MHKY: 2018-19 season preview

MHKY: 2018-19 season preview

Canada West Communcations

EDMONTON – The puck drops on the 2018-19 Canada West men's hockey season this weekend, as eight teams start the chase to the CW Final in March.

After claiming their second consecutive conference crown last season, the Alberta Golden Bears capped off their 2017-18 campaign with a record 16th University Cup title. Once again this season, Alberta enters the seaon with a formidable lineup, and were the coaches' pick to repeat as CW champs, after topping the annual pre-season poll

While Alberta is the favourite, the chase pack led by the Saskatchewan Huskies isn't far behind, as two teams look to join the host Lethbridge Pronghorns at the 2019 University Cup in Lethbridge March 14-17.

You can watch the entire CW men's hockey season on Canada West TV – the official streaming home of the conference. You can purchase a pass by clicking here.

To get you set for the season, here's a look at all eight teams.

Click here for the complete 2018-19 regular season schedule.


2018-19 CW pre-season coaches poll rank: 1st 

2017-18 CW regular season record: 23-4-1, 1st 

2017-18 CW post-season record: 4-0, CW champions (won University Cup)

Head coach: Ian Herbers (4th season) / 72-12-0 (CW career reg. season record) 

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 2018 / 27

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: 2018 / 16

2017-18 CW regular season ranks:

  • Offence: 132 goals for, 1st 
  • Defence: 60 goals against, 1st 
  • Power play: 24.5%, 1st
  • Penalty kill: 83.3%, 4th

2017-18 CW regular season leaders:

  • Goals: 17 – Steven Owre, F
  • Assists: 29 – Luke Philp, F
  • Points: 40 – Luke Philp, F
  • Wins: 12 – Zach Sawchenko, G
  • Shutouts: 2 – Brendan Burke, G

Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team) - click here for a closer look at the WHL recruits:

  • Curtis Miske / Forward / 1st / Beaumont, AB / Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)
  • Grayson Pawlenchuk / Forward / 1st / Edmonton, AB / Red Deer Rebels (WHL)

Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program):

  • Jamie Crooks / Forward / Vermillion, AB / 5
  • Dylan Bredo / Defence / Edmonton, AB / 4

 

Key performer:

Luke Philp

Centre

3rd-year

Canmore, AB 

With the departure of fifth-year sniper Jamie Crooks, coupled with a handful of injuries to their forward core, the Golden Bears will once again rely on third-year centre Luke Philp to pace their potent offence. The former Red Deer Rebel exploded offensively last season, leading Canada West with 40 points in 28 games, winning the conference's Most Valuable Player award as a sophomore. Philp added a pair of assists in the conference playoffs, while also scoring three goals at the 2018 University Cup. In order for the Golden Bears to meet their lofty expectations and repeat as both conference and national champions, Philp will once again need to perform at his MVP level.

 


2018-19 CW pre-season coaches poll rank: 5th

2017-18 CW regular season record: 16-10-2, 4th 

2017-18 CW post-season record: 1-2, lost in CW QF to Calgary

Head coach: Sven Butenschon (3rd season) / 28-23-5 (CW career reg. season record)

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 1971 / 2

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: none

2017-18 CW regular season ranks:

  • Offence: 82 goals, 5th 
  • Defence: 92 goals against, 4th
  • Power play: 21.8%, 2nd 
  • Penalty kill: 77.7%, 5th 

2017-18 CW regular season leaders:

  • Goals: 14 – Austin Vetterl, F
  • Assists: 17 – Jerret Smith, D / Tyler Sandhu, F
  • Points: 23 – Tyler Sandhu, F / Austin Vetterl, F
  • Wins: 12 – Matt Hewitt, G
  • Shutouts: 1 – Matt Hewitt, G

Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team) - click here for a closer look at the WHL recruits:

  • Patrick Dea / G / 1 / St. Albert, AB / Tri City Americans
  • Quentin Greenwood / F / 1 / Delburne, AB / Olds Grizzlys
  • Steven Hodges / F / 3 / Yellowknife, NWT / Springfield Thunderbirds
  • Maxwell James / F / 1 / Kamloops, BC / Tri City Americans
  • Colton Kehler / F / 1 / Port Coquitlam, BC / Edmonton Oil Kings

Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program):

  • Matt Hewitt / G / New Westminster, BC / 5
  • Nick Buonassisi / F / Coquitlam, BC / 5
  • Wes Vannieuwenhuizen / D / Chilliwack, BC / 5

Key performer:

Matt Revel

Forward

2nd-year

Abbotsford, BC

The veteran of over 300 WHL games hit the ground running with the Thunderbirds as a rookie in 2017-18, leading the team in points per game (1.00) finishing the season with 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points. Revel also added two goals and an assist in UBC's quarter-final series against the Dinos. The Abbotsford, BC native tied for fifth in league rookie scoring while eight of his 21 points came on the power play.

 


 

2018-19 CW pre-season coaches poll rank: 3rd

2017-18 CW regular season record: 12-13-3, 5th in CW

2017-18 CW post-season record: 3-3, lost CW SF to Saskatchewan

Head coach: Mark Howell (10th season) / 145-85-22 (CW career reg. season record) 

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 1996 / 8

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: None

2017-18 CW regular season ranks:

  • Offence: 96 goals for, 4th 
  • Defence: 69 goals against, 3rd 
  • Power play: 18.0%, 6th
  • Penalty kill: 84.1%, 3rd

2017-18 CW regular season leaders:

  • Goals: 12 – Cain Franson, F; Chris Collins, F
  • Assists: 17 – Cain Franson, F; Chris Collins, F
  • Points: 29 – Cain Franson, F; Chris Collins, F
  • Wins: 8 – Jordan Papirny, G
  • Shutouts: 2 – Jordan Papirny, G

Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team) - click here for a closer look at the WHL recruits:

  • Graham Black / F / 4 / Regina, SK / Springfield (AHL)
  • Jordan Henderson / D / 1st / Surrey, BC / Penticton (BCHL)
  • Regan Nagy / F / 1 / Ogema, SK / Prince Albert (WHL)
  • James Shearer / D / 1 / Brandon, MB / Brandon (WHL) 

Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program):

  • Dan Gibb / D / Prince George, BC / 5
  • Drydn Dow / D / Calgary, AB / 5
  • Chris Collins / F / Calgary, AB / 5
  • Adam Kambeitz / F / Lethbridge, AB / 5

Key performer:

Dylan Busenius

Defence

5th-year

Sherwood Park, Alta. 

One of just two fifth-year players on the 2018-19 edition of the Dinos, fifth-year defenceman Dylan Busenius will look to close out his career with another solid campaign. The Medicine Hat / Prince Albert / Saskatoon product had a career season with 22 points in 2017-18, the team's third-leading scorer from his blueline position. His offensive output has increased each year, and he was a plus-8 for the Dinos last year.

 


2018-19 CW pre-season coaches poll rank: 8th

2017-18 CW regular season record: 9-16-3, 7th

2017-18 CW post-season record: missed playoffs

Head coach: Murray Nystrom (1st season)  

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 1993-94 / 1

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: 1993-94 / 1

2017-18 CW regular season ranks:

  • Offence: 75 goals for, T-7th
  • Defence: 120 goals against, 7th
  • Power play: 18.1%, 5th
  • Penalty kill: 76.9, 7th
  • 2017-18 CW regular season leaders:
  • Goals: 8 – Mitch Maxwell, F; Connor Sanvido, F
  • Assists: 20 – Mitch Maxwell, F
  • Points: 28 – Mitch Maxwell, F
  • Wins: 8 – Garett Hughson, G
  • Shutouts: 0

Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team) - click here for a closer look at the WHL recruits:

  • Michael Grant / RW / 1 / Lethbridge, AB / Nipawin Hawks (SJHL)
  • Logan Mick / LW / 3 / Armstrong, BC / Quinnipiac University (NCAA)
  • Taz Burman / G / 1 / Vancouver, BC / Nanaimo Clippers (BCHL)
  • Jordon Roy / LW/ 1 / Lethbridge, AB / Fort McMurray Oil Barons (BCHL)

Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program):

  • Mitch Maxwell / Right Wing / Magrath, AB / 5
  • Ryon Moser / Left Wing / Calgary, AB / 5
  • Tyler Hansen / Defence / Magrath, AB / 3

Key performer:

Garrett Hughson

Goaltender

3rd-year

Foremost, AB

Heading into a season knowing that a berth in the U Cup Championship is already guaranteed as host, any success the Pronghorns will have this season will hinge on the play of third-year goaltender Garrett Hughson. Offensively challenged a season ago, the Pronghorns will have to win by playing strong defensive hockey and that begins in the crease with former Spokane Chief Hughson.

 


2018-19 CW pre-season coaches poll: 6th

2017-18 CW regular season record: 16-10-2, 3rd

2017-18 CW post-season record: 0-2, Lost to MRU in CW QF

Head coach: Mike Sirant (23rd season) / 310-259-47 (CW career reg. season record) 

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 1964-65 / 2

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: 1964-65 / 1

2017-18 CW regular season ranks:

Offence: 99 goals for, 3rd

Defence: 97 goals against, 6th

Power play: 18.8%, 4th

Penalty kill: 85.3 %, 2nd

2017-18 CW regular season leaders:

  • Goals: 13 – Michael St. Croix, F
  • Assists: 22 – Michael St. Croix, F
  • Points: 35 – Michael St. Croix, F
  • Wins: 14 – Byron Spriggs, G
  • Shutouts: 1 – Byron Spriggs, G 

Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team) - click here for a closer look at the WHL recruits:

  • Devon Skoleski / F / 1 / St. Adolphe, MB / Winnipeg Blues
  • Tyler Brown / G / 1 / Winnipeg, MB / Regina Pats
  • Mitchell Dyck / D / 1 / Winkler, MB / Winkler Flyers
  • Keaton Jameson / F / 1 / Brandon, MB / Swan Valley Stampeders

Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program):

  • Michael St. Croix / F / Winnipeg, MB / 1
  • Remi Laurencelle / F / Winnipeg, MB / 2
  • Blake Heinrich / D / Cambridge, MN / 2
  • Quintin Lisoway / F Neepawa, MB  2

Key performer:

Adam Henry

Defence

4th-year

Winnipeg, MB

The backbone of Manitoba's blue line play, Adam Henry heads into his fourth year of eligibility as a key performer for the Bisons.

A speedy player on defence, Henry brings multiple skills on both sides of the puck. Last season, Henry was named a Canada West Second Team All-Star after a brilliant campaign — he was second on the Bisons in points (25) and assists (20), playing in all 28 games and both playoff games for the Herd.

Henry was great on special teams as well, posting a team-best plus-minus of 7 and notching nine power play assists during the regular season — the latter good for third in Canada West. Head coach Mike Sirant is also complimentary of Henry's leadership role on the team.

"Adam is providing outstanding leadership to our young Bison team by setting high work standards on the ice, in the gym, and in the classroom," said Sirant. "He is going to receive a lot of playing minutes this season as we will be relying on him in all situations.

Adam has developed into one of the very best defenseman in Canada West; he is solid defensively, has an excellent understanding of the game and reads the play well, is highly skilled, and is an explosive skater who is a threat off the rush." 

Henry was also named to the U SPORTS and Canada West All-Rookie team in 2015-16. The 5'11", 205 lbs defenceman will look to keep improving in 2018-19 and repeat his all-star form.

 


2018-19 CW pre-season coaches poll rank: 4th

2017-18 CW regular season record: 12-14-2, 6th

2017-18 CW post-season record: 2-2, lost CW SF to Alberta

Head coach: Bert Gilling (5th Season) / 61-42- 9 (CW career reg. season record) 

Last CW championship / total CW championships: None

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS cha­mpionships: None 

2017-18 CW regular season ranks:

  • Offence: 80 goals for, 6th
  • Defence: 94 goals against, 5th
  • Power play: 20.0%, 3rd
  • Penalty kill: 77.2%, 6th

2017-18 CW regular season leaders:

  • Goals: 12 – Brad Kennedy, F
  • Assists: 15 – Jesse Lees, D
  • Points: 26 – Jesse Lees, D
  • Wins: 9 – Cam Lanigan, G
  • Shutouts: 1 – Cam Lanigan, G

Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team) - click here for a closer look at the WHL recruits:

  • Tyson Helgesen / D / 1 / Red Deer, AB / Spokane Chiefs
  • Riley Morris / G / 1 / Calgary, AB / Okotoks Oilers

Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program):

  • Cam Lanigan / G / Calgary, AB / 5

Key performer:

Connor Rankin

Forward

4th-year

North Vancouver, BC

Connor Rankin was the Canada West leading scorer in 2016-17. After an injury plagued 2017-18 season that included post-season surgery, he will be a welcome addition to the team when he returns to the line-up.  When healthy he is among the top skilled players and finishers in the league.

 


2018-19 CW pre-season coaches poll rank: 7th

2017-18 CW regular season record: 4-22-2, 8th

2017-18 CW post-season record: missed playoffs

Head coach: Todd Johnson (7th season) / 46-109-13 (CW career reg. season record) 

Last CW championship / total CW championships: N/A

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: N/A

2017-18 CW regular season ranks:

  • Offence: 75 goals for, T-7th
  • Defence: 143 goals against, 8th
  • Power play: 16.7%, 7th
  • Penalty kill: 76.7%, 8th

2017-18 CW regular season leaders:

  • Goals: 11 – Cody Fowlie, F
  • Assists: 18 – Brody Luhning, D
  • Points: 25 – Cody Fowlie, F
  • Wins: 4 – Michael Herringer, G
  • Shutouts: none

Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team) - click here for a closer look at the WHL recruits:

  • Conner Chaulk / F / 1 / Regina, Sask. / Calgary Hitmen
  • James Hilsendager / D / 1 / Lloydminster, Alta. / Kelowna Rockets
  • Brennan Riddle / D / 1 / Balgonie, Sask. / Vancouver Giants 

Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program):

  • Cody Fowlie / F / Airdie, Alta. / 5
  • Ian McNulty / F / Brooks, Alta. / 5
  • Brody Luhning / D / Lumsden, Sask. / 5 

Key performer:

Zak Zborosky

Forward

2nd-year

Regina, Sask.

Zborosky was on pace to win the Canada West rookie scoring title in 2017-18 before his season was cut short by injury. The second-year sharpshooter is back at full strength and will have to carry the scoring load as the team lost its other top three scorers in Cody Fowlie, Ian McNulty and Brody Luhning. Zborosky will team up with the likes of Tristan Frei, Zach McPhee and Ben Duperreault and look to lead the charge offensively.

 


 

2018-19 CW pre-season coaches poll rank: 2nd

2017-18 CW regular season record: 20-7-1, 2nd

2017-18 CW post-season record: 2-3, lost to Alberta in CW Final (4th at University Cup) 

Head coach: Dave Adolph (26th season) / 409-253-38 (CW career reg. season record)

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 2015-16 / 10

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: 1982-83 / 1 

2017-18 CW regular season ranks:

  • Offence: 101 goals for, 2nd
  • Defence: 66 goals against, 2nd
  • Power play: 15%, 8th
  • Penalty kill: 86%, 1st

2017-18 CW regular season leaders:

  • Goals: 13 – Josh Roach, F
  • Assists: 24 – Josh Roach, F
  • Points: 37 – Josh Roach, F
  • Wins: 16 – Jordon Cooke, G
  • Shutouts: 3 – Jordon Cooke, G

Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team) - click here for a closer look at the WHL recruits

  • Gordie Ballhorn / Defence / 1 / Wetaskiwin, AB / Kelowna Rockets
  • Donovan Neuls / Forward / 1 / Grenfell, SK / Seattle Thunderbirds
  • Travis Child / Goalie / 1 / Killam, AB / Edmonton Oil Kings

Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program): 

  • Kendall McFaull / Defence / Rosetown, SK / 5
  • Connor Cox / Defence / Lethbridge, AB / 5
  • Josh Roach / Forward / Saskatoon, SK / 5
  • Jordon Cooke / Goalie / Leduc, AB / 4

Key performer:

Jesse Forsberg

Defence

5th-year

Waldheim, SK

Returning for his fifth and final season with the Huskies, defenceman Jesse Forsberg will be looked upon to anchor a blueline corps that lost multiple standouts due to graduation at the end of last season. 

The native of Waldheim, SK brings a blend of physicality and finesse on the back end, playing in 24 games and recording 20 points last season.