WHL Power Rankings – Week 26: Winterhawks Near Division Takeover


The Winterhawks had a chance to close the gap completely on the Silvertips last week but had a slip up. That being said, they still control the division destiny. I think if they finish the season at 94 points, they are division champs. While that is all fine and dandy, we all know the regular season doesn’t matter for this team. They are going for a fifth straight conference title, and winning the division would make the road to that title just a tad easier.

We all would like to see playoff matchup against the Thunderbirds, but I am sure anyone in that Winterhawks’ locker room would rather not. Seattle had the Winterhawks number for much of the year this year, and a first round matchup with them scares me.

Checkout where the Winterhawks stand in Week 26’s WHL Power Rankings:

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1,Brandon Wheat Kings,52-11-7,—,1A,”Brandon Wheat Kings~~The Wheat Kings must read this last week and been fired up. They only spent one week demoted to “1A” before jumping the Rockets. Look out for this team in the next month.”
1A,Kelowna Rockets,51-13-6,—,1,”Kelowna Rockets~~This drop down the rankings should not be looked at as a bad thing. This team is still extremely good and will be the playoff favorites out of the west. ”
3,Portland Winter Hawks,42-21-6,—,3,”Portland Winterhawks~~Other than one slip up, this team continues to play well. Still within scratching distance of the division title. With four games to go against inferior opponents, I think they will win the division if they win three of them. ”
4,Calgary Hitmen,43-22-5,—,4,”Calgary Hitmen~~The Hitmen have a one-point lead with three games to go. Though they aren’t clicking on all cylinders, they are doing just enough to keep the lead. ”
5,Everett Silvertips,41-20-8,—,5,”Everett Silvertips~~Somehow the Silvertips have managed to keep off the trailing Winterhawks, though that could come to an end soon. The Silvertips have a much harder remaining schedule than Portland does. ”
6,Victoria Royals,38-28-4,—,6,”Victoria Royals~~The Royals are doing exactly what I thought they would do. With nothing to play for, they win one then lose one. These losses will not affect how they play in the playoffs and the Royals should be just fine.”
7,Medicine Hat Tigers,43-23-4,—,7,”Medicine Hat Tigers~~The Tigers are only one point away. Yes, they completely melted down the last month of the season, but it has seemed to re-motivate them to win the division. I think they might snatch away the title on the last night of the season. ”
8,Kootenay Ice,37-39-4,[icon name=icon-arrow-up] +1,9,”Kootenay Ice~~The Ice has clinched a playoff spot. Which would be surprising to anyone who only read my first four weeks of rankings when I had them written off. They climbed out of the hole, which means they might be able to surprise some people in the playoffs. ”
9,Regina Pats,37-23-10,[icon name=icon-arrow-down] -1,8,”Regina Pats~~The Pats are in pause mode until the playoffs begin. They are just going through the motions, which could be a good thing or a bad thing. I still see them winning some playoff games. ”
10,Red Deer Rebels,37-22-11,[icon name=icon-arrow-up] +1,11,”Red Deer Rebels~~Though it’s a complete long shot. If the Rebels win out and the Hitmen and Tigers lose out, the Rebels win the division. In more realistic terms, they will finish third in the Central Division. ”
11,Seattle Thunderbirds,36-25-9,[icon name=icon-arrow-down] -1,10,”Seattle Thunderbirds~~The Thunderbirds couldn’t climb any spots in the division. So depending on how the season ends, it would be a fitting first round matchup with the Winterhawks.”
12,Spokane Chiefs,34-31-4,—,12,”Spokane Chiefs~~The Chiefs have officially clinched a playoff spot. They do not know who their first round opponent will be, but either way, they are in. While this team has some talent to upset a team or two, I don’t see them getting past the first round. ”
13,Prince George Cougars,30-35-5,[icon name=icon-arrow-up] +2,15,”Prince George Cougars~~Three games left and the Cougars still have not clinched a spot in the tournament. They do have a two point advantage over two teams though. With all three games against one of those teams chasing them, they control their own destiny. ”
14,Edmonton Oil Kings,33-30-7,—,14,”Edmonton Oil Kings~~The Oil Kings will have a chance to defend their title. They will enter this year’s tournament as an underdog though. As the last seed in the east, they will have to play Brandon. Uh oh.”
15,Swift Current Broncos,32-33-4,[icon name=icon-arrow-up] +1,16,”Swift Current Broncos~~Technically the Broncos have not clinched the playoffs yet, though it would take a real collapse to miss. This team at the start of the season was in the top 3 in these rankings. What happened?”
16,Tri-City Americans,29-37-3,[icon name=icon-arrow-down] -1,15,”Tri-City Americans~~Out of the three teams fighting for two playoffs spots in the west, the Americans have a big advantage. They have both a game in hand and will benefit from the other two teams playing each other three times. ”
17,Prince Albert Raiders,29-37-4,[icon name=icon-arrow-up] +1,18,”Prince Albert Raiders~~Better luck next year Raiders, though you turned it on over the second half of the season a little bit, it was never going to be enough.”
18,Moose Jaw Warriors,31-34-5,[icon name=icon-arrow-up] +1,19,”Moose Jaw Warriors~~Like I said last week, it would take a true miracle to make the postseason for the Warriors. Well that miracle still has some life left. Very little life though, as they are stuck playing two games against the Wheat Kings to finish the season. ”
19,Kamloops Blazers,27-36-7,[icon name=icon-arrow-up] +1,20,”Kamloops Blazers~~Holy hockey! The Blazers have a ripe opportunity sitting in front of them. The team sitting two points ahead of them happens to be the same team they play the final three games of the season. ”
20,Vancouver Giants,27-40-3,[icon name=icon-arrow-down] -2,18,”Vancouver Giants~~The Giants are not officially eliminated from the playoffs, but I think it is official. Vancouver would need so many things to go right for them; they would have better luck playing the lottery.”
21,Lethbridge Hurricanes,20-42-8,—,21,”Lethbridge Hurricanes~~The Hurricanes are going to finish the season in 21st spot. Considering that is where they have been for most of the season, that seems fitting.”
22,Saskatoon Blades,19-47-4,—,22,”Saskatoon Blades~~Lets put this number into perspective, if you add up the points from the Blades and Hurricanes seasons. Three teams would be ahead of them and could be six by the end of the weekend.”


Ryan Boshoven
Ryan is a former Division 1 athlete now working in the world of sport marketing. He earned his Master's Degree in Sports Business. He likes to spend his free time playing golf and going to sporting events. Ryan also has two brothers that are the same age as him. "Being a triplet is pretty awesome!" he says.