Here’s a break­down of all four con­tenders for the Me­mo­rial Cup

The Province - - SPORTS | HOCKEY - By Jim Parker

WIND­SOR — For NHL scouts, the four teams play­ing in the 99th MasterCard Me­mo­rial Cup have al­ready drawn plenty of at­ten­tion. A to­tal of 28 play­ers com­pet­ing in this event have been drafted by NHL teams over the past two sea­sons, while an­other 11 are rated for next month’s NHL draft in Chicago.

All that tal­ent hits the ice start­ing on Fri­day when the host Wind­sor Spit­fires open the tour­na­ment against the Saint John Sea Dogs at the WFCU Cen­tre at 4 p.m. The Seattle Thun­der­birds and Erie Ot­ters get into ac­tion on Satur­day.

Here is a look at the four teams com­pet­ing for the ti­tle, how each made its way to Wind­sor and some of the names that could play a key role over the 10-day tour­ney.

Erie Ot­ters

Reg­u­lar sea­son: 50-15-2-1 Play­offs: 16-6 Fi­nal CHL rank­ing: No. 2 Road to Wind­sor: Swept Sarnia in first round, beat Lon­don in seven games in the sec­ond round, de­feated Owen Sound in six games in the con­fer­ence fi­nal and beat Mis­sis­sauga in five games to earn first ti­tle since 2002. NHL prospects: D Jordan Sam­brook (5th round Detroit), D Erik Cer­nak (2nd round Los Angeles), RW Alex DeBrin­cat (2nd round Chicago), RW Tay­lor Rad­dysh (2nd round Tampa Bay), C Dy­lan Strome (1st round Ari­zona), C Anthony Cirelli (3rd round Tampa Bay) and C War­ren Foegele (3rd round Carolina). 2017 NHL draft prospects: RW Ivan Lod­nia (No. 36 among North Amer­i­can skaters) and C Ger­man Pod­dub­nyi (No. 130 among N.A. skaters) Head coach: Kris Knoblauch (fifth sea­son with Ot­ters) Fast fact: Ot­ters are the first team in CHL his­tory to post four straight sea­sons of 50 wins or more.

Saint John Sea Dogs

Reg­u­lar sea­son: 48-14-5-1 Play­offs: 16-2 Fi­nal CHL rank­ing: No. 3 Road to Wind­sor: Swept Ri­mouski in the first round and Val d’Or in the sec­ond be­fore knock­ing off Chicoutimi in six games and sweep­ing Blainville-Bois­briand in the fi­nal. NHL prospects: G Cal­lum Booth (4th round Carolina), D Si­mon Bourque (6th round Mon­treal), D Thomas Chabot (1st round Ot­tawa), D Jakub Zbo­ril (1st round Bos­ton), C Nathan Noel (4th round Chicago), C Sa­muel Dove-McFalls (4th round Philadel­phia), RW Spencer Smallman (5th round Carolina), RW Mathieu Joseph (4th round Tampa Bay) and LW Bokondji Imama (6th round Tampa Bay) 2017 NHL draft prospects: C Cedric Pare (No. 145 among N.A. skaters), G Alex D’Orio (No. 13 among N.A. goaltenders). Head coach: Danny Flynn (sec­ond sea­son with Sea Dogs) Fast fact: Sea Dogs have won QMJHL ti­tle three times in the past seven years.

Wind­sor Spit­fires

Reg­u­lar sea­son: 41-19-5-3 Play­offs: 3-4 Fi­nal CHL rank­ing: Honourable men­tion Road to Wind­sor: Spit­fires were awarded host rights to 99th MasterCard Me­mo­rial Cup on May 2, 2016. NHL prospects: D Lo­gan Stan­ley (1st round Win­nipeg), D Mikhail Ser­gachev (1st round Mon­treal), D Sean Day (3rd round New York Rangers), LW Jeremiah Ad­di­son (7th round Mon­treal Cana­di­ens), C Lo­gan Brown (1st round Ot­tawa), C Julius Nat­ti­nen (2nd round Ana­heim), LW Gra­ham Knott (2nd round Chicago), RW Jeremy Bracco (2nd round Toronto) and D Jalen Chat­field (signed as a free agent by Van­cou­ver). 2017 NHL draft prospects: C/RW Gabriel Vi­lardi (No. 4 among N.A. skaters), G Michael Di Pi­etro (No. 4 among N.A. goalies), RW Cole Pur­boo (No. 189 among N.A. skaters) and RW Luke Boka (No. 201 among N.A. skaters). Head coach: Rocky Thomp­son (sec­ond sea­son with Spit­fires) Fast fact: Wind­sor is try­ing to be­come the first team to win three Me­mo­rial Cups in a decade since the Kam­loops Blaz­ers (1992, 1994 and 1995).

Seattle Thun­der­birds

Reg­u­lar sea­son: 46-20-4-2 Play­offs: 16-4 Fi­nal CHL rank­ing: Honourable men­tion Road to Wind­sor: Swept Tri-City in the first round and Everett in the sec­ond. Beat Kelowna in six games in the con­fer­ence fi­nal and Regina in six games. NHL prospects: D Ethan Bear (5th round Ed­mon­ton), LW Ryan Gropp (2nd round New York Rangers), C Mathew Barzal (1st round New York Is­lan­ders) and RW Kee­gan Kole­sar (3rd round Colum­bus) 2017 NHL draft prospects: D Jar­ret Tyszka (No. 51 among N.A. skaters), RW Sami Moila­nen (No. 110 among N.A. skaters) and C Matthew Wed­man (No. 210 among N.A. skaters). Head coach: Steve Konowalchuk (sixth sea­son with Thun­der­birds) Fast fact: Seattle won its first league ti­tle in 40 sea­sons in the WHL.

From left: Erie Ot­ters’ Alex DeBrin­cat, Saint John Sea Dogs’ Spencer Smallman, Wind­sor Spit­fires’ Lo­gan Brown and Seattle Thun­der­birds’ Mathew Barzal.

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