RED DEER – Looking at all four teams in this year’s Mastercard Memorial Cup, there’s a trend going on from each squad. Sure, every team has the offensive firepower to light up any game at any moment, but the trend most noticeable is the defensive stud running the back end. Each team has a defensemen who logs big minutes, and plays against the opposing team’s top players.
Ranking from 1-4, are the best defensemen in the tournament:
4) Jeremy Lauzon – Rouyn-Noranda Huskies
Though many believe Lauzon won’t be ready for the tournament, due to a scary neck laceration injury, if he wasn’t injured he would’ve been third, as he means more to the Huskies, then Juolevi is to London. The Boston second-rounder is a great offensive d-man, with very good hockey sense. If Rouyn-Noranda get him back, watch out for the Huskies.
3) Olli Juolevi – London Knights
Olli Juolevi is somewhat of the forgotten man in the London Knights show starring Mitch Marner, Christian Dvorak, and Matthew Tkachuk, but is just as good, and just as important as those three guys. The projected top 10 pick in this upcoming draft is a great two-way defensemen, with solid puck moving and skating ability. Yet another weapon in the Knights’ arsenal.
2) Haydn Fleury – Red Deer Rebels
Arguably the Rebels best player, Fleury is everything to Red Deer. The Hurricanes prospect runs their powerplay, plays against the opposing team’s best players, kills penalties, you name it. The former fourth overall pick, is a tremendous skater, with elite puck moving skills, and makes an excellent first pass. Not to mention, he’s great with his stick.
1) Ivan Provorov – Brandon Wheat Kings
With all the firepower Brandon has, Ivan Provorov is hands down the Wheat Kings best player, even with players such as Nolan Patrick, Jayce Hawryluk, and John Quenneville on the roster. Let alone, Provorov could be the best player in the tournament. The Flyers prospect is everything one looks for in a defensemen. He’s a big, physical shutdown defensemen, with strong hockey sense, smooth skating ability, and a strong shot. Watch for him to be a key role in Brandon’success.