Saturday, February 28, 2015

WHL Lines - Mar. 1


These lines provide an outline of each team’s depth chart through player usage.  




They are not projections. They are based on the actual lines used in the team’s last game played.  










Note that the * signifies a repeated trend. If the star is located at the top of a team’s header it signifies

an identical lineup has been used for at least two games in a row. A star beside a specific line


or defensive pairing means the group has been together for at least two consecutive games, with the

number beside the star saying exactly how many games it’s been.




“Others” are players who were not in the lineup last game due to being injured, scratched or recently traded.
Questions and comments are greatly appreciated. Reach me at cnickolet@gmail.com.























BRANDON (Last updated Mar. 1)  *3















Forwards















#18 Klimchuk (95) #23 McGauley (95) #15 Quenneville (94) *5




#13 Bukarts (95) #17 Quenneville (96) #8 Hawryluk (96) *5




#28 Lisoway (95) #25 Campbell (96) #21 Coulter (96) *4




#29 Matsuba (97) #16 Kaspick (98) #22 Shmyr (97) *3












Other F: 
#19 Patrick (98) #27 Duke (96)















Defence
















#9 Provorov (97) #6 Pilon (96) *3





#5 Waltz (95) #7 Roy (94) *8





#12 Gow (94) #20 Erkamps (95) *3












Other D:
#10 Clague (98) #3 Taraschuk (97)















Goalies
















#33 Papirny (96)







#35 Moodie (95)














Notes:  Have used the same lineup in three straight games.





17-27-15 have been together for 11 of the past 32 games.





18=19-15 have been together for 10 of the past 17 games.





5-7 have been together for 41 of the past 43 games.





9-6 have been together for 31 of the past 37 games.





12-20 have been together for 16 of the past 22 games.





12-3 have been together for 4 of the past 9 games.















HC: Kelly McCrimmon







GM: Kelly McCrimmon







WHL Lines - Feb. 28


These lines provide an outline of each team’s depth chart through player usage.  




They are not projections. They are based on the actual lines used in the team’s last game played.  










Note that the * signifies a repeated trend. If the star is located at the top of a team’s header it signifies

an identical lineup has been used for at least two games in a row. A star beside a specific line


or defensive pairing means the group has been together for at least two consecutive games, with the

number beside the star saying exactly how many games it’s been.




“Others” are players who were not in the lineup last game due to being injured, scratched or recently traded.
Questions and comments are greatly appreciated. Reach me at cnickolet@gmail.com.























BRANDON (Last updated Feb. 28)  *2















Forwards















#18 Klimchuk (95) #23 McGauley (95) #15 Quenneville (94) *4




#13 Bukarts (95) #17 Quenneville (96) #8 Hawryluk (96) *4




#28 Lisoway (95) #25 Campbell (96) #21 Coulter (96) *3




#29 Matsuba (97) #16 Kaspick (98) #22 Shmyr (97) *2












Other F: 
#19 Patrick (98) #27 Duke (96)















Defence
















#9 Provorov (97) #6 Pilon (96) *2





#5 Waltz (95) #7 Roy (94) *7





#12 Gow (94) #20 Erkamps (95) *2












Other D:
#10 Clague (98) #3 Taraschuk (97)















Goalies
















#33 Papirny (96)







#35 Moodie (95)














Notes:  Have used the same lineup in back to back games.





17-27-15 have been together for 11 of the past 31 games.





18=19-15 have been together for 10 of the past 16 games.





5-7 have been together for 40 of the past 42 games.





9-6 have been together for 30 of the past 36 games.





12-20 have been together for 15 of the past 21 games.





12-3 have been together for 4 of the past 8 games.















HC: Kelly McCrimmon







GM: Kelly McCrimmon







Friday, February 27, 2015

Portland A WHL Leader At The NHL Draft

In working on an upcoming piece regarding some Swift Current Broncos draft-eligibles, I was digging through each WHL team’s pick totals from the last five NHL drafts.

While the Broncos have been quite successful over the last five years – having 9 players selected by NHL teams – they are only slightly ahead of the middle of the pack when everything is tallied up.

So which teams have been the most successful? The answer isn’t all that surprising. It’s the Portland Winterhawks. And not by a small margin, either.


 - Portland has had an average of over 4.5 players drafted by NHL teams when looking back over the past five seasons. That’s a full player and a half more than the next closest team, the Edmonton Oil Kings.

- Portland has had the most players drafted among WHL teams in 4 of the past 5 single seasons, including a whopping 8 players selected in 2010 (only one other team had as many as 4 in 2010). No other team has had more than five in any given year over the past half-decade. What they’ve done has really been remarkable.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

WHL Lines - Feb. 27


These lines provide an outline of each team’s depth chart through player usage.  




They are not projections. They are based on the actual lines used in the team’s last game played.  










Note that the * signifies a repeated trend. If the star is located at the top of a team’s header it signifies

an identical lineup has been used for at least two games in a row. A star beside a specific line


or defensive pairing means the group has been together for at least two consecutive games, with the

number beside the star saying exactly how many games it’s been.




“Others” are players who were not in the lineup last game due to being injured, scratched or recently traded.
Questions and comments are greatly appreciated. Reach me at cnickolet@gmail.com.























BRANDON (Last updated Feb. 26)  















Forwards















#18 Klimchuk (95) #23 McGauley (95) #15 Quenneville (94) *3




#13 Bukarts (95) #17 Quenneville (96) #8 Hawryluk (96) *3




#28 Lisoway (95) #25 Campbell (96) #21 Coulter (96) *2




#29 Matsuba (97) #16 Kaspick (98) #22 Shmyr (97)













Other F: 
#19 Patrick (98) #27 Duke (96)















Defence
















#9 Provorov (97) #6 Pilon (96)






#5 Waltz (95) #7 Roy (94) *6





#12 Gow (94) #20 Erkamps (95)













Other D:
#10 Clague (98) #3 Taraschuk (97)















Goalies
















#33 Papirny (96)







#35 Moodie (95)














Notes:  9 returned to the lineup. 29 came in.






17-27-15 have been together for 11 of the past 30 games.





18=19-15 have been together for 10 of the past 15 games.





5-7 have been together for 39 of the past 41 games.





9-6 have been together for 29 of the past 35 games.





12-20 have been together for 14 of the past 20 games.





12-3 have been together for 4 of the past 7 games.















HC: Kelly McCrimmon







GM: Kelly McCrimmon







Wednesday, February 25, 2015

WHL Lines - Feb. 26


These lines provide an outline of each team’s depth chart through player usage.  




They are not projections. They are based on the actual lines used in the team’s last game played.  










Note that the * signifies a repeated trend. If the star is located at the top of a team’s header it signifies

an identical lineup has been used for at least two games in a row. A star beside a specific line


or defensive pairing means the group has been together for at least two consecutive games, with the

number beside the star saying exactly how many games it’s been.




“Others” are players who were not in the lineup last game due to being injured, scratched or recently traded.
Questions and comments are greatly appreciated. Reach me at cnickolet@gmail.com.























BRANDON (Last updated Feb. 26)  















Forwards















#18 Klimchuk (95) #23 McGauley (95) #15 Quenneville (94) *3




#13 Bukarts (95) #17 Quenneville (96) #8 Hawryluk (96) *3




#28 Lisoway (95) #25 Campbell (96) #21 Coulter (96) *2




#29 Matsuba (97) #16 Kaspick (98) #22 Shmyr (97)













Other F: 
#19 Patrick (98) #27 Duke (96)















Defence
















#9 Provorov (97) #6 Pilon (96)






#5 Waltz (95) #7 Roy (94) *6





#12 Gow (94) #20 Erkamps (95)













Other D:
#10 Clague (98) #3 Taraschuk (97)















Goalies
















#33 Papirny (96)







#35 Moodie (95)














Notes:  9 returned to the lineup. 29 came in.






17-27-15 have been together for 11 of the past 30 games.





18=19-15 have been together for 10 of the past 15 games.





5-7 have been together for 39 of the past 41 games.





9-6 have been together for 29 of the past 35 games.





12-20 have been together for 14 of the past 20 games.





12-3 have been together for 4 of the past 7 games.















HC: Kelly McCrimmon







GM: Kelly McCrimmon







Tuesday, February 24, 2015

WHL Lines - Feb. 25


These lines provide an outline of each team’s depth chart through player usage.  




They are not projections. They are based on the actual lines used in the team’s last game played.  










Note that the * signifies a repeated trend. If the star is located at the top of a team’s header it signifies

an identical lineup has been used for at least two games in a row. A star beside a specific line


or defensive pairing means the group has been together for at least two consecutive games, with the

number beside the star saying exactly how many games it’s been.




“Others” are players who were not in the lineup last game due to being injured, scratched or recently traded.
Questions and comments are greatly appreciated. Reach me at cnickolet@gmail.com.























BRANDON (Last updated Feb. 22)  















Forwards















#18 Klimchuk (95) #23 McGauley (95) #15 Quenneville (94) *2




#13 Bukarts (95) #17 Quenneville (96) #8 Hawryluk (96) *2




#28 Lisoway (95) #25 Campbell (96) #21 Coulter (96)





#16 Kaspick (98)















Other F:  #22 Shmyr (97) #19 Patrick (98) #27 Duke (96)















Defence
















#5 Waltz (95) #7 Roy (94) *5





#6 Pilon (96) #20 Erkamps (95) *6





#29 Matsuba (97) #12 Gow (94) *2












Other D: #3 Taraschuk (97) #10 Clague (98) #9 Provorov (97)















Goalies
















#33 Papirny (96)







#35 Moodie (95)














Notes:  22 was a late scratch with an illness. Played with only 16 skaters.





17-27-15 have been together for 11 of the past 29.





18=19-15 have been together for 10 of the past 14 games.





5-7 have been together for 38 of the past 40 games.





9-6 have been together for 28 of the past 34 games.





12-20 have been together for 13 of the past 19 games.





12-3 have been together for 4 of the past 6 games.















HC: Kelly McCrimmon







GM: Kelly McCrimmon







WHL Offers Abundance Of Size And Skill In 2015

It’s no secret that NHL teams still prefer “big” prospects when making selections at the NHL Draft.

The success of “big” players vs. “small” has been well documented, including in this recent piece by MoneyPuck over at CanucksArmy.com. That piece concludes that big players do tend to have a better chance at succeeding at the NHL level. Are they given better opportunities due to their size? Does their size provide them with more versatility up and down the lineup? It’s hard to say, but it is important to note that the bias towards big vs. small does still exist in a big way.

You only have to look back to last year’s NHL Draft to see that first-hand.


It’s pretty clear how much size is a priority when 94 of the first 120 selections (78.3%) are used on players listed at 6’0 or taller.

The first 5’9 or shorter player (Brayden Point) wasn’t taken until the 79th overall selection. A few months later Point was a strong performer on Canada’s World Junior Team and the selection by the Tampa Bay Lightning looks better and better every day.

Here’s a full breakdown of players taken in 2014 who were 5’9 or shorter, like Point.


With that type of information in mind, I’ve decided to outline a few “big” WHL forwards who are attracting some attention for the 2015 NHL Draft. Here is a brief rundown on 9 forwards who offer an interesting combination of size and skill.

Paul Bittner – LW – Portland Winterhawks – 6’4 – 202

Games: 53
Goals: 26
Assists: 26
Points: 52
Pts/Game: 0.98
PIM: 52

Bittner is a no-brainer for this list due to his combination of length and immense skill level. While his lack of consistent physicality would keep me from calling him a “power forward” there is no doubt that he is trending towards becoming a 1st round pick in 2015. Bittner doesn’t usually go out of his way to throw his weight around on an overly frequent basis and only has 3 career WHL fights on his resume. But, that’s not to say he doesn’t play physical when he needs to or use his size effectively. He’s extremely long and tall and that automatically makes him a tough guy to defend both on the rush and once the Winterhawks gain the zone and set up offensively. His long reach allows him to protect the puck while also giving him a major advantage on the defensive side of the puck. His long and powerful skating stride continues to improve and he owns one of the best shots among the entire 2015 NHL Draft class (which has allowed him to pot 26 goals through 53 games so far this year). While his overall intensity from shift to shift has been a bit of a knock at times this season, there is no doubt that he has an enormously high ceiling. Expect him to be drafted within the first 20 or 25 selections come draft day in June.

Monday, February 23, 2015

WHL Lines - Feb. 24


These lines provide an outline of each team’s depth chart through player usage.  




They are not projections. They are based on the actual lines used in the team’s last game played.  










Note that the * signifies a repeated trend. If the star is located at the top of a team’s header it signifies

an identical lineup has been used for at least two games in a row. A star beside a specific line


or defensive pairing means the group has been together for at least two consecutive games, with the

number beside the star saying exactly how many games it’s been.




“Others” are players who were not in the lineup last game due to being injured, scratched or recently traded.
Questions and comments are greatly appreciated. Reach me at cnickolet@gmail.com.























BRANDON (Last updated Feb. 22)  















Forwards















#18 Klimchuk (95) #23 McGauley (95) #15 Quenneville (94) *2




#13 Bukarts (95) #17 Quenneville (96) #8 Hawryluk (96) *2




#28 Lisoway (95) #25 Campbell (96) #21 Coulter (96)





#16 Kaspick (98)















Other F:  #22 Shmyr (97) #19 Patrick (98) #27 Duke (96)















Defence
















#5 Waltz (95) #7 Roy (94) *5





#6 Pilon (96) #20 Erkamps (95) *6





#29 Matsuba (97) #12 Gow (94) *2












Other D: #3 Taraschuk (97) #10 Clague (98) #9 Provorov (97)















Goalies
















#33 Papirny (96)







#35 Moodie (95)














Notes:  22 was a late scratch with an illness. Played with only 16 skaters.





17-27-15 have been together for 11 of the past 29.





18=19-15 have been together for 10 of the past 14 games.





5-7 have been together for 38 of the past 40 games.





9-6 have been together for 28 of the past 34 games.





12-20 have been together for 13 of the past 19 games.





12-3 have been together for 4 of the past 6 games.















HC: Kelly McCrimmon







GM: Kelly McCrimmon