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Catching up with Brendan Leipsic

Saturday, 02.1.2014 / 11:30 AM CT / Features
By Alexis Tahara  - NashvillePredators.com (@AlexisTahara)
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Catching up with Brendan Leipsic

Fans that like to keep a close eye on Preds prospects in Milwaukee and beyond weren’t surprised to hear that Brendan Leipsic, the Preds third-round pick, 89th overall, in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, was named Western Hockey League (WHL) Denny’s Player of the Week for the week ending Jan. 26.

Leipsic, currently in his fourth season with the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL, recorded nine points (6g-3a) in three games last week. The Winterhawks came away with wins in all three of those games, strengthening their lead in the WHL’s U.S. Division.

Preds fans may not be all that familiar with the WHL, a division of the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) that has teams all throughout Canada and the northern parts of the United States, a powerhouse when it comes to producing NHL ready talent.

“It’s as close as you can get to the American Hockey League or the NHL, it’s a challenging league and it has a similar style,” Leipsic said. “We play almost as many games as the NHL, and that’s one of the reasons I decided to come over here, it gets you ready for what that lifestyle will be like.”

In the Winterhawks’ game against the Everett Silvertips on Jan. 26, Leipsic recorded a goal and three assists on his way to earning first star honors, just one of many games this season where Leipsic’s name can be found atop the score sheet.

“Confidence is a big part of it,” Leipsic said. “I’m playing with a great team and with great line mates.”

A player whose playing style has been compared to Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins, Leipsic is creating his own mold these days.

“You need to focus on yourself and trying to improve every day,” Leipsic said, part of the way he is working toward being his own style of player, and also a piece of advice that young hockey players can take with them as they learn the game.

While most of what he has done this season can be defined as “successful,” the Winnipeg, Manitoba native continues to work on ways to improve his game and make himself into a more complete player. While the score sheets scream success, Leipsic is currently working on refining his play in the neutral zone and being stronger on all sides of the puck.

“When it’s a tight game, and you’re up by just a goal, you want to be a trustworthy player in all those types of situations,” Leipsic said.

In the next few years, Leipsic will look to make his name even more well-known in Nashville, a city that he has visited only a few times during Preds rookie development and training camps.

“I think it’s a pretty cool city,” Leipsic said. “I think the temperature will be pretty nice, and getting to see the country music and the concerts.”

Until then, Leipsic and his Winterhawk teammates will look to finish what they started last year as WHL Champions and take home the Mastercard Memorial Cup, the trophy awarded to the top team in the CHL.

“We’re trying to get back there again,” Leipsic said. “We have a good opportunity.”

As the team works toward making that opportunity a reality, Smashville will be watching, keeping an eye on one of many great prospects in the team’s system.

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 DAL 56 36 15 5 182 150 77
2 CHI 59 36 18 5 162 137 77
3 STL 57 31 17 9 138 133 71
4 LAK 54 33 18 3 151 128 69
5 ANA 54 27 19 8 123 127 62
6 COL 58 29 25 4 155 160 62
7 SJS 53 28 20 5 154 143 61
8 NSH 56 26 21 9 147 148 61
9 ARI 54 25 23 6 143 164 56
10 MIN 55 23 22 10 135 138 56
11 VAN 55 22 21 12 127 149 56
12 CGY 54 25 26 3 144 160 53
13 WPG 55 25 27 3 139 157 53
14 EDM 57 22 29 6 138 168 50

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 56 11 31 0 42
F. Forsberg 56 18 18 -7 36
S. Weber 56 15 21 -2 36
M. Ribeiro 56 6 30 3 36
J. Neal 56 21 14 19 35
M. Ekholm 56 6 19 3 25
R. Ellis 55 6 16 2 22
C. Jarnkrok 55 11 8 2 19
C. Smith 56 11 7 -1 18
R. Johansen 16 4 12 6 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 18 8 .902 2.57
C. Hutton 6 2 1 .924 2.10