Western Division All Stars
The NHL All-Star Game is coming up this weekend. So it begs the question, which Western Division players would be named All-Stars for a WSHL All-Star Game?
I went through and picked nine forwards, four defensemen and two goaltenders for this fictitious all-star team.
Daylon Mannon (Fresno) – 43 goals, 49 assists in 34 games – Mannon is the top scorer from the Western Division, and third in the league in scoring, so this was an easy choice. What he’s done in his rookie season is very impressive, and definitely worthy of a spot on this team.
Cody Key (Fresno) – 41 goals, 45 assists in 32 games – Key, who plays on the same line as Mannon, is having an incredible season himself. He’s fourth in the league in scoring, and the 20-year-old has also worked his way up to fifth all-time in scoring, with 266 points over his four year career.
Jakob Kranabetter (Valencia) – 25 goals, 60 assists in 31 games – Sit back and imagine a top line of Mannon, Key and Kranabetter. Just the idea of it might keep WSHL goaltenders up at night. Kranabetter recently became the league’s all-time leader in assists and is just 17 points away from tying the all-time points record, with 19 games left in the season.
Miroslav Rohlik (Long Beach) – 31 goals, 29 assists in 33 games – He leads the Bombers with his 31 goals and tied for the team-lead in points with his 60 on the season. He’s had multi-point games in 17 of his first 33 games this season, and three or more points in a game 12 times this season.
Artem Korolev (Long Beach) – 20 goals, 40 assists in 34 games – Korolev is tied with his Bombers’ teammate Rohlik with his 60 points on the year. What makes Korolev stand out is his age. He turns 18 on April 12, which makes him the second-highest scoring player under 18 in the league, trailing Ruslan Novruzov of Bellingham by two points.
Jesse Zaharichuk (Ontario) – 20 goals, 37 assists in 33 games – There were high expectations placed on Zaharichuk coming into the season. He played in the WHL for parts of three seasons with the Kamloops Blazers, Kootenay Ice and Lethbridge Hurricanes, before coming to Ontario to play his final season of junior hockey this year. Safe to say, he’s delivered on those expectations. The Avalanche’s leading scorer is a big reason why they currently sit second in the division.
Anthony Masanotti (Phoenix) – 31 goals, 14 assists in 39 games – Masanotti sits just two goals away from tying the Phoenix Knights single-season record for goals in a season, and he’s done it in his rookie season. He’s been Phoenix’s main goal scorer this season, with the next highest goal total on the team being 12.
William Ma (Ontario) – 27 goals, 26 assists in 34 games – He’s already surpassed his goal and assist totals from last season, and he still has another 17 games to play this season. His 27 goals leads the team, and he’s second on the team with his 53 points.
Nikita Pintusov (Valencia) – 30 goals, 18 assists in 29 games – Pintusov has the honor of being one of only three Western Division players who has more goals than games played, with the other two being Mannon and Key. He scored 46 goals last year for the Las Vegas Storm, joined Valencia at the beginning of the season, and still has that goal-scoring touch.
Alex Bouchard (Ontario) – 19 goals, 26 assists in 34 games – Bouchard is third on Ontario in points, and third in the league scoring from a defenseman. His 19 goals, however, lead the WSHL defensemen.
Karel Kankovsky (San Diego) – 9 goals, 30 assists in 36 games – Kankovsky leads San Diego in scoring, and is fifth in the league in points from a defenseman. In what’s been a disappointing year in San Diego, the Sabers can point to their leader on the blue-line as a bright spot.
Erik Lundgren (Long Beach) – 7 goals, 32 assists in 39 games – So much of Long Beach’s success comes from the play of their 19-year-old Swedish defenseman. In his first season of junior hockey in North America, he’s fifth on the team in scoring.
Daniel Klinecky (Valencia) – 10 goals, 22 assists in 32 games – Exactly at a point-a-game, the 20-year-old Czech defenseman is the highest scoring defenseman on the Flyers. He’s had points in 20 of his 32 games this season, and multi-point performances in ten of those games.
Filip Subrt (Ontario) – 12-6-0, 2.91 GAA, 0.909 SV% – Subrt has consistently been one of the best goaltenders in the WSHL since he joined the Avalanche in the 2015-16 season. His save percentage leads the division, despite being lower than the .913 and .910 he posted the past two years. Goaltending is a difficult task in a goal-scoring league like the WSHL, but Subrt has been up for that task his whole career.
Domenic Bosetti (Long Beach) – 19-6-2, 3.33 GAA, 0.900 SV% – Bosetti’s 19 wins lead the division, and is more than the win totals of over half of the league. He’s also no stranger to success between the pipes. In his three seasons with the Bombers, he’s had save percentages of .928 and .925, along with a 2.50 GAA. He even produces offensively. His two assists this season leads Western
Division goaltenders and gives him eight assists for his career.
Steven Force is the Western Division Correspondent. You can find him on Twitter @Steven_Force_.