With the CHL season well under way, a few statistics have become prominent conversation points.
Some are team-based, while others are individually based. Here are a few outliers as we make our way through Thanksgiving towards the beginning of our CHL broadcast schedule.
10. London Knights’ impressive power play
The Knights are tied for the fewest powerplays awarded (25) to this point in the OHL season, but they are also tied for having played the fewest games (seven). As a result the PP numbers are somewhat inflated, yet still very impressive.
The Knights have scored 10 powerplay goals for a 40 per cent efficiency to start the season. The man advantage has accounted for at least one goal in six of London’s seven games played.
9. Connor Zary’s hot start for the Kamloops Blazers
Connor Zary continues to make a name for himself in a very deep 2002-born draft class, having put up at least one point in each of the Blazers’ 10 games to start the season. Half of his league-leading 16 points have come on the powerplay and Zary has taken the advice to shoot more, en route to being the league-leader in shots (55).
Zary has also drawn primary assists on three game-winners.
8. Quebec Remparts’ proficiency with the man advantage
Accounting for 15 of their 45 goals (33 per cent), the Quebec Remparts are eight for their last 17 with the extra-man. It didn’t look good early for Patrick Roy’s group, as it started the season three for its first 19 man advantages.
The Remparts have two excellent face-off men in Andrew Coxhead (60.5 per cent) and Felix Bibeau (57.4 per cent) to help gain possession of the puck immediately.
7. Sherbrooke Phoenix ready to take flight
It looks as if the Phoenix are ready to take flight.
The second incarnation of the QMJHL franchise began in 2012. Since that time, the franchise has never passed the 36-win plateau, or gone passed the second-round in the playoffs.
With a 9-1-1 record to start the season, both of those feats should be exceeded this season. The Phoenix are 6-0 on home ice, putting into sight the franchise record of 22 home wins set in the 2014-15 season.
6. Charlottetown Islanders’ re-tooling plan working out
The Islanders re-tooled on the fly last year, bowing out in Round 1 of the playoffs while setting themselves up for success this season.
So far, the plan has worked. In each of his four years under head coach and GM Jim Hulton, the Islanders have made the playoffs, twice making it to the semi-finals and they look poised to continue that trend.
5. Nick Robertson’s point streak for the Peterborough Petes
The Toronto Maple Leafs prospect had scored at least one goal in each of Peterborough’s first eight games to start the season.
In the Petes’ most recent game, a 6-2 loss in Flint, Robertson failed to score, but did record an assist to extend his season beginning point streak to nine games.
4. Prince Albert Raiders not regressing
Coming off an Ed Chynoweth Cup title, it was expected the Raiders would take a step backwards. It hasn’t happened to this point, as P.A. remains the only WHL team without a regulation loss (7-0-2-0) to start the season.
WHL Goaltender of the Year Ian Scott graduated as did 7 of their 8 top scorers from a year ago. Those 7 players accounted for 178 goals and 428 points. The other, Montreal prospect Cole Fonstad was moved this week.
The Raiders have allowed a CHL best 1.89 GAA. No other CHL team has a GAA below two.
3. Luka Burzan, the Brandon Wheat Kings’ ironman
The undisputed WHL ironman has played in 206-straight regular season games with Brandon and his previous team, the Moose Jaw Warriors. Burzan hasn’t missed a game since November 19, 2016.
Burzan, who was acquired in a blockbuster trade that sent Canadian World Junior gold-medal winning defenceman Kale Clague to the Moose Jaw Warriors in 2018, was originally drafted sixth-overall in the 2015 bantam draft.
The 19-year-old was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the sixth round, 171st overall, in 2019.
The Wheat Kings play their next game Friday night in Seattle.
2. Oshawa Generals’ Memorial Cup bid may come earlier than expected
The Generals plan to bid for the 2021 Memorial Cup, but their time might come a year earlier than expected.
They’ve allowed the fewest goals (25) in the OHL, and have played six of their first nine games away from home.
GM Roger Hunt may be in a quandary should the Generals continue their winning ways as he looks to build an even better team to host in 2021.
1. Alexis Lafreniere looking like a first-overall pick for the Rimouski Oceanic
Being held off the score sheet opening night must have inspired the projected first-overall pick. Lafreniere had points in every game since and is in the neighbourhood of three points per game (2.64) as the league leader with 29 points through Rimouski’s first 11 games.
His current 10-game point streak is surpassed only by his linemate, Dmitry Zavgorodiy, in all the CHL.