By Spencer Pomoty
Top 10 WHL Prospects
1. Dylan Guenther, RW, Edmonton Oil Kings
Incredible offensive talent, excels with shooting, passing, and in transition. His acceleration is incredible, it allows him to create some space from him and his defender. Uses great edge work to overcome pressure. Creates and finds lanes incredibly well, sometimes I found he can go a little to fast with the puck and it would help if he implemented a change of pace to his game. I like his defensive effort and I believe he will be fine in the NHL.
2. Sebastian Cossa, G, Edmonton Oil Kings
I am not the best with goalies and the position is difficult to understand, but when I watch Cossa I see an NHL goalie. His size and athleticism combo are incredible, he stays calm in his crease and tracks pucks very well. His technicality is a strength as well, he has a high ceiling and I think he can reach it.
3. Logan Stankoven, RHC, Kamloops Blazers
Stankoven is one of the most dynamic players coming out of this draft. He is lethal in the offensive zone; his shot takes no time to get off and he can rip it. He attacks the middle of the ice constantly and can make a play once he gets there. He has all the tools to overcome his size, if you get the puck on his stick something will come out of it.
4. Ryder Korczak, RHC, Moose Jaw Warriors
Korczak has incredible vision on him and has the passing talent to execute it, he shows consistent effort in all three zones and has the mind to sense where the play is moving. I like his defensive zone play; he keeps with his man and will support both the wingers and d-men. His speed is another asset of his, he keeps his crossovers going and rarely skates in a straight line with the puck. I think he will be an excellent two-way offensive creating centre, my one concern is his goal scoring ability, he is a pass heavy player and when he shoots its nothing special. Not the hardest thing to change and progress on at least.
5. Olen Zellweger, LHD, Everett Silvertips
Zellweger has been a favourite of mine to watch this year ever since he was brought to my attention. He is incredibly young for the draft as he will not be 18 till September 10th. If you want a dynamic defenseman with the puck this is your guy, he makes the right decision almost every play, he can create lanes and set up teammates with his incredible passing. His positional awareness is one of his biggest strengths (both offensively and defensively), he is always thinking a step ahead. His 4-way mobility is elite, and he angles players to the right places, this allows him to use his stick work to steal pucks with ease. He is constantly moving in the offensive zone creating confusion for the other team, your eyes need to be always on him. He is more than willing to get into the rush and has no problem creating something out of it. This is a player to keep your eyes on.
6. Carson Lambos, LHD, Winnipeg Ice
Tough season for Lambos as he had to go over to Finland at the start of the year and then came back for the WHL season to get injured in game two. I liked him last year, not so much this year. I have not seen the progression I would have liked but it is a weird year, and he is a young kid. What you get with Lambos is a consistent d-man, I do not see that high of a ceiling, but he is reliable in his own zone and can transition the puck decently well. I hope he comes back strong.
7. Kyle Masters, RHD, Red Deer Rebels
Tools, this pick is about his tools. His speed, acceleration, edge work, and pivots are all high end. But he can stick handle at a high pace while throwing a ton of fakes and manipulation in. Sometimes he will try a bit much, if he can calm down his play and use smarter decisions, I believe there is a legitimate offensive threat on the backend with him. He will need time to develop, and he will be an interesting player to keep track of.
8. Connor Roulette, LW, Seattle Thunderbirds
Excellent passer can thread the needle with any kind of pass and will throw fakes to open lanes. Does not have pull away speed but has some good balance with the puck on his stick. Likes to work below the goal line so he can see the full ice out in front of him. Great with plays in tight, whether its in front or in a 3v3 board battle he can pick up the puck. When I watch him, pucks go to the right areas, but he also lacks drive on shifts more than you would like.
9. Zack Stringer, LW, Lethbridge Hurricanes
Plays a pro style game, will grind it down along the wall, but also can make a play from there as well. Works his tail off every shift and shows consistent effort in all three zones. Will also hit anything that moves on the ice, he gets under players skins and does whatever is needed to be effective. I do not see a high ceiling with Stringer but, I see him playing in the NHL some day and being a solid bottom six option that can kill penalties.
10. Graham Sward, LHD, Spokane Chiefs
Another extremely young player for this draft. I fell in love with Sward last year, but he has not shown me anything spectacular this year. Skates very well in all 4 directions and can use his first few steps to get away from pressure. Defence first, but will get involved in the offensive zone, it would be nice to see this a bit more. Surveys all his options and will make the right decision more often than not. Sward can break out the puck with his feet or with his passing, I would just like to see him follow up those plays and get involved a bit more offensively.
Colton Dach, LW, Saskatoon Blades
Sean Tschigerl, LW, Calgary Hitmen
Jake Chiasson, RW, Brandon Wheat Kings
Vincent Iorio, RHD, Brandon Wheat Kings
Nolan Allen, LHD, Prince Albert Raiders
Dru Krebs, LHD, Medicine Hat Tigers
To comment please do so via Twitter @SPProspects or @theOilKnight