GET READY for a sophomore surge. The Western Hockey League’s hottest second-year players are set to take the season by storm after leading Canada to a gold medal in a perfect run at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup last month. Here’s a breakdown of what a few of those rising stars have to offer their respective teams as they enter their NHL draft year:
Count HockeyNow 2016 Player of the Year for Alberta Bowen Byram as one of the elated Team Canada members celebrating gold at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup tournament in Edmonton earlier this month.
Thirty-four Western Hockey League prospects have been selected to audition for Hockey Alberta’s Canada Games team. Of the 35 players invited, all but one are WHL prospects as Alberta loads up in an attempt to win gold at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer.
The Canadian Hockey League has a reputation for developing the best and brightest players up for grabs each year in the NHL Entry Draft, and this year was no exception.
Ty Smith has been drawing the eyes of scouts for years. The 18-year-old Spokane Chiefs defenceman worked his way onto the hockey radar as a bantam in Lloydminster before playing a year with Delta Prep Academy and going first overall in the 2015 Western Hockey League bantam draft.
If Lloydminster Minor Hockey product Ty Smith is feeling edgy heading into the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, he’s not showing it. “I’m not losing sleep or anything like that,” the 18-year-old defenceman says. “I’m just going to try and enjoy it and try not to look at everything. I’m just going to try and enjoy everything instead of worrying about it.”
It’s Luka Burzan’s turn. Like countless players before him, Burzan is sitting on pins and needles as he waits for his name to be called at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
While the Swift Current Broncos will be fighting for survival Wednesday night against the Regina Pats, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan and Hamilton Bulldogs will be watching that game with bated breath.
Another incredible season of CHL hockey is in the books, and the Memorial Cup is celebrating 100 years in Regina, Sask. with the host Regina Pats, WHL Swift Current Broncos, OHL Hamilton Bulldogs and QMJHL Acadie-Bathurst Titan battling it out for Canadian major junior supremacy.
One doesn’t have to look hard to see some parallels between this year’s Regina Pats and last year’s Windsor Spitfires. The Pats are hosting this year’s MasterCard Memorial Cup like the Spitfires did last year.
They may not be the hosts, but the Swift Current Broncos have been plotting their path to the Memorial Cup for months. The Broncos kicked off the season on a frenetic pace led by their staggeringly effective top line of Glenn Gawdin, Tyler Steenbergen and Aleksi Heponiemi.
The long wait is finally over for the Regina Pats. The Pats fell one goal shy of forcing overtime in Game 7 of their opening round Western Hockey League playoff series against the eventual champion Swift Current Broncos.
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2) On Top of the World: CSSHL Keeps Gaining Traction in Canada’s Hockey Landscape
3) Around the WHL: Eleven WHL players help Canada win Hlinka Gretzky gold; Tigers deal White to ICE
4) Meet Matthew Savoie, the NAX Forward Taking the CSSHL by Storm
5) Meet The Winners Of The 2018 HockeyNow Minor Hockey Player Of The Year Award Powered By Hockeyshot