WHL This Week

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September 26, 2013, Calgary, AB – The 2013-14 WHL regular season enters its final weekend of play in September with 18 games on the schedule for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

AROUND THE RINKS…

In Brandon, MB, Rob Henderson of the Brandon Sun profiles a pair of Wheat Kings’ rookies looking to solidify their spots in the lineup.  The Wheat Kings also announced the return of their MNP Most Valuable Team program.

In Calgary, AB, the Hitmen will celebrate their home opener with a Travelodge Fan Faceoff Party on Saturday.  Fans can enjoy plenty of pre-game festivities, including a meet-and-greet with Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart.

In Edmonton, AB, the Oil Kings will Pay Tribute to former Oil Kings’ star Kristians Pelss at Friday night’s contest versus the Medicine Hat Tigers.  Pelss, a key member of the team’s 2012 WHL Championship team, passed away tragically this summer in his home country of Latvia.

In Medicine Hat, AB, Tigers’ graduate Linden Vey Is In The Spotlight as he pushes for a roster spot with the Los Angeles Kings.

In Moose Jaw, SK, the Warriors prepare for a Pair Of Weekend Games versus East Division rivals.

In Portland, OR, Todd Vrooman shares some news and notes for all things Winterhawks, including updates on Hawks’ star Derrick Pouliot and the cross-country trek of a pair of Hawks’ young guns, in the Weekly Winterhawks Round-up.

In Prince Albert, SK, the Raiders will induct three individuals, including the late Brad McCrimmon, to their Wall of Honor at Friday’s contest versus the Brandon Wheat Kings.

In Swift Current, SK, the Broncos will hold their Annual Shareholders Meeting on Tuesday, October 1st.

35 WHL PLAYERS NAMED IN NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING ‘ONES TO WATCH’ LIST…

33 WHL skaters and two WHL goaltenders are among the players listed as NHL Central Scouting on Monday released its Preliminary North American ‘Ones to Watch’ list for the 2014 NHL Draft.

To read more, CLICK HERE

FOUR WHL CLUBS IN BMO CHL TOP 10 RANKINGS…

The Portland Winterhawks, Prince Albert Raiders, Edmonton Oil Kings and Red Deer Rebels all made this week’s BMO CHL Top 10 Rankings.  The Kelowna Rockets also received Honorable Mention.

CLICK HERE for this week’s rankings

DRAISAITL AIMS TO BE LEADER FOR RAIDERS…

WHL.ca takes a look at Prince Albert Raiders star Leon Draisaitl.  The German playmaker is considered a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, and will undoubtedly play a big role for a Raiders’ team with big expectations this season.

For more, CLICK HERE

KEY WEEKEND MATCH-UPS…
Brandon Wheat Kings @ Prince Albert Raiders
Friday, September 27; Saturday, September 28

Mike Winther’s Prince Albert Raiders host Jayce Hawryluk’s Brandon Wheat Kings for back-to-back meetings between two unbeaten East Division Clubs on Friday and Saturday.

The Raiders opened their 2013-14 season with a pair of victories over the Saskatoon Blades in a home-and-home set last weekend.  The Raiders scored 12 goals over their first two contests.  Winther picked up a goal and three points over his first two contests.

The Wheat Kings took both games of an opening-weekend home-and-home set versus the Moose Jaw Warriors, winning 6-3 in Moose Jaw last Friday before posting a 3-1 triumph at home on Saturday.  All nine of the Wheat Kings’ goals last weekend came at even strength.  Taylor Cooper led the way versus Moose Jaw with four goals over the two games.

The Wheat Kings and Raiders met up six times last season, with the Raiders taking four of those six meetings.

Seattle Thunderbirds @ Portland Winterhawks
Saturday, September 28

Keoni Texiera and the Portland Winterhawks welcome Mathew Barzal and the Seattle Thunderbirds for a U.S. Division match-up on Saturday night.

The Winterhawks, the defending WHL Champions, made a splash in their season-opener, winning 9-2 over the Prince George Cougars last Friday, but have dropped their last two outings, including a 4-3 shootout loss to the T-Birds in Kent, WA, on Saturday.  The Winterhawks’ power play is 5-for-15 at home this season.

The Thunderbirds find themselves at 2-0 to start the season following wins versus Portland last Saturday and in Vancouver on Wednesday night.  The T-Birds got a combined four goals and 11 points from the trio of Alex Delnov, Connor Honey and Branden Troock in their 6-0 win over the Giants on Wednesday.

Last season, the Winterhawks took 10 of 12 meetings versus Seattle en route to winning the U.S. Division crown.

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