2023-24 CHL Top-10 Rankings: Week 7
The Canadian Hockey League (CHL) announced today the Week 7 edition of its CHL Top-10 Rankings for the 2023-24 season.
Having extended its winning streak to a CHL-best eight wins in a row, the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) are in the number one spot for a third consecutive week. Sitting at No. 2 continues to be the Prince George Cougars of the Western Hockey League (WHL), while the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL round out the top-three after closing out their Western Canada road trip with a pair of victories.
Among this week’s biggest risers were the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and the OHL-leading Kitchener Rangers, who both extended winning streaks with three wins last week. Additionally, the WHL-leading Medicine Hat Tigers re-entered the Top-10 at No. 9 – marking their first appearance within these rankings since October 3 (Week 1).
The next rankings will be released the week of November 20, following the eighth week of regular season action in all three member leagues of the CHL.
CHL Top-10 Rankings – Week 7
1. Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL): It was a memorable week for the Mooseheads (16-4-1-0), who not only extended their winning streak to eight games by defeating Saint John (4-2), Shawinigan (4-1) and Cape Breton (4-0) this weekend. Leading the way for Halifax was Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Jordan Dumais, who was named the Videotron QMJHL Player of the Week after registering seven points (3G-4A) during Halifax’s three victories. Sunday was especially special for Dumais as he reached 306 career points with Halifax and broke the franchise’s 20-year-old scoring record that was held by former Mooseheads captain Brandon Benedict (303 points). Dumais is now at 28 points (12G-16A) in 11 games this season, placing him sixth in the QMJHL scoring race. The Mooseheads also got big performances from Markus Vidicek (2G-4A in last three games), Vegas Golden Knights prospect Mathieu Cataford (4G-1A in last three games), David Moravec (0G-4A in last three games) and Mathis Rousseau (1.00 GAA, .952 SV% and 1 SO in two starts), who improved his record to 14-1-0-0 this season. The Mooseheads have won 10 of their last 11, averaging 4.63 goals per game over that stretch, Halifax will look to continue its strong play as they travel to Charlottetown and Acadie-Bathurst this weekend.
Games this week: @ Charlottetown (Nov. 17), @ Acadie-Bathurst (Nov. 18)
2. Prince George Cougars (WHL): In their lone game of the week, the Cougars (13-5-0-0) edged the Rebels 4-3 in a shootout on Friday night. Ondrej Belcher scored twice before later tallying the shootout winner to lift Prince George to its seventh victory in 10 games. Belcher now has 31 points (12G-19A) this season, which places him in a tie for third in the WHL. Minnesota Wild prospect Riley Heidt picked up a helper to extend his point streak to 10 games (4G-12A over that stretch). Additionally, 20-year-old Zac Funk collected a goal and assist to give him 35 points (16G-19A) on the season, which places him in a tie for first in the CHL. Over the next seven days, the Cougars will be busy as they welcome the Giants for a pair of games, before they’ll hit the road to face Vancouver and Kelowna.
Games this week: vs. Vancouver (Nov. 14), vs. Vancouver (Nov. 15), @ Vancouver (Nov. 17), @ Kelowna (Nov. 18)
3. Portland Winterhawks (WHL): It was a challenging eight-game Western Canada road trip, but the Winterhawks (12-4-0-1) closed it out in decisive fashion by besting the Blazers (7-3) and the Giants (5-1). Although they dropped three in a row to start the road trip, Portland ultimately won four of their next five games, with their only loss coming in a shootout to Swift Current. As they closed out the road trip, Portland was once again led by their captain Gabe Klassen, who recorded nine points (4G-5A) in the Winterhawks’ two games last week. His efforts were recognized by the WHL as he was named the Tempo WHL Player of the Week. The Winterhawks also continued to get big production from 20-year-old James Stefan (2G-3A in last two games), San Jose Sharks prospect Luca Cagnoni (1G-6A in last two games) and Florida Panthers prospect Josh Davies (3G-2A in the last two games). This week, Portland is coming back home to start a three-game home stand. The Winterhawks have won all five of their home contests this season, having averaged an incredible 6.4 goals per game at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum so far. They’ll aim to keep lighting the lamp at home when they welcome the Raiders and the Silvertips this week.
Games this week: vs. Prince Albert (Nov. 17), vs. Everett (Nov. 19)
4. Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL): With a pair of wins against the Remparts and the Océanic in the last week, the Huskies (12-4-1-3) continued their climb up the QMJHL overall standings, as they now find themselves in third. Although they fell 3-2 to the Océanic in Rimouski on Saturday, the loss marked the first time that Rouyn-Noranda had lost in regulation since Oct. 20 – a streak that dated back seven games prior to Saturday. Their success over the last week was highlighted by goaltender William Rousseau, who won both of his starts, posting a 0.76 GAA and a .967 SV%. The 20-year-old netminder has also won eight of his last nine starts, while his last loss in regulation was Oct. 5 against Drummondville. Rouyn-Noranda also continues to enjoy excellent production from Antonin Verreault (2G-1A in last three contests), who has scored a goal in eight of his last 11 games (10G-9A over that stretch). At the same time, Arizona Coyotes prospect Jérémy Langlois collected a pair of his assists to give him at least a point in seven of his last nine contests. This week, the Huskies will need to be at their best when they welcome the high-flying Voltigeurs and the Armada.
Games this week: vs. Drummondville (Nov. 17), vs. Blainville-Boisbriand (Nov. 19)
5. Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL): Although they saw a nine-game winning streak snapped on Friday, the Drakkar (17-3-2-0) recorded a pair of wins on home ice over the last seven days. Their victories at Centre Henry-Leonard improved Baie-Comeau’s record to 7-0-2-0 at home this season – matching their best start in franchise history on home ice. The Drakkar continue to get great production from New York Islanders prospect Justin Gill and 2024 NHL Draft prospect Justin Poirier. Gill’s point streak is up to 14 games now and he ranks tied for the CHL lead with 35 points. Meanwhile, Poirier has goals in seven of his last eight contests (11G-0A over that stretch) and he leads the CHL with 20 goals this season. At the same time, 2024 NHL Draft prospect and defenceman Alexis Bernier was named to the QMJHL Team of the Week after collecting a goal and three assists this week. Having won 10 of their last 11 games, the Drakkar will aim to hold onto first place in the QMJHL when they host Saint John and Gatineau this week.
Games this week: vs. Saint John (Nov. 16), vs. Gatineau (Nov. 18), vs. Gatineau (Nov. 19)
6. Saskatoon Blades (WHL): Holding an identical record to the No. 3 Winterhawks, the Blades (13-5-0-0) extended their winning streak to five games following wins against Regina (2-1 SO) and Swift Current (5-4) last week. Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Brandon Lisowsky scored a pair against the Broncos, while Nashville Predators 2023 first-rounder Tanner Molendyk recorded three assists in that same game. At the same time, Anaheim Ducks prospect Egor Sidorov scored a goal in both of the Blades’ contests last week to extend his goal-scoring streak to five games (7G over that stretch). Sidorov is now at 15 goals through 16 games this season, which rank fourth in the WHL. The Blades’ trio of NHL prospects will aim to put together another big week when they face off against No. 10 Moose Jaw for a pair of games. Their contest against the Warriors tonight (Nov. 14) at 7 p.m. CT is featured as the CHL Game of the Week and can be viewed on CHL TV for free.
Games this week: @ Moose Jaw (Nov. 14), vs. Moose Jaw (Nov. 17), vs. Swift Current (Nov. 18)
7. London Knights (OHL): It seemed like things might get off to a rough start for the Knights (12-5-0-1) as they were trailing 6-3 to the Windsor Spitfires part way through the second period on Thursday night. However, from there, London turned it around in a big way. They scored seven goals to defeat Windsor 10-7, before grabbing wins against Owen Sound (5-4 OT) and Guelph (4-0). A big factor in those games was Philadelphia Flyers prospect Denver Barkey, who registered seven points (2G-5A) in London’s three victories last week. For his efforts, Barkey was recognized as the Cogeco OHL Player of the Week. Barkey now has points in seven straight games (4G-7A) and he’s been held off the scoresheet just twice in 18 games this season. Meanwhile, Toronto Maple Leafs 2023 first-rounder Easton Cowan is up to five short-handed points (2G-3A) through the 2023-24 campaign, which ranks tied for the most of any skater in the CHL. Meanwhile, San Jose Sharks prospect Kasper Haltunnen is up to 14 goals on the year, which place him in a tie for third in the OHL. Having won six of their last seven, the Knights will look to continue their winning ways against the Storm, Firebirds and Otters this week.
Games this week: @ Guelph (Nov. 15), vs. Flint (Nov. 17), @ Erie (Nov. 18)
8. Kitchener Rangers (OHL): Riding an OHL-best five-game winning streak, which all started with a win on Nov. 5 against the No. 7-ranked Knights, Kitchener (14-5-0-0) continues to impress this season after collecting another three wins over the last seven days. Currently standing as the only 14-win team in the OHL, the Rangers got there by taking down Owen Sound (5-0), Peterborough (4-0) and Sault-Saint-Marie (5-3) last week. They’ve scored four or more goals in five straight games, along with achieving the feat in seven of their last nine contests. Kitchener has also allowed 1.4 goals per game (or seven goals total) over their five-game winning streak. Helping them achieve these remarkable numbers has been the play of Seattle Kraken prospect Carson Rehkoph (leads OHL with 19 goals; has failed to score in just three of his last 14 games), Montreal Canadiens prospect Filip Mešár (has six multi-point contests in eight games played this season), Vancouver Canucks prospect Hunter Brzustewicz (has failed to score a point just twice and leads all CHL defencemen with 32 points), and netminder Jackson Parsons, who went a perfect 3-0 with a 1.00 GAA, .971 SV% and two shutouts last week. Parsons, who was named the OHL Goaltender of the Week, is now up to four shutouts on the season, the most of any netminder in the CHL. This week, Kitchener will aim to keep climbing the CHL Top-10 when they face the Spitfires for a home-and-home series this weekend.
Games this week: vs. Windsor (Nov. 17), @ Windsor (Nov. 18)
9. Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL): Despite the absence of 15-year-old rookie Gavin McKenna, who missed the Tigers’ last six games while away at the World U17 Hockey Challenge, Medicine Hat (13-5-2-0) moved into first place in the WHL thanks to four straight wins. Their only loss over their last five games was a 4-3 defeat against Lethbridge in overtime. This past week, the Tigers scored impressive victories against No. 10-ranked Moose Jaw (2-1 SO) and Wenatchee (4-1), who had won eight of their last nine before falling to Medicine Hat. In McKenna’s absence, 2024 NHL Draft prospect Andrew Basha has been excellent. Basha is currently riding a five-game point streak (3G-3A over that stretch), and he’s tallied a point in nine of his last 10 games (3G-10A). Additionally, the Tigers have been excellent on the backend as they’ve allowed only one goal in each of their last four games – thanks in part to the strong play of goalies Evan May (0.96 GAA & .970 SV% over last two starts), Zach Zahara (34-save performance vs. Wenatchee) and Ethan McCallum (29-save performance vs. Everett). Moreover, while the Tigers were rolling, so too was McKenna who was named to the World U17 All-Star team following his stellar performance with Canada Red. This week, as McKenna returns to the Medicine Hat lineup, the Tigers will look to carry the positive momentum they’ve generated as of late when they hit the road to face the Broncos and the Wheat Kings.
Games this week: @ Swift Current (Nov. 14), @ Brandon (Nov. 18)
10. Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL): It was another week of mixed results for the Warriors (11-8-0-1), who won a hard-fought game against the Wheat Kings in overtime on Thursday, before falling the next night in a shootout to the No. 9-ranked Tigers. Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Denton Mateychuk continues to be a bright spot for the team in spite of their recent struggles. The Warriors captain and defenceman collected points in Moose Jaw’s two games this past week to extend his point streak to 13 games. Mateychuk has yet to be held off the scoresheet this season. Meanwhile, Seattle Kraken prospect Jagger Firkus picked up a goal and an assist in the Warriors’ win against Brandon to give him 18 goals and 35 points this season – which both rank first in the WHL. Firkus’ 35 points also places him in a tie for first in the CHL. With three wins over their last seven games (3-3-0-1), Moose Jaw is at-risk of falling out of the Top-10 for the first time this season. They’ll need to be at their best as they prepare for a pair of games against No. 6-ranked Saskatoon, who have won five in a row coming into the week. Their game against the Blades tonight (Nov. 14) at 7 p.m. CT is featured as the CHL Game of the Week and can be viewed on CHL TV for free.
Games this week: vs. Saskatoon (Nov. 14), @ Saskatoon (Nov. 17), vs. Edmonton (Nov. 18)