CHL on TSN: Five players to watch — ICE @ Pats

The CHL leading Winnipeg ICE (48-8-1) visit the Regina Pats (29-24-3) in the penultimate CHL on TSN broadcast of the regular season.

The ICE have been dominant all year long as their 48 wins and 97 points are the most in the CHL.

Offensively, they’re explosive. Their 276 goals lead the CHL while they have scored at least five goals in a game on 31 different occasions that included a season-high 10 goals Tuesday against Edmonton.

Winnipeg’s roster includes seven NHL drafted players, three of which were first-round selections in Conor Geekie (ARI), Carson Lambos (MIN) and Matthew Savoie (BUF).

In Regina, all eyes remain on Connor Bedard. The consensus no. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, Bedard leads the CHL with 54 goals and 114 points as he has recorded his second straight 50-goal, 100-point season.

The Pats hold the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, that has been aided by a recent four-game winning streak, and maintain a five-point buffer to ninth place with 12 games left in the regular season.

Tonight is the sixth and final meeting between the two sides this year; however, it has been dominated by the ICE who are 5-0-0.

Ahead of tonight’s 8:00pm ET / 5:00 pm PT puck drop, here are five players to watch, all of whom possess ample of offence in their games.

Zach Benson — Winnipeg

It’s been an exceptional draft year thus far for the ICE star. The seventh ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting ahead of the 2023 NHL Draft, Benson has 93 points, tied for the fourth most in the CHL.

Selected to February’s CHL Team of the Month, just four of Benson’s 34 goals have come on the power play as he continues to be a threat 5-on-5 and shorthanded, where he’s scored six times. Furthermore, his eight game-winning goals and 59 assists are the third most in the WHL this year.

A gold medal winner at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, Benson’s ridiculous +63 rating unsurprisingly leads the CHL.

Connor Bedard — Regina

He’s the best player in the CHL.

Bedard’s draft year has been nothing short of sensational as he leads the CHL in goals (54) and points (114).

The two-time World Juniors gold-medallist has recorded 50 goals and 100 points in back-to-back seasons with Regina while he has been named to the CHL’s Team of the Month on four occasions this year.

The North Vancouver, B.C., native has nine game-winning goals this year and five shorties while 41 of his points have come on the power play. Of players to have taken at least 1,000 faceoffs this year, Bedard’s 53.3 per cent success rate in the faceoff circle ranks eighth in the WHL. He is eight points from 250 career WHL points.

On pace for 68 goals and 144 points, Bedard remains the consensus no.1 overall pick for the 2023 NHL Draft.

Matthew Savoie — Winnipeg

The ninth overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft by Buffalo, Savoie has enjoyed another stellar season for the high-flying ICE.

He is second in team scoring with 78 points, 12 shy of his career high from last year, while his 32 goals rank third. The St. Albert, AB., centreman has won 50.7 of his faceoffs this season while his +49 rating is the fourth best on the team.

Savoie is fifth in ICE franchise scoring with 175 points.

Alexander Suzdalev — Regina

Arguably the frontrunner for the WHL’s rookie of the year, the Washington Capitals prospect has enjoyed life in the WHL.

Suzdalev’s 34 goals and 75 points are the most among all CHL rookies while he has been a menace on the power play as 45 per cent of his points this year have come on the man advantage.

The Swede won a gold medal at the 2022 U18 World Championships.

Ben Zloty — Winnipeg

The CHL’s +/- leader among defencemen at +59, Zloty has enjoyed a career year in his final junior season.
Zloty, who memorably scored a ‘Michigan’ earlier this season, has a career best 10 goals alongside 71 points, the second most among CHL d-men.

His 195 games are the most in ICE franchise history while his 179 points rank third.

More News
2023 Memorial Cup in pictures — May 28
10 hours ago
Blazers score 10 in dominant win over Petes
10 hours ago
May 28 — Kamloops 10-2 Peterborough
11 hours ago
May 28 — Petes pre-game availability
15 hours ago
Game day preview: Petes vs. Blazers — May 28
16 hours ago
May 28 — Blazers pre-game availability
18 hours ago