Buzzing The Net - Junior Hockey

Top NHL draft prospect Sam Reinhart leads Ice over Hurricanes: Wednesday’s 3 starsNo. 1 star: Sam Reinhart (Kootenay Ice, WHL)

Reinhart is making a stronger case with every passing game to have his name called first at the 2014 NHL entry draft.

With his team up 2-1 against the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the middle of the second frame, Reinhart took over the latter half of the game. Following scoring an even-strength goal in the second period, he set up a Zak Zborosky marker and potted his second of the night on the power play to lead the Ice to a 5-2 win.

The 6-foot-1, 183-pound centre sits second in the WHL scoring race behind Spokane Chiefs forward Mitch Holmberg with seven goals and 19 points in eight games. It is inevitable that his current point production of 2.37 points a night will drop off, but he’s already shown he’s capable of scoring 100-plus points this year despite not having a great offensive supporting cast in Kootenay. Albeit it appears he’ll have to notch triple digits in less than 72 games because he seems to have a great shot at earning a spot on Team Canada’s world junior squad.

No. 2 star: Tommy Vannelli (Medicine Hat Tigers, WHL)

Vannelli’s transition to the WHL from high school hockey has been silky smooth. The proof was in the pudding in the Tigers’ 4-1 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound defenceman scored two goals in the opening frame and finished the game with a plus-3 rating.

Vannelli’s decision to back out on the University of Minnesota has clearly been one the reasons the Tigers have gotten off to a hot 6-1-1 start. The St. Louis Blues second-round pick has scored three goals and seven points in his first six games in the Dub.

Vancouver Canucks first-round pick Hunter Shinkaruk ultimately put the game away for the Tigers. He scored a short-handed goal with just over six minutes left in the match to give Medicine Hat a three-goal lead.

No. 3 star: Anthony Duclair (Quebec Ramparts, QMJHL)

With the game knotted up at two in the final frame, Duclair led the Ramparts over the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. The New York Rangers prospect scored two power play goals in 50 seconds to make it a 4-2 final. In addition to his crucial snipes, Duclair grabbed an assist and wasn’t on the ice for either of of the Drakkar’s goals.

All of the Ramparts’ markers were scored on the man advantage. Alexander Boivin (1G, -1) scored in the first period and Raphael Maheux (1G, -1) lit the lamp in the second period.

Honourable mentions: Greg Chase, Radel Fazleev (Calgary Hitmen, WHL)

Only 30 seconds into the third period, Chase scored the game-winning goal on the power play in the Hitmen’s 5-4 win over the Swift Current Broncos. Before the Edmonton Oilers prospect’s big goal, he notched two assists.

Following scoring the contest’s opening goal just 13 seconds into the game, Fazleev tied up the match at 4-4 late in the second and assisted Chase’s game-winner.

Honourable mentions: Nick Zajac, Alex Moodie (Saskatoon Blades, WHL)

Zajac notched two goals and an assist in the third period of the Blades’ 6-1 victory over the Vancouver Giants. His three-point night gives him two goals and five points in eight games on the year.

In a battle with Troy Trombley for the Blades’ starting position, Moodie had a strong showing against the Giants. He stopped 25 of 26 shots and helped shutdown the Giants’ power play, which failed to score on five attempts.

Honourable mentions: Joshua Winquist, Matt Pufahl (Everett Silvertips, WHL)

Winquist and Pufahl led the Silvertips over the Edmonton Oil Kings with two goals apiece in the 4-2 affair. They both netted an even-strength goal in the first period and empty-net marker in the final frame.

Kelly Friesen is a Buzzing the Net columnist for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KellyFriesen

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