2016–17 pre-season WHL coaches poll

If Mathew Barzal is back with the Seattle Thunderbirds, WHL coaches expect him to dominate. (Marissa Baecker/Getty)

Last week, we ran the OHL poll, today, it’s the Western League’s turn. We went to all 22 WHL teams and asked 16 questions ranging from best bet to win the scoring title to MasterCard Memorial Cup favourite.

Not surprisingly, Nolan Patrick leads the way, topping three categories. But after him, there’s not much consensus.

Here is your 2016–17 pre-season WHL coaches poll:

Who will win the WHL scoring title? Votes
Adam Brooks (REG) 10
Nolan Patrick (BDN) 6
Soy (VIC), Barzal (SEA), Steel (REG), Gabriel (PG), Wong (LET), Yamamoto (SPO) 1
Who has the best hands? Votes
Mathew Barzal (SEA) 10
Matthew Phillips (VIC) 3
Sam Steel (REG) 2
Burke (LET), Patrick (BDN), Popuagev (MJ), Stransky (PA), Bean (CGY), Dube (KEL), Morrison (PG) 1
Who is the most underrated player? Votes
Tyler Soy (VIC) 8
Tyler Wong (LET) 2
12 others tied 1
Who is the best pure sniper? Votes
Reid Gardiner (PA) 6
Nolan Patrick (BDN) 5
Tyler Soy (VIC) 3
Tyler Wong (LET) 2
Jesse Gabrielle (PG) 2
Hawryluk (BDN), Hannoun (VIC), Walker (VIC), Phillips (VIC) 1

Nolan Patrick; Brandon Wheat Kings; CHL; WHL; 2017 NHL Draft; MasterCard Memorial Cup; Sportsnet
Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings is the early favourite to go No. 1 in the 2017 NHL Draft, and topped three big categories in our poll. (Rob Wallator/CHL Images)

Who will be the WHL’s top NHL Draft prospect? Votes
Nolan Patrick (BDN) 22
Who is the best overall player? Votes
Nolan Patrick (BDN) 12
Mathew Barzal (SEA) 5
Bean (CGY), Provorov (BDN), Brooks (REG), Steel (REG), Howden (MJ) 1
Who is the best forward? Votes
Nolan Patrick (BDN) 11
Mathew Barzal (SEA) 7
Adam Brooks (REG) 2
Wong (LET), Soy (VIC) 1
Who is the top playmaker? Votes
Mathew Barzal (SEA) 8
Brayden Burke (LET) 5
Adam Brooks (REG) 5
Dube (KEL), Patrick (BDN), Merkley (KEL), Harkins (PG) 1
Who is the best defenceman? Votes
Jake Bean (CGY) 10
Ivan Provorov (BDN) 4
Caleb Jones (POR) 3
Johansen (KEL), Guhle (PA), Bear (SEA), Wotherspoon (TC), Juulsen (EVT) 1

Carter Hart; Everett Silvertips; WHL; 2016 NHL Draft; CHL; Sportsnet; Philadelphia Flyers;
Carter Hart of the Everett Silvertips was the first goalie selected in the 2016 NHL Draft, No. 48 by the Philadelphia Flyers. (Marissa Baecker/Getty)

Who is the best goalie? Votes
Connor Ingram (KAM) 14
Carter Hart (EVT) 4
Stuart Skinner (LET) 2
Sawchenko (MJ), Kehler (POR) 1
Who will be the best overage player? Votes
Adam Brooks (REG) 9
Tyler Wong (LET) 8
Jack Walker (VIC) 2
Shirley (KAM), Sozanski (MJ), Gardiner (PA) 1
Who is the hardest hitter? Votes
Ryan Gagnon (VIC) 4
Joe Gatenby (KAM) 2
Sam Ruopp (PG) 2
14 tied at 1

Noah Juulsen; Everett Silvertips; WHL; CHL; Montreal Canadiens; NHL; 2015 NHL Entry Draft
Noah Juulsen was just returned to the Everett Silvertips from Montreal Canadiens camp. He earned votes for hardest hitter and best defenceman. (Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

Which team is favoured to win the Ed Chynoweth Cup? Votes
Regina 14
Victoria 4
Red Deer, Brandon, Kelowna, Lethbridge 1
Which team will surprise most? Votes
Kamloops 6
Swift Current 3
Spokane 3
Tri-City 2
Regina, Kootenay, Victoria, Calgary, Medicine Hat, Vancouver, Portland, Edmonton 1
What is the hardest road arena to play in? Votes
Brandon 7
Seattle 5
Everett 3
Prince Albert 2
Kelowna 2
Victoria 2
Calgary 1
Which team (except your own and Windsor) is the Memorial Cup favourite? Votes
Regina 10
London 6
Victoria 4
Mississauga, Saint John 1

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