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Grade A talent skating for Team WHL at Super Series

Friday, 10.26.2012 / 10:12 AM / Prospects

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

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Grade A talent skating for Team WHL at Super Series
Four players who received A ratings in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings will skate for Team WHL against Team Russia.

Four Western Hockey League players who received A ratings in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings of players to watch for the 2013 NHL Draft will skate for Team WHL against Team Russia in a pair of Subway Super Series games.

Forwards Curtis Lazar of the Edmonton Oil Kings and Hunter Shinkaruk of the Medicine Hat Tigers, Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman Ryan Pulock and Tri-City Americans goalie Eric Comrie will skate in games to be played Nov. 14 in Vancouver and Nov. 15 in Victoria, British Columbia. Lazar and Comrie will play in both games; Shinkaruk and Pulock will play in the game in Vancouver.

TEAM WHL SUPER SERIES ROSTER



VANCOUVER

Goalies:
Laurent Brossoit*, Edmonton (CGY)
Eric Comrie*, Tri-City (2013 draft eligible)

Defensemen:
Mathew Dumba*, Red Deer (MIN)
Ryan Murray, Everett (CBJ)
Ryan Pulock, Brandon (2013)
Griffin Reinhart*, Edmonton (NYI)
Morgan Rielly*, Moose Jaw (TOR)
Duncan Siemens, Saskatoon (COL)

Forwards:
Brady Brassart*, Calgary (2013)
Travis Ewanyk*, Edmonton (EDM)
Mitchell Holmberg, Spokane (2013)
Curtis Lazar*, Edmonton (2013)
Adam Lowry*, Swift Current (WPG)
Mark McNeill, Prince Albert (CHI)
Mitchell Moroz*, Edmonton (EDM)
Trent Ouellette, Regina (2013)
Sam Reinhart, Kootenay (2014)
Colton Sissons, Kelowna (NSH)
Hunter Shinkaruk, Medicine Hat (2013)
Michael St. Croix*, Edmonton (NYR)

VICTORIA

Goalies:
Laurent Brossoit*, Edmonton (CGY)
Eric Comrie*, Tri-City (2013)

Defensemen:
Mathew Dumba*, Red Deer (MIN)
Keegan Lowe, Edmonton (CAR)
Derrick Pouliot, Portland (PIT)
Griffin Reinhart*, Edmonton (NYI)
Morgan Rielly*, Moose Jaw (TOR)
Tyler Wotherspoon, Portland (CGY)

Forwards:
Graham Black, Swift Current (NJD)
Brady Brassart*, Calgary (2013)
Travis Ewanyk*, Edmonton (EDM)
Sam Fioretti, Moose Jaw (2013)
Steven Hodges, Victoria (FLA)
Curtis Lazar*, Edmonton (2013)
JC Lipon, Kamloops (2013)
Adam Lowry*, Swift Current (WPG)
Mitchell Moroz*, Edmonton (EDM)
Ty Rattie, Portland (STL)
Colin Smith, Kamloops (COL)
Michael St. Croix*, Edmonton (NYR)

*- players skating in both games

OTHER ROSTERS: QMJHL | OHL | RUSSIA

Lazar, a 5-foot-11.75, 193-pound center, has eight goals and three assists in 13 games, after leading all WHL rookies in scoring in the Oil Kings' run to the Memorial Cup last season.

"I really like his speed, he has a real nose for the net," Central Scouting's B.J. MacDonald told NHL.com. "His skill set is good. I like to say about some of these players that are A players: You watch them play and they get it. He gets it. He gets the game and knows how to filter through it all."

Shinkaruk has 13 points in 14 games after finishing second on his team last season with 49 goals and 91 points. He's got less talent around him in Medicine Hat this season, but scouts have been impressed.

"He's a talented kid," MacDonald said. "No one can give-and-go and go to the net better than he does. He's got a great understanding of the game. He's going to develop his character this year because every team they play against is going to key on him."

Comrie is third in the WHL with a 2.26 goals-against average and second with a .925 save percentage. He's 9-3-2 in 14 games, and is tied for the league lead with two shutouts.

Pulock is second among WHL defensemen with 17 points in 14 games, and his plus-10 is tied for second.

"He does everything well," Central Scouting's Peter Sullivan told NHL.com. "He's got the hardest shot I've seen in years. He's so smart. … The thing that's even more impressive is I've seen him take seven or eight super hits -- body checks and hip checks -- laying guys into the boards, and I look at his penalty minutes and he's got two. He's got all the tools to be a top pick."

Of the 29 players selected for the team, nine are eligible for the 2013 draft. One to keep an eye on is Kamloops Blazers forward JC Lipon, who leads the WHL in goals (13) and points (32) and is tied for the league lead in assists (19).

Also on the team is Kootenay Ice forward Sam Reinhart, an early candidate to be the first pick of the 2014 NHL Draft.

There will be a few players who already have been top picks playing for Team WHL. Five of the first eight players chosen in the 2012 draft were selected for the team -- defensemen Ryan Murray, taken No. 2 by the Columbus Blue Jackets; Griffin Reinhart, picked No. 4 by the New York Islanders; Morgan Rielly, taken at No. 5 by the Toronto Maple Leafs; Mathew Dumba, the No. 7 pick, by the Minnesota Wild; and Derrick Pouliot, taken No. 8 by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Reinhart, Rielly and Dumba will play in both games, Murray will play in the Vancouver game, and Pouliot will play in the Victoria game.

In addition, two players taken in the first round of the 2011 draft will be part of the team -- Colorado Avalanche defenseman Duncan Siemens and Chicago Blackhawks forward Mark McNeill, both of whom will skate in the Vancouver game.

In all, 16 NHL teams will have at least one prospect playing for Team WHL, led by the Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers with two each.

Spokane Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur will coach Team WHL, with Edmonton Oil Kings coach Derek Laxdal serving as an assistant coach. Vancouver Giants coach Don Hay will be an additional assistant coach for the game in Vancouver, and Victoria Royals coach Dave Lowry will be an assistant for the game in Victoria.

2012 SUBWAY SUPER SERIES SCHEDULE

Game 1: Nov. 5 at Blainville-Boisbriand, Que.

Game 2: Nov. 7 at Val-d’Or, Que.

Game 3: Nov. 8 at Guelph, Ont.

Game 4: Nov. 12 at Sarnia, Ont.

Game 5: Nov. 14 at Vancouver, B.C.

Game 6: Nov. 15 at Victoria, B.C.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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