The WHL and the OHL
The two leagues started their 2016 playoffs this week and for the Canucks, it is a tale of two teams. The WHL’s Prince George Cougars are the underdogs while the Erie Otters are big-time favourites for the championship. Why do I care? Take a look.
Olson is the only Canucks prospect in the WHL and he will look to push the Prince George Cougars past the Seattle Thunderbirds. That will not be an easy task for Olson who was picked in the seventh round, as the Thunderbirds finished atop the US Division with a 45-23-4 record. Olson finished regular season play with 47 points in 65 games played, among the top-20 WHL defencemen in scoring.
The Thunderbirds took Game One of the series in overtime after scoring two unanswered goals when the Cougars had a one-goal lead. Prince George tied things up with 30 seconds remaining in regulation, only to lose in overtime 3-2. Olson was physical out there, depended on heavily by his coach in overtime.
Who saw this coming? I just about wrote Kyle Pettit off as a poor producer that was getting carried into the playoffs by a strong team behind him. Well, it turns out on Friday, I was wrong and it was Pettit who carried his team to a dominating 5-1 win over Saginaw Spirit.
Pettit had two goals, the first two playoff goals (in fact, the first two playoff points) of his OHL career, and was named the first star of the game. Sorry about calling your 21 points in 58 games a minuscule production, Kyle. Please continue with this strong push. Let’s see if you can match the Cole Cassels hype and the Jared McCann hype from last year’s OHL playoffs!
Next: The QMJHL