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In Cam Fowler, left, and Taylor Hall, centre, defending champion Widsor has two of the top four rated players for this year's NHL draft. ((Greg Plante/Canadian Press))

North American Central Scouting chief scout Mark Seidel breaks down the four teams competing at the 2010 Memorial Cup tournament in Brandon, Man.

Brandon Wheat Kings (host, WHL)

Record:

  • 50-18-1-3 regular season; 9-6 playoffs

NHL drafted players:

  • C Brayden Schenn: 1st round, 2009, Los Angeles Kings
  • C Scott Glennie: 1st round, 2009, Dallas Stars
  • D Colby Robak: 2nd round, 2008, Florida Panthers
  • D Travis Hamonic: 2nd round, 2008, New York Islanders
  • D Alexander Urbom: 3rd round, 2007, New Jersey Devils
  • RW Tony Rajala: 4th round, 2009, Edmonton Oilers
  • LW Matt Calvert: 5th round, 2009, Columbus Blue Jackets

Players eligible for 2010 NHL draft:

  • RW Mark Stone: rated 95th overall by North American Central Scouting
  • LW Michael Ferland: rated 107th

Coach:

  • Kelly McCrimmon: 8th season with Brandon

Key questions:

Can the Wheat Kings, having been off for the longest period of time after getting knocked out of the WHL playoffs, turn it on and compete with the best teams in the country? Can the goaltenders step up and give better performances then they did against Calgary in the conference final? Can high-scoring first rounders Schenn and Glennie combine with Calvert, Fehr and Lewadniuk to score enough to make up for average goaltending?

Brandon will win the Memorial Cup if: they can ride the home crowd, play up to their capabilities and get above-average goaltending.

Brandon will miss the playoff round if: they get the same shoddy goaltending performance that did them in earlier in the playoffs. 

 

Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL champion)

Record:

  • 48-14-22-4 regular season; 16-5 playoffs

NHL drafted players:

  • LW Nicholas Deschamps: 2nd round, 2008, Anaheim Ducks
  • D David Savard: 4th round, 2009, Columbus Blue Jackets
  • C Kelsey Tessier: 4th round, 2008, Colorado Avalanche
  • LW Gabrial Bourque: 5th round, 2009, Nashville Predators
  • G Nicola Riopel: 5th round, 2009, Philadelphia Flyers
  • C Randy Cameron: 5th round, 2007, Detroit Red Wings
  • D Mark Barbiero: 6th round, 2008, Tampa Bay Lightning

Players eligible for 2010 NHL draft:

  • D Brandon Gormley: rated 8th overall by North American Central Scouting
  • LW Marek Hrivik: rated 178th

Coach:

  • Danny Flynn: 3rd season with Moncton

Key questions:

Can a team without any superstars play good, solid hockey and score enough to win it all? Can the toughest schedule in the tournament (three games in four days) be handled by this hard-working group? Can Brandon Gormley step up under the spotlight and outplay the more highly touted Cam Fowler of the Windsor Spitfires?

Moncton will win the Memorial Cup if: they are able to keep the scores low and Riopel is clearly the best goaltender in the tournament.

Moncton will miss the playoff round if: the tough schedule wears them down and they aren't disciplined because they have to keep the scores low.

 

Windsor Spitfires (OHL champion)

Record:

  • 50-12-1-5 regular season; 16-3 playoffs

NHL drafted players and signed free agents:

  • D Ryan Ellis: 1st round, 2009, Nashville Predators
  • RW Zach Kassian: 1st round, 2009, Buffalo Sabres
  • C Greg Nemisz: 1st round, 2009, Calgary Flames
  • RW Kenny Ryan: 2nd round, 2009 Toronto Maple Leafs
  • C Adam Henrique: 3rd round, 2008, New Jersey Devils
  • RW Dale Mitchell: 3rd round, 2007, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • C Scott Timmins: 6th round, 2009, Florida Panthers
  • C Stephen Johnston: 6th round, 2008, Detroit Red Wings
  • LW Eric Wellwood: 6th round, 2009, Philadelphia Flyers
  • D Harry Young: 7th round, 2008, New Jersey Devils
  • D Mark Cundari: Free agent signing, 2008, St. Louis Blues  

Players eligible for 2010 NHL draft:

  • LW Taylor Hall: rated 2nd overall by North American Central Scouting
  • D Cam Fowler: rated 4th
  • RW Justin Shugg: rated 86th
  • G Phillip Grubauer: rated 107th

Coach:

  • Bob Boughner: 4th season with Windsor

Key questions:

Will the experience as the defending Memorial Cup champions give them a huge advantage over the other three rookie teams? Will Grubauer keep playing the way he did against Barrie in the OHL final or will he revert back to his spotty play from early in the playoffs and especially early in the Kitchener series? Will Taylor Hall continue to prove that he is the best player outside of the NHL?

Windsor will win the Memorial Cup if: their experience and depth allow them to dominate opponents and intimidate throughout.

Windsor will miss the playoff round if: Grubauer reverts back to the way he played against Kitchener and they come in too over-confident.

 

Calgary Hitmen (WHL champion)

Record:

  • 52-17-1-2 regular season; 16-7 playoffs

NHL drafted players:

  • D Michael Stone: 3rd round, 2008, Phoenix Coyotes
  • RW Ian Schultz: 3rd round, 2008, St. Louis Blues
  • LW Kris Foucault: 4th round, 2009, Minnesota Wild
  • RW Taylor Shattock: 4th round, 2009, St. Louis Blues
  • C Joel Broda: 5th round, 2008, Washington Capitals
  • C Brandon Kozun: 6th round, 2009, Los Angeles Kings
  • RW Jimmy Bubnick: 6th round, 2009, Atlanta Thrashers

Players eligible for 2010 NHL draft:

  • D Matt MacKenzie: rated 68th overall by North American Central Scouting
  • RW Cody Beach: rated 147th
  • C Cody Sylvester: rated 177th

Coach:

  • Mike Williamson: 1st season with Calgary

Key Questions:

Can Kozun return from his ankle injury to lead the Hitmen offence like he did during the regular season when he led the entire CHL with 107 points? Can the defence "do it by committee" without any real stars on the back end? Will late-blooming goaltender Martin Jones validate the free-agent contract given to him by the Los Angeles Kings and steal a game or two?

Calgary will win the Memorial Cup if: they can get scoring from all 4 lines and Martin Jones can be the best goaltender in the tournament.

Calgary will miss the playoff round if: the back end doesn't rise to the occasion and limit the scoring chances, and gives up power-play goals.