The 2017-18 WHL season is underway and with that comes something we all missed this summer: Boxscores. Though teams are only 3-5 games in, there are some good signs early on as to who will carry the offensive workload for their clubs this season. Though scoring only paints part of the picture in regards to a players contributions, the best of the best tend to do a good job when it comes to getting on the score sheet..
WHL – East
The trio of Steenbergen (ARZ), Gawdin, and Heponiemi (FLA) have been lights-out for Swift, recording a combined 29 points (65% of SC goals). Heponiemi currently has eight assists on the year, Steenbergen with six goals in three games, and Colby Sissons (NJ) with three points in three games. The Warriors are out to a hot 4-0 start thanks to a balanced scoring attack lead by Burke, Almeida, and Halbgewachs. 2018 NHL draft eligible defenceman Jett Woo picked up 2-3-5 over his first four performances, and is likely going to continue producing at a similar rate over the course of the season. San Jose’s Noah Gregor and Tampa Bay’s Brett Howden are both averaging over a point-per-game going 4-2-3-5 and 2-1-2-3 respectively. Highly touted forward Luka Burzan has recorded three assists in four games, bouncing around the middle six. Anaheim’s first rounder Sam Steel came back to Regina with a vengeance, posting six points in two games, and thanks to WHL.ca we also know he’s been very good in the faceoff dot winning 58% of draws (53 Taken). Import pick and second-year draft eligible forward Emil Oksanen notched a hat-trick in his fourth game bringing his offensive totals to 5-3-8 through four games. Anaheim’s Josh Mahura has been a force on the back end, putting up 1-4-5 in two games. Leafs pick Ian Scott is out after being injured just into the third period of the home opener where he had earlier been on pace for a .929 save percentage. Draft eligible Cole Fonstad has gone 1-4-5 through four games and former Prince George Cougar, Max Martin, who had 26 points in 50 games last year is up to a point per game average and should have a few eyes watching him this season. Ty Lewis is off to a hot start, currently sitting with 10 points in four games, picking up 2-3-5 in the opener against a Steel-less Pats squad. Stelio Mattheos has been scoring, picking up five goals in his first four games, and newly signed St. Louis Blues prospect Tanner Kaspick is averaging a point per game. Kale Clague is looking sharp after returning from L.A. as he picked up four assists in two games on the year. 2001-born right handed defenceman Braden Schneider has put up an impressive three goals in his first four games played. Kirby Dach and 2018 draft eligible Chase Wouters each sit with two points in three games, and import defender Mark Rubinchik continues to look for his first WHL goal, but has picked up three points in three games during the process.
WHL – Central
The Red Deer Rebels currently lead the Central division with three wins in five games, and that’s in large thanks to the contributions of Sabres sixth rounder Brandon Hagel who has put up 3-4-7, as well as 97-born Mason McCarty who has 5-5-10. Imports Alex Alexeyev and Kristian Reichel have come out strong as second year draft eligibles, recording 3-0-4-4 and 5-2-4-6 respectively. Both players will get a good look for the ’18 draft. Alexeyev was hurt on the recent road trip for the Rebels, more will be known later this week. Peyton Krebs started his WHL career as many had hoped he would, posting 2-5-7 through five games playing alongside import pick Gillian Kohler. Former first round pick and Yale alum Dylan Cozens has recorded three goals early on this season, picking up where he left off last season. Both Cozens and Penguins prospect Jordy Bellerive have four points on the year, while Giorgio Estephan leads the squad with six in four games. Calen Addison has three assists on the year in what should be a substantial offensive season for him. Second year draft eligible Jadon Joseph looked great against Edmonton and currently has 2-1-3 in three games but is out with an injury. David Quenneville looks to make his case for a spot on the World Junior squad and has been strong so far recording four assists through three games, while Mark Rassell and Max Gerlach lead the squad with six points through four games. Second year eligible forward Trey Fix-Wolansky leads the way for a young Oil Kings squad, posting 3-4-7 through five games while fellow Oilers camp invite Davis Koch sits with 2-4-6. Vegas Golden Knights camp invite Will Warm has looked excellent early on and is a WHL front runner for second year eligibles. ’01 defenceman Matthew Robertson and ’01 goaltender Boston Bilous had a weekend of firsts, with Robertson recording his first WHL goal and Bilous getting into his first game. Calgary’s Matteo Gennaro has returned to last year’s form recording 3-3-6 in four games.
WHL – British Columbia
Dante Hannoun and Mathew Phillips (CGY) are back at it again with a combined 21 points through four games. Hannoun with 6-5-11 and Phillips with 3-7-10 seem to have had a bit of an affect on second year eligible Ryan Peckford who has 5-4-9. Jared Legien seems to have found his footing in the WHL as he has recorded 1-8-9 early on with his new club. Griffen Outhouse seems to outdo himself each year, currently sitting with a .958 save percentage through three games. Kole Lind (VAN) and Cal Foote (TB) seem to be the next great Kelowna Rockets as they’ve both come out to a thundering start, recording 3-6-9 and 2-6-8 through three games. Draft eligible Kyle Topping has had a good start, putting up a pair of goals and assists in three games. Import pick Vlad Mikhalchuk has recorded a point per game for the Prince George Cougars which is a good sign as the team has had a tough time finding scoring elsewhere. Vacnouvers Giants draft eligible Milos Roman has made an easy adjustment to the Western League, recording 1-3-4 through three games, while former Ranger draft picks Brad Morrison and Ty Ronning sit with 4-1-3-4 and 3-3-0-3 respectively. ’01 defenceman and former third overall pick, Bowen Byram, currently has three assists in three games. The Blazers are off to an expected slow start, but draft eligible Brodi Stuart has collected one goal and four assists through the five games.
WHL – U.S.A
Ty Smith, the top draft eligible defenceman out west has been stellar early on recording eight points (2G/6A) through four games. Canes prospect Hudson Elynuik went 4-2-4-6 while Jaret Anderson-Dolan recorded three points in his first two games back from Kings camp. Former Red Deer Rebel Austin Strand leads the way offensively for Seattle, going 2-4-6 through three games, while Habs prospects Jaret Tyszka has two assists on the year. ’01 defenceman Jake Lee has a goal and assist on he year. Patrick Bajkov, who will eventually earn a pro contract, has recorded 2-7-9 through the first four games while linemate Matt Fonteyne has five goals and three assists on the year. Draft eligible Riley Sutter has three goals on the season. Juuso Vålimåki expectedly had a hot start to the year putting up a goal and two assists in one game while Canes prospect Morgan Geekie leads the way offensively with one goal and three assists in four games. The Cody Glass and Kieffer Bellows duo has shown promise early on as the two have combined for nine points in three games for Portland. Each player has three assists a piece, while linemate Skyler McKenzie follows up at a point per game pace