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CHL scoring races ready for stretch drive

Daniel Nugent-Bowman
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London's Mitch Marner (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

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CHL scoring races ready for stretch drive

Daniel Nugent-Bowman
By:

The CHL season is winding down. That means the races for the respective individual scoring titles – for the most part – are just heating up.

The CHL season is winding down. That means the races for the respective individual scoring titles – for the most part – are just heating up. While Arizona Coyotes prospect Conor Garland has a comfortable lead in the QMJHL, battles in the OHL and WHL appear as though they’ll go right down to the wire. Here are all the players in the CHL with at least 90 points heading into Saturday’s games: Conor Garland, Moncton Wildcats – 109 points Garland may be small at 5-foot-8 and 160 pounds, but he is skilled. Garland wasn’t invited to play for the Americans at the World Junior Championship, but used the time keep pace with his 129-point QMJHL scoring total from a year ago. He now holds a 21-point lead over his nearest challenger, Francis Perron of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. The Coyotes pick (123rd overall in 2015) has already earned an NHL contract, too. Kevin Labanc, Barrie Colts – 103 points Here’s another player who’s cracked the 100-point barrier for the second straight season. The overage Labanc leads the OHL in scoring after being returned to the Colts by the San Jose Sharks. The Staten Island, N.Y., product is putting his best forward as he looks to secure an NHL deal. He was selected in the sixth round (171st overall) by the Sharks in 2014. Christian Dvorak, London Knights – 98 points Dvorak has played sixth fewer games than Labanc. The Knights co-captain missed time while playing in Finland at the world juniors. Another Arizona Coyotes prospect (58th overall in 2014), Dvorak seems well on his way to eclipsing his 109-point showing from a year ago. But will he catch Labanc? Adam Brooks, Regina Pats – 95 points The undrafted 19-year-old Pats center already has 32 more points than he had all of last year. And he’s suited up in seven fewer games. According to NHL Central Scouting, the Winnipegger remains a long shot to be picked at the NHL draft in June. He’s ranked 107th overall among North American skaters in the midterm rankings. However, a current nine-game point streak (six goals and 12 assists) – which has vaulted him atop the WHL scoring list – can only help his cause. Dryden Hunt, Moose Jaw Warriors – 94 points Right behind Brooks in the WHL race is Hunt, another undrafted player. The overage left winger is doing his part to keep pace with his divisional rival. Hunt is red hot right now. He just finished off a stretch where he had four hat tricks – and 13 total goals – in five games. He has 45 goals – eight more than anyone else. Mitch Marner, London Knights – 90 points It should come as no surprise that Marner is on this list. After all, he finished second in OHL scoring last season. Marner (Toronto, fourth overall in 2015) is known for his style points, too. This goal he scored against the Niagara IceDogs on Feb. 12 was a beauty. Brayden Burke, Lethbridge Hurricanes – 90 points The Central Division-leading Hurricanes have already clinched a spot in the WHL playoffs for the first time since 2009. Brayden Burke is a big reason why. The 5-foot-10, 164-pound left winger was passed over in the 2015 NHL draft, yet leads the league with 70 assists.
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CHL scoring races ready for stretch drive