USING NUMBERS TO LOOK AT THE NHL'S FUTURE STARS
The Edmonton Oil Kings hosted the No. 1 seeded Brandon Wheat Kings on Tuesday night, looking to tie the series up against the heavily favoured Wheat Kings.
This game was close from start to finish, but Brandon eventually came out on top in what was a pretty even game, and now have a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Brandon is the much better team on paper, so I tracked three Wheat Kings and just one Oil King.
I kept my eyes on highly touted defenseman Ivan Provorov (Brandon), 2014 New Jersey 1st round pick John Quenneville (Brandon), as well as draft eligible forwards Braylon Shmyr (Brandon) and Andrew Koep (Edmonton).
Score: 3-2 Brandon. Shots: 36-33 Edmonton.
Ivan Provorov is one of the more prolific defensemen in the entire CHL, so it was less than surprising to see him start the bulk of his shifts in the offensive zone.
John Quenneville and Braylon Shmyr form 2/3 of a very talented 3rd line, so I think this was a matter of wanting to get talented players on the ice in offensive situations against Edmonton’s depth players.
Andrew Koep played on a line with Devils prospect Brandon Baddock and Davis Koch, and were relied upon to play some pretty heavy defensive minutes. They played primarily against Panthers prospect Jayce Hawryluk and Brandon’s top line.
Players and coaches from both teams stressed getting the puck deep during in-game interviews, and it certainly showed in this one. Neither team seemed interested in carrying the puck into the offensive zone with possession, as almost every trip up ice for either side resulted in a dump in.
Ivan Provorov started a good chunk of his shifts in the offensive zone, but came out a negative in terms of possession. He was playing primarily against Edmonton’s top line and did skate with a couple different defense partners throughout, so that surely factored in. While he was a negative in terms of possession, he was good in preventing zone entries, and was also good moving the puck out of the defensive zone.
Quenneville and Shmyr both finished above 50%, and had some chances throughout. That said, their numbers weren’t too impressive given their offensive zone start percentage. It wasn’t a bad game for them, but it wasn’t anything to write home about, either.
Koep started most of his shifts outside the offensive zone, faced tough competition, and held his own in possession. He scored one of Edmonton’s two goals, too, so all things considered it was a pretty good game for him.
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