Everett Silvertips’ Tyler Sandhu gets first WHL hat trick: Sunday’s 3 Stars

No. 1 star: Tyler Sandhu, Everett Silvertips (WHL)

When Silvertips GM Garry Davidson named himself coach earlier this season, he spoke of developing a more offensively exciting club. The rookie Sandhu, whom Davidson acquired as part of last spring's trade for top draft prospect Seth Jones, figured to be one of the centrepieces.

Everett has remained a team which is often wanting for offence. Coming into Sunday, it had gone nearly two months without enjoying a five-goal game. With Sandhu scoring twice early on his way to his first Western Hockey League hat trick, the Silvertips scored five in the opening 20 minutes on their way to a 7-5 win over the Tri-City Americans.

Everett faces longer odds of beating Portland in the first round than Spring Breakers does of winning an Oscar, but a hatty should buoy Sandhu's confidence. The Richmond, B.C., native, clicked with 19-year-old veteran Josh Winquist (a point-a-game player for Everett) to score three goals in the game's first 28 minutes.

Sandhu finished with 19 goals and 33 points. Among 16-year-olds, only Moose Jaw's Brayden Point, Brandon's Jayce Hawryluk and Calgary's Jake Virtanen finished with more points.

No. 2 star: Ben Duffy, P.E.I. Rocket (QMJHL)

Duffy had five points (1G-4A, +4) to finish with a Quebec League-best 110, albeit in 19 more games than it took the Halifax Mooseheads' Jonathan Drouin to pile up 105 counters. Either way, the overage has delivered throughout the season during the Rocket's renaissance, which he did again during their 8-5 scorefest against the Saint John Sea Dogs.

The Lower Sackville, N.S., native had three assists in the third period alone on Sunday to bring P.E.I. back from a 5-4 deficit. Duffy set up the tying goal, then later tried to get his tag-team partner Josh Currie his 50th goal of the season. Currie scored twice in the frame to finish with 49.

That left Val-d'Or's Anthony Mantha as the Q's lone 50-goal man.

No. 3 star: Mikhail Grigorenko, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)

Hey, where he's been for the last two months? Grigorenko (1G-3A, +1) avoided any NHL hangover in his return from the Buffalo Sabres with four points in Quebec's 5-3 comeback win over Rimouski. The reinvigorated (reinGrigorated?) Remparts were already on an upswing when they learned the 18-year-old centre was coming back. Sunday, he pulled out the win for them, setting up draft prospect Adam Erne (2G, +1) for the winner 5:17 into the third before icing the game three minutes later.

Honourable mention: Vincent Trocheck, Plymouth Whalers (OHL)

Trocheck joined current New York Islanders star John Tavares as scoring champions who were traded during the season. The Florida Panthers prospect had three assists, the last coming when he teed up Colorado Avalanche pick Garrett Meurs with just 2:26 to play, to edge Sarnia Sting centre Charlie Sarault 109-108 for the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy.

The centre's name did not come up when potential scoring champs were being batted around in September. Keep in mind, it's extremely difficult to predict who will win with any accuracy. Trocheck had 26 goals and 59 points in 28 games for Plymouth after they acquired him from Saginaw in January and lined him up with Team USA teammate Ryan Hartman and Washington Capitals first-rounder Tom Wilson.

Honourable mention: Sam Schutt, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)

As a rookie, Schutt helped a seventh-seeded Sudbury Wolves outfit sweep the Ottawa 67's in the first round of the playoffs. The Limestone City shinny concern is a longshot to beat the Barrie Colts, but it earned that seventh seed after Schutt got his first OHL multi-goal game during a 5-1 win over Ottawa.

Schutt, who grew up in rural Renfrew County in eastern Ontario, scored 8:39 into the second period to help Kingston pull away from Ottawa. Later in the period, his hard work created a goal by his former minor hockey teammate Billy Jenkins, who had a 20-goal campaign despite missing time due a to concussion. Schutt scored again early in the third.

Saturday's best

No. 1 star: Gabryel Paquin-Boudreau, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)

Paquin-Boudreau (1G-3A, +3) was integral while Baie-Comeau earned the No. 2 seed in the Q playoff field by beating Drummondville 5-4. The sophomore forward, who finished with 63 points in 67 games, had two primary assists in the second period on goals by Frédéric Gamelin and Jérémy Grégoire. The work by the younger forwards gave Baie-Comeau's vets a chance to pull out the two points, which they did when Minnesota Wild prospect Raphaël Bussières got the gamer with 3:10 to play.

No. 2 star: Jared McCann, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)

The rookie McCann (1G-2A, +2) will probably have an added workload in the playoffs since the 'Hounds have lost sparkplug Sergey Tolchinsky to injury. So it was encouraging for Sault Ste. Marie, which will face the tight-checking Owen Sound Attack in the opening run, that McCann had a three-point night during their 6-4 win over Kitchener. The London, Ont., native's 21 goals and 44 points gave him a tie for sixth in rookie scoring in the OHL.

No. 3 star: Connor Brown, Erie Otters (OHL)

The Toronto Maple Leafs selection scored with one second left in regulation, helping the Erie Otters get some small solace for a lost season with a 5-4 overtime win over the Guelph Storm. Brown (2G, +2) finished with a team-high 69 points in his 18-year-old season, with Connor McDavid right behind with 66 as a 15-year-old.

Potent notables — Portland's Brendan Leipsic (49 goals, 120 points), Nic Petan (46, 120) and Ty Rattie (48, 110) finished 1-2-3 in WHL scoring. Seventeen-year-old Dane Oliver Bjorkstrand won the rookie scoring title with 61 points ... Kootenay sophomore Jaedon Descheneau hit the 30-goal mark on the nose with two Saturday ... In the OHL, Phoenix Coyotes prospect Lucas Lessio had a hat trick in his best game for Oshawa since missing three months due to tendon surgery ... In the QMJHL, Rimouski Océanic's Peter Trainor reached the 100-point on Sunday ... St. Louis Blues prospect Dmitrij Jaskin had four points for Moncton to finish with 99 ...

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to btnblog@yahoo.ca.

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