The NHL Draft eligible players coming out of the Western Hockey League for 2018 is rather scarce. There are four defensemen who could be called upon in the first 62 picks, but after that, it is anybody’s guess. However, the group of players who were passed on in the 2017 NHL Draft is a strong one and there is a good chance that a few of 19-year-olds will be picked in June. Let’s take a look at the Draft +1 players with the best chance of being taken this year.
The 2018 NHL Draft is nearly 7 months away but it is never too early to take a look at who may be the top players taken when the 31 teams converge in Dallas, Texas next June. Today, we take a look at the top players available from the Western Hockey League.
The Edmonton Oil Kings take the ferry to play Victoria on Friday, looking to avenge the 3-2 overtime loss back in October when the Royals came and visited. Matthew Phillips scored with 5 seconds left in overtime to break the hearts of Oil King fans and save them from the shootout.
The WHL portion of the 2017 CIBC Canada-Russia Series is over and after a dominating 7-0 win in Moose Jaw, the Western Hockey League All-Stars lost 4-3 to the Russian team after leading 3-0 in Swift Current. Victoria Royals star Matthew Phillips had one goal in these two games, and although that is nothing to sneeze at, fans of the Royals and those who follow the Calgary Flames prospect were likely hoping for a more Dillon Dube-like domination.
But does how a player do in these two games guarantee any future professional success? Do not fear, here is a list of players with only 1 goal in a single 2-game series, as well as players who had great games and saw little to zero future in the NHL.
Fresh off of a sweep of the Vancouver Giants last weekend, the Victoria Royals are back for games 3 and 4 of a 5 game homestand. Up on Friday and Saturday night are the Kelowna Rockets, who always seem to give the Royals trouble. They’ve only played once this season, an 8-3 win for Victoria in Kelowna, but the Rockets won 6 times in 8 games during their season series last year. To show the league that they are the best team in the B.C. Division, the Royals will need a pair of big games on home ice.
The Vancouver Giants are on the island this weekend to play the Royals, a team who decimated them in their only two meetings so far. Victoria is back at home after a tough Eastern road trip while Vancouver are looking to return to .500 against one of their biggest rivals.
The head coach who led the Victoria Royals to 199 regular season wins and another 21 in the playoffs will be behind the bench for the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings for the 2017-2018 season. He joins new Kings head coach John Steven’s new staff but leaves a big hole in Victoria for General Manager Cameron Hope to fill. Will he look in-house for his replacement, or is there a better option out there somewhere else?
Let’s take a look at possible candidates.