CHLTVGOTW: Five players to watch — Wheat Kings @ Blades
An Eastern Conference tilt from the WHL gets the CHLTV Game of the Week treatment tonight as the Saskatoon Blades (45-14-5) host the Brandon Wheat Kings (26-31-8).
Additionally, the Blades will wear their Real Canadian SuperStore Your Team Your Jersey winning design, created by Ryker, tonight.
A franchise with a storied past, but no Ed Chynoweth Cup to date, the Blades’ 2022-23 campaign has been one of the best in team history as the club’s 45 wins rank tied eighth all-time. The second highest-scoring team in the Eastern Conference, the Blades have been defensive stalwarts as their 160 goals against are the second fewest in the WHL. One of just four clubs with at least 45 wins, the Blades’ 95 points are the second most in the East.
Brandon is fighting for every point as the regular season draws to a conclusion. The Wheat Kings are in a battle with Calgary, Medicine Hat and Swift Current for the final two playoff positions in the Eastern Conference as just five points separates the four clubs. Winners of the 2016 WHL championship, the Wheat Kings will end the regular season with their first losing record since 2012-13.
In a statement that demonstrates the current state of each franchise, we look at a pair of Wheat Kings will hear their name called early at the 2023 NHL Draft while the Blades’ offensive threats are certainly ones with experience.
Brandon Lisowsky — Saskatoon
The ninth overall pick by the Blades in the 2019 WHL Draft, Lisowsky (TOR) has tallied a career best 65 points in his third WHL season.
His 33 goals have also matched a career best, in seven fewer games, while he has a tendency for a big night when he has a hat-trick; he’s tallied five points on both occasions this year when he’s scored three goals.
Lisowsky was the 218th overall pick by Saskatoon in the 2022 NHL Draft.
Brandon Lisowsky with a third of @BladesHockey’s goals tonight! 🎩🎩🎩 pic.twitter.com/APTyNqGjDO
— Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) December 11, 2022
Carson Bjarnason — Brandon
NHL Central Scouting has Bjarnason ranked the best goaltender available for the 2023 NHL Draft as he looks to become the first CHL netminder taken in the first round since Sebastien Cossa (DET) in 2021.
This season, the Wheat Kings goalie is 21-19-5 with a 3.11 GAA and .899 save percentage in 46 games and has three shutouts to his name.
Bjarnason was a member of Canada’s 2022 Hlinka Gretzky gold-medal winning team.
He's known for stopping pucks but @bdnwheatkings goaltender Carson Bjarnason also knows his way around a few musical instruments! 🎸🥁#MeettheFuture | @KubotaCanadaLtd pic.twitter.com/aPzKCdUzLW
— Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) March 10, 2023
Egor Sidorov — Saskatoon
Sidorov’s second WHL season has been impressive to say the least as his 40 goals are the seventh most in the league.
After a 35-point rookie campaign, he’s surpassed that number alone in goals and assists (36) and is the first 40-goal scorer in Blades history since Max Gerlach in 2018-19.
Sidorov’s three hat-tricks this year are tied for the second most in the WHL alongside Winnipeg’s Zach Benson and behind Regina’s Connor Bedard (8).
Egor Sidorov goes for a little skate and finds just what he was looking for… the back of the net! 🚨 pic.twitter.com/PEk6QlLMTY
— x – Saskatoon Blades (@BladesHockey) February 5, 2023
Nate Danielson — Brandon
Ahead of this year’s draft, Danielson is the 13th ranked North American skater, and eighth best CHL player, according to NHL Central Scouting.
After a 57-point campaign a season ago, Danielson has notched 33 goals and 77 points in 2022-23. Among NHL Draft eligible players, the Wheat Kings captain ranks sixth in scoring.
OMIGOSH THAT MOVE FROM NATE DANIELSON.@bdnwheatkings | #NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/K6Fz2XbFXu
— The WHL (@TheWHL) February 25, 2023
Trevor Wong — Saskatoon
After he split time between Kelowna and Saskatoon a season ago, Wong’s first full campaign with the Blades has been nothing short of a success.
He leads the team in points (82) while his 57 assists are the eighth most in the WHL.
The 18th overall pick in the 2018 WHL Draft, Wong has recorded at least three points in 11 games this year.
Puck couldn't escape the wrath of Trevor Wong 😤 pic.twitter.com/6XRBjp0O1t
— x – Saskatoon Blades (@BladesHockey) March 5, 2023
Where to watch
Saturday’s contest can be seen live for free on CHL TV at 9pm ET / 6pm PT.
Available to fans from coast to coast, CHL TV is accessible on the CHL mobile app, in addition to Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire, and online at watch.chl.ca. Each year, CHL TV offers access to more than 2,000 regular-season games covering the CHL’s three Member Leagues and 60 markets across Canada and the United States. Fans can download the free CHL app via the App Store and Google Play.