Wrapping up our second-round prospects coverage, the Sharks have a pair still competing in the WHL playoffs.
We continue our CHL playoff coverage with a look at the second round of the WHL playoffs. The San Jose Sharks have two players still competing for a WHL Championship, both of whom should be playing for the San Jose Barracuda next year.
Red Deer Rebels vs. Regina Pats
In the first round, Adam Helewka was a nice story as he scored a goal-per-game to lead the Rebels to a five-game victory over the Calgary Hitmen. The Rebels, as the host-team, already have a spot in the Memorial Cup Tournament this year. However, advancing deep into the playoffs is beneficial as I doubt any team will play their best after a two-month break.
Their next test comes in a Pats team that already has one upset in these playoffs. Even if the Lethbridge Hurricanes were reeling towards the end of the season, any team that runs into a hot goaltender in the playoffs is doomed. That was the case here as Tyler Brown had a .935 save percentage to lead the Pats to the second round.
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Therefore, the key to a Rebels victory is for Brown to face as many shots as possible. Especially in a series with a clear favorite, the Rebels don’t want a goaltender to derail their season. So the matchup between Brown and the entire Rebels squad will be an interesting one to watch.
(11) Kelowna Rockets vs. (4) Victoria Royals
The Rockets just survived a thrilling seven-game series over their rivals, the Kamloops Blazers, and they are about to head into another one. This series might be the most exciting in the second round of the CHL Playoffs as the defending WHL Champions face off against the team with the best record in the WHL.
Rourke Chartier managed five points in the series, including a near-miss with time winding down in game seven. Considering their depleted roster, Chartier played well enough to advance to the second round. However, they will be in tough against the Royals.
The Royals have the skill compete with anyone in junior. Most notably, the trio of Tyler Soy, Matthew Phillips, and Alex Forsberg can drive opposing defenses insane. Not only that, they possess one of the best defenseman in juniors in Joe Hicketts. The captain of the Canadian World Junior team has the ability to dictate the pace of any game and can take over this series if the Rockets aren’t careful.
That being said, the Rockets are probably the underdogs in this series. But Chartier, Justin Kirkland, Tomas Soustal and Dillon Dube should make this an interesting series as well.