The National Hockey League central scouting bureau released its midterm rankings of the upcoming 2019 Draft and two Silvertips, goaltender Dustin Wolf and defenseman Gianni Fairbrother, were ranked. Wolf, 17, is ranked 17th amongst North American goaltenders and Fairbrother, 18, was 85th amongst North American skaters, a third-round projection.
Wolf was positioned sixth amongst fellow draft-eligible goaltenders in the Western Hockey League, behind Medicine Hat’s Mad Sogaard, Prince George’s Taylor Gauthier, Vancouver’s Trent Miner, Kelowna’s Roman Basran and Red Deer’s Ethan Anders. The Silvertips No. 1 netminder is second in the WHL in goals against average at 1.88 — behind Prince Albert’s Ian Scott (1.82) — and fourth in save percentage at .927 — behind Scott (.935), Miner (.931) and Sogaard (.931).
Fairbrother has been trending upwards lately, posting nine points (three goals and six assists) in his last 10 games dating back to Dec. 15. In total, the 2000-born blueliner boasts 24 points (six goals and 18 assists) in 43 games — third amongst Everett defensmen behind Wyatte Wylie (34) and Jake Christiansen (29), including a four-assist performance against Kamloops on Nov. 9.
Jack Hughes, who was in Everett with the United States national world junior team for the team’s training camp in preperation for the World Junior Championships in Vancouver and Victoria, was named the top ranked North American skater. Spencer Knight, who was also on the U.S. World Junior team, was named the top ranked North American netminder.
The full rankings can be found here.
Hughes leaves Lethbridge
Lethbridge goaltender Liam Hughes announced through a team press release that he has left the team for personal reasons.
Hughes, 19, was shipped from Seattle to Lethbridge along with an eighth-round pick in 2019 in exchange for 17-year-old forwards Keltie Jeri-Leon and Michael Horon and a fourth-round pick. He posted a 3.63 goals against average and a .898 save percentage in six games with the Hurricanes.
Big weekend for Kelowna
Kelowna conquered the top teams in each WHL conference this weekend, shutting out Everett on Friday at Angel of the Winds before edging Prince Albert (80 points), 4-3, in a shootout at home the next day.
The two wins came on the heels of a six-game losing streak. The pair of key wins puts Kelowna solidly in the third playoff spot in B.C. Division with 43 points, seven points ahead of the next closest team in Kamloops and just five points behind second place Victoria (although the Royals have two games in hand.
Chiefs forward out of hospital
Spokane 17-year-old forward Cordel Larson left the Chiefs’ Saturday tilt with the Americans on a stretcher after crashing hard into the boards, but was released from the hospital on Sunday and is in stable condition, the team announced.
Tri-City defender Aaron Hyman was issued a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for the hit, but wasn’t issued a suspension.
■ After posting a 40-save shutout against the Silvertips on Friday, Kelowna netminder James Porter was named the WHL’s goaltender of the week. Porter stopped all 44 shots he faced in two appearances over the week.
■ Moose Jaw’s Justin Almeida earned player of the week honors after recording eight points (three goals and five assists) in four games.