It is safe to say that the 2020-21 WHL regular season went according to plan for the powerhouse Edmonton Oil Kings. Each week since February has brought nothing but good fortunes for the team. This week is no different. In fact, this final hoorah to the 2020-21 season is simply a cherry on top of a fantastic year for the club. It’s truly a shame we can’t witness a wild playoff ride.
Cossa named WHL Goaltender of the Month
For starters, let’s begin with that the Oil Kings closed out their regular season on Thursday with a 3-0 win against the Medicine Hat Tigers. Starting goaltender Sebastian Cossa earned his fourth shutout of the season. The Oil Kings finish the 2020-21 season with a 20-2-1 record and also maintain their throne in the number one seed of the Central Division standings.
The team has been on point all season long. Rock-solid goaltending, steady defence, and fast, high powered offence has propelled the Oil Kings to great heights.
Another shutout means more well-deserved recognition for Cossa, who is slated to be a high draft pick in the upcoming 2021 NHL Draft. Cossa reigns as the top goaltender in the WHL with a .941 save percentage and an incredible record of 17-1-1. Recently, he was just named WHL Goaltender of the Month after going 7-0-1 and registering an impressive .936 save percentage in the month of April.
Guenther brings home the gold
Finally, to cap off a frenzy of great news for the Oil Kings, one of their best forwards, Dylan Guenther, recently returned from the IIHF World U18 Championship with some new hardware. He served as an alternate captain for his gold medal-winning Team Canada. In seven games at the tournament, Guenther recorded seven points. This success makes for yet another checkmark to his already impressive resume of 2021. Of course, he has the 2021 NHL Draft to be excited for as well. His stock was already high when the season began, but his performances have absolutely skyrocketed his draft value.
Jake Neighbours finished as the teams top scorer with 33 points in 19 games. He brought a great deal of skill and intensity to every game this season. As a top prospect of the St. Louis Blues, he is well on his way towards his dream of becoming an NHL player. This season was an excellent developmental period for the young forward.
Logan Dowhaniuk had himself a wonderful breakout campaign. Undoubtedly, he was one of the best defensemen on the backend for the Oil Kings, as he scored 19 points in 23 games and was a +11.
Carson Latimer, the 18-year-old rookie right-winger was a pleasant surprise. He finished with 16 points in 22 games. One thing that has been apparent in watching him play this season is his skill, smooth skating ability, and underrated offensive instincts.
Jalen Luypen brought a ton of energy to the Oil Kings lineup and showed up to play every single night. He had a career year, scoring 29 points in 23 games. His style of play would have been a treat to watch in the postseason.
While there are no WHL playoffs taking place, it still was a privilege that we even had a season at all. It’s a tough pill to swallow. Especially for contending teams like the Oil Kings, who have players in the primes of their WHL careers and a deep roster that looks championship calibre.
Nevertheless, we will not forget how dominant this team was this season. Hopefully, when the WHL is back next year, there will be a frenzy of playoff action and a very hungry Oil Kings squad looking to make up, for now, two years of lost playoff time.