Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Wheat Kings' Opponents in Memorial Cup - A Synopsis

  The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies won their first ever QMJHL title this spring in their 20th anniversary season.

  Timo Meier is the most notable player on the Huskies -- San Jose picked the Swiss import ninth overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

  However, Francis Perron is another name to know as he accomplished the rare double for Rouyn-Noranda, earning both regular season and playoff MVP honours with a combined 141 points in the regular season and playoffs.

  The Huskies also have great goaltender in Chase Marchand, who had a 1.35  goals-against average, .946 save percentage and six shutouts in the post-season.

  Not only did Rouyn-Noranda win the QMJHL title, they also had the best record in the regular season at 54-9-3-2 and

  Brandon will face off with Rouyn-Noranda in their first game at the Memorial Cup this Saturday.

  The Knights are in the Memorial Cup for the fourth time in five years and are coached by former NHLer Dale Hunter.

  The Knights were a powerhouse in the OHL playoffs -- going 16-and-2 including a 13-game winning streak to close out the post-season.

  NHL scouts love the Knights -- they have seven players ranked in the final rankings by the NHL Central Scouting Service including three expected first round picks in Matthew Tkachuk, Olli Julevi and Max Jones.

  Tkachuk is the son of former Winnipeg Jets' star Keith Tkachuk.

  They also have Mitch Marner, the Maple Leafs' top prospect who was the fourth overall pick in last year's NHL Draft.

  London also has a familar name to WHL fans in Brendan Burke.

  The former Calgary and Portland netminder spent the playoffs as the Knights' backup behind Tyler Parsons.

  Brandon faces off with London on Monday in their second game of the round-robin.


  The host Red Deer Rebels are well known to Brandon fans, especially after the Wheat Kings ousted them in the Eastern Conference Final of the WHL playoffs.

  Carolina first rounder Haydn Fleury and Winnipeg Jets' draft pick Nelson Nogier anchor the defence core while San Jose prospect Adam Helewka is their most dangerous scorer up front.

  Helewka was one of three top-end forward the Rebels acquired ahead of the WHL trade deadline, with Boston first rounder Jake DeBrusk and captain Luke Philp being the others.

  Red Deer also has another Jets' draft pick in 2015 first rounder Michael Spacek.

  The Rebels also have the bonus of playing at home, and the pressure of hosting the first Memorial Cup in the province of Alberta since 1974.

  Brandon faces Red Deer in the final game of the round-robin next Wednesday.

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