2017 CHL Season Review

Canadian Hockey League Leaders (Skaters)

Raddysh, Abramov, Steel among the CHL’s best
Steve Kournianos  |  3/21/2017 |  New York  |  

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Photo courtesy of OHL Images

Erie’s Darren Raddysh was one of the top point producers among CHL defensemen (Photo: OHL Images)

The Draft Analyst (New York) — Another Canadian major junior regular season has come and gone, and with the playoffs just a few days away, let’s take a quick breather and dig into the players who from a traditional standpoint produced impressive stats. This is the first in a series of reviews where we rank the leaders into categories, beginning today with Canadian Hockey League skaters. Subsequent posts will get into goalies and first-year draft eligibles before culminating with analytics leaders, courtesy of prospect-stats.com. Today we’ll feature the top players — drafted, undrafted or soon-to-be-drafted — who as you’ll see either performed above expectation or finished exactly where we thought they would.

You can’t say enough about Regina center Sam Steel, a late first-round selection of Anaheim last June. Steel is our pick for CHL Player of the Year (Mitch Marner and Connor McDavid were the previous two winners), and the staggering numbers speak for themselves. He recorded 81 assists and 131 points in just 66 games — a 61-point increase from his 2016 draft year! And with all due respect to Erie winger Alex DeBrincat — a Chicago Blackhawks prospect and the CHL’s top goal scorer with 65 — there isn’t a player in junior hockey who contributes more to his team than Steel, who wasn’t even considered the top center on his team, let alone the WHL. Neither DeBrincat, Steel nor QMJHL scoring leader and Columbus Blue Jackets pick Vitalii Abramov are players with size, as all three are listed under six feet tall. Still, the dual shoot-pass threat they present to opposing coaches is just one of the many reasons they are among the elite of hockey’s top prospects.

On defense, Quebec League rearguard Samuel Girard, a second round pick of Nashville in 2016, dished out a QMJHL-best 66 helpers after placing third a season ago. Like the three aforementioned forwards, Girard is on the smaller side at a listed 5’9. But his ability to distribute the puck and quarterback a power play is second to none among current CHLers. From a statistical standpoint, the Ontario Hockey League lost to promotion point producers such as Travis Dermott, Jakob Chychrun and Rasmus Andersson, allowing Erie’s undrafted overager Darren Raddysh to shine as the circuit’s top defender. Raddysh led all CHL defensemen in points-per-game average (1.29).

No review would be complete without mentioning draft prospects, beginning with Halifax center and Swiss phenom Nico Hischier, who topped all CHL rookies with a 1.51 points per game. Both Hischier and Finnish pivot Aleksi Heponiemi from the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos shared the CHL rookie scoring crown with 86 points apiece and are first-year draft eligibles for 2017, with Hischier expected to be one of the first players picked in the opening round.

*Stats presented are neither final nor official. Any changes made by the leagues will reflect once identified.

Points

POS Name LG TM Status GP PTS PPG
C Sam Steel WHL Regina ANA 1st/2016 66 131 1.98
C Adam Brooks WHL Regina TOR 4th/2016 66 130 1.97
RW Alex DeBrincat OHL Erie CHI 2nd/2016 63 127 2.02
RW Tyler Wong WHL Lethbridge UDFA (1996) 69 109 1.58
RW Taylor Raddysh OHL Erie TB 2nd/2016 58 108 1.86
RW Vitalii Abramov QMJHL Gatineau CBJ 3rd/2016 66 104 1.58
RW Chad Butcher WHL MH UDFA (1996) 68 103 1.51
C Tyler Bolland QMJHL Rimouski UDFA (1996) 68 103 1.51
C Jayden Halbgewachs WHL Moose Jaw UDFA (1997) 71 101 1.42
LW Adam Mascherin OHL Kitchener FLA 2nd/2016 65 100 1.54

Goals

 Pos  Name  League  Team Status GP G GPG
RW Alex DeBrincat OHL Erie CHI 2nd/2016 63 65 1.03
LW Giovanni Fiore QMJHL Cape Breton UDFA (1996) 61 52 0.85
RW Tyler Wong WHL Lethbridge UDFA (1996) 69 51 0.74
C Tyler Steenbergen WHL Swift Current 2017/1998 72 51 0.71
C Sam Steel WHL Regina ANA 1st/2016 66 50 0.76
C Jayden Halbgewachs WHL Moose Jaw UDFA (1997) 71 50 0.70
C Matthew Phillips WHL Victoria CGY (6th/2016) 70 50 0.71

Assists

POS Name LG TM Status GP A APG
C Adam Brooks WHL Regina TOR 4th/2016 66 87 1.32
C Sam Steel WHL Regina ANA 1st/2016 66 81 1.23
RW Chad Butcher WHL MH UDFA (1996) 68 76 1.12
C Mathew Barzal WHL Seattle NYI 1st/2015 41 69 1.68
C Mason Shaw WHL Medicine Hat 2017 Draft 71 67 0.94
D Samuel Girard QMJHL Shawinigan NSH 2nd/2016 59 66 1.12
RW Taylor Raddysh OHL Erie TB 2nd/2016 58 66 1.14
D Santino Centorame OHL Owen Sound UDFA (1996) 68 66 0.97
LW Adam Mascherin OHL Kitchener FLA 2nd/2016 65 65 1.00
RW Jordan Kyrou OHL Sarnia STL 2nd/2016 66 64 0.97
D Darren Raddysh OHL Erie UDFA (1996) 62 64 1.03

Rookies

Pos Name Team Lge Status GP G A PTS PTS/G
C Nico Hischier Halifax QMJHL 2017 Draft 57 38 48 86 1.51
C Aleksi Heponiemi Swift Current WHL 2017 Draft 72 28 58 86 1.19
RW Nick Henry Regina WHL 2017 Draft 72 35 46 81 1.13
RW Rudolfs Balcers Kamloops WHL SJS 5th/2015 66 40 37 77 1.17
RW Ivan Kosorenkov Victoriaville QMJHL 2017/1998 68 34 29 63 0.93
RW John Dahlstrom Medicine Hat WHL CHI 7th/2015 63 30 29 59 0.94
C Ivan Chekhovich Baie Comeau QMJHL 2017 Draft 60 26 33 59 0.98
C Drake Batherson Cape Breton QMJHL 2017/1998 61 22 36 58 0.95
LW Joachim Blichfeld Portland WHL SJS 7th/2016 63 28 30 58 0.92
D Ryan Merkley Guelph OHL 2018 Draft 62 12 43 55 0.89
C Philipp Kurashev Quebec QMJHL 2018 Draft 65 21 33 54 0.83
RW Trey Fix-Wolansky Edmonton WHL 2017 Draft 70 24 30 54 0.77
LW Yaroslav Alexeyev Sherbrooke QMJHL 2017 Draft 60 24 28 52 0.87
LW Linus Nyman Kingston OHL 2017 Draft 68 26 24 50 0.74
RW Akil Thomas Niagara OHL 2018 Draft 61 21 27 48 0.79
LW Filip Ahl Regina WHL OTT 4th/2015 54 28 20 48 0.89
D Henri Jokiharju Portland WHL 2017 Draft 71 9 39 48 0.68
C Pavel Koltygin Drummondville QMJHL 2017 Draft 65 22 25 47 0.72
C Adam Ruzicka Sarnia OHL 2017 Draft 61 25 21 46 0.75
C Allan McShane Oshawa OHL 2018 Draft 62 17 27 44 0.71

Defensemen

Pos Name Team Lge Status GP G A PTS PTS/G
RHD Connor Hobbs Regina WHL WSH 5th/2015 67 31 54 85 1.27
RHD Darren Raddysh Erie OHL UDFA (1996) 62 16 64 80 1.29
LHD Samuel Girard Shawinigan QMJHL NSH 2nd/2016 59 9 66 75 1.27
RHD Santino Centorame Owen Sound OHL UDFA (1996) 68 7 66 73 1.07
RHD Brennan Menell Lethbridge WHL UDFA (1996) 70 12 59 71 1.01
RHD Ethan Bear Seattle WHL EDM 5th/2015 67 28 42 70 1.04
RHD Carl Neill Charlottetown QMJHL VAN 5th/2015 67 13 56 69 1.03
RHD Frédéric Allard Chicoutimi QMJHL NSH 3rd/2016 63 14 51 65 1.03
LHD Parker Wotherspoon Tri-City WHL NYI 4th/2015 69 10 55 65 0.94
RHD Clayton Kirichenko Medicine Hat WHL UDFA (1996) 72 12 52 64 0.89
RHD Thomas Grégoire Sherbrooke QMJHL 2017/1998 66 10 54 64 0.97