WHL Down the Side

Alexeyev return?

The Red Deer Rebels could get a huge boost this weekend, as the Russian defenceman’s status was changed from week-to-week to day-to-day on the WHL injury report. He also practiced this week and a few teammates acknowledged that he is close to a return.

Alexeyev, a first-round pick of the Washington Capitals in the 2018 NHL Draft has been out since Jan. 20 with a shoulder injury that he suffered against the Lethbridge Hurricanes. He was seen after the injury wearing a sling on the same shoulder he hurt last season. He’s been a big contributor on the Rebels’ blue line this year with 37 points in 35 games. On the power play, he has been especially valuable with two goals and 13 assists.

Where are they now?

Nelson Nogier was a massive pickup for the Red Deer Rebels in the midst of a playoff run during the 2014-15 season. A fourth-round pick of the Winnipeg Jets in the 2014 NHL Draft, Nogier helped steady the Rebels blueline that year.

More importantly, in his final season, he played a critical part of the Rebels run at a Memorial Cup title on home ice in 2016. He had 21 points in 69 games in 2015-16 and added another four in 27 playoff games.

The following year he played with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL, registering 13 points in 60 games. The 22-year-old has played 11 NHL games and has not yet earned a point. This year with the Moose, he has five assists in 44 games.

WHL Goalie of the Week

Reece Klassen of the Spokane Chiefs was the WHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending Feb. 3. Klassen earned a shutout win and shootout loss, with a 0.71 goals-against-average. He stopped 34 of 35 shots for a 0.971 save percentage, and earned the first shutout of his WHL career.

Friday, Klassen turned aside 25 shots in a 4-0 win against the Kelowna Rockets. In his first-career WHL shutout, Klassen stopped 11 shots in the first, eight in the second, and six in the final frame.

In 25 minutes the following night against the Portland Winterhawks, Klassen stopped nine out of 10 shots in the third period and overtime. After a scoreless overtime, Klassen allowed two goals on three shots in the shootout.

In time with both the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Spokane Chiefs this season, Klassen has a 13-5-4-5 record, 3.25 GAA, 0.897 SV%, and one shutout.

WHL Player of the Week

Everett Silvertips captain Connor Dewar has been named the WHL Player of the Week for the week ending Feb. 3. Dewar picked up eight points (4G-4A) in two games this week as the Silvertips went 2-0 to wrap up a home-and-home series against the Seattle Thunderbirds.

In Everett’s Friday night win against Seattle, Dewar assisted on a a pir of goals. On Saturday night at home, Dewar helped Everett in a 7-2 victory over the Thunderbirds with four goals and two assists. He notched three even-strength goals, one power-play tally and assisted on two power-play goals.

He was first star of the game as well as first star of the night in the WHL. His career-high six points finished one shy of the Silvertips’ franchise record for points in a single game.

The six-point performance marked his 19th-multi-point game of the 2018-19 season. It is also a new career high for the Pas, Man., native with 70 points (35G-35A) in 47 games.

Dewar has topped his previous season record of 68 points (38G-30A) in 68 games. It is also the second-straight 35-goal campaign of his WHL career.

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