-17 Early (2 1sts)
2014-18 Early no 4th
2013-19: Early (no 2/3rd/ 2-4ths
2012-20: mid No first
  • Suggests they should have an above average roster

TigerTurf's Projected Goal Scoring:

293


Intangibles

They unexpected loss of Goalie Zach Zawchenko might be a blessing in disguise. It allows MJ to keep one of their high scoring forwards.

Potential to Increase in value
If their defence is a lot stronger and shows a lot of improvement

Potential To Decrease in value
Is their defensive group experienced enough?  I am unfamiliar with them, but most of them are a year older. If their Russian Dman can lead the way it will ease my concerns about their lesser experience. Their are some questions about their top guys who's scoring dried up in the playoffs

Prognosis

Their drafting position suggests they should have a strong core.  Moose Jaw has an impressive top 6. I think this is their year to make some noise.  I don't have a good read on their defensive group.

They unexpectedly lost a star goaltender, but it might be a blessing in disguise, so they don't need to keep an OA goaltender.

I think their lineup has a lot of potential in it. Their is a lot of top talent and depth. 1st or 2nd in the East division.
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------------------

Prince Albert Raiders

Questions
  • Does Dominik Bokk(17) report? That single question changes the outlook of the team

Offense

 Kelly Parker(18)(0.6/.28) Curtis Miske (20)(.7/.46/.21)Jordy Stallard(20)(.92/.72/.45)
 Cole Fonstad(17)(.38) Carson Miller(17)(.41) Dominik Bokk(17)
 Sean Montgomery(19)(.33/.29/.18) D-Jay Jerome(18)(.35/.25)  Spencer Moe(17)(.23)
Adam Kadlec(18)(.23) Drew Warkentine(19)(.19/.09) Kolby Johnson(19)(.05/.11)


  • Developing roster
  • 4 17's that will be in prime developing years
  • They have some 19's that may loose their jobs

Defence

Max Martin(18)(0.47) Vojtech Budik(19)(.46/.23)
Brayden Pachal(18)(.23/.15) Zach Hayes(18)(.17)
Cody Paivarinta(19)(.12/.08) Austin Crossley(18)(.07)
Rhett Rhinehart(16)
  • Mid-experienced group.

Goaltending

Ian Scott(18)(.895/.892)
Nicholas Sanders(19)(.892/.901)
  • Ian scott is a 4th round NHL selection
Imports
Simon Stransky(I)(20)(0.84/1.0/.6)
Vojtech Budik(19)(.46/.23)
Dominik Bokk(17)
  • I think they want to go with a youth movement
Age Index
18.2

Other Overagers
Nick Heid(20)(.19/.08)**might be released

  • P.A has room to add another overage player


Draft History
2017- early 2 sts, 2 2nd
2016-16 : mid (2 2nd/2-3rd) no5th
2015-17:  Mid-early (2 1st) no 4th
2014-18: Mid-early (no 2nd)
2013-19: Mid no 2nd
2012-20: Early 2 -2nd
  • Suggests they should be mid-pack with some good younger players.

TigerTurf's Projected Goal Scoring:
234 Goals

Intangibles

  • 20yr old import (stransky)vs 17yr old import (bokk)
  • Developing roster 
  • Their 19 yr old group is substandard which gives them a disadvantage
  • They have a roster that suggests when drafting one year they concentrate on Defence, the next forward which may bring imbalances
Potential to Increase in value
They have  younger talent that may be primed to start becoming impact players and a more veteran defensive group with solid goal-tending. If they can adapt a defensive play-style they may be able to push for a wildcard spot. IF their 17's can become impact players they could be a minor surprise.

Potential to Decrease  in value
If it is too early for their youngsters to develop. I feel like they will be a lot better than last season.

Prognosis

I initially had them as a dark-horse team, but the more I look at other roster the more I think P.A will be behind the others. Their draft positions and extra picks in the 2017/2016/2015  suggests that PA has a roster that is near the middle of the pack,. Their defence may "peak" next season, but their offence may be 2 years away. That suggests that a defensive play style may benefit them and that they are still too young.

Their 19yr old age group is substandard so this year will be a developing year. They may look to infuse their lineup with some younger players in favor of a few "fillers". I think a wildcard position is what they are competing for.
----------------
-----------------

Red Deer Rebels

Questions: 
Michael Spacek - Does he come back or not? Manitoba Moose has room available. 
Adam Musil - Looks like he may be plucked to the pro's. Put up 5 points in 6 games in the AHL playoffs, I think it is very likely he has an AHL spot, their are 9 forward including him signed for the AHL affiliate Chicago
Overages- They essentially have 2 spots they can fill as it is doubtfull they go with campese and peterson

Offense

Brandon Hagel(19)(1.09/.65) Lane Zablocki(19)(0.84/.51) Grayson Pawlenchuk(20)(.47/.54/.36/.43) Austin Pratt(18)(.49/.21) Akash Bains(18)(.32)  Kristian Reichel(19)
Jordan Roy(19)(.17/.09) Dawson martin(19)(.25/.15)   Brandon Cutler(17)(.08)
Chris Douglas(17)(.08) 

  • They have some top quality talent leaving, however they are almost equally replaceable with the development of Hagel, Pratt, Bains Zablocki, Pawlenchuk who was injured for most of last year, along with their newest import selection. 
  • I expect their offense to be above average with a scoring by committee approach
  • They may add an OA to bolster this group if Spacek is not back.

Defence

Jared Freadrich(19)(.47/.34) Alexander Alexeyev(18)(.51)
Carson Sass(18)(.25)  Brandon Schuldhaus(19)(.26/.11)
Ethan Sakowich(18)(.11) Jacob Herauf(17)(.14)
Dawson Barteaux(17)(.09) 

  • Alexeyev was lost halfway through the season, but was one of the rebels key defenceman
  • Their core are all a year older
  • The fans of the rebels believe this group should be a strongpoint for their team and they could also add an overage if they don't add 2 forwards

Goaltending

Riley Lamb(19)(.899)
Byron Fancy(16)

  • Lamb was their guy in the playoffs, I would expect him to take the spot over a potential 20yr old in Peterson.

Imports

Alexander Alexeyev(18)
Michael Spacek(20)
Kristian Reichel(19) (New) - undrafted

Age Index
18.2-18.4

Other Overagers
Matthew Campese(20)(.14/.21)
Lasse Petersen(20) (.896/.879)

  • I believe they will go different routes, but these players may start the season with the Rebels.
  • They have room to add 2 overagers with could significantly boost their strength.


Draft History
2016-16 : Early ( no 1st, 2 3rds)
2015-17: Late ( no 5th)
2014-18:   early (late 2nd, 2 3rds)
2013-19:  Mid ( no 3rd, no 5th, 2 6th)
2012-20: early ( 2 4ths)
  • Suggests an above average roster

TigerTurf's Projected Goal Scoring:
247 Goals  
  • However this will for surely rise when Overages get added

Intangibles

  • Overagers - The rebels could be in the market for as many as 2 overagers.
  • Should they get an unexpected boost of Musil or Spacek it would significantly boost their offense. If not they are hoping their new euro selection fills out a solid top 6.
Potential to Increase in value
They have room to acquire 2 overagers. I would expect 1 forward and 1 defenceman. If they can get 2 solid players, and have their new import put up strong numbers I think the rebels are the dark horse of the central and have potential to compete for 1st/2nd in the division.

Potential to Decrease  in value
They seem to be injury prone the last couple seasons. If they can't find solid 20's and if their Import doesn't provide a boost they could fall to the 3rd/wildcard spots.

Prognosis

They have a "sneaky" forward core this season.  Their losses are significant, but their potential improvements are also higher than average.  The acquisition of Zablocki combined with the emergence of Brandon Hagel, development of youngster Austin Pratt and a return to the lineup from Grayson Pawlenchuk who was injured most of last year, should more than make up for their losses last season.

Defensively they loose Bobyk but their young core all returns. I mark them to be a better team than last season, but potential to become the Dark Horse of the central. I think they have the guts to compete for a Home Ice playoff Spot in round 1.  If the Tigers don't get their peices of the puzzle to fall correctly the rebels, lethbridge and tigers could be close in strength.

Regina Pats

Questions:
  • Does Sam Steel make the NHL? He was the 30th pick in the 2016 entry draft and put up an insane 2 PPG during last season.  The Ducks have a lot of contracts and may risk losing an NHL player to waivers if he makes the team.
  • They have 3 OA players primed for the Pro's. Do they receive anyone back unexpectedly knowing that Regina is going to the memorial Cup? (hobbs, Wagner, Zborovskiy)
  • They have the rights to Tyson Jost. He played 6 games for the Avalanche after he finished his first year of university. It is highly unlikely he plays in Regina. He will likely start the season in the NHL, or AHL.
  • Nick Henry is out with off-season shoulder surgery and expected to miss most of the first half
  • Emil Oksanen - Their new import selection. Last season he was going to play in the USHL, but at the last second changed his mind and went back to Finland. The reason was because playing in the USHL means he would be ineligible for university hockey in Finland. Their are rumblings that his men's team in Finland might go bankrupt and players have been asked to find other teams. This was a flyer pick. Finland's pre-season starts in late July.

Offense

Sam Steel(19)  Matt Bradley(20)(1.1/.75/.56) Nick Henry(18)(1.13)
Jake Leschyshyn(18)(.85/.24) Wyatt Sloboshan(20)(.46/.67/.63)   Emil Oksanen(19)
Brayden Buziak(19)(.27) George King(19*)  Jeff de Witt(19)(.24/.33/.2)
Bryan Lockner(17)(.21) Robbie Holmes(18)(.17)    Koby Morriseau(17)(.09)
Duncan Pierce(17)(.06)
  • They recently picked up some depth with King and Morriseau
  • They may look at  upgrading sloboshan


Defence

Josh Mahura(19)(.72/INJ/.16) Dawson Davidson(19)(.35/.66/.27)
Jonathan Smart(18)(.42/.16)  Liam Schioler(19)(.14/.17)
Yegor Zmula D(17)

  • Great top line, 
  • Need more depth
  • They could use another top 4 dman.

Goaltending

Tyler Brown(20)(.911/.909/.896)
Max Paddock(17)(.902)

  • Seem solid, but not ideal with an overage tender They were forced to give up Hollett because they needed some offensive depth.

Imports

Yegor Zmula D(17)
Emil Oksanen F (19) * Pats might be lucky to get him to report

  • I'm a bit suprised the pats didn't try and select 2 19's. They did have a very late position but reading the comments in their paper it sounded like they were frustrated with the process. Still they needed some depth.
Age Index
18.4


Other Overagers
Connor Hobbs - Washington has 7 signed guys
Austin Wagner - L.A has 12 forwards  including 2 junior overages
Zborovskiy, Sergey(I) - Rangers have 7 signed guys. (8 last season)


These players will likely all look to make their pro teams, however their are outside possibilities of them being sent back.  AHL starts their season 3 weeks after the WHL, and a couple days before the WHL OA deadline. With the depth of their respective minor league teams it almost feel likely that they may be beneficiaries of an unexpected late gift.


Draft Outlook
2016-16 : Mid ( no 1st, no 3rd, 2 4ths, no 6th)
2015-17: Mid ( no 2nd, 2 3rds, no 4th, no 5th)
2014-18:   Mid ( no 3rd or 4th)
2013-19:  2nd ( 2 4ths)
2012-20:  no 1st ( 2 5ths)
  • Suggests they should be above average with fewer incoming prospects. 

TigerTurf's Projected Goal Scoring:
288

Intangibles

  • It is a guarantee that the pats will add to their lineup.
Potential to Increase in value
Best case scenario is if their  Import Emil Oksaned reports. and they get lucky and one of hobbs/wagner gets sent back. Also we expect them to add  an impact player or two

Potential to Decrease in value
If Sam steel get plucked to the pro's it would be devastating. They need more top end depth to be a championship team.

Prognosis


Last Year the high scoring Pats shipped off a lot of depth for Sloboshan/Mahura/Davidson/Smart/De Witt.

In terms of production. Sloboshan, Dewitt, Davidson,Mahura all lost  production switching teams.   Smart was the only one who gained production but the defenceman also saw time at forward.

Players traded away (zablocki/woods/Hilsendager/Pouteau all increased their production on other teams. If we look at their results they made a lot of moves and in terms of expectations vs where they ended up, It didn't do anything for them last season.

They were unfortunate victims of the injury bug and those moves they made were intended for a dual purpose "Get better last year, while also having those players for this season. Trading for multiple top end talent for the following season is very expensive and very seldom done.

This season...It's the Pats 100th Anniversary Season & They are hosting the Memorial Cup

They have All-star top end talent, but they do need a little more meat & depth to their roster, and I expect that they will shore that area up in a go-for-it at all costs scenario.

Right now on paper they have a  similar team to Moose Jaw, but on paper right now Moose jaw's roster looks better.

They are probably hoping like hell their Import Selection in Emil Oksanen comes to play for them.  Their draft boards cupboards took a chunk last season.  Their lack of picks in the the last few drafts are an indication that they may struggle for the next 4-6 years.

1st or 2nd in the division. 1st-3rd in the conference.


Saskatoon Blades 


Questions: 

They have a number of OA's still on their roster. Do they keep 3 OA forwards, or try to recoup some value? Hebig missed all of last season. He previously put up some really good numbers as a 18.

Offense

Braylon Shmyr(20)(1.00/.58/.62/.26) C. Hebig(20) (1.15/0/.55/.38) Josh Paterson(18)(.51/.26)
 Kirby Dach(16)(.53) Michael Farren(17)(.48)  Chase Wouters(17)(.39)
Gage Ramsay(19)(.22/.08)  Cole Johnson(19)(.29/.11) Logan Christensen(18)(.38/.26)
 Luus MacKenzie(18)(.15/.23) Dryden Michaud(19)(.03) Caleb Fantillo(19)(.18/.19)
Arjun Atwal(18)(.14)
  • Too many "filler" 19's for my liking, but their overall depth greatly improved.
  • Their secondary scoring will be dependent on their development of their 17/18's & scoring by committee approach
  • They have excellent crop of 16 & 17's  that will look to become impact players

Defence

Libor Hajek(19)(.4/.38) Mark Rubinchik(18)(.37)
Jake Kustra(19)(.13/.12) Jackson Caller(18)(.06)
Jantzen Leslie(18)(.03) Seth Bafaro(17)(.04)
  • Core all returns
  • They have a choice to inject a 20yr old overage, but it will be at the expense of a pretty good forward.

Goal-tending 

Logan Flodell(20)(.912/.904)
Joel Grybowski(18)
  • Solid starter
Imports
Libor Hajek D(19)(.4/.38)
Mark Rubinchik D(18)

Hajek was drafted in the 2nd round. Noted as not a point getter but a physicaal and strong defensive player. I think by getting him they decided to forego Fiala as an overage.

Age Index
18.4

Other Overagers
Evan Fiala(20)(.27/.33/.18)
Brock Hamm G(20)(.877/.885/.902)
M. McCarty(20)(.82/.44/.45)
  • They have 3 good quality overage forwards. Do they keep them all or do they try and recoup some value. Do they keep an OA defenceman and sell 2 OA forwards?

Draft History
2017-:15  early 2 1sts, 3 2nd, no 3rd or 4th, 2 5ths
2016-16 :  Early (no 4th)
2015-17:   Mid (2 later 1sts, early 3rd, no 4th)
2014-18:  No first (3-2nds, 2-3rds, no 5th)
2013-19:  No first( 2 late 2nds, no 3rd, no 5th)
2012-20:   (only 3rd/4th5th round)


  • This season is their last "flush year" due to past memorial cup runs
  • In accordance with the natural whl cycle their first draft of prime players group should be 18, which means that the blades should be jumping into average territory, and next season becoming stronger...however....
  • They attempted to do a ton of "value trading" and their 18's are rather weak. IMO they have delayed their overall recovery by a year in attempt to get better a year sooner.
  • Their 15/16/17 age groups look to be solid.
  • In 2019-2020 they should  have a strong team.

TigerTurf Projected Goal Scoring
256


Intangibles

  • The Blades have an older roster. A couple good overages, with a lot of depth players, supplemented with a good core of young 17's.
  •  Come trade deadline time they may have a 19 or 2 that another team may like as a 3rd line player.
  • I have read in the paper that they expect to be strong for this season, but I have troubles seeing it. At best they are in position to compete for 3rd/wildcard
  • They should consider flushing a few of their older bottom liners out in favor of younger guys to balance their roster. 
  • This should be their last "flush year"
  • I feel like they may fall into the trap of trying to make the playoffs this season, which will just transfer assets from a potential up year in 2 years to this season, when this season making 3rd/wildcard is pointless.

Potential to Increase in value

They have a trio of youngsters where if they can become impact players they will launch the blades from average to above average. I feel like the strength of their forward group will rely on their youngsters. If those guys can give them some good scoring depth, the blades could very well be above average and compete for a wildcard spot.

Potential to Decrease in value
If they decide to stay older and it fails.  

Prognosis


The Blades have an older lineup.  They've essentially "wheeled and dealed" the last couple years to  stay competitive as well as put some dishes back into the cupboards. Their last "down year" as a result of their 2013 memorial cup will be this year.

They have 3 very talented  youngsters in Michael Farren,Kirby Dach and Chase Wouters as players to keep an eye on. They have a bundle of 19's that aren't anything to be excited about.

They have a choice on whether to remain older and chase 3rd in the division/wildcard or go with a flush of youth. Most likely they will do a combo of both to try and get that spot, while not being to old.

 I expect them to be a slight notch better than last season. However so are a lot of other teams in their division.They will likely be fighting for 3rd in the division/ wildcard spot.

Swift Current Broncos

Offense

Tyler Steenburg(19)(1.25/.69) Aleksi Heponiemi(18)(1.19) Glenn Gawdin(20)(1.13/1/.75/.33)
Kaden Elder(19)(.4/.09/.06) Riley Stotts(17)(.31) Kole Gable(19)(.3/.21)
MacKenzie Wight(18)(.06)  Tanner Mole(18)(.03) Owen Blocker(17)(.02)
Logan Barlage(16)(4th overall 2015 pick)
  • Insane top line, but afterwards depth takes a huge hit which is a common theme within the Eastern Conference
  • If they don't get lucky and an overage forward returns I Imagine they will go out and bolster their lineup with an OA forward. If that is the case I expect them to dress a very competitive top 2 lines 

Defence

Artyom Minulin(19)(.71/.46) Colby Sissons(19)(.44/.31)
Sahvan Khaira(19)(.24/.16/.07) Dom Schmiemann(18)(.11)
Jake Hobson(18)(.06/.07) Matthew Stanley(19)(.02)
Alexander Jacson(16)
  • Lots of experience and an older back-end so it should be an above average group
  • They may make moves to get younger

Goal-tending

Taz Burman(20)(.907/.891/.890/.884)
  • May not be an all star, but should be solid in net

Imports

Aleksi Heponiemi(18)(1.19)
Artyom Minulin(19)(.71/.46)
  • Best combo of imports in the league. Swift excels at the Import Draft
Age Index
18.2

Other Overagers(Pro?)
Lane Pederson(1.05/.76/.32)
Max Lajoie(20)(.62/..6/.57)
Miller, Arthur
Chaulk, Conner
Arnold, Brandan

  • I think their are decent chances that at least 1 of the  Pederson/Lajoie ( NHL signed OA's) could return.
  •  Swift won't go get an OA until these players fates are decided.  They have some fringe guys to play until that happens.

Draft History
2017-15: mid-late ( 2 1sts, no 4th/5th)
2016-16 :  Early ( 2 1sts, no 5th)
2015-17:    Mid (no 4th, 2 5th)
2014-18:  Mid ( no 2nd,3rd,4th, 2-5th)
2013-19:  Mid ( no 4th)
2012-20:  Early ( 2 3rd)

  • Suggests they should have a weak 18yr old group, with the picks they gave up
TigerTurf Projected Goal Scoring
260

Intangibles

  • Do they get an OA back? Getting Pederson back would fit into their overall picture quite nicely. However their depth up front is lacking unless they are able to dress a lot of younger players to fill out their bottoms lines.
Potential to Increase in value
Their 2nd line. If they get an unexpected return with an OA player or acquire a solid overage that will compliment their up and coming younger group, they should be able to dress a very good quality top 6.
They need their incoming 16's/17's to be above average in strength to give much needed depth to the bottom 6.
Potential to Decrease in value
Their secondary scoring. I feel that the strength of this line will either catapult them up, or drop them back depending on their performance. A big or long-term injury to their top 6 could be enough to drop them back to average territory.

Prognosis

The broncos have the best Import Drafting in the WHL and those Imports will fuel this team from average to above average.

The Broncos may have some depth issues, however in their 2016, & 2017 drafts they  had an extra 1st round pick, which should give them a good group of younsters.

Their 2014 draft they were missing a lot of high picks, and their 18yr old group is sub-par. That will probably hurt them for next season, but how will that affect them this season?

I predict the Broncos have the best chance at getting 3rd in the division.



Prediction Time

Eastern Division

Top Tier (Strong)
Moose Jaw   Age:18.4    GF:293
Regina         Age: 18.4   GF:288  

  • These 2 rivals should have an amazing battle. I feel MJ may be better on paper right now, but once Regina adds that may change. Regina has strong top line but depth issues.  Moose jaw has strong depth up front, but a younger back-end that might be taken advantage of.
Above Average
Swift Current   Age:18.2     GF:260

  • Dark Horse I see potential in them to surprise if they can improve their depth


Average
Brandon            Age:18.33   GF:225

  • Volatile, Could have great assets to trade at the deadline. I have had thoughts of bumping them to both above average and below average

Saskatoon         Age:18.4     GF:256

  • Like Kootenay an older roster of lesser skilled talent. If they have chemistry they could rise, if they don't they might try for a rebuild.
Prince Albert   Age:18.2      GF:234  
  • Prince Albert is a semi-Dark Horse they have a roster where their youngsters should be better sooner than their opponents. Their roster is pretty young; However, they were a lot better team missing some vets late in the year, and that is why I am not putting them into below average territory.

Central Division

I felt the Central division was weak last season.

Top Tier
Medicine Hat Age: 18.5 GF:310

  • Will their defensive game be too much of a hamper? This is dependent on the pieces of the puzzle falling into place. If the puzzle pieces don't fall I would put them into the tier below

Above Average Tier
 Red Deer Age:18.3  GF: 247
  •  I would consider Red Deer as a "dark horse" Their is potential for them to push up

 Lethbridge Age:18.5  GF:220 *
  • They have potential with a strong playoff push last season with numerous injuries, but their depth may push them into average territory


Average Tier
Calgary Age: 18.45 GF: 270
  •  Volatile roster..They have some scoring potential, but could slip with volatility on defensive game. I'm not sure where to put them, this is a "safe spot". 
Kootenay Age:18.4 GF: 210
  •  lesser skill but experienced, similar to Saskatoon
Edmonton Oil Kings Age:17.9 GF:225

  • The Oil Kings look like a team that could defy the norm. They are very young, but their lineup up and down has  "great potential". They are likely a little too young and inexperienced to make significant noise this season however as the year goes on they will get better and better, and could grab a 3rd/wildcard spot. 
  •  I will be watching them closely because their progression will determine if they could have a strong roster next season, or if it will take 2 seasons.


Overall

Top teams 
MJ, Regina, MH.

My picks for Dark Horses:
Swift, Red Deer,

Teams with volatile rosters that could miss the playoffs or could push for 2nd in the division Brandon, P.A Calgary.

Unique Teams
Saskatoon - Older roster that attempted to get better in their last "flush year" through value trading. They also have a trio of 17's that good really improve a lot.



Team in the toughest "unluckiest spot"
Saskatoon - They tried to get better a year earlier in their rebuild. MJ and Regina look to have pretty strong teams. They might have a much better team, and may be tempted to bolster when they should supplement their 16/17's.

Kootenay - Similar to saskatoon, an older roster with lesser experience. They have had a couple big trades catch up with them. The Cody Eakin deal in 2011, as well as the Tim Bozon deal a few seasons ago. All those picks and players ravaged their depth.
-----

Other Notes

Regina - Their cupboards will be empty after this season. They could very well take a long time to recover after this season.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

CHL Import Draft

http://chl.ca/draft


Tigers 1st Selection
59th Overall  MICK KÖHLER 19Yr - Forward, 6'3 201lb
http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=116428


German Leagues
Last season Mick split time in the DNL and DEL2 leagues. DNL is a German under 19 team. DEL2 is a German 2nd tier Men's League.   In Europe teams get relegated or promoted based on finishing at the top or bottom of their leagues.

In the DNL Mick put up 60 points in 31 games. He is Kolner EC's all time scoring leader.

In the DEL2  He put up 4 points in 20 games. Interestingly enough he played on the team with former Tiger Goaltender Kevin Nastiuk.

Compare with Eisenschmid
Markus Eisenschmid also split time in both leagues, except he was a year younger.
 He put up 18 pts in 19 games in their junior league, and  7 points in 40 games in their Mens league.

We could say that Mick's point totals follow a similar path. He appears to be more of the playmaker type.


Tigers 2nd Selection
Linus Nassen - Defenceman  19yr  6 feet 174 lb
Linus was 3rd round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

He was selected last season in the Import draft in the first round by the Brandon Wheat Kings, but did not come over to play. He played in the world juniors last year. He also split time in Juniors and the highest Level Mens league in Sweden, but was also loaned out to the 2nd division.

His scouting report says he is a very mobile defender that occasionally struggles against bigger forwards in his own zone.

Thoughts
They pick up some size and skill with Mick so hopefully he can fill a 2nd line role. Their 2nd pick appears to be a "flyer pick". They went out and picked what appears to be a very good player that may not be expected to come over, but bounced around a couple rosters in the Swedish league last season.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

NHL Draft - Tiger Edition - 3 Players Picked


Mason Shaw
Mason Shaw was selected by the Minnesota Wild, He was the 4th pick taken in round 4, 97th overall. Here is a picture of him in his new jersey I found on twitter from a Minnesota Wild reporter

https://twitter.com/Russostrib/status/878640629412245504/photo/1


Zach Fischer
Zach Fischer was taken early in the 5th round 140th overall to the Calgary Flames. It was no surprise Fischer was taken in his second go through. His game exploded last year, going from 13 to 63 points as well as 2nd in PIMS.

More on this later. Getting drafted could increase his chances of getting plucked to the AHL. I'll look for some interviews shortly on what the flames have planned for him.


Jordan Hollett

The Tigers newest goaltender acquisition was picked by the Ottawa Senators in the 6th round, 183rd overall.

-------------
Cale Makar
Brooks Bandits and Tigers 8th round 2013 Bantam draft selection was picked 4th overall in the NHL Entry Draft. He was interviewed and asked if he still planned to commit to the NCAA route. This is what he responded with.


Q. Are you still committed to going to UMass?
 Yeah, 100 percent. That's my plan for next year, and I couldn't be more excited to do that.


https://www.nhl.com/avalanche/news/cale-makar-2017-nhl-draft-transcript/c-290087836
----

NHL Draft List
http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftsearch.htm

Sunday, June 4, 2017

WHL Over-Agers 2017-2018

Edit History: 
9:30AM June 5th - Fixed Saskatoon Blades Trade & Added Fiala
2:00PM June 8th - Radovan Bondra to KHL
2:00 PM June 27th - John Dahlstrom to Sweden
10:00PM July 28th - Cody Porter/Jaydan Gordon/Patrick Dea/Hamm

Legend


PRO  =  Players either gone, or potentially at risk for not coming back.
Likely Candidates - Players that will compete for a spot or have potential to be traded to another team.
Fringe OA = Only kept if  a teams depth is lacking. These players are not ideal candidates. Usually they are released, or if lucky traded for a very low 7th+later pick.

Caliber - An extremely generic Evaluation of Overage  Talent.

Brandon

Likely Candidates
Shearer, James D
Thompson, Logan G

Fringe
Nell, Meyer F
Jensen, Kade D

Pro Risk:0
Total: 4
Calibre -1
----
----

Calgary

Likely Candidates
Stukel, Jakob LW -Drafted/Un-signed
Gennaro, Matteo C -Drafted/Un-signed
Nick Schneider - G signed
Reagan, Brady D

Pro Risk: 1
Total:4
Caliber: +1


Notes: 
 Stukel was drafted in his 2nd go through but remains unsigned. It is likely he comes back.  Matteo Gennaro was not signed by the Jets so indications are that he will be back. The Hitmen have been hurting for goaltending depth and have traded for Overage goaltender Nick Schneider.

They also have defenceman Brady Reagan. The Hitman will have some flexibility on if they get unlucky and Gennaro is snatched away. If everyone comes back they will have a choice between keeping defensive or offensive depth.


Edmonton 
Likely Candidates
Kehler, Colton RW
Child, Travis G
---
Fringe Players
Berg, Adam .3 LW
Roach, Jesse .1 RW

Pro Risk:0
Total:4
Caliber: -1

Notes:
Edmonton  traded for a 2nd OA goalie
 At seasons end the Oil Kings were splitting time between  Patrick Dea and their 18yr tender. Seeing as they traded for an OA goalie is appears that Dea is the odd man out.

Kehler, is borderline OA material on a team with decent depth but has the 2nd spot unequivocally. Their others are fringe on most teams.  Berg probably has the 3rd spot unless they decide to tinker.


Everett Silvertips
Pro's
Juulsen, Noah D Drafted Round 1, Signed - Gone to Pro's

Likely Back
Davis, Kevin D
Bajkov, Patrick RW
Fonteyne, Matt LW
Skoleski, Devon RW .52
---
Fringe Players
Babych, Cal RW .33
Anderson, Keith RW 0.13

Pro Risk:1
Total:7
Caliber:+1

Notes
Noah Juulsen is likely gone to pro's, He is a 1st round NHL pick that signed.  Bajkov/Davis might have some NHL interest around them. Silvertips would be unlucky if someone is plucked to the pro's.

If everyone comes back as expected they will likely cut/trade Devon Skoleski who could be a cheap upgrade for a team with a lack of depth, and for that reason I'm putting everett as a +1.

Kamloops Blazers
Pro's
Ingram, Connor G Drafted and signed Likely Gone
Sideroff, Deven RW - Drafted and Signed likely gone
Balcers, Rudolfs(I) - Drafted+signed

Likely Candidates
Chyzowski, Nick C
Gatenby, Joe D
--
Fringe Players
Holowko, Nic LW .33

Pro Risk:2-3
Total:6
Caliber: -1

Notes
Tampa is hurting for some goal-tending prospects, I find it very unlikely that Ingram is sent back as their is room in their pro system. Sideroff is drafted and signed before the season started. Anaheim has a very young depth in their minor system, their is a lot of room to make the team. The Blazers are likely not expecting him back.

Rudolfs Balcers is an OA Import.  I read a news article where he suggested playing pro in Europe, therefore The Blazers will likely count him as not coming back.

If he doesn't come back  they may look to upgrade 1 spot. I'm putting their caliber at -1 thinking Blacers will go pro in Europe.
-----

Kelowna Rockets
Pro
Merkley, Nick C - 1st round Drafted&Signed
Johansen, Lucas D 1st round Drafted & Signed
Thurkauf, Calvin LW Import Signed
Stephens, Devante D -Drafted & Signed

---
Likely Candidates
Soustal, Tomas C Import
Twarynski, Carsen LW
Hilsendager, James D

---
Fringe Players
Ballhorn, Gordie D .2

Pro Risk: 4
Total:8
Caliber: 0

Notes
Kelowna has 4 NHL signed players. 3 out of 4 are locks to be gone. Devante Stephans is a  question mark. He is drafted and signed.  This season Buffalo has 5 signed defenceman  for their AHL affiliate in Rochester(so their is room).  He was a late signing and his stats suggest that Buffalo signed him for his rights and that another season in junior could help develop an offensive game. I'm going out on a limb and guessing that he is sent back as a rare junior player with an NHL contract.

 Their import Soustal is also question mark. Undrafted and un-signed and may have a shot at being a rare 20yr old import in the league. Their is an article from kelownaNow that suggests he will be back as a 20 as they include him as being a part of their "core" players. However I'm unsure about that.

They won't be trading anyone away unless it's Ballhorn. With the uncertainty of Soustal+Stephans I'm putting their calibre at 0.  They could be anywhere from having to trade a player to trying to acquire 1 player.

I haven't looked at the AHL depth of Thurkauf, Johansen, and Merkley's respective teams, but  If they received one of those guys back they would be very lucky.
----

Kootenay Ice
Likely Candidates
Kroeker, Colton C
Murray, Troy D
Petit, Mario G
Jordan Henderson
---
Fringe Players
Wellsby, Austin LW .3
Rutledge, Kurtis D .2

Pro Risk:0
Total:4
Caliber:0

Notes
Kootenay just turfed their coach. That move was likely just a change in direction with the new owners at the helm trying to turn this franchise around in a struggling market.

Kootenay's OA depth is rather mediocre. Kroeker has put up some good numbers after getting traded to the Ice. Murray is a former 1st round bantam pick. Kootenay also traded traded for OA Petit, who has 37 games of backup experience.  It is not often a team keeps an OA goalie with only 37 games experience.

I'm putting their caliber at an extremely generous 0. I am debating on whether or not to downgrade that to a -1.  They will likely go with the 3 mentioned above.


Lethbridge Hurricanes

---
Likely Candidates
Estephan, Giorgio C Drafted, Un-signed
Menell, Brennan D
Baer, Alec RW .56
---
Fringe OA
Riddle, Brennan D .25

Pro Risk:1
Total:4
Caliber :0

Notes
Giorgio just went unsigned and the canes might get some luck and see him return. Babenko even though he is an import I feel could be back as a rare OA Import because the canes need some offense and he has chemistry with Estephan.  They also have the option of re-drafting the forward euro spot and keeping Baer, which could make them more competitive for next season, if that is their goal.

We will see what plays out. I'm putting their caliber at 0, because of the Import situation.

Medicine Hat
Pro Risk:
Zach Fischer(20) Potential of being drafted a 2nd go round.

Likely Candidates:
Mark Rassell F
Zach Fischer F
Kristians Rubins(I) D
Ty Schultz D
Jordan Henderson D
Michael Bullion G

Fringe
Brad Forrest D .3

Pro Risk: 1
Total:8
Actual: +3

Notes
The Tigers made 2 deals with OA players already. Dahlstrom(import) hasn't signed with Chicago. I  hope he moves on to pro's because he is in a tough spot being a 2 spotter on a team full of depth, and probably won't have a spot unless something extreme happens to the other Tigers OA's, or they fail at the Import draft.

Rubins is also in the same scenario being a 2 spotter on a team full of depth. He played first line minutes last season, so he would be difficult to replace. If their is a candidate to remain a 2 spotter in the league Rubins could very easily fill that role.  Their current path is probably Rassell/Fischer and 1 Dman(likely Rubins/henderson/schultz)   They may look to draft 2 euro's and see what they have come training camp, and potentially have them compete for spots.

The Tigers recently acquired goaltender Josh Hollet from regina and are probably hoping he can be their #1 guy, so they don't need to keep an OA goalie. The Tigers have a ton of options here, they may be able to squeeze out some really good value on their OA defenceman.I'm putting the Tigers as a +3 even though they may be as high as +5

Moose Jaw

Likely Candidates:
Jeannot, Tanner
Halbgewachs, Jayden F
Brayden Burke F

Fringe OA
Bast, Spencer RW .3

Pro Risk: Maybe 1
Total:4
Caliber:0

Notes
Warriors unexpectedly lost a highly touted goaltender to the Canadian University Ranks. Both Burke and Halbgewches are high scoring juniors that have  potential of pro interest, but more than likely will be back as 20's.  They look relatively set with a pretty good crop.

Portland
Pro Risk
Jones, Caleb -Drafted & Signed

Likely OA
Kehler, Cole
Texeira, Keoni D
Overhardt, Alex F
Weinger, Evan F
Veloso, Colton F
Fringe OA

Pro Risk:1
Total:5
Caliber: +1

Notes
Cole Kehler likely has a spot as an overage Goaltender, because Portland doesn't have anyone else.
 Texeira probably has their 2nd spot on the back-end, otherwise that means they have 3 of their top 4 d-man moving on from last season. If they have great incoming defensive depth perhaps they move him and keep 2 forwards. I'm not familiar with their roster so I don't know which path they'd take.

They have 3 forwards who are similar in height/weight and points.  Ideally you want a little more production from those OA's. They are not exactly the players another team would  target in a deal, but very easily could be guys another team tries to acquire for a later 6-7th round draft picks.

I'm putting them at a plus 1, because those 3 forwards are fringe trade-able based on their numbers. They could be traded for they may not be.

Prince Albert

Likely Candidates
Stallard, Jordy- Drafted
Miske, Curtis

Fringe OA
Heid, Nick

Pro Risk:0
Total:3
Caliber:-1

Notes
PA looks like they have some decent depth with Stallard, and Miske as long as they stay healthy.  Miske finding his game in PA after getting traded from Spokane. Simon Stransky is an Import, so they have the question of keeping a 2 spotter or going with someone else?

PA has a high position in the CHL import draft, as well as an Import 19yr old Defenceman who was drafted by Buffalo in last years NHL draft.

If they opt to re-draft their euro spot, they may be in the market for an upgrade. I'm putting their caliber rating at 0 as a happy medium between  the uncertainty of Stransky, and potentially looking for an upgrade.


Prince George (Re-look at)
Pro 
Harkins, Jansen F - Drafted(2nd) &Signed
Gabrielle, Jesse F - Drafted(4th) &Signed
Guhle, Brendan D - Drafted(2nd) & Signed


Likely Candidates
Olson, Tate D - Drafted &Unsigned
Bethune, Jared F
O'Brien, Brogan F
Collins, Shane D

Fringe
Boyd, Aaron F
Wishnowski, Tanner F

Pro Risk:0
Total:3
Caliber:+1

Notes

Nick Mcbride probably would have had a spot but announced he is going to school, they also just traded away their highest scoring non-import OA in Brad Morrison for a 2nd round pick and that may signify they are already in the process of rebuilding.

Radovan Bondra ended up signing in the KHL.

O'brien is a local boy but looking at their roster I'd think Collins/Tate/Bethune would be the 3 they go with, unless they prioritize getting a 3-5th round pick back in trade.

They will be hurting  on goal-tending depth losing both goaltenders.  I am wondering on their ability to flip one of their OA's for an OA goaltender. Red Deer has an OA goalie potentially available and needs an OA, I wonder if they do something like flip Obrien/Bethune for Lasse Petersen.

 If they are rebuilding mode getting an OA goaltender, and keeping Collins/Bethune..trading Tate Olsen  may bring them to their goals of acquiring picks/assets while trying to stay competitive. 

Red Deer

Pro
Musil, Adam - Drafted+Signed
Spacek, Michael(I) - Drafted& Signed

Likely Candidates
Pawlenchuk, Grayson
McCarty, Mason F

Fringe
Lasse Petersen G - From Denmark but not an Import
Matthew Campese

Pro Risk:2
Total:4
Caliber:-1


Notes
They will likely loose Musil to the pro's as he is drafted and signed, as well as scored 5 points in 6 games in the AHL playoffs after Red Deer's season came to an end.

Spacek -  For some reason I think their is a small chance that he could perhaps be an unexpected gift, but the rebels should expect him to be gone next season. He will likely be given a chance to make the Manitoba Moose as their is roster room right now.

Red Deer added McCarty in a trade with Saskatoon.

Seem unlikely they will keep Peterson as he was not their go to guy in the playoffs. I'm putting their calibre at -1, but they might be in a waiting game.

Edit: Added Saskatoon Trade

Regina Pats

Pro
Zborovskiy, Sergey - Drafted+Signed
Hobbs, Connor - Drafted +signed
Wagner, Austin - Drafted+signed

Likely Candidates
Brown, Tyler
Sloboshan, Wyatt
Matt Bradley

Pro Risk: 3
Total:6
Caliber: 0

Notes
The Pats recently acquired OA Matt Bradley from the Tigers, and traded away their 2nd string goaltender. That essentially means they are going with Tyler Brown as an OA goaltender. Bradley is their 2nd OA. 

Seeing as they are hosting the memorial CUPI have a hard time seeing them keeping Ahl, unless their imports totally bomb.

That would leave Sloboshan in the 3rd spot. They may decide to upgrade come trade deadline time.   They are also probably hoping one of their signed and drafted players are gifted back for a memorial CUP run. They may stay course until more is known for sure about their drafted+signed guys.

Saskatoon Blades

Likely Candidates
Hebig, Cameron F
Shmyr, Braylon F
Flodell, Logan  G
Fiala, Evan D


Pro Risk:0
Total:4
Caliber:+1

Notes:
The Blades have a good crop of Overage players. They traded away McCarty as they had a couple extra guys. It looks like they will have to keep a goaltender as an OA because of their lack of depth at that position.  I believe Hebig missed the entirely of last season with a concussion, and will be looking to come back as an overage. He was a point per game player in his 18yr old season.

The Blades have 1 extra guy on their roster, and have some flexibility on which direction they choose to go.

Seattle Thunderbirds

Pro Risk
Barzal, Mathew - Drafted+Signed
Bear, Ethan - Drafted+Signed
Kolesar, Keegan - Drafted+Signed

Likely Candidates
Ottenbreit, Turner D
True, Alexander F (I)
Neuls, Donovan F
Strand, Austin D
Fringe
Adams, Tyler


Pro Risk:3
Total:8
Caliber:0

Notes:
The reigning whl Champs are likely going to loose 3 players to the Pro's.  I'm not that familiar with the US division. It seems likely they would keep Ottenbreit, Nuels, and Strand, and re-draft their euro selection. In that case I put their caliber at 0.

Swift Current

Pro Risk
Lajoie, Max - Drafted+Signed
Pederson, Lane - Signed

Likely Candidates
Gawdin, Glenn - Drafted/Unsigned
Burman, Taz G

Fringe
Miller, Arthur
Chaulk, Conner
Arnold, Brandan

Pro Risk:2
Caliber: 0

Notes:
I think Burman will be kept in goal, due to no other options.  I'm not convinced that  Pederson(Arizona)  or Lajoie(ottawa)  are gone to the pro's.

The senators have 7(including Lajoie) signed guys on their minor league affiliate.  Lajoie might be given a chance to make the team, if not possibly a late cut/echl depth.

Pederson  made an impressions at camp with Arizona and they signed him because they felt he would play onto another teams draft list.  He seems like a longer project and another whl year could be good for him.

Arizona had a stuffed minor league system last year and appear to be clearing house of old prospects, so their is potentially room for Pederson. They have a lot of off-season moves to make for next season and I'm not sure what they are going to do.  Mark Lamb a former bronco coach is the head coach if Arizona's minor league system. 

Gawdin also went unsigned so he could very well be back next season.

The broncos situations is really volatile. They shouldn't really expect those 2 signed players back, but their is potential for 2 unexpected gifts.  They will likely play a waiting game with Gawdin/pederson/Lajoie and rotate a fringe player or two early in the season, until things settle down. They may be looking for an ugprade, they might get incredibly lucky and have to unload a top quality player.

Tri-City

Pro
Wotherspoon, Parker D Drafted& Signed

Likely Candidates
Topping, Jordan F
Sarthou, Evan G
Lukin, Vladislav F(I)

Fringe
O'Reilly, Brendan D
Playfair, Austyn F
James, Maxwell F

Pro Risk:1
Total:7
Caliber:0

Notes
They will loose Wotherspoon and that makes their OA crop below average. Sarthou was their #1 goalie 2 years ago, but lost the starters job last season to an acquisition. He might become a player they keep due to not having other quality options in net.

They very well may decide to keep their overage Import for some offense, over their other players who are big bodied grinders. This is tough to put a calibre rating on. I'm going to put them at 0, assuming that their OA import comes back, and the other players aren't players another team would target.

Vancouver Giants

Likely Candidates
Ronning, Ty F Drafted/Unsigned
Skeoch, Darian D-
Brad Morrison F

Fringe
Wesley, Johnny F 
Flaman, Jack F
Wharrie, Jordan D

Pro Risk:0
Total:6
Caliber:0

Notes
The Giants spent a  2nd round pick  and acquired Brad Morrison. They seem relatively set now with Ronning, Skeoch, and Morrison.

Wesley had 24 points in 47 games, but relatively inexperienced in his past seasons.

Victoria Royals

Pro Risk
Reddekopp, Chaz - Drafted/Signed
Bobylev, Vladimir

Likely Candidates
Soy, Tyler - Drafted/UnSigned
Nagy, Regan
Fringe
Morrison, Loch
Price, Ethan
Ibragimov, Marsel(I)

Pro Risk:1
Caliber: -1

Notes
Bobylev started the season in Russia but re-joined Victoria mid-season due to lack of Icetime. He will likely not being back as a 2 spotter. 

Soy not getting signed means he will probably be back. Nagy looks to hold the 2nd spot.

 The 3rd spot the Royals are probably hoping for Reddekopp to be sent back, but right now LA is very lean on defensive depth in their minors. That may be an indication that the Royals should not expect him back.  They will likely have Loch Morrison with the 3rd spot, but may look for an upgrade.

---------------
------------------------- 

Overall Rank: +4 Quality OA's.

Injuries and players not coming back always happen. Even though I have the league as a +4 that includes players I would consider as fringe, but probably kept due to low depth.


OA  Goalies Available:
Dea, Patrick G  ** free agent
Porter, Cody G ** free agent
Hamm, Brock G **free agent
RD - Lasse Petersen G
MHT - Maybe Michael Bullion?? G

Known Medium to High Players Available
VAN - Johnny Wesley F - 0.51
this list will expand as pro returns are known. I'm not about to guess who will keep who

Fringe Players Available:
Outside looking in. Chances are a couple of them will get lucky.
BRN- Nell, Meyer F .18(career)
BRN - Jensen, Kade D .2 (Career)
CGY Gordon, Jaydan D 0.11  **free agent
EDM - Berg, Adam LW .3
EDM - Roach, Jesse RW .1
EVT - Cal Babych .33
EVT Keith Anderson 0.13
KAM - Holowko, Nic LW - 0.33
KEL - Ballhorn, Gordie D .2
KTN - Wellsby, Austin LW .3
KTN - Rutledge, Kurtis D .2
LET - Riddle, Brennan D
MH - Brad Forrest D .3
MJ - Bast, Spencer RW 0.3
PA - Heid, Nick
PG - Boyd, Aaron F 0.34
PG - Wishnowski, Tanner F 0.31 (career)
SEA - Adams, Tyler 0.28
SC - Miller, Arthur 0.29
SC - Chaulk, Conner 0.35
SC - Arnold, Brandan 0.19
TRI - O'Reilly, Brendan D 0.11
TRI - Playfair, Austyn F 0.19
TRI - James, Maxwell F 0.44
VAN - Jack Flaman 0.31
VAN - Jordan Wharrie 0.17

Import Overage's (Potentially Available/Unknown)
Kamloops - Balcers, Rudolfs(I)
Kelowna - Soustal, Tomas
Medicine Hat - Kristians Rubins
Seattle - True, Alexander F (I)
Tri-City - Lukin, Vladislav F(I)
Victoria Royals - Ibragimov, Marsel(I)