WHL 2015-2016 Predictions

WHL 50th Anniversary LogoThe Kelowna Rockets are the defending Western Hockey League Champions.  The 2015-2016 WHL season is three weeks away from opening night on Thursday, September 24th when the Regina Pats open the season on the road versus the Moose Jaw Warriors.  For all you Rockets fans, the start the next night at home vs the rival Kamloops Blazers.  It’s the 50th Anniversary of the WHL.

Prior to the season getting started, we here at The Hockey Fanatic would like to make our predictions for the 2015-2016 WHL Season.  The CHL is following the NHL and AHL’s lead on moving to 3-on-3 overtime format in hopes of reducing the number of games decided by a shootout.  This cold work in favor of some of the faster teams out there.

WHL Predictions:  2015-2016

Can the Rockets repeat as Champions?  Or is this the year that the Brandon Wheat Kings final become WHL Champions once again?  Here is a look at how we think the 22 Western Hockey League teams will fair this season.

2015-2016 WHL Eastern Conference Predictions

Rank Eastern Conference
1 Calgary Hitmen
2 Brandon Wheat Kings
3 Medicine Hat Tigers
4 Regina Pats
5 Red Deer Rebels
6 Edmonton Oil Kings
7 Swift Current Broncos
8 Kootenay Ice
9 Moose Jaw Warriors
10 Prince Albert Raiders
11 Saskatoon Blades
12 Lethbridge Hurricanes

We like the Wheat Kings, but think that the Hitmen might just have a better regular season.  Teams to watch in the Eastern Conference include the Regina Pats and Red Deer Rebels who both could have strong seasons.  I watched the Lethbridge Hurricanes and few times last season and they just looked terrible, some roster changes aside I think this could be another interesting year for the Canes.

2015-2016 WHL Eastern Conference Predictions

Rank Western Conference
1 Everett Silvertips
2 Kelowna Rockets
3 Portland Winterhawks
4 Victoria Royals
5 Seattle Thunderbirds
6 Prince George Cougars
7 Tri-City Americans
8 Vancouver Giants
9 Spokane Chiefs
10 Kamloops Blazers

We like the Silvertips on top of the Western Conference this season.  Kevin Constantine is a tremendous coach and has Everett perfoming well these past couple of seasons.  Although we can never count our perennial contenders the Kelowna Rockets and Portland Winterhawks.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rockets finished atop the Western Conference again.  They probably won’t match last seasons 113 points which was one point shy of WHL leader Brandon, but they should top the 100 point plateau again.  A couple of teams to watch include the Victoria Royals and the Tri City Americans who seem to be on the rise.