Four Carolina Hurricanes prospects will represent their respective Canadian Hockey League teams in the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup, which begins Friday, May 19.
Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
Warren Foegele (2014, third round)
If you're just tuning in, Canes prospect and Erie Otters forward Warren Foegele is having quite the postseason.
Foegele kicked off the Otters' OHL Championship Series scoring with a deke around Mississauga Steelheads goalie Matthew Mancina in Game 1.
Erie held the momentum through Game 2, and Foegele's third-period tally pushed the Otters to a 2-0 series lead …
… and earned Foegele OHL Player of the Week honors for the week of May 1.
The Steelheads took a close Game 3 after a late goal from New Jersey Devils prospect Michael McLeod, but, ever the unshakeable force, Foegele went in to Game 4 ready to win. The Markham, Ont., native netted his first hat trick of the playoffs and two assists in the Otters' 5-2 win, all of which can be seen below.
Warren Foegele has been a top penalty killer and a Game 7 hero. Now he's an OHL Champion, as the Otters defeated Mississauga in five games to claim the title and a berth in the Memorial Cup. Foegele himself notched an assist in the Otters' 4-3 overtime win in Game 5, but it was his overall performance throughout the postseason that earned him the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award as the MVP of the 2017 OHL Playoffs.
Don't worry. Foegdaddy wasn't all business when it came time to celebrate.
Foegele recorded 26 points (13g, 13a) through 22 playoff games. He also ranked tied for first among OHL skaters with teammate Alex DeBrincat in shots on goal (101).
The Otters will now head to the Memorial Cup to face off with the other CHL champions and the Windsor Spitfires, hosts of the tournament.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL)
Julien Gauthier (2016, first round), Spencer Smallman (2015, fifth round), Callum Booth (2015, fourth round)
Canes prospect and Saint John Sea Dogs forward Julien Gauthier hit the ground running in Game 1 of the QMJHL's President's Cup Final against the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, opening scoring for the Dogs with his eighth goal of the postseason. Gauthier would eventually net the game-winner with a helper from fellow Canes prospect Spencer Smallman.
After giving up three goals in Game 1, Saint John netminder Callum Booth made some big saves, like this one, in Game 2:
Booth would record a 27-save shutout on the night to lead the Sea Dogs to a 2-0 series lead, but he didn't do it alone. Gauthier registered his second multi-point (2g, 1a) and two-goal game in a row in the 4-0 win, while Smallman added a power-play goal and an assist to the score.
In the waning minutes of Game 2, Gauthier was called for a check to the head and was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct. The forward was suspended for what would be the final two games of the series.
Booth brought his golden gloves to Game 3, making 22 saves to record his second shutout in a row to help Saint John to a 2-0 victory.
In open-and-shut fashion, Smallman scored the Sea Dogs' game-winning (and eventual series-winning) goal with three minutes left in the first period of Game 4.
Smallman tallied a power-play goal, his second goal of the game, roughly five minutes into the third period after earning the primary assist on Simon Bourque's insurance goal at the end of the second.
Booth carried his shutout stretch through 177 minutes of play but was finally beat mid-second period. Unfazed, Booth went on to stop 20 of 21 shots faced.
And with that, the Sea Dogs swept Blainville-Boisbriand in four games and clinched the President's Cup for the third time in seven seasons.
Smallman, captain of the team, rounded out the QMJHL playoffs with 22 points (11g, 11a) in 18 games. He ranked tied for third alongside Gauthier among all QMJHL skaters in playoff goals (11). Smallman also ranked third among league skaters in power-play goals (5).
Gauthier totaled 17 points (11g, 6a) in 16 playoff games, and his 70 shots on goal placed him fifth in the league during that span. Gauthier also ranked tied for the league lead in game-winning goals during the postseason (5).
Booth served as the Sea Dogs' starter through all 18 playoff games and finished with a near flawless 16-1-1 record. Booth posted league-bests in goals-against average (1.67) and shutouts (4).
Like the Otters, the Sea Dogs now make their way to Windsor, Ontario, to compete in the Memorial Cup. The last time all four prospects met, they were playing together as the 2016 NHL Prospect Tournament champions in Traverse City.
The 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup begins Friday, May 19, with the Saint John Sea Dogs taking on the host Windsor Spitfires at 7 p.m. Click here for a full game schedule.