WHL Quarter Poll Rankings: #11-20

TSR Features | 29 Nov 2011

Troy Bourke has had a difficult time building upon a solid rookie season a year ago.

11. D Cody Corbett - Edmonton

This is my darkhorse that scouts are still trying to get to know. To this point he only has 2 points in 7 games but has a style of game that looks very translatable to the pro level. Thick bodied Dman that can play in a variety of roles. Looks very comfortable with the puck and plays the point on the power play very well. The Oil Kings are very deep on the backend, so I’m not sure how much opportunity will be there for him, but I think he will find a way to break through once he finds some comfort on his team and in his role. Last Rank: NR

12. C Brendan Leipsic - Portland

Leipsic has had a season much like his teammate Derrick Pouliot. He has been hot some games, ineffective in others. Unlike Pouliot, Leipsic’s predecessor, Ryan Johnasen, has not come back to Portland, forcing Leipsic into some bigger roles, ones that I don’t think he is quite ready for. Leipsic is a small, dynamic player. Great hands, great speed, just not big enough to get to the hard areas of the ice. Leipsic will be a gamble pick by anyone who takes him. Last Rank: #8

13. LW Troy Bourke - Prince George

Bourke is likely the player on the list that is having the most disappointing start to his year. I had him ranked as the best forward out of the Dub this year and the numbers are just not coming very frequently for him. Prince George, as a team, have the least amount of goals for in the WHL. I believe everyone is missing the contributions of Brett Connelly, a player that stuck with the Lightning. A 17 and 16 year old in Bourke and Forsberg are expected to lead this team offensively, isn’t an ideal situation for either of them. Last Rank: #7

14. LW Dominik Volek - Edmonton

Volek is a player that found a niche in Regina and is thriving in a secondary scoring role. He has some nice versatility in his game. I think he’s a player that’s still adapting to the North American game, but he some nice skills that he has shown off. Quick skater, quick release, and utilizes his speed very well to generate scoring chances. It will be interesting to see how he evolves in Regina with a lot of other players also trying to make names for themselves. All being said, a strong start for Volek thus far. Last Rank: NR

15. RW Brendan Troock - Seattle

A very slow start for Troock to start the year, but I am still mesmerized by this player because there seems to be a big, solid hockey player in there somewhere. The thing that is hurting him the most is his skating, despite his size, his isn’t very strong on his skates. He only has 6 points in 17 games and is -10. If someone takes a gamble on him, he is a true project. He has the hockey body, but someone will need to redefine his game and his skating. Last Rank: #17

16. C Brandon Magee - Victoria

I love the way Magee plays the game. He’s tenacious, play with a high motor and never gives up on a play. The thing lacking in his game is size. The size kind of hurts in battles but it will really hurt him when it comes to durability. He is averaging a point a game to this point for a Victoria team that has been very inconsistent. Last Rank: #12

17. C Steven Hodges - Victoria

Hodges plays a decent two-way game, seems to have found an offensive gear this year, already achieving a points high of 19. Hodges seems to be finding a way to contribute secondary scoring on a team that desperately needs it. Hodges is a player that I will be keeping my eye on more as the season progresses. Last Rank: NR

18. C Mike Winther - Prince Albert

Winther is having a decent year despite his Prince Albert team struggling to find wins. Winther plays a solid two-way game. Kind of a utility knife type player that can play in a variety of roles. Great skater, reminds me of a Todd Marchant type. Someone looking for this type of player would be wise to look the way on Winther. Last Rank: NR

19. G Chris Dreidger - Calgary

Goaltenders in the WHL are a tough breed to gauge in their draft years, unless they are total studs like Carey Price. Tyler Bunz, I thought was a stiff of a pick for the Oilers, has turned into one of the best junior goalies in all of Canada. I get an inkling Driedger is on the same curve. Some games he looks great, others he looks blah. The good news for him is he will get a lot of looks in Calgary, a team that is trying to get out of the basement of the WHL, looking for respect. Last Rank: #19

20. LW Chandler Stephenson - Regina

Stephenson’s year has been one of wild inconstancy. Looks like a first rounder some nights and other nights looks like he doesn’t belong in the WHL. It will be interesting to see how Stephenson, Volek, and Klimchuk all push each other thoughout the year. Last Rank: #9

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