Briggins lets you know who to watch for at the 2013 Memorial Cup.
This year's edition of the Memorial Cup features a plethora of players who will hear their names called on the first day of the NHL draft this year. In fact, there is an excellent chance the first three names called will be players from this tournament. Potentially, seven players from the best CHL teams could end up going in the first round. In this week's article, I examine the top eight ranked players from the Halifax Mooseheads, Portland Winterhawks and London Knights, and get you up to speed on how they performed in the playoffs this year. The host team Saskatoon did not have any players ranked in the top 50. All ranking numbers come from NHL Central Scouting Services' final rankings.
#2 – Nathan MacKinnon, Center
The Mooseheads rolled through the playoffs winning 16 games and only losing one. Much of that was due to the success of the team's top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, and Marty Frk. MacKinnon finished with 11 goals and 22 assists for 33 points in 17 games. This includes a hat-trick versus Rouyn-Noranda in the second round. While he was held scoreless in the first three games of the final versus Bai-Comeau, he scored big goals in the final two games. Through my work covering the team for sportsandmoore.com, I had the chance to hear different NHL scouts opinions on MacKinnon and Drouin. All the scouts I talked to say MacKinnon is more NHL ready than Drouin. In an earlier column I said I would take Drouin ahead of MacKinnon and I still stand by that. You can't go wrong with either one in fantasy drafts this season.
#3 – Jonathan Drouin, Left Wing
Jonathan Drouin was named MVP for the QMJHL playoffs and finished with 12 goals and 23 assists for 35 points in 17 games. That number was boosted in the first game of the first series when he had 6 assists in the teams 11-1 victory against Saint John.
#1* – Zach Fucale, Goalie