Sam Reinhart is a top 2014 draft prospect. (Larry MacDougall, The Canadian Press)Led by Kootenay Ice star Sam Reinhart, Seattle Thunderbirds playmaker Matthew Barzal and Vancouver Giants prospect Tyler Benson, the WHL’s offensive wheelhouse has the potential to steal the spotlight from the league’s back-end talent in the upcoming NHL entry drafts.
It has ultimately been business as usual for the Dub’s defenders to lead the way on the draft floor. Last year, former Portland Winterhawks blueliner Seth Jones was the first player selected as the Nashville Predators called his name with the fourth pick. Moreover, five defencemen – Ryan Murray, Griffin Reinhart, Morgan Rielly, Matt Dumba and Derrick Pouliot – were chosen with top-10 selections in 2012 while the first forward wasn’t selected until the 27th pick when the Phoenix Coyotes snagged the Edmonton Oil Kings’ Henrik Samuelsson.
However, the Dub did recently see a forward go first overall as the Edmonton Oilers selected former Red Deer Rebel Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with the top pick in 2011. But that was the firstRead More »from Reinhart, Barzal and Benson lead WHL’s offensive surge