PROSPECTS: 5 Blackhawks Draft Picks Set to Start CHL Playoffs

The Canadian junior seasons are wrapping up and five Blackhawks prospects are set to begin their bids for their respective league titles, and ultimately a bid for the 2022 Memorial Cup.

Playoffs start this week for the Western Hockey League and Ontario Hockey League in the Canadian junior ranks. The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League set to wrap its regular season by the end of the month before their postseason begins. The champion from each of the three leagues will compete for the ultimate Canadian Hockey League title, alongside the hosts from the QMJHL, the Saint Johns Sea Dogs.

It’s the first time the Memorial Cup will be held since 2019, canceled for the past two seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COLTON DACH – Kelowna Rockets (WHL)

In 61 games during his first season in Kelowna, colton dachs led the Rockets in assists (50) and points (79) while typing for the team lead in goals (29). Dach, a 2021 second-round pick and the younger brother of Kirby Dachleads all Blackhawks prospects across any league with 79 points and is the only player averaging more than a point per game (1.30 PPG).

The fifth-seeded Rockets open a first-round Western Conference series against the No. 4 seed Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday. The two teams enter the playoffs as two of the hottest teams in the league with 8-2-0-0 records over their final 10 regular-season games.

Video: Colton Dach on being selected by Blackhawks

JALEN LUYPEN – Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

A seventh-round pick in last year’s draft, Jalen Luypen has taken a large step in his fourth season with the Edmonton Oil Kings, posting 64 points (29G, 35A) in 66 games during the regular season. He finished third in goal scoring and fourth in assists on the WHL’s third-highest scoring team, while leading the Oil Kings in first goals in a game (9), insurance goals (6) and short-handed tallies (3).

The second seed in the WHL’s Eastern Conference, Edmonton opens up a first-round series against the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Thursday night.

NOLAN ALLAN – Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)

Drafted as a shutdown blueliner with the final pick in last year’s first round, Nolan Allan has found his offensive touch this season in Prince Albert, leading the team with 34 assists in 65 games while adding seven tallies himself, three of which were game-winners. In 81 WHL games over the prior three seasons, Allan totaled three goals and eight assists.

The Raiders entered the WHL playoffs as the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference with a 28-35-4-1 record and drew a stiff first-round matchup against the Winnipeg ICE, who led the league in regular-season with a 53 -10-3-2 record. Game one of the series begins on Friday night.

Video: Allan on first NHL training camp

ETHAN DEL MASTRO – Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)

In another step forward this season, defenseman Ethan del Master, a 2021 fourth-round selection, logged 48 points (7G, 41A) in 68 games this season for the Mississauga Steelheads after posting just seven assists in 57 games in his last OHL campaign in 2019-20 before the COVID-19 pandemic. The Steelheads captain far and away led the team — which allowed the second-fewest goals in the entire OHL — in plus-minus with a +34 rating and had the unique distinction of leading Mississauga in both penalty minutes (91) and power -play assists (15).

The Steelheads open a first-round series against the Barrie Colts on Friday night in a No. 4 vs. No. 5 first-round matchup.

LOUIS CREVIER – Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)

In his first season since joining the Quebec Remparts, louis crevier has already posted career highs in assists (23) and points (33), and is tied for his career mark in goals (10) with five games to play in the QMJHL regular season. The defenseman, drafted in the seventh round in 2020 and signed to an entry-level deal earlier this seasonis logging top-four minutes for a Remparts team that has allowed the fewest goals per game in the entire league.

Quebec has already locked up a division title on the year and is in a battle for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and the league overall, currently one point ahead of conference compatriot Charlottetown. The QMJHL playoffs will begin in early May upon the conclusion of the regular season slate.

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