The Ottawa Senators inked Medicine Hat Tigers captain Wacey Hamilton to an entry-level deal on Wednesday, according to WHL.com. The move may seem insignificant at first glance, but it could foreshadow bigger moves made by NHL teams whose playoff lives hang in the balance.
One such team, the Los Angeles Kings, currently sit on the brink of missing the playoffs — tied for eighth in the West with the Minnesota Wild. The Kings have three dynamic offensive prospects in the WHL who could contribute in the very near future.
Brayden Schenn (C, Saskatoon Blades) — Last Tuesday, the WHL named Schenn Player of the Month for February. The younger brother of Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Luke Schenn led all scorers with 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists) in February. Drafted fifth-overall in 2009, Schenn has 19 goals and 27 assists since the Brandon Wheat Kings traded him to his hometown Saskatoon Blades in December. His 2.2 points per game leads the WHL. Schenn already has eight NHL games under his belt, picking up two assists over that brief stint in October.
Linden Vey (RW, Medicine Hat Tigers) — The Kings’ fourth round selection in 2009 leads the WHL in scoring with 112 points — six points better than his nearest competitor. He ranks in the top ten in goals (44), assists (68) and plus-minus (plus-36). The 19-year-old scored two goals in a 6-2 win over Calgary on Tuesday night and has a point in each of his last 13 games. This will mark the second straight season Vey has led Medicine Hat in scoring.
Jordan Weal (C, Regina Pats) — In his third full season in Regina, Weal has a career-high 36 goals and 52 assists. Last year, Weal finished third in the league in scoring (102 points) behind fellow Kings prospect Brandon Kozun and Edmonton Oilers forward Jordan Eberle before the Kings selected him 70th-overall. At just 18 years old, he is the youngest of the group. The Kings sent Weal and Vey back to the WHL in the first round of roster cuts during training camp in September.