The Canadian Hockey League opened their season with 58 teams competing for a berth in the 2006 Memorial Cup. With six teams still having a shot at qualifying for the CHL championship later this month in Moncton, four Blue Jacket prospects remain alive.
Trevor Hendrikx, the Jackets 10th pick, 283rd overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, plays on the blueline for the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League. They will face the London Knights for the right to advance to the Memorial Cup as winners of the OHL.
Top prospect Gilbert Brule (Columbus’ first pick, sixth overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft) has dominated in his return to the Western Hockey League and he will lead the Vancouver Giants vs. the Moose Jaw Warriors, to be the WHL representative at the Memorial Cup.
Finally, RW Adam Pineault (Columbus’ second pick, 46th overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft) along with C Philippe Dupuis (Columbus’ fifth pick, 104th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft) play for the Moncton Wildcats and will battle the Quebec Remparts in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Final.
The Memorial Cup will take place May 19-28 in Moncton, with the winners from the OHL, WHL and QMJHL competing in a round robin tournament with the host team, the Moncton Wildcats. Since Moncton is in the QMJHL Final, both Moncton and its opponent, Quebec, will both compete for the Memorial Cup, regardless of the outcome of their championship series.
Hendrikx helped the Peterborough Petes to 99 points during the OHL regular season, which was second to their opponent in the Championship series, the London Knights, which finished the regular season with 102 points.
Both teams have posted a 12-3 record in the post-season, with Peterborough defeating the Barrie Colts in five games to claim the Eastern Conference championship. The Petes are also 6-0 in overtime games in the postseason.
Hendrikx finished the regular season scoring 9-47-56 with a +12 plus/minus rating in 60 games, while scoring 3-10-13 with a +4 in 15 playoff games.
The OHL Championship Series opens Friday night in London, for more information on this series, Click Here.
In the WHL, the Vancouver Giants will play the Moose Jaw Warriors. The Vancouver Giants won the B.C. Division title with 100 points and were just three points away from the number one spot in the overall regular season standings, while the Warriors finished first in the East Division and tied for fourth overall with 96 points.
The Giants are 12-2 in the postseason and cruised into the league championship series by sweeping the Everett Silvertips in four straight games in one semi-final series, while the Warriors are 12-6 in the playoffs and needed seven games to beat Calgary before knocking off Medicine Hat, the league's top regular season club with 103 points, in the Eastern Conference semi-final.
Brule finished the season scoring 23-15-38 in just 27 games with Vancouver, after scoring 2-2-4 in seven games with the Blue Jackets this season. In the post season, he has scored 11-7-18 with a +9 rating in just 14 games.
The WHL Championship Series opens Friday night in Vancouver. For more information on the WHL Finals,Click Here.
In the Championship series for the QMJHL, the Moncton Wildcats will face the Quebec Remparts.
Moncton, which will automatically enter the Memorial Cup by virtue of being the host team, finished first in the QMJHL regular season standings with 107 points and has followed that up with a 12-3 post-season. Quebec defeated Acadie-Bathurst in a dramatic seven game series to advance to the final.
Dupuis finished the regular season 32-76-108 in 56 games and has stepped it up in the playoffs, scoring 9-16-25 in 13 games and is a +9 in the post season.
Pineault, meanwhile, scored 29-30-59 in 55 games this season, while scoring 12-4-16 with a +11 rating in 15 post season games.
The QMJHL Championship Series will open Friday at Moncton. For more information, Click Here.