Prospects to Watch in OHL, QMJHL Playoffs
The Canadian Hockey League regular season has ended, and the Western Hockey League (WHL), Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), and Ontario Hockey League (OHL) playoffs have begun with more than 60 teams looking to advance to the Memorial Cup Finals.
The Memorial Cup is awarded following a four-team, round-robin tournament between a host team and the champions of the CHL's three member leagues: the OHL, QMJHL and WHL. The Memorial Cup will be held in May.
Six Tampa Bay Lightning prospects have helped their CHL teams advance to the post-season. The following is a list of who to watch in this year's playoffs.
Dylan Blujus (Defensemen), North Bay Battalion (OHL)
Dylan Blujus recorded 30 points (4 goals, 26 assists) in 55 games this regular season with the OHL's North Bay Battalion. In the first game of this year's playoffs, Blujus scored a goal that helped the Battalion take game one, 4-0, against the Niagara Ice Dogs. Since then, North Bay has lost two in a row, and will look to even the series against the Ice Dogs on Thursday, March 27th in Niagara.
Jake Dotchin (Defensemen), Barrie Colts (OHL)
Jake Dotchin played in 63 regular season games for the Barrie Colts this year, recording 11 goals and 25 assists for a total of 36 points. Dotchin has been a contributor in the first round of the OHL playoffs as well, with two goals and one assist in three games played. The Colts currently have a 3-0 series lead against the Sudbury Wolves, and are scheduled to play game four of the series on Thursday, March 27th. A road win in Sudbury means the Colts would advance to round two of the playoffs.
Jonathan Drouin (Forward), Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
Jonathan Drouin is coming off a regular season in which he scored 29 goals and recorded 79 assists for a total of 108 points in 46 games played. Drouin's success has carried over into the playoffs, he has four goals and five assists in only three games this postseason. Drouin and his teammates are looking to defend their 2013 Memorial Cup win, and are currently up 3-0 in the opening round versus the Charlottetown Islanders. They will look to complete the sweep on the road this Thursday, March 27th.
Adam Erne (Forward), Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
Adam Erne played in 48 games for the Quebec Remparts this season and recorded a total of 62 points (21 goals, 41 assists). Erne has not played in any post season games up to this point, and his team is currently behind in their series versus the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 2-1. The Remparts will look to even the series on the road this Wednesday, March 26th.
Henri Ikonen (Forward), Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
Henri Ikonen played in 54 games this regular season and dished out 45 assists with 25 goals for a total of 70 points. Ikonen has a total of five points (1 goal, 4 assists) in three playoff games so far. The Frontenacs are on the verge of winning the team's first playoff series in 16 years, as they currently have a 3-0 series lead in the opening round of the OHL playoffs versus the Peterborough Petes. Ikonen and his teammates will look to end the series in Peterborough this Thursday, March 27th.
Slater Koekkoek (Defensemen), Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
Slater Koekkoek played in 48 games for the Spitfires this regular season, recording a total of 62 points (21 goals, 41 assists). Koekkoek suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. His teammates are in a 0-3 hole versus the London Knights.