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WHL Weekly Highlights: For the week of 05 OCT 15

by Steve Kournianos
12 October 2015


BRANDON C/LW TANNER KASPICK  (2016) broke a five-game scoreless drought with three goals in two weekend contests. Kaspick, a 6’0, 200-pound power center, ended his season-opening skein in the first period of a 13-1 blowout win over visiting Kootenay after he took the puck at the blue line and powered through to the goal on his forehand. He would later rip a wrist shot from the right circle through a screen while on the power play for his second of the game. On Saturday, Kaspick would open the scoring for the host Wheat Kings in an eventual 4-3 shootout loss to Edmonton.


BRANDON C NOLAN PATRICK (2017) produced the second and third of three straight three-point efforts during a week in which he jumped into the WHL’s top-20 scoring list. Patrick, who dished out three helpers in a 6-0 rout of Regina on October 3rd, scored his first goal of the season during a power play and added a pair of assists in Tuesday’s 8-3 clubbing of Calgary. On Friday, he was one of 10 Wheaties to register a multi-point game (two goals, one assist) in a 13-1 annihilation of visiting Kootenay. All 11 of Patrick’s points (3-8-11) have come in four of his last five games.


BRANDON LHD KALE CLAGUE (2016) had a pair of assists in Friday’s 13-1 rout of Kootenay and went +5 in three games as the Wheat Kings went 2-1-0. The smooth-skating Clague played alongside overage LHD Colton Waltz on the Wheaties’ second pairing for most of the week after spending time at the beginning of the season with LHD Ivan Provorov (PHI 1st/2015). The 6’0, 178-pound native of Lloydminster , AB has 0-5-5 and is +9 in seven games this season.


CALGARY LHD JAKE BEAN (2016) became the season’s leading scorer among draft-eligible WHL defensemen with four goals and two assists in a weekend split with Red Deer. The Calgary native scored the game winner and later added a power-play goal with two assists in Friday’s 4-1 win over the visiting Rebels. Bean would score two more times on Saturday, including a game-tying tally against Red Deer in a match the Hitmen eventually lost in a shootout, 5-4. He trails only teammate LHD Travis Sanheim (PHI 1st/2014) in overall WHL defenseman scoring with 5-6-11 in seven games.


CALGARY C JORDY STALLARD (2016) potted his first goal of the season in a 5-4 shootout loss to Red Deer on Sunday. The 6’2, 197-pound Brandon native helped Calgary rally from a 3-1 deficit by zipping a shot high over the blocker of Rebels’ goalie Rylan Toth. Stallard, who missed 2015 draft eligibility by three days, now has 1-2-3 in four games after he missed three straight games with an upper body injury.


EDMONTON RW COLTON KEHLER (2016) had a power play assist and scored in the shootout in the Oil Kings’ 4-3 upset of powerhouse Brandon on Saturday. Kehler, a 2015-draft eligible who recently signed with Edmonton after playing with Langley (BCHL), also assisted on a goal with man advantage in Sunday’s 5-3 loss at Regina. He also scored in the shootout in Friday’s 4-3 win at Moose Jaw. The 5’9 forward was a seventh-round pick of the Oil Kings in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft, and in 2012 broke Edmonton Oilers’ center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ British Columbia Major Midget League single-season record for goals with 41.


EDMONTON LW KOLE GABLE (2016) netted his first career WHL goal midway through the third period of a 4-3 shootout win at Moose Jaw on Friday. A ninth-round pick in the 2013 Bantam Draft, the 5’10 Gable forced the extra session by burying a loose puck in the low slot at the 8:22 mark of the final stanza. Known more for being a high-energy player than an elite scorer, Gable has played well in limited minutes.


EVERETT LW MATT FONTEYNE (2016) scored a goal in each of the Silvertips’ two wins over the weekend, giving him three in the last four games. He scored an even-strength marker in Saturday’s 5-4 overtime win versus rival Spokane, and added a power-play tally and an assist in a 5-2 win over Prince Albert on Sunday. A 5’10 two-way winger with speed out of Wetaskiwin, AB, Fonteyene leads Everett in goal scoring and is tied for second with four points. 


EVERETT G CARTER HART (2016) has won three straight starts after he went 2-0-0 in a weekend sweep for the Silvertips. Hart, who was given a “B” rating in the Central Scouting Bureau’s preliminary draft list, made 25 stops in Saturday’s 5-4 OT win over Spokane, including a pivotal save on Kailer Yamamoto’s penalty shot in the second period with Everett trailing, 3-2. On Sunday, Hart kept Prince Albert off the scoreboard unitl midway through the third and finished with 25 saves in a 5-2 win. He is now 4-0-1 on the season and fifth in save percentage (.920) among goalie who have appeared in five game or more. 


KAMLOOPS G DYLAN FERGUSON (2017) stopped 27 of 29 shots in his second start of the season but the host Blazers dropped a 3-1 decision Saturday to Victoria. The 6’1, 181-pound goalie kept Kamloops close in a 1-1 game thanks to some difficult saves but was beaten midway through the third by Logan Fisher for the deciding tally. 


KELOWNA LW CALVIN THURKAUF (2016) scored the go-ahead goal and had an assist for his second straight multi-point game as the Rockets edged Medicine Hat on Tuesday, 6-5. A native of Zug, Switzerland who was eligible for the 2015 Entry Draft thanks to a June, 1997 birthday, Thurkauf snapped a 4-4 tie in the third period for his third of the season after he assisted on C TOMAS SOUSTAL’s marker earlier in the frame. Thurkauf had a four-game points streak snapped in Friday’s 3-0 loss to visiting Victoria 


KOOTENAY RHD JASON WENZEL (2016) tallied his first career WHL goal in Saturday’s 4-3 loss at Moose Jaw. The 6’1, 170-pound puck mover was able to muscle a shot through a screen which temporarily gave the slumping Ice a lead they would relinquish a few minutes later. Wenzel is a 1998-born prospect with some offensive upside, but he was recently suspended two games for violating team rules. 


MEDICINE HAT RHD DAVID QUENNEVILLE (2016) scored a power-play goal in the third period of Tuesday’s 6-5 loss to Kelowna. A power-play specialist with a very heavy shot, Quenneville blistered a slapper over the glove of Rockets’ goalie Jackson Whistle. On Friday, the 5’8 Edmontonian was kept off the scoresheet and was a -2 in a 7-0 blowout loss at Lethbridge. Thus far, he’s the Tigers’ top-scoring blueliner with two goals and two assists in six games, and was given a “C” rating on CSB’s preliminary draft list. 


MOOSE JAW LW NIKITA POPUGAEV (2017) exploded for five goals and nine points in three games as the Warriors went 2-1-0 last week. The 6’4 Moscow native produced a pair of goals and two assists as Moose Jaw outslugged Vancouver on Wednesday, 8-5. Over the weekend, Popugaev scored three more goals, including two in Saturday’s 4-3 comeback win over Kootenay. Not draft eligible until 2017, he is currently second among WHL rookies in both goals (five) and points (11).  


PRINCE ALBERT LW SIMON STRANSKY (2016) continued his red-hot production with a goal and three assists over three games this week. The Ostrava, Czech Republic native extended his points streak from the start of the season to seven games with two assists in Tuesday’s 5-3 win over Kootenay, another assist in a 3-2 shootout loss at Seattle on Saturday, and finally a power-play marker late in Sunday’s 5-2 defeat at Everett. He’s currently tied for fifth in WHL scoring with 3-9-12 in seven games. 


RED DEER LW BRANDON HAGEL (2016) potted his first WHL goal and added an assist as the Rebels went 1-2-0 in three games. Hagel, a 6’0 winger who can play in all situations, earned his first of the season on the power play in a 5-2 defeat at Lethbridge on Tuesday. He chipped in an assist in Friday’s 4-1 loss at Calgary but did not factor in the scoring in a 5-4 shootout win versus the Hitmen the following night, giving him points in three of his last four games. 


REGINA LW RILEY WOODS (2016) tallied a pivotal goal for his first in WHL play and added two assists as the Pats split their two games over the weekend. Woods, a 5’8 skill forward who can also play center, began Regina’s comeback from a 5-3 deficit against Vancouver on Friday with under four minutes left in regulation of a game they would eventually win in overtime, 6-5.  


SEATTLE LW NOLAN VOLCAN (2016) broke through with his first WHL goal in Sunday’s 3-2 win over host Portland. Rated a “C” prospect by CSB, Volcan tipped home a point shot from Jerret Smith while standing alone in the low slot. He spent most of last season as a checker, but he has a very heavy and accurate shot and can play a physical game as well. 


SPOKANE C HUDSON ELYNIUK (2016) score three goals in four games, including a pair in a 3-1 win at Victoria on Tuesday. A third round pick of Kootenay in the 2012 Bantam Draft and son of former NHL’e Pat Elynuik, Hudson added a power-play marker in Saturday’s 5-4 OT loss at Everett. A power center with a nice touch around the net, Elynuik has four goals and two assists in seven games this season. 


SWIFT CURRENT LHD MAX LAJOIE (2016) snapped out of his early-season funk with a goal and two assists in Sunday’s 6-5 loss to Saskatoon. One of the top defense prospects for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Lajoie did not register a point though his first six games until the rebound from his wrist shot from the point was buried by RW Calvin Spencer. Lajoie eventually scored a game-tying tally on the power play with under a minute left in regulation before the Blades potted the winner 32 seconds later 


TRI-CITY G EVAN SARTHOU (2016) went 2-1-0 last week, including back-to-back wins with 30-plus saves in each contest. The Black Diamond, WA native is now 3-2-1 on the season and allowed three goals or less in each of his last three starts 


VANCOUVER RHD MATT BARBERIS (2016) scored a pair of power-play goals in four games, and now leads Giants’ blueliners in goal scoring with three in eight games. He scored the lone goal in a 4-1 loss at Swift Current on Saturday. 


VANCOUVER RW TY RONNING (2016) registered a hat trick in Friday’s 6-5 loss at Regina. The son of former NHL’er Cliff Ronning, Ty now has a team-best six goals and an assist through eight games. 


VICTORIA C DANTE HANNOUN (2016) and C MATT PHILLIPS (2016) both scored a pair of goals in four games, and have three goals apiece on the season.