Howse hurdles Santorelli

Chilliwack Bruins radio colour-man Jacob Bestebroer writes a weekly column during the Western Hockey League season.

  • Jan. 27, 2011 10:00 a.m.

Who is the best offensive player in Chilliwack Bruins franchise history?

No one would have a better idea than Bruins radio colour man and resident stats-master Jacob Bestebroer, who discusses the matter in this week’s column.

When Ryan Howse became the Bruins all-time point leader by moving past Mark Santorelli with his 184th career point last Friday, I remembered a conversation I had four years ago.

We were a few months into the Bruins inaugural season of 2006-07 and Bruins forwards Oscar Moller and Santorelli were just starting to show that they were going to be elite scorers at the Western Hockey League level.

I was watching practice with three members of the Bruins hockey staff and put out the question, “Who do you think will be the Bruins all-time points leader after five seasons?”

There were really only three possible choices at that time. The aforementioned Moller and Santorelli, along with Ryan Howse.

Keep in mind that Howse had yet to play a regular season game for the Bruins.

He had looked good through training camp and exhibition games and it was obvious he had the ability to put up some good offensive numbers.

None of us were very confident in our guesses and of course three years later we would all be surprised to see Oscar in the National Hockey League instead of with the Bruins at 19 years of age.

But we all knew, we were all 100 per cent sure that Howse was going to put up some very good numbers at the WHL level.

So let’s update the question to who do you think will be the Bruins all-time leader in points after 10 seasons?

Will it still be Howse? As of right now Kevin Sundher trails Howse by roughly 40 points, so you would think with one more injury free season in a Bruins uniform, Sundher should pass him.

That is, of course, assuming that Howse moves on to pro hockey next year.

Or is it one of the two 16-year-old forwards on the team right now, Steven Hodges or Brandon Magee?

Should we throw Luke Harrison, the Bruins third round selection in the 2010 bantam draft into the discussion?

Tough call.

I will predict one thing.

After 10 seasons, I think Howse will still be the Bruins career leader in goals.

He has 121 right now, with another 25 games left this season to add to that total.

The final number will be one that I doubt will be topped for quite some time.

The Kamloops Blazers visit Prospera Centre Saturday night. Fans are reminded that the Bruins, as part of Fill the Ford Night, will be collecting nonperishable food items for the local Salvation Army.

Bruins fans have been incredibly generous in the past.

We thank you for that and your continued support for this cause.

Thank you to all of you who are now following and entering the contests on the Bruins Official Facebook Page.

If you‘ve got any other ideas or suggestions for the page send me a note at the email address below.

jb@chilliwackbruins.com

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