Draft stuff: Western lads produce in style

Written By Kris Baker on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 | 2/05/2014

Sam, Reinhart has been a man possessed over the last month of action. It' hard to say if it's the World Junior experience, the Central Scouting snub, or both, but it'd be hard to argue against him for first overall consideration if the draft were to be held today.

On Tuesday, Reinhart kept plugging away in his quest to solidify Kootenay's playoff position with a goal and four assists in a 6-3 doubling of Saskatoon. For those keeping score at home, Reinhart has now gathered nine goals and 20 points in eight games since returning from the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship. The five-point night gives Reinhart an even 70 points on the year (25+45, 1.71 pts/game).



In other Tuesday action, Leon Draisaitl snapped a nine-game goal drought in style with a hard-earned hat trick to lead Prince Albert to a 5-2 victory over Swift Current. I highly recommend hitting the play button below if you'd like to know what I mean by "in style".



The guy even made an empty-netter look exciting. Draisaitl's markers up his season totals to 22 goals and 64 points in 44 games.

While Draisaitl's goals were quite nice, the tally of the evening just might go to Red Deer Rebels forward  Conner Bleackley.

If you follow on Twitter, you may have picked up on the fact that I'm a big fan of Bleackley. His effort is excellent, his soft hands can fit saucer passes on the tape in the tightest of spaces, and he can score big goals. Add on the fact that he's a 17-year old WHL captain, and you have a player who many teams will be happy to pounce on in the second round if his ranking as the 31st North American skater holds up come draft day.

Oh yeah, the goal. Here is Bleackley showing quick thinking and the aforementioned mitts to force OT with his 24th of the year in Red Deer's 3-2 loss at Vancouver.


Someday, the between-the-legs play will be as overplayed as the dice roll goal celebration. Until that day comes, though, we'll enjoy every one of them.

In the OHL, Robby Fabbi kept up his torrid scoring pace by taking a hit to get his 31st goal of the season in Guelph's 10-4 blowout of Kitchener. The 31 goal output, a solid season for most, arrives after just 41 games. Even more noteworthy is that he has 24 goals in his last 25 games. Fabbri was rated the 25th North American in Central's midterm rankings.



Nick Ritchie notched his 24th goal of the year as Peterborough got past Ottawa 4-3. Ritchie, a Sherman tank-like power forward rated as the No. 7 NA skater by CSS, was coming in off a Friday hat trick. Peterborough speedster Eric Cornel (No. 23 NA CSS) opened scoring in the game's fifth minute by tipping a point shot off a draw for his 19th goal.



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