Sunday, November 4, 2018

Rybinksi Part Two

 I've decided to take a step back and evaluate everything. Let see if this trade request makes sense... First here are the public comments made by the Tigers and comments from his agent.

This was the New Release From the Tigers

Rebuttal from Rybinski's Agent
- Ryan McCracken has a twitter post from Rybinski's Agent

Go read both articles and then come back...

Evaluating Rybinski
At 6'1 176 lbs, Rybinski has the makings of having a solid frame. He is not afraid to go into the dirty areas of the ice and he is not afraid to take a hit to make a play. He does have a tendency to play with his head down which leads to occasional instances of getting hit hard and slight cases of tunnel vision.

Using His Frame
As a 17-year-old he is still gaining experience on how to use his frame to protect the puck. He doesn't yet possess the strength to fight off attackers quite yet. He will develop it, but he needs more muscle and more experience. As of right now, he can be knocked off the puck which is normal for a 17 in the whl.

On Ice Awareness
 His offensive awareness I'd rate as an average calibre for a 17yr old forward. He doesn't yet possess the ability to see the next play beyond the current one on a consistent basis. He does show occasional playmaking ability when he is given time to see the play.

He occasionally puts himself in poor positions along the board and has been hit hard because of it.

His defensive awareness I'd rate as slightly below average due to the slight case of tunnel vision and playing with his head down as mentioned above.

Offensive Skill
Rybinksi has above average straight-line speed. He appears to have a hard shot but is slow at getting it off. This will improve as he gains more experience and gets older.  His puck control is a bit inconsistent but made big strides over his 16yr old year. He has a long reach which will become useful as he grows into his frame.

He is one of those players that isn't overwhelming in any one category. He still looks a little raw as of yet. I do feel has a high degree of potential to become a force once he puts everything together. How quickly this comes together and how dominant he could become, is still to be determined. I would put money on him reaching it by his 19yr old season.

 While he has shown improvements from his 16yr old year, he hasn't shown that he is ready to break out into a top 6 role yet.

In the future, his biggest asset will be the ability to protect the puck with above-average speed and a long reach. Once he is able to slow the game down he will learn to see the play develop beyond the current one. He will need to work on his shot quickness and keeping his head up and being slightly more aware of his surroundings.

Once he gains experience and those skills above begin to pop, his value will skyrocket and Rybinksi as a potential pro player will need to be re-evaluated.

WHL Potential
In his 18yr old year, he projects as Top 6 or Top 9 in the WHL depending on his progress this season.
 In his 19yr old year, he projects as a possible top line or Top 6

Draftable: Right now he is a no as he is still a bit raw.  Potentially a very late round pick depending on his season progress and traits improving as mentioned above.   More than likely he is a later bloomer/camp invite type player and a player to watch for in his 19/overage season.

He is receiving 3rd line minutes from the Tigers. The Tigers give heavy minutes to their top 2 lines. Occasional PP time. He has seen occasional shifts in the top 6 early in the year.

He may get an extra minute or two a game on teams that play their lines evenly.

Why The Trade Request?

While Rybinski's public statement alludes to wanting more icetime in a top 6 role, I largely feel this request was made  because he is in his draft year. He feels that playing in the Top 6 will equal more points, playing with better players, which will subsequently boost his stock.  He played LW before the Tigers so demanding a Top 6 centre role feels a bit odd.  Perhaps there are other motives but who knows.

Can A Trade Boost his play
Maybe..Sometimes getting traded lights a fire under your butt...He did show a notable improvement in the first 4-5 games of the season and that slowed over the last 7-8 games. Sometimes a new coach offers different insights or is able to connect with a player more effectively if they think alike.

Could a Trade Hamper his play
If he wants Top 6 minutes the only teams I see where he could jump into the Top 6 are Swift Current or Regina. While both teams were forces last season, I might be worried that he would be playing with lesser skilled players and get less exposure.

Best Case/Worst Case
Best case scenario Kelowna comes calling with the memorial cup next year, but Rybinksi likely won't receive top 6 minutes there. Worst case, he could end up in swift current who have no top prospects and will likely have less exposure playing with lesser skilled teammates.

 I find it difficult to see a career .22PPG player jump into the .75ppg territory that is largely needed as a top 6 player. I guess anythings possible and I would rather see a player succeed than fail. I don't think many coaches or GM's would acquire a player to play in the top 6 based on those stats though.

I supported Gary Haden's request for a move because he was behind on the depth charts as a 19. But for Rybinski my thoughts are different...

Was this Rybinsi's Decision?
In this case, I largely question if this was Rybinski's decision, or if this decision came from hover parenting. It this was his decision because he was unhappy I support him. However, if this was the result of Hover Parenting trying to get their kid special treatment I would not support this at all.

Why This is dangerous for Rybinski
The no-trade rules limit acquiring 17yr olds unless they request a trade. 

If I'm the Tigers this is a big annoyance. Expecting to have a big year next season I'd either want an equivalent aged player in return for balance in the lineup or an impact player coming back that will be here next season.

The Tigers already have 6 forwards and 3 defencemen for 9 players in the 18 yr old age group. Trading for a 10th player is a bit much for one age group. They won't be seeking a 19yr old it doesn't make sense. 

If I'm the Tigers I might wait to see if there are other 17yr olds that have requested a trade. Otherwise, you take your time to find a player that will help them next season.

Perhaps something happens quickly, but it's not everyday impact players are being shopped and 17yr olds are available with the new rules....If his goal was getting drafted he may have just shot himself in the foot as there is a legitimate concern a move may not happen until the deadline. Making a trade request in early Novemeber was not a smart thing to do.

my Two cents....

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Henrik Rybinksi Requests A Trade

Rybinksi Wants Out

The press release states Rybinksi wanted a top 2 Centreman Role. The Tigers were unwilling to meet that request. It's uncertain if Rybinksi will still dress for games while a trade is being negotiated. 

Rybinksi had 12 points in 62 games in his 16yr old year and has 5 points in 14 games as a 17yr old.
Rybinski is in his draft year and this is a move to get more exposure.

Rybinksi was supposed to be a big part of this year and next years team. This is so incredibly depressing to see a consistent stream of players wanting out.

Since Rybinksi is 17 and their are trade rules against 17's it will be difficult to receive equal value back in trade. They may need to try and receive an 18yr old back.  Clouston has been excellent in the past in getting value returned, so we will see what happens.

I've lost track of everyone who has requested out....

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Tigers Deal Haden to Saskatoon
In return the Tigers acquire 19 year old Logan Christensen.

Logan is a Left Handed Centreman who has played a full 3 seasons in the WHL.

Logan Christensen

Logan seems to be in a similar situation as to Haden. Straight up deal for players looking for fresh starts on new teams.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Nassen & MacPherson Return

Last Edit: Reworked this post with new Information, including a brief overview of league imports & OA's

News Articles

As expected both OA players come back.   Hopefully, they can be in the lineup for Wednesday against P.A.

Dalton Gally will probably be the victim to the numbers game. The Tigers have an opening with their Imports so Nassens "2 spotter" status doesn't matter.

Gally has improved Immensely over the past 2 seasons. He was being used as the #1 slot through the first few games of the season. He should hold some trade value to another team looking to acquire a big bodied, but mobile 2-way defenceman, who can help out a younger squad for a cheap price.

David Quenneville
The Islanders just loaned a defenceman down to Bridgeport today. By my count, Bridgeport has 8 signed defenceman, including 2 Free Agents looking for AHL/ECHL contracts

The Islanders are currently +2 extra defenceman with 7 signed players, and another one on a free agent invite.

tldr: Unless 3 significant injuries happen its likely either ECHL or WHL for Quenneville
Edit: Quenneville has been assigned to the ECHL Worcester Railers. Not a good sign for his hope son returning.

**This list is now outdated***

WHL Imports & OA's
Victoria - 2 Imports, 3 OA
Vancouver - 2 Imports, 3 OA
Tri-City - 2 Imports, 4 OA
Swift - 3 Imports, 5 OA ( 1 OA Import on IR)
Spokane - 2 Imports, 3 OA
Seattle - 2 Imports, 3 OA
Saskatoon - 2 Imports, 3 OA's
Regina - 2 Imports, 4 OA ( Maybe 5, 1 on IR)
Red Deer - 2 Imports(might be for sale at deadline),  3 OA
Prince George - 2 Imports, 3 OA
Prince Albert - 2 Imports, 3 OA
Portland - 2 Imports, 3 OA
Moose Jaw - 2 Imports, 3 OA
Medicine Hat - 2 Imports, 4 OA (maybe 5)
Lethbridge - 3 Imports, 3 OA
Kootenay - 3 Imports, 3 OA
Kelowna - 2 Imports, 3 OA
Kamloops - 2 Imports, 3 OA
Everett - 2 Imports*, 2 OA
Edmonton - 2 Imports, 2 OA
Calgary - 2 Imports, 3 OA
Brandon - 1 Import, 2 OA

Note: Even though a team has a full complement of Imports, and Overages doesn't mean they may not be looking to tinker.

Import Summary
Kootenay, Lethbridge, Swift all have 1 extra Import, while Brandon is down 1 import.
If Brandon fills that spot they will likely want an experienced player

OverAge Summary
Tri-City, Swift, Regina, Medicine Hat all have extra OA's while  Edmonton, Brandon, Everett are all down an OA

TigerTurf Thoughts
Gally is expendable perhaps there is a fit in Edmonton, Everett or swift.
Clouston has mentioned he has time to make a decision and it's probably the best thing to do as Quenneville coming back potentially changes things.

We will see if Quenneville gets sent back/healthy scratched or sees game action when the AHL Opens up this weekend.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

WHL Opening Weekend!

Welcome back Hockey Season! The WHL season-opening weekend also corresponds to the Autumnal Equinox and the official start of fall!

Game One Tigers Defeat Canes 5-2
 I thought the Tigers were the better team in the first half of the game and Lethbridge was the better team during the 2nd half. The second half the Canes were fueled by a 5-minute major powerplay, which I'll talk about below. This evaporated a 3-0 lead into a 1 goal game. Fortunately for the Tigers, they scored a short-handed goal soon after.

The Tigers looked very good in the opening period.  Unfortunately, that would be their best period of the first two games.

Game Two Canes Defeat Tigers 4-2
I thought the Tigers didn't play very well in the Home Opener. While they did have a handful of chances and managed to convert a few, their overall play looked uncoordinated and out of sync.
I felt their passes were off and they played too much of a perimeter game.

Hurricanes goaltender Reece Klassen played very well, but there were numerous dangerous rebounds that went unclaimed by Tigers forwards. 

A big positive was that the Tigers managed to score 3 times shorthanded through the first two games.

Players I Noticed For Good Reasons
Jordan Hollet, Cole Clayton, Dan Baker, James Hamblin, Ryan Jevne, Bryan Lockner, Dalton Gally

Players I felt could have played better
Ryan Chyzowski
Elijah Brown
Gary Haden
Hayden Ostir

Those players need to be the core guys that are effective every game. They were largely invisible and need to play better.

Last season the Tigers were the least penalized team in the league. After two games they lead the league as they took 8 penalties in both games.

Stick Lifting
The referees were watching stick lifts like a hawk. If you lifted the stick of an opponent and your stick came anywhere close to the hands of an opponent, you were getting called for hooking.

The Tigers took 5 of these penalties through the first two games.

Pinning Against the Boards
One of the traditional set plays from a defenceman is putting your knee into the boards when pinning a forward. Dalton Gally was penalized as soon as the Hurricane forward attempted to move. It seems like you can pin the guy, but you must immediately unpin or face a penalty.

Fisticuff Action
I wanted to talk about 2 fights that happened Friday night in Lethbridge and both plays were off scrums and ensuing fights developed.

Fight #1
A Hurricanes player nailed Rybinksi into the boards and an ensuing scrum develops. In the scrum, Dan Baker is being attacked by 2 Lethbridge players, Matthew Stanley and Jackson Shepard.

Overage Cane Matthew Stanley sheds his gloves and starts punching Baker as he is fending off 2 players.

 An instigator penalty was missed here. Stanley should have received 2 minutes for instigating, 5 minutes for fighting, and a ten-minute misconduct.

Fight #2
It starts when Dawson Heathcote gives Calen Addison a crosscheck in front of the net. Addison comes back at him, and the two exchange some high sticks. Addison comes back and throws the second round of punches.  Heathcote throws his gloves off and gets in a quick punch that KO's Addison

 Heathcote was given a 5 minute major and a game misconduct as well as a 1 game suspension. Addison wasn't penalized at all.

What are your thoughts?
I  don't like that Addison didn't receive at least a 2-minute minor for roughing, as twice he initiated a retaliation. It sends a message its ok to punch back with gloves on.

I feel Heathcote should have received 2, 5 and a 10-minute misconduct, while Addison should have received 2 for roughing. It would still give out a 5 minute PP, but it seems much more appropriate. I was actually surprised the league handed out a suspension here.

What are your thoughts on the opening weekend??

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tigers Make A Trade

Last Update: Sept 19th ( Chyzowksi sent back, added Quenneville NHL Goal)

Tigers prospect Jalen Price, has been traded to the Everett Silvertips for a 5th round pick in 2021. The 17-year-old Campbell River native picked up 3 assists in 4 games played for the Tabbies during the 2018 WHL Preseason.
SideNote: Ryden Fedyck has officially been sent down.

Players Away At Camp
Ryan Chyzowski  Returned
Jordan Hollet- Returned
Dylan MacPherson (Sent to Springfield AHL)
Linus Nassen ( Sent to Springfield AHL)
David Quenneville (Islanders)
Mason Shaw (Expected to play pro)

MacPherson & Nassen Sent to AHL

Being sent to the AHL is relatively normal and isn't uncommon for 20yr olds. It's the underage players that are often sent right to Juniors.

AHL training camps largely start at the end of the week, which coincides with the WHL season starting.

Florida's  AHL affiliate has 8 signed defencemen so it is rather unlikely that either Tiger player will stick. They are likely "fillers" until the Panthers have sent down all their cuts.

There is still outside potential that either player could be offered 1 year 2-way AHL/ECHl deals for injury replacement. (it makes more sense for Nassen due to his Import status than MacPherson)

 It does look like that neither player may be here to start the season, unless they choose to come back and not attend Springfields camp.

Clip of Quenneville's NHL Exhibition Goal 

Friday, August 31, 2018

Tigers Info

Last Update: Sept 18th.

Comments from the last few days were automatically sent to the spam filter. The issue has been fixed and multiple comments have been added. Also marked Hollett as being returned.

Articles about the Tigers

The coverage about the Tigers has been amazing so far this pre-season. I will link a handful of articles talking about the Tigers players that have popped up during August.

Garin Bjorklund
Caleb Willms 
Bryan Lockner 
David Quenneville
Mason Shaw
Dylan MacPherson
Hayden Prosofsky
Mads Sogaard
Intrasquad Game
Cole Sillinger & Ashton Ferster
James Hamblin
Henry Rybinski
Josh Williams
Josh Williams2
Ryan Chyzowski
Cole Sillinger & Dru Krebs
Eric Van Impe
Pre-Season Vs Lethbridge
Leadership Group

Newer Added Articles
Mason Shaw
Dan Baker
Mark Rassell - Great Article expressing career Options after the WHL
Sophomore Slump

Players At NHL Camps
This will be a floating post that gets updated as announcements are made.

I will Update as more information is known. Quite a few NHL teams haven't released their training camp rosters or exact dates, but they should be coming soon.

Florida Panthers
Linus Nassen(20) - Defenceman
Dylan MacPherson(20) - Defenceman

Rookie Camp Opens: September 11th
Main Camp Opens: September 14th
AHL Camp Opens: Usually a couple days after the WHL season starts

Pre-Season games: Sept 17,19,22,25,27,29

Dylan MacPherson is largely expected back, but hoping to make an impact with Florida.
Linus Nassen is drafted but remains un-signed with Florida. TigerTurf believes there is a good chance he could get sent back to Juniors.

New York Islanders
David Quenneville(20) - Defenceman

Rookie Camp Opens: September 7th
Main Camp Opens: September 13th
AHL Camp Opens: Usually a couple days after the WHL season starts

Pre-Season Games: Sept 16,17,18,20,21,22,26,28

Sean Clouston has mentioned they don't expect Quenneville back. There are MH news articles about him saying it's unlikely he returns.

TigerTurf thinks there is a good chance he gets sent back as a late return. He will probably be sent down to the AHL affiliate in Bridgeport first and spend a week or three there.  It is unlikely he will be here for the Season Opener and if he does return it may not be until a few weeks to a month into the season.

Minnesota Wild
Mason Shaw

Rookie Camp Opens: September 6th
Main Camp Opens: September 13th
AHL Camp Opens: 

Pre-season games: Sept 16,18,20,22,24,28,30

Shaw is primed for his first season as a pro. TigerTurf thinks it's unlikely that he returns as a Tiger.

Las Vegas Knights
Ryan Chyzowski

Rookie Opens: September 6th
Main Camp Opens: September 13th

Pre-Season Games: Sept 16,18,20,22,24,28,30

Chyzowski is a free agent invite. He is still too young for pro's and will likely be sent back at the conclusion of rookie camp, or a few days into Main Camp.

Sept 16:
Chyzowski did not dress

Ottawa Senators
Jordan Hollett - Returned to Medicine Hat

Tigers Training Camp

Listed Player Additions: (undrafted)
Caleb Petrie(17)
Hayden Prosofsky(15)
Damon Jugnauth (15)
Matt Schulmeister(15)
Brenden Lee(15)
Beckett Langkow(15)
Ethan Aucoin(16)
Austin Lusok(15)
Jace Benvie(15)
Brad Stevenson(15)
Kade Leskosky(15)
Eric Tillapaugh(15)
Michael Neumeier(15)

Omissions From Camp  (Drafted players not in Camp the last 2 drafts)
Some on this list may have been released prior to the start of Training Camp

Vasili Podkolzin -  Import
Hayden Cox -  6th Round Pick 2018
Owen Millward -  9th Round Pick 2018
Scout Truman -  2nd round Pick 2017
Tyler Bates -  11th Round Pick 2017
Samuel Deckhut -  12th round pick in 2017
Talon Zakall -  13th round pick in 2017
David Chorney -  14th round pick in 2017

Other Notes
Jaxon Steele back in camp as an 18yr old.

Training Camp Rosters have since been trimmed. Full rosters on the Tigers website

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

2018-2019 Eastern Conference Predictions

Note: These predictions were made before Training Camps began & before knowing which players were coming back from Pro's

This is a Summary of all the teams/predictions for the upcoming season. The juicy stuff is as the Bottom.

Contents of This Post
1. Links to Individual Teams Predictions
2. Goal Scoring Index
3. Scoring By Age Groups
4. Standing Predictions
5. Conference Predictions

East Division
Brandon Wheat Kings
Saskatoon Blades
Prince Albert Raiders
Moose Jaw Warriors
Regina Pats
Swift Current Broncos

Central Division
Calgary Hitmen
Edmonton Oil Kings
Kootenay Ice
Lethbridge Hurricanes
Medicine Hat Tigers
Red Deer Rebels

Goal Scoring Index
1. Brandon 276-236 
2. Saskatoon 277-234
3. Prince Albert 266-235
4. Tigers 262-241
5. Edmonton 254-240
6. Lethbridge 251-248
7. Calgary 240-229*
8. Moose Jaw 240-205
9.  Kootenay 221-217
10. Red Deer 231-195
11. Regina Pats 223-190
12. Swift Current 170-144

What This Is
This goal scoring Index guide is more of a generic pre-season guide to compare a teams offense against each other.  This is more of a snapshot of a teams offensive strength.

To keep the explanation short, I took into account every player point totals from last season, compared it to the league average for Improvement and applied an improvement co-efficient. I estimated as best I could new 16's, as well as Imports. I divided the total points by 2.6735 (which is how many points each goal generates in the league. I then took out 10% as an injury co-efficient

Not perfect, but I think this will help highlight previous teams that had poor seasons and maybe on the verge of breaking out. For example, it highlights teams like Saskatoon, PA, Edmonton as jumping up considerably.  While it downgrades teams Like Lethbridge which I thought initially might be a better team.

Average Points Per Age Group (Forwards) (Min 30 games played) 
Note: This is a competitive Average, subtracting all those forwards who are not full-time players. I want to keep doing this so we can get a great feel for the strength of each age group as time progresses. I'm too lazy to do previous seasons.

20 Yr Olds = 1.02 Pts/Game = 73.4 Pts
19 Yr Olds = 0.76 Pts/Game = 54.9 Pts
18 Yr Olds = 0.58 Pts/Game =  41.98 Pts
17 Yr Olds = 0.32 Pts/Game = 23.26 Pts
16 Yr Olds = 0.30 Pts/Game = 21.82 Pts

20 Yr Olds = 0.882 Pts/Game =  63.5 Pts
19 Yr Olds = 0.763 Pts/Game =  54.9 Pts
18 Yr Olds = 0.610 Pts/Game =  44 Pts
17 Yr Olds = 0.421 Pts/Game = 30.3 Pts
16 Yr Olds = 0.226 Pts/Game = 16.2 Pts

If we look at the numbers the 16yr old age class barely improved going from 16.2 points to 21.82 points. This is a good indicator on why the past NHL draft was very weak, and that the 18yr old class as a whole is rather weak.

If we look at the 16 yr olds from last season, they were almost on par with the 17yr old class. That is an indication that this upcoming NHL draft may see lots of WHL'ers taken and that the 17yr old class may be strong.

Standings Predictions

East Division
1. Brandon
1. Saskatoon
1. Prince Albert

I feel it could be a 3 way battle for the East. There are still lots of questions on each team that could make big lineup differences. I think Prince Albert may be a slow starter, but finish strong.

Moose Jaw
Regina Pats

Will be at the Mercy of the strength of the Central.
Missing Playoffs
Swift Current

No explanation needed. The New trade rules we can essentially call the Manny Viveiros rules.

Central Division
Note: I'm struggling with this one

1. Medicine Hat

2. Lethbridge
3. Edmonton
3. Calgary
3. Kootenay

I feel that Medicine Hat has much better depth than all 4 teams. Lethbridge has a great top 2 scoring lines, but a few too many "fillers" for my liking. They may be victim to the weak 18yr old class as their bottoms lines have lots of them. I'm unsure about their defence, goaltending could be strong or weak.

They will Tinker, and they have been great at tinkering in the past, which is why I think they could rise up and possibly challenge/beat Medicine Hat.

Edmonton and Calgary have both been improving. Their entire cores are all a year older. They will both be in contention for the 3rd spot. I feel that if they are close enough to the 2nd spot come trade deadline time, they may look at add for cheap.

I don't know what to think of Kootenay. They have a better-balanced lineup. I'm uncertain about their defense and goaltending. I think they could be in the same tier as Calgary and Edmonton.

Missing Playoffs
5. Red Deer

I see Red Deer as the weakest team in the Division.

For Fun Divisional Rankings

1. Brandon (1)- Y
2. Prince Albert (2)
3. Saskatoon (3)
4. Medicine Hat (1) - Y
5. Lethbridge (2)
6. Calgary (3)
7. Edmonton (W1)
8. Kootenay (W2)
9. Moose Jaw
10. Regina
11. Red Deer
12. Swift Current

Round One
Brandon Vs Kootenay - Brandon
Prince Albert Vs Saskatoon - Prince Albert

Medicine Hat vs Edmonton - Medicine Hat
Lethbridge Vs Calgary - Lethbridge

Round Two
Brandon vs Prince Albert - Prince Albert
Medicine Hat vs Lethbridge - Medicine Hat

Round Three
Prince Albert Vs Medicine Hat - Prince Albert

East Rep.
Prince Albert

Can't wait to find out how wrong I am at seasons' end!!
Who do you think will come out on Top??? Name your regular season and Playoff Victors!
Note: Their are a few trades I haven't processed yet on those individual teams

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

2018-2019 Swift Current Broncos

Note: I added a link to a teams Player Protected Lists above. This was compiled by Alan Caldwell. 

Swift Current Broncos

Mackenzie Wight(19)(.07)Kaden Edler(20)(.48)Andrew Fyten(20)(.33)
Ben King(16)Ethan O'Rourke(19)(0.27)Max Patterson(19)(.33)
Joona Kiviniemi(17)Ethan Regnier(18)(.14)Quinton Waitzner(18)(.02)
Logan Foster(19)(.13)Greyson Stewart(17)Colum McGauley(18)(.04)
Tanner Nagel(20)(.2)
Tanner Mole(19)(.03)
Kole Gable(20)(.25)

They have some questions on their OA's, as well as their Imports. They have 4 potential OA's up front and 2 on the back-end. 

The Broncos basically have no top 6. They have a bunch of 3rd line caliber players that will fill in their top 2 lines. Max Patterson, and likely 2 of their OA's will be the bulk of their scoring.
The Broncos have been very good at the Import draft so it would be wise to account some scoring to young 17yr Import old Joona Kiviniemi.

A lack of top-line depth suggests they may cycle through numerous forwards who will make their debuts.  If you are a 17/18yr old looking to crack a roster up front the Broncos are probably your best bet.

This season they will probably have troubles scoring goals. 

Noah King(19)(.08)Josh Anderson(20)
Jacson Alexander(17)Connor Horning(17)(.14)
Roope Pynnonen(17)Christian Reimer(18)
Artyom Minulin(20)(.67)**
Ryan Pouliot(20)

Artyom Minulin(20) is expected to return but he will be out a long time recovering from post-season shoulder surgery. Lack of depth and experience on the back-end is another issue. 

Minulin may be difficult to trade being an OA and an Import.

I expect Defenceman Josh Anderson to return. Colorado has 7 signed guys in their AHL system, as well as 2 extra guys at the NHL level. Colorado's AHL farm team has also independently signed Kevin Davis who last year played with Everett. There is simply no room for him in the AHL. 

Anderson was also a late signing which suggests he was signed for his rights rather than planned to move up.

Other than that, the Broncos are lean on the back-end. Roope Pynnonen is another Finnish Import that is relatively unknown. Right now I'd say their D core is below average, but their is a degree of hidden potential to improve depending on if Josh Anderson does indeed come back. If Anderson does come back he could easily be shopped around at the deadline.

Joona Kiviniemi(17)
Roope Pynnonen(17)
Artyom Minulin(20)(.67) 

Both new Imports are signed. Minulin is recovering from post season shoulder surgery.

Isaac Poulter (17)
Joel Hofer(18)(.914)

Hofer has 19 whl games under his belt however he was taken in the 4th round of the NHL Entry Draft. He will likely assume the starters role. Goaltending appears to be decent, mind you they will be tested lots.

Other OA& Player Notes
Glenn Gawdin - Signed and likely gone
Beck Malenstyn - Signed and likely gone
Stuart Skinner - Signed+Drafted and likely gone
Aleksi Heponiemi - Announced he won't be back
Colby Sissons - Signed and likely gone
Josh Anderson - Signed, Potential of coming back
Artyom Minulin - 20yr Import, Broncos expect him back after surgery..

Can only keep 3 of
Kaden Elder, Kole Gable, Tanner Nagel, Andrew Fyten, Artyom Minulin, Ryan Pouliout, Josh Anderson

Drafting Outlook
Draft PositioningAgePicksPosition

Notes: Due to the trades the Broncos made last season this chart is relatively irrelevant. In normal circumstances, I'd say slightly below average due to pick giveaways in their 19yr old class.

Last Season
.715 Winning Percentage

Offensive Raw Strength

Swift Broke my Algorithm with low Totals.

Losing Tyler Steenburgen, Beck Malenstyn, Colby Sissons, Glenn Gawdin, Aleksi Heponiemi, Stuart Skinner, Giorgio Estephan, Sahvan Khaira, potentially Josh Anderson.

 They will also only be able to keep 3 of  (Kaden Elder, Kole Gable, Tanner Nagel, Andrew Fyten, Artyom Minulin,)

They also recently announced additions to their Hockey Management group. Turns out every scout except 1 had left the team, as well as their entire coaching staff and GM. 

The Broncos are essentially an expansion team without any high draft selections. Their losses are incredible and some of the highest amount of losses I've ever seen. They also sold all of their higher quality prospects.  Next season
 they had a very poor draft position ( their 15yr old draft class) which means very little support coming next year. In 2018 the Broncos have very poor pick selections again, which means the Broncos won't get any new support until the 2019 draft.

The rule the WHL just introduced making it Illegal to trade 16/17's unless they request a trade is designed to stop another Swift Current from happening. While they won the league last season they will pay for it quite heavily. I feel they will be very hard pressed to make the playoffs and will be in the basement for likely upwards of 7 seasons which is mind-boggling.

Next Up 
Overall Overview of the East Wednesday or Thursday

Monday, August 20, 2018

2018-2019 Saskatoon Blades


Eric Florchuck(18)(.7)Kirby Dach(17)(.88)Max Gerlach(20)(1.08)
Bradly Goethals(20)(.46)Chase Wouters(18)(.71)Josh Patterson(19)(.74)
Kristian Roykas Marth(18)(N/A)Logan Christensen(19)(0.24)Michael Farren(18) (.35)
Kyle Crnkovic(16)(N/A)Brandon Machado(18)(.07)Alec Zawatsky(19)(.19)
Ethan Mack(17)
Arjun Atwal(19) - Not sure if still listed
Tristen Robins(17)
Gage Ramsay(20)(.3)
Tyler lees(18)(09)


Pretty dangerous top 2 lines with the potential for 3 dangerous scoring lines.

The development of Wouters and Florchuck, Patterson, Dach, along with veteran Max Gerlach is a very impressive Top 5.  I have all 5 of those guys reaching PPG status.

Brady Goethals is a late bloomer. Last season was basically his first full season where he put up almost .5 PPG game. I expect an increase from him if he plays in the Top 6.

The blades also have 2 more players to keep an eye on. Michael Farren had better numbers in his 16yr old year than his 17yr old year. He put up near .5 ppg as a 16 but that dropped to .35 last season.

The blades are expecting 7th Round NHL Pick and Import selection Kristian Roykas Marthinsen to cross the pond. Kristian saw time in both of Sweden's Junior and Men's league's last season. Seeing an import playing a few games in a men's league is usually a good sign that they can put up some numbers in the WHL.

They may have a few "older fillers" that will get pushed out of the lineup in favor of some younger talent. The blades will be able to score goals and offence shouldn't be a problem.

Dawson Davidson(20)(.62)Jackson Caller(19)(.37)
Jake Kustra(19)(.25)Seth Bafaro(18)(.17)
Aiden De La Gorgendiere(16)Randen Schmidt(18)(.19)
Ashton Zachary(17)
Payton McIsaac(18)
Emil Malysjev(17) I


I'm a bit unfamiliar with this group. Davidson is more of a puck moving/offensive defenceman. Jackson Caller had a big breakout year last season. I'm really unsure as to the calibre of the blades defence. They were 4th worst in the whl last season. They also lost 2 important Dmen in Evan Fiala and Mark Rubinshik.

IF there is a weakness defense may be it. I don't know enough about them to get a solid grasp of their group. 

Nolan Meier(17)(.895)
Koen MacInnes(16)
Joel Gryzbowski(19)

Their starter Meier while young impressed last year as a 16yr old and beat out overager Tyler Brown for icetime late in the season. He is one of the top Rookies in the 17yr old class. Goaltending while young should be solid. 


Kristian Roykas MarthinsenLW19

Emil MalysjevD17
The blades have announced that they expect both of them to report.

Other OA & Player Notes
Gage Ramsay(20)(.3Likely an odd man out.

Drafting Outlook

Draft PositioningAgePicksPosition

The Blades have been in the basement for a while recovering from their past Memorial Cup Run. With a proper recovery, as shown above, the Blades should be a dominant team this season, as well as having strong teams for the next 4 years.  They have the makings to be the beasts of the Easts the next few seasons.

Last Season
.514 Winning Percentage

Offensive Raw Strength

The blades will be back in business this season. They have a lot of good young talent in their roster that is well ahead of the curve.  Right now I'm unsure of their defence because I don't know enough about them.

Looking at Brandon and Prince Albert, Saskatoon could have the more explosive forward core. I expect all 3 teams to compete for the top of the East.

We may see the blades in the market for a defenceman (but that might just be me not knowing enough of their D-core.). Anyway, I think they are in contention anywhere from 1-3rd.

Next Up
Swift Current Broncos Releasing Tuesday August 21st.