• Brock Boot



As some of you will remember, a variety of play by play announcers, media personalities, and hockey writers have combined to rank the WHL conferences bi-weekly. I am happy to be a part of the rankings and thrilled to provide these posts. Each voter anonymously submits his rankings to Paul Figler of Figler Files on the same night (every other Sunday). Paul then tabulates the votes, adds a quick sentence or two on each team (sometimes written by a variety of the voters), and emails us the results.

Voters can only vote once and only vote in the conference in which they live/provide coverage for.

Without further ado. Here are the second Eastern Conference rankings of the season.


T1: Prince Albert Raiders



100pts. – A successful road trip through the US Division is ridiculously hard to accomplish and the Raiders did. Time to consider them as the real deal? We’re almost there. (UP 5)

T1: Brandon Wheat Kings



100pts. (5-1-0-0) – Need to find a way to stay hungry all year when they could just turn it on in February. (EVEN)




92pts. – They could upgrade their goaltending duo, their defence is touch ‘n go, another injury could derail them. (EVEN)




83pts. – Could be higher, have only beaten 1 team ahead of them in the standings. Still better than expected, this team is for real. (UP 1)




74pts. – Is the recent slide a sign of them coming back to Earth? (DOWN 2)




62 pts. – Injuries taking their toll, standings are not reflective of how good they are when healthy. (DOWN 5)

7: Saskatoon Blades



54pts. – Better than they have been in years but still a work in progress. (EVEN)




43 pts. – After a rough start the Pats are still finding their footing. (UP 2)

9: swift current broncos



36pts. – Acquiring Jon Martin from Kootenay proving to be a brilliant move. Bow keeping them in games. (UP 2)




30pts. – Addition of Lotz will pay off, injuries hurting them even more than the Hitmen. (DOWN 1)




20pts. – Work hard and are in every game but can’t put the puck in the net. 5-game losing streak, last 4 were at home. (DOWN 3)

12: Kootenay Ice



9pts. – Worst team in the East, no signs of improvement on the horizon. (EVEN)




So there you have it. Some pretty significant changes in how voters saw the East over the past two weeks. There are still so many questions and the season is still very much in its infancy. I imagine it will take another month or two before we really start to see teams lock things down and establish themselves as Eastern powerhouses. Can teams like Lethbridge, PA, and Moose Jaw continue to overachieve? What about some of the middling teams like Medicine Hat and Regina? What of the Hitmen and the big moves they announced today?

Check back in two weeks for answers!



  1. Brock Boot says:

    It’s a little disappointing the votes turned out to pretty well reflect the current standings. I know I had Lethbridge ahead of Red Deer and Brandon on top. I also felt that the Blades deserved to move ahead of the Hitmen. But I guess that’s the joy of voting with group rather than arbitrarily selecting teams yourself.

    Ps. If anyone reading this can pass along a vector version of the new Raiders logo, or a high resolution png. I would be very grateful. The only version I can find without a background is very low resolution and looks terrible.

  2. Anon says:

    I think it’s laughable people are biting so hard on Lethbridge. Are they improved? Yes. But they also have well above average save percentage and shooting percentages so far this season…each which are likely not sustainable considering how their actual roster looks (yes, their goaltending will probably stay better than league average). They’ll end up as a borderline playoff team I think.

    I do agree Saskatoon deserves some more credit here eventually. Tough to move them up much higher but they won 3 of 4 games on a tough Alberta swing and yet get little recognition, even in the comment on their ranking.

    1. Anon says:

      Oh, and I still think it’s clear Brandon is the top team in the East as PA doesn’t have the top talent to stay in there and battle toe to toe with the likes of the Wheat Kings or even Red Deer.

  3. Natem says:

    Not sure I would put Brandon as a T1 after a loss to Portland. Good teams don’t do down 5-0 after playing a team playing third game straight. PA has my vote and beat Portland in their barn.

  4. Brock Boot says:


    Why so down on the Hurricanes? Have you seen them play?

    Now… this site primarily discusses the Hurricanes so I might be a little bias, but I really think they deserve to be where they are ranked. Ive watched 9/10 games and they have been full credit for the wins.

    I can see why people would be skeptical though. It seems to me there was talent hidden here that Kisio has unlocked. No one was talking about them, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t talented.

    I can also see both arguments on ranking Brandon higher or lower. I just can’t help but think they are going to really pull things together down the stretch. Their goal and shot differentials are very strong.

    1. Anon says:

      I am very familiar with them and their full roster, having watched them several times this season and plenty last year too. I like a lot of their pieces but I already explained my reasoning for why they’re bound to slip back down to earth a bit eventually. They’re getting better than sustainable goaltending and shooting numbers. You see what’s happening with the Calgary Flames in the NHL this year compared to last? It’s called regression back to the mean. Something similar should happen with the Hurricanes eventually this season, too, as I don’t see the skill on their roster that will continue to see them leading the entire WHL in team shooting percentage like they are now. In saying that, I give them full credit for how they’ve managed to start the year. It’s nice to see as the franchise and city deserve some good news after a long tough haul.

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