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WHL notebook: Kootenay star makes case to be top NHL pick

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Sam Reinhart is considered a candidate to be picked first overall in this year's NHL draft.
Right now he's doing everything within his power to say he should be the choice.
The Kootenay Ice star center is in the midst of a scoring spree rarely seen as he's recorded a point in 20 straight games.
The 18-year-old Reinhart had an assist in Kootenay's 6-3 loss at Spokane on Saturday to stretch his streak to 20. That's the longest point streak in the league this season, surpassing the 18-game streak put together by Everett's Joshua Winquist from Oct. 20-Dec. 11. His ongoing 20-game streak is one away from the longest in the league last season, when Swift Current's Adam Lowry had a point in 21 straight.
Reinhart's streak dates all the way back to Dec. 4, as he missed more than a month while playing for Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships. He had 44 points (16 goals, 28 assists) during the those 20 games.
Reinhart's exploits are helping Kootenay continue its run of excellence. This week the Ice, who are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference at 35-23-2-2, assured themselves their 15th straight season of compiling at least a .500 record.
Reinhart is also doing no harm to his draft stock. There's no consensus first-overall pick in this year's NHL draft. Others in the discussion for first overall include defenseman Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts and center Sam Bennett of the Kingston Frontenacs, both in the Ontario Hockey League.
But Reinhart may have to keep his streak going to sustain the longest streak in the league this season. There are several other long points streaks that are currently active, led by Portland's Nicolas Petan, who is sitting on 16.
Around the WHL
Three more teams clinched playoff spots. Calgary and Edmonton became the first teams in the Eastern Conference to punch their tickets to the postseason, while Spokane became the fifth team to clinch a playoff spot in the Western Conference. ... Tri-City's 5-1 loss at Kelowna last Wednesday meant the Americans will not extend their string of consecutive 40-win seasons. Instead, Tri-City will have to share the WHL record of seven with Kamloops, which had seven straight 40-win seasons from 1989-96. ... Red Deer overage forward Lukas Sutter's WHL career is over. He will miss the remainder of the season to undergo reconstructive shoulder surgery. ... League-leading Kelowna will be without one of it's top offensive performers for approximately a month as forward Tyson Baillie is out with a leg injury. ... Regina's Morgan Klimchuk was named the WHL Player of the Week. The 18-year-old forward had six goals and three assists as the Pats went 4-0.
League leaders
Points — Mitch Holmberg (Spokane) 107; goals — Holmberg 57; assists — Nicolas Petan (Portland) 72; penalty minutes — Ryan Rehill (Kamloops) 164; wins — Tristan Jarry (Edmonton) 38; goals against average — Jarry 2.18; save percentage — Coleman Vollrath (Victoria) .932.

Check out Nick Patterson's Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at @NickHPatterson.
Story tags » WHL

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