The 20-game mark has come and gone for the Winnipeg Ice; they have been outstanding while they sit on top of the CHL. As of writing this article, the Ice hold a 21-2-0-0 record; they have a +47 goal differential.
They hold the 8th best power play at 23.8% and 3rd on the penalty kill at 86%. They also have a crazy 10 shorthanded goals at this time. To summarize, they are good, but let’s dive deeper into their season so far.
Winnipeg ICE Overall Record
With 21 wins through their first 23 games, they sit a top of the WHL and CHL. As impressive as that looks, it’s how they are winning that is more impressive. So far this season, they have 21 ROW (Regulation/overtime wins), which is tops of the league.
That is impressive by itself, but when you see how many times they have scored 5 or more goals in 12 of their wins. That is a lot of goals they can put with ease, it seems. With 105 goals in 22 games, that is an average of 4.6 goals per game, while they only give up 2.5 goals a game as well. That is just a recipe for winning consistently. Early in the season, they are really flexing their offensive muscles in the WHL.
Winnipeg Ice Power Play and Penalty Kill
The Winnipeg Ice are not only leading the league in the standings, but they are a top 10 team in power play (23.8%) and penalty kill (86%). When you have offensive weapons like Connor McClennon, Owen Pederson and Conor Geekie, it is very easy to see why they can kill any team on the power play. Also, as a team, they have drawn the third most penalties in the league with 105 penalties.
Then on the penalty kill, you have Zach Benson on the penalty kill, leading the Ice with four shorthanded goals. So with the Ice, you must be careful even when they are down a man because they are still thinking offence. With that being said, they need to hope to have a top penalty kill continue because they have taken the ninth most penalties in the league with 93 penalties called for 249 penalty minutes.
Winnipeg Ice Roster
Now let’s look into the roster. Starting with the skaters, I have listed below; I have the stats from every player through the first 20 games:
Winnipeg Ice Forwards
At the top of this list is Connor McClennon; he has 17 goals and 36 points through 23 games. He has started off hot and does not look like he is slowing down anytime soon. He is tied for fifth in CHL scoring with teammate Owen Pederson (12 goals and 36 points). In the WHL, he is only behind future NHL superstar Connor Bedard. So who is this guy, and where did he come from?
The real answer is he has been here for a while; he was drafted into the WHL in 2017 by the Kootenay ICE, and he also was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2020. He has been with this organization for 5 years; he has played 202 games so far, racking up 109 goals and 119 assists for a total of 228 points. So he has been here and good for quite some time, and people can not ignore him anymore.
The one concern I would have for this forward group is the bottom six. The top six is overflowing with talent, the bottom 6 rather are off to a slow start, or they are in need of improvement.
The best bottom-six forward is Skyler Bruce, who has six goals and 17 points through 22 games which is amazing, but that is where it drops. The next closest player is Connor Dale, with three goals and seven points through 17 games, and he plays on the fourth line. The third line needs improvement rather with internal upgrades or via trade.
Winnipeg Ice Defence
This defence is one of the best in the WHL. With having two NHL prospects in, Carson Lambos (MIN) and Graham Sward (NSH), on the back end, it is just an instant success. Three of the top 10 team points leaders are defencemen; granted it is mostly assists, but most of their of points are coming at even strength.
Then you look at their defensive numbers as a team, with only giving up 2.5 goals per game and having the 3rd best penalty kill; that has a lot of to do with the defence on this team. They are big, mobile and highly talented.
The defence is led by 2021 NHL first-rounder Carson Lambos, who is also the captain, and he shows why he was a first round pick when he plays. He is so sound defensively, he skates so well it should be considered art, and he is not afraid to jump into the rush. All great things to have on the back end.
Winnipeg Ice Goaltending
Now we have the goalies. Daniel Hauser was the starting goaltender for the Winnipeg ICE, and he is and was good at the start of the season. He posted a .915 save percentage and 2.42 goals against average; also, he carries 14 wins and zero loses and then the following happens:
2025 4th Round Pick
2026 3rd Round Pick
2026 6th Round Pick
2026 8th Round Pick
Enter Mason Beaupit; when he was acquired, he took the net from Daniel Hauser. Mason Beaupit has taken over since then, starting three out of five of the following games, going 2-1-0-0 and have a save percentage of .905 and a 3.03 goals-against average.
So the question I have a quarter of the way through the season is, who is your starting goaltender? To be fair, Beaupit has had a very small sample size, and I am sure he will find his groove soon and may even steal the net, but to me, it is Hauser’s net to lose.
The Team Overall
The team has performed well at the quarter mark of the season. Only having two losses through 23 games is no accident. Overall, the team is well on its way to a first-place finish in the league, possibly CHL, and making a good run at an Ed Chynoweth Cup. The biggest concerns are again the bottom six, which I think they can address fairly easily at the trade deadline if it is still a concern.
The goaltending is not much of a concern as long as Beaupit can get comfortable and play to his capabilities, which I have no doubt that he will. In conclusion, the Winnipeg ICE are near perfect on paper and let’s just hope it can continue.