The Canadian Hockey League announced today the ninth edition of the CHL Team of the Week for the 2021-22 regular season based on individual performances from Nov. 29 to Dec. 5.
Leading the forward ranks is Portland Winterhawks overage left-wing and Tampa Bay Lightning draftee Jaydon Dureau who recorded three goals and seven assists for 10 points across a trio of contests. Currently riding a seven-game point streak, that stretch included Wednesday’s 6-2 win over Prince George in which Dureau scored twice and added two assists en route to third-star honours. The native of White City, Sask., was also later recognized as the WHL Player of the Week. Through 12 appearances, Dureau has collected 17 points to rank fourth in team scoring.
Also up front is Shawinigan Cataractes centre Xavier Bourgault who registered nine points counting five goals and four assists through three appearances. Facing Halifax on Saturday, Bourgault put up a first-star performance as he netted his second hat-trick of the season and added an assist to help guide his squad to a 5-4 victory. For his efforts, the 19-year-old product of L’Islet, Que., was named the QMJHL Player of the Week. With 42 points through 24 appearances, the Edmonton Oilers first-round pick sits just three points shy of top spot in league-wide scoring.
Rounding out the forward ranks is Windsor Spitfires centre Wyatt Johnston who through a pair of showings registered two goals and seven assists for nine points, highlighted by Friday’s 7-5 road win versus Sarnia in which the 18-year-old Toronto native dominated with a six-point effort. Johnston was later recognized as the OHL Player of the Week. A first-round selection by the Dallas Stars in last summer’s NHL Draft, Johnston currently leads his club in scoring with 36 points counting 13 goals and 23 assists across 21 appearances.
On the blue line, Anaheim Ducks draftee Olen Zellweger of the Everett Silvertips brought plenty of offensive punch, to the tune of nine points counting one goal and eight assists across four contests. Coming away with an 8-2 triumph over Tri-City on Friday, Zellweger put up a first-star showing as he decorated the scoresheet with a goal and four helpers. An 18-year-old native of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., Zellweger’s strong showing this season has seen him collect seven goals and 20 assists in 21 games, putting him a lone point back of the team scoring lead.
Also on the back end is Kingston Frontenacs blue-liner Jake Murray who notched one goal and six assists for seven points through three contests. Collecting at least one point in each of his past five outings, that stretch includes Sunday’s 5-1 win against Ottawa in which he picked up three assists. With 17 points through 22 games, the 19-year-old Oakville, Ont., native leads all club defencemen in scoring.
Between the pipes, Leevi Merilainen of the Kingston Frontenacs came away with the victory in a pair of contests in which he combined for 48 saves on 49 shots. The 2002-born Finnish netminder put together his top performance of the week Friday against Oshawa as he turned aside all 28 shots en route to a 5-0 victory and his first career shutout. The Ottawa Senators up-and-comer was later recognized as the OHL Goaltender of the Week. On the season, Merilainen has won 12 of 19 appearances while coming away with a .897 save percentage and 3.10 goals-against average.