CHL Power Rankings: 10 crazy early-season stats

CHL analyst Sam Cosentino joins Jeff Marek to discuss all the news and notes from around the Canadian Hockey League.

Statistical outliers early in the season can be fun to look at because not enough time has passed in the season for numbers to level out. Here’s a peak at some interesting early-season anomalies across the CHL.

10. Kale Clague: Coming into the 2017-18 season, Clague had scored 15 goals in 141 regular season games with the Brandon Wheat Kings. Through 11 games this season, the L.A. Kings prospect already has 10 goals.

9. Michael DiPietro: With a Memorial Cup title under his belt, DiPietro is the focal point of a Windsor team in a rebuild. He’s more than held up his end of the bargain with a .940 save percentage, while playing all but 42 minutes of Windsor’s 12 games.

8. Eleven in a row: Two games into the season, the Sarnia Sting were 1-1. The team has not looked back since, winning 11-straight games and doing so in impressive fashion. Over that stretch, Sarnia has scored fewer than four goals in a game just once, outscoring the opponent 65-25 overall.

7. 37.5/37.3 per cent: Those are the power play percentages of the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Brandon Wheat Kings, respectively. The Canes have played three fewer games and have had 19 fewer opportunities, while both teams have been deadly on home ice, with a 42.9 percent PP efficiency.

6. 27 PIM/game: That’s the average penalty minutes through 10 games for the Seattle Thunderbirds. Post-buzzer shenanigans on opening night at the end of both the second and third periods in a game with the Tri-City Americans resulted in a combined 114 PIM. Rimouski leads the QMJHL with 18.91 PIM/game, while Barrie paces the OHL at 14.33 PIM/game.

5. Franco Sproviero: The hard-working Sarnia Sting forward has been brilliant on the penalty kill. Sproviero has accumulated five short-handed points in just 13 games this season. Boris Katchouk led the OHL with 13 short-handed points in 66 games played a year ago.

4. 67.9 per cent: The faceoff winning percentage of Victoriaville Tigres centre James Phelan. He has taken 187 draws, winning 127 of them to lead the QMJHL in that department.

3. Minus-19: The Ottawa 67’s are the only .500-or-better team in the CHL with a goals differential of minus-19. The next-closest team with a .500-or-better win percentage is the Seattle Thunderbirds, who are minus-9.

2. Drake Batherson: Surprised the Ottawa brass with his hockey smarts and compete level in his first NHL camp. Upon being returned to Cape Breton, he took the advice he got from the Sens to heart. Since coming back to the QMJHL, Batherson has a point in all 14 games he’s played for a league-leading 28 points, including three straight four-point efforts.

1. Tyler Steenbergen: He finished tied for the league lead with 51 goals in 2016-17. After going in the fifth round to the Arizona Coyotes in June’s draft, Steenbergen has returned to Swift Current with a vengeance. Through 11 games, he has 21 goals and 33 points.

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