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Medicine Hat's Shinkaruk filled the nets all weekend

by Adam Kimelman

Medicine Hat Tigers center Hunter Shinkaruk is used to piling up the points. Last season, the 5-foot-10, 166-pound forward was second on the team with 49 goals and 91 points.

With a number of top performers graduating from that team this season, some scouts expected Shinkaruk's numbers to drop a bit. But they knew how much talent he still had, which is why he received an A rating from NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary rankings of players to watch for the 2013 NHL Draft.

Shinkaruk had been living up to that billing, with 14 points in his first 14 games. Over the weekend, though, he lit up the scoreboards with nine points in two games.

On Friday, he had a goal and four assists in a 10-1 win at the Calgary Hitmen. Shinkaruk had the primary assist on all four goals scored by teammate and fellow 2013 draft hopeful Curtis Valk. He followed that Saturday with two goals and two assists in a 5-4 win against the Regina Pats.

Now with 23 points, Shinkaruk is tied for fifth in the Western Hockey League scoring race.

Shinkaruk wasn't the only WHL draft prospect to have a big weekend. Here are a few others:

* Kamloops Blazers forward JC Lipon continued to pile up the points. The WHL's leading scorer had three assists Friday in an 8-1 defeat of the Brandon Wheat Kings, two more assists Saturday in a 5-2 defeat of the Victoria Royals and a pair of goals in a 4-3 overtime win at the Seattle Thunderbirds that pushed the Blazers' win streak to 13. Promoted to a C-list skater by Central Scouting, Lipon leads the league with 15 goals and 39 points, and his 24 assists are second.

* Everett center Kohl Bauml had a pair of goals in the Silvertips' 6-5 defeat of the Spokane Chiefs on Friday. Teammate Mirco Mueller, a defenseman who earned a B rating from Central Scouting, had a goal and an assist.

* Lethbridge center Craig Leverton had a pair of goals to help the Hurricanes to a 4-1 win against the Swift Current Broncos on Saturday. Teammate Jamal Watson had an assist on each goal.

* Left wing Dakota Conroy and defenseman Joshua Morrissey each had a goal and an assist to help the Prince Albert Raiders to a 5-1 win against the Moose Jaw Warriors on Saturday.

* While Shinkaruk was putting on his show Saturday against Regina, Pats center Morgan Klimchuk, also an A-rated forward, had two goals and an assist.

* Seattle right wing Connor Honey scored two goals, including the game-winner at 8:58 of the third period, in a 3-2 win at Everett on Saturday.

* Kelowna Rockets left wing Zachery Franko had two goals and an assist Sunday in a 4-1 win at Calgary.

* Portland Winterhawks teammates Seth Jones and Nicolas Petan each had a goal and an assist in a 6-0 win Sunday against the Tri-City Americans. Jones, an A-rated skater thought by many to be a guaranteed top-two pick in June, had his second multi-point game of the season. Petan, a C-rated skater, is tied for sixth in the league with 14 assists.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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