Canucks prospect Connor Lockhart will play in the Memorial Cup after winning the OHL Championship

By Faber
1 year ago
Connor Lockhart was prepared to come to Vancouver for Canucks development camp in five weeks, but it looks like he will have an early trip to British Columbia as his Peterborough Petes won the OHL championship and will represent the OHL at the Memorial Cup in Kamloops.
The Memorial Cup begins on May 26th and Lockhart will be the only Canucks’ prospect who is playing in the tournament.
We will see the WHL with two representatives as the Kamloops Blazers are the host and the Seattle Thunderbirds won the WHL championship.
The Thunderbirds are a powerhouse team from the west. They have nine drafted players with a few more expected to go in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. Some of their top scorers include Jared Davidson (MON), Lucas Ciona (CAL), Kevin Korchnski (CHI), Reid Schaefer (NASH), Brad Lambert (WIN), Dylan Guenther (ARI), Luke Prokop (NASH), and Jeremy Hanzel (Undrafted).
It was a hell of a playoff run for the Thunderbirds, as they only lost three games en route to four series wins. They will be a force at the tournament.
The Blazers are led by Logan Stankoven (DAL) and feature nine draft picks of their own.
As for the QMJHL, the Quebec Remparts and their head coach Patrick Roy will come in after a back-and-forth final series to decide the QMJHL’s champion.
The Remparts have seven draft picks, including Justin Robidas (CAR), Zachary Bolduc (STL), Evan Nurse (FLA), and Nathan Gaucher (ANA).
Lockhart’s Petes had a wild road to get to the Memorial Cup. They played in two six-game series’ and one seven-game battle against fellow Canucks prospect Josh Bloom and his North Bay Battalion.
The Petes are led by nine draft picks, including Brennan Othmann (NYR), Tucker Robertson (SEA), Owen Beck (MTL), Chase Stillman (NJD), and Lockhart (VAN).
Lockhart was fifth in scoring on the Petes’ playoff run, he had seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in 23 games — including a hat trick on April 24th.
The favourite has to be the Seattle Thunderbirds. Their team was dominant all season long but stepped up their game to another level in the playoffs. The teams from out east will have to play their style to perfection to beat the Thunderbirds while the Blazers hope to sneak a win out against the Thunderbirds as they did twice in their WHL playoff series.
The Memorial Cup begins on May 26th with the Remparts facing off with the host Blazers.
Lockhart schedule looks like this:
May 27th at 3:00 pm vs Thunderbirds
May 28th at 3:00 pm vs Blazers
May 30th at 6:00 pm vs Remparts
June 1st at 6:00 pm (Tie-Breaker if required)
June 2nd at 7:00 pm (Semi-Final)
June 4th at 4:00 pm (Championship Final)
We won’t be making the trip up to Kamloops but will certainly be following along with Lockhart’s success.
Lockhart has not signed an entry-level contract with the Canucks and will be able to sign with any NHL team if the Canucks don’t offer him a contract by June 1st. We may see Lockhart get an AHL contract with the Canucks but his hope all season long has been to earn an entry-level contract with the Canucks.
Maybe three big preliminary games will get the Canucks excited enough to offer an ELC before he becomes a free agent.
Lockhart finished the regular season with 29 goals and 50 assists for 79 points in 66 games. He’s got a lot of skill and speed but the worry had always been about his size. At 5’9″, he needs to work extremely hard to earn a pro contract and we hope to see him get a chance with Abbotsford next season in the AHL. The kid has enough pace to keep up with NHL speed but he needs to find a way to get his game to fit that level. It’s probably going to take some years of AHL seasoning.

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