WHL news and notes

Coaches announced for CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

Coaches announced for 2019 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

The CHL will have some hockey royalty in town for the CHL/ NHL Top Prospects Game on Jan. 23 at the Centrium.

Thursday, the league announced that Ron MacLean and Kelly Hrudey will be head coaches for the 24th annual showcase.

MacLean, a Red Deer native will be joined by Dave Hunter and Rebels Owner/GM/head coach Brent Sutter on the Team Cherry bench. On the team Orr bench, Hrudey will guide the group with former Calgary Flames defenceman Robyn Regehr and Prince Albert Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid.

“On behalf of the Canadian Hockey League it is with great pride that we welcome Ron MacLean and Kelly Hrudey as head coaches of the 2019 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game,” said CHL President David Branch in a press release.

“Their participation with alumni Dave Hunter and Robyn Regehr, and CHL coaches Brent Sutter and Marc Habscheid, will make this a special experience for the players and for the great hockey fans in Red Deer and across the province of Alberta.”

The game will feature the top 40 prospects for the 2019 NHL Draft across the WHL, OHL and QMJHL.

WHL Player of the Month

Joachim Blichfeld of the Portland Winterhawks was been named the WHL Player of the Month for December 2018. Blichfeld recorded 26 points (13G-13A) in 11 games during December. Those totals propelled the Frederikshavn, Denmark product into the WHL scoring lead as the Winterhawks posted a 7-1-3-0 record in the final month of 2018.

With points in 10 of 11 games this month, the San Jose Sharks prospect had six multi-point efforts, including the third five-point game of his WHL career. He also had a pair of four-point games and three three-point games. Blichfeld also recorded three multi-goal games during the month, including the third hat trick of his WHL career December 2 against the Kootenay ICE. He also had a pair of two-goal games.

He currently leads the WHL with 72 points (34G-38A), including 12 power-play goals, three short-handed goals, and three game-winning goals. Blichfeld also leads the WHL in goals and is tied for third in assists.

WHL Goalie of the Month

Dustin Wolf of the Everett Silvertips was named the WHL Goaltender of the Month for December 2018. Wolf posted a 6-0-0-1 record, 1.27 goals-against-average, stopped 193 of 202 shots for a 0.955 save percentage, and recorded one shutout as the Silvertips went 8-0-1-0 in the month.

The Tustin, Calif. product was dominant throughout the month as the Silvertips extended their undefeated in regulation streak to 16 games with a 14-0-1-1 record. Wolf himself hasn’t lost in regulation to a divisional opponent since Nov. 16, against the Portland Winterhawks.

The 2019 NHLDraft eligible netminder in 35 games this season has compiled a 26-7-1-0 record, 1.79 goals-against-average, 0.930 save percentage, and three shutouts. Those figures have Wolf leading the league in wins, second in shutouts, second in GAA, and third in SV%.

Where are they now?

Defenceman Alex Petrovic is back in Alberta. Petrovic, an Edmonton native was traded from the Florida Panthers to the Edmonton Oilers on Dec. 30. The six-foot-four, 216-pound blueliner spent his entire five-year WHL career with the Red Deer Rebels. He was drafted in the second round, 36th overall by the Panthers in the 2010 NHL Draft. In 270 WHL games, Petrovic notched 29 goals and 117 assists.

He signed with the Panthers in 2011 and made his NHL debut in April of 2013. On Jan. 26, 2016, he scored his first NHL goal. Through 256 NHL games, all but two with the Panthers, he has five goals and 44 assists. He has played in six career playoff games and has one goal and three assists.


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