Memorial Cup Preview
The final stop on a long road begins tonight for four teams. The Memorial Cup begins at 7pm tonight (Preview Show begins at 6pm) on the NHL Network. The host club, the Rimouski Oceanic take on the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL. For previews of each team go to the Sportsnet Links down below.
Everyone who’s a Lewiston Maineiacs fan knows how good Drummondville’s offense is. Rimouski also got better at the the end of the year as they recovered from injuries. When the Oceanic came into town the final time, Clem Jodoin, told Justin Pelletier and I they lost 250 man games due to injury. I don’t think that includes Patrice Cormier going to play for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships.
Top Players to Watch
10. Austin Watson (Windsor)
He might not get a lot of playing time but he makes the list because he was a former “Maine recruit.”
9. Sebastien Piche (Rimouski)
The former Maineiac will bring Memorial Cup experience to his fellow teammates. He can also find the back of the net from the back end.
8. Patrice Cormier (Rimouski)
The physical forward will need to bring his A game. The QMJHL usually lacks the physicality when it comes to the Memorial Cup.
7. Jamie Benn (Kelowna)
The Dallas prospect is a true sniper. I expect him to have a great tournament.
6. Andrei Loktionov (Windsor)
He’s someone to watch out for the future. The Los Angeles Kings 2008 5th round pick is a slick playmaking forward. He could be in Manchester next season.
5. Yannick Riendeau (Drummondville)
The twenty year old forward puts up points like they are going out of style. He has put up 29 goals and 23 assists in 19 games. He signed with the Boston Bruins.
4. Mikael Backlund (Kelowna)
What a great deadline addition he was. After the World Junior Championships where he played for Sweden; he headed to Kelowna after his club in Sweden threaten to release him if he didn’t have a good World Juniors. Since joining the Rockets, he put up 30 points (12 goals) in 28 games in the regular season. In 19 games in the playoffs, he has added 13 goals and 10 assists.
3. Ryan Ellis (Windsor)/ Dmitry Kulikov (Drummondville)
The two draft eligible offensive defenseman are apart of their team’s offense. They need to quarterback to get the offense rolling. Guy Boucher (Drummondville’s coach) knows both player well as he was the powerplay coach for Team Canada. Want to take a guess at who ran the Canadian powerplay? If you guessed Ryan Ellis you are correct.
2. Taylor Hall (Windsor)
I expect the projected 2010 1 overall pick to have a monster tournament. He had 36 points in the playoffs including 16 goals. He missed the cut at the World Junior Championships but I believe he’s ready to show North America his talents.
1. Tyler Myers (Kelowna)
You can’t miss this guy, literally and figuratively. He stands at 6’7 and skates like the wind. He almost averaged a point a game in the playoffs (20 in 22 games). The Buffalo Sabres made him the 12th selection in last June’s Entry Draft. He could be in Portland in two years.
I say it will be a Windsor-Drummondville final. I think Windsor just has a slight edge over Drummondville.