The Memorial Cup is a hockey tournament that some avid hockey fans (and all junior hockey fans) follow with great intensity. It’s a tournament that features the best teams in Canadian Junior hockey, and as such is a brilliant showcase for recently drafted, and draft-eligible players. As you might imagine, it’s a hotbed for scouting activity. Taking place as it does in May, it’s a perfect last opportunity to get a look at some players your team might be drafting heading into the June draft.
Briefly, the format of the Cup is effectively a four-team round robin tournament. The hosting team (this year the Brandon Wheat Kings) and the champions of the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League get together to determine the “best junior team in Canada.” Technically the tournament also has the potential to be crashed by a handful of US teams which are in the Canadian hockey League.
This year the tournament featured the Brandon Wheat Kings (Host Team), Windosr Spitfires (OHL), Calgary Hitmen (WHL) and the Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL). The Kings had representatives on the Brandon Wheat Kings as well as the Calgary Hitmen. With Brayden Schenn featuring as a star for the host Wheat Kings and both Martin Jones in goal and Brandon Kozun featuring for the Calgary Hitmen.
All three put in legitimate performances, with Braden Schenn ending up with one goal and five assists in five games as well as an assist on the only goal in the final. Martin Jones posted a 2-1-1 record with a 3.71 GAA and decent .907 save percentage in four games. To put that in perspective, he was also named the Outstanding Goalie of the Tournament, so despite a seemingly high GAA he did quite well. Brandon Kozun was out injured for the majority of the tournament put up two assists in two games.
After Brandon defeated Calgary in the semi-final, it was set for the Brandon Wheat Kings to take on the defending champion Windsor Spitfires in the final. It was not a close game. The Wheat Kings were systematically dismantled by the Spitfires, and lost the game 9-1. Yea, that’s not a friendly score. Schenn got on the board, but apparently neither he, nor his teammates really showed up for this game. Props must be given to the Spitfires and their players, but damn. 9-1? That’s rough…
So who set themselves apart in your eyes? We’re getting ready to post a mock draft here on Rinkroyalty.com, and we’d love to hear who you’ve got your eyes on for the Kings!