Top NHL draft prospects square off

Andrew Schopp
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Prince Albert Raiders forward Leon Draisaitl checks Kootenay Ice forward Sam Reinhart on Saturday evening at the Art Hauser Centre in Prince Albert, The two are both certain to be top icks in the next NHL draft. 

While Saturday's tilt between the Raiders and Ice had its playoff implications, there was much hype surrounding two players specifically.

While Sam Reinhart and Leon Draisaitl squared off against each other for the fourth time this season, the top prospects are no strangers to one another.

Having played against each other on both the WHL and World Junior Hockey Championship stages, the pair who are both projected to be top-five picks in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, offered their scouting report on one another as they squared off man-to-man on Saturday.

"All I know is he's a great player," Draisaitl said of Reinhart. "He's one of the best players in the league. He's a complete player and that's all I can say about him. His stats and his rankings are true."

Though he is aware of the hype the matchup between himself and Reinhart creates, Draisaitl doesn't put much stock into it.

"It's just a game," Draisaitl said. "It's not about him or me, it's about the team winning. People get excited about the game and they should, it's a great game."

Reinhart, who is projected by many to be selected first overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, said playing against Draisaitl is always a battle.

"He's (Draisaitl) a tough player to play against," Reinhart said. "He's strong down low especially. He's a big strong player, it's hard to knock the puck off him, there are  few players in the league that when you are up against them, you know their strength."

Clouston said he thought his team did a good job of containing Reinhart, who entered Saturday's game riding an explosive 22-game point streak.

"When you play against players like that you try and defend in numbers," Clouston said. "You have to create a situation where your team structure is your best defence and I thought we did that."

As the Raiders wrapped up the season series with the Ice at two games apiece on Saturday, Draisaitl took the upper hand in terms of offensive production.

In four meetings with the Ice this season, Draisaitl has tallied a goal and four assists while Reinhart has a trio of helpers.

Reinhart currently sits fourth overall in league scoring with 94 points while Draisaitl is not too far behind with 88 in 57 games this season. 

Game story:


Slideshow of 20 pictures of Draisaitl and Reinhart

Slideshow from the rest of the game


Organizations: Raiders, NHL, Prince Albert Raiders

Geographic location: Art Hauser Centre

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