Unlike the Kings, who limped into the playoffs (winning only one of their final six games in regulation), the team’s prospects were riding high as the post-season arrived.
They had the WHL scoring champion (Linden Vey, Medicine Hat Tigers), a player on the top team in the WHL (Brayden Schenn, Saskatoon Blades), the OHL scoring champion (Tyler Toffoli, Ottawa 67’s), a player on the top team in the OHL (Maxim Kitsyn, Mississauga St. Michaels Majors), one of the top goaltenders in the QMJHL (JF Berube, Montreal Junior) and one of the top defensemen in the ‘Q’ (Nic Deslauriers, Gatineau, Olympiques).
They all stopped by MayorsManor to offer playoff previews. And they all had such high hopes. Yet, over the last six weeks they’ve all been bounced, one by one.
Toffoli exited first, in a four game sweep. Next was Schenn, swept out of the second round.
Berube and Montreal also lost in the second round – although their series went six games.
Vey and Medicine Hat were swept out of the WHL’s Western Conference Finals.
Gatineau pushed the QMJHL Championship series to double overtime of game six last night. Unfortunately, they came up on the losing end, 3-2…and lost the series 4-2.
Deslauriers did finish as the highest scoring defenseman in the QMJHL playoffs though (20 points – 5 goals and 15 assists – in 24 games).
Kitsyn and the Majors made it all the way to overtime of game seven of the OHL Championship. Still, they lost 3-2.
And with that, it’s over. All of the league championships have now been decided.
None of the Kings’ prospects came away with a title.
Now, it’s on to the Memorial Cup. For those unfamiliar, it’s a four-team tournament comprised of the three league champions (WHL, OHL and QMJHL), along with the host city. This year, it will be in Mississauga. So, Kitsyn still has one more shot at hoisting something this spring. Things get underway Friday.
For the record, the last Kings prospect to win the tournament was Andrei Loktionov with the Windsor Spitfires in 2009.