The first round of the WHL playoffs kick off on Mar. 21 and the Calgary Flames will have five prospects suiting up in the postseason.
Tyler Wotherspoon (defence - Portland Winterhawks), Coda Gordon (forward - Swift Current Broncos), Michael Ferland (forward - Saskatoon Blades), Turner Elson (forward - Red Deer Rebels) and Laurent Brossoit (goaltender - Edmonton Oil Kings) are all gunning for a crack at the WHL Championship and a ticket to the Memorial Cup in Saskatoon.
DefenCe - PORTLAND
Goals: 7 | Assists: 30 | Pts: 37
PIM: 30 | +/-: +62
Wotherspoon and Portland were the Western Conference regular season champions and posted a WHL-high 117 points (57-12-3). The Winterhawks will square off against the Everett Silvertips in the quarter-finals, a team they have had great success against in the 2012-13 season. They went 9-1-0 and outscored Everett 50-22. Wotherspoon recorded six points (one goal, five assists) in his seven games versus Everett.
The blueliner finished off the 2012-13 campaign with seven goals and a career-high 37 points. He was a plus-62 through 61 games. The versatile rearguard, who was part of the Winterhawks Eastern Conference championship squad last year, added another accolade to his resume in December when he was named to Canada's 2013 World Junior Championship roster.
Left Wing - SWIFT CURRENT
Goals: 17 | Assists: 42 | Pts: 59
PIM: 21 | +/-: -3
The Swift Current Broncos and Gordon will start their playoffs series in Calgary on Thursday, taking on the Hitmen at 7:00 PM MT. The Broncos won the season series 3-1 this year but the two teams were fairly evenly matched with Swift Current edging Calgary 14-12 in goals scored. Gordon scored two of the Broncos tallies against the Hitmen and had two assists in the four games. Tickets for the first two games are on sale
The Flames 2012 sixth round draft pick notched 17 goals and set a new career-high in points with 59. He was second in team scoring and averaged 0.84 points-per-game.
Left Wing - SASKATOON
Goals: 9 | Assists: 22 | Pts: 31
PIM: 22 | +/-: +24
The Brandon Wheat Kings traded Ferland to the Saskatoon Blades earlier this season and the move definitely paid offfor the Blades. The hulking winger averaged 1.12 points-per-game in a Saskatoon jersey, scoring eight goals and 29 points through 26 games. He'll be looked upon to provide consistent offence in the Blades quarter-finals matchup against the Medicine Hat Tigers, which starts Thursday in Saskatoon. The Blades swept their four-game season series with the Tigers but have had their struggles with Medicine Hat in the postseason. Last year, they were swept in the opening round by the Tigers.
Ferland played just one game against Medicine Hat this season and was held pointless in the outing.
Left Wing - RED DEER
Goals: 26 | Assists: 31 | Pts: 57
PIM: 60 | +/-: +26
The Red Deer Rebels named Elson their captain midway through the season and the chippy forward gave his club a huge boost with his leadership. The Rebels went through a few tumultuous patches earlier in the season - trades and coaching changes - but were able to bounce back and land in fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 39-26-7 record. They will have home ice advantage in their quarter-final series with Prince Albert, a team they split their four-game season series with. Offensively, the Rebels held a decisive edge over the Raiders, outscoring them 17-12. Elson suited up for three games against Prince Albert, scoring one goal and five points.
Elson had a career year in Red Deer, scoring 26 goals and recording 57 points in 64 games. He was second in team scoring, just two points behind Rhyse Dieno. He had 18 multi-point games and posted three points once this year.
Goalie - EDMONTON
GAA: 2.25 | Sv%: .917
Brossoit's incredible 2011-12 campaign led the Edmonton Oil Kings all the way to the Memorial Cup tournament last spring and he's hoping he can once again put on a one-man show in the postseason. The Oil Kings, who are the 2012-13 Eastern Conference regular season champs, will face the Kootenay Ice in the quarter-finals with Game 1 kicking off on Mar. 22 in Edmonton. The two teams split the six-game season series this year with Edmonton outscoring Kootenay 16-13. Brossoit was in net for four of those contests, posting a 2.70 goals-against-average and a .904 save percentage. In his last two battles with the Ice, the netminder faced 33 shots in each game, stopping 31 of them.
After a slow start to his year, Brossoit has gotten back into 2011-12 form. He finished off the season witha 2.25 goals-against-average - good for second in the WHL - and a .917 save percentage. He is tied for third in the league in shutouts with five through 49 played, faced 1295 shots and stopped 1188 of them and played 2854 minutes. In his last 20 full games of the campaign, his record was 16-3-1.