Sonne's good-as-gold season

SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:55 AM ET

Brett Sonne's season of dreams just keeps getting better.

The Calgary Hitmen centre has enjoyed a breakout campaign and has been gaining recognition throughout the league.

He was leading the WHL in scoring before missing a month while helping Canada's national junior squad win a gold medal.

With two games remaining on the regular-season slate (this weekend in Medicine Hat and Lethbridge), Sonne is just three goals away from a 50-goal campaign and three points shy of reaching the centennial mark.

And the St. Louis prospect, who signed with the Blues late last month, ranked highly in a recent poll conducted by the Brandon Sun.

The Manitoba newspaper asked GMs, coaches and players from every Eastern Conference team to rank the best players in 20 different categories. Sonne was named the top faceoff man in the conference as well as "the opposing player you respect the most."

The Maple Ridge, B.C., product also finished runner-up to Saskatoon Blades goaltender Braden Holtby as the player who is most valuable to his team.

Youth Topping Bruins' future

The Chilliwack Bruins won't be going to playoffs.

But the B.C. squad has a lot of young talent that should pay dividends in coming years.

The Bruins' top prospect, 15-year-old Mitch Topping, made his WHL debut last weekend.

"He was good from the first shift to the last," Bruins coach Jim Hiller told the Chilliwack Progress. "He made some good plays with the puck, but he also defended well and showed good awareness ... To sum it up, he played with a lot of poise."

The Red Deer product picked up his first assist in a win over the Portland Winter Hawks last Saturday.

League liking video age

The WHL has used video review in the championship series for the past few seasons. This spring, every playoff game will offer officials video backup.

Kevin Muench, the WHL's director of officiating, said rinks across the league are being outfitted with new equipment.

"We've been talking about (video replay) for a while," Muench told the Kelowna Daily Courier. "It's been batted around for a couple of years, but we wanted to make sure we had the proper equipment to do it. We wanted to make sure that wherever we had video replay, everybody has the same system, the identical set-ups."

The next step may be to include video replay for regular-season games.

"We haven't made that decision yet," Meunch told the Courier. "Certainly, going through the playoffs now will give us a chance to really evaluate the system and see the merits of it."


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