F Fredrik Pettersson (Calgary, 2005-07) has signed a three-year contract extension with the ZSC Lions Zurich (Switzerland, NL A). This season, he has 21 goals and 20 assists in 38 games. He leads the Lions in goals and points, and is second in the league in goals and seventh in points. He has been named to Sweden’s Olympic team. . . .
F Ned Lukacevic (Spokane, Swift Current, 2001-06) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with the Odense Bulldogs (Denmark, Metal Ligaen). He started the season with Újpesti TE Budapest (Hungary, Erste Liga), going pointless in two games. He was released from a tryout contract on Sept. 28. . . .
F Chase Witala (Prince George, 2010-16) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Starbulls Rosenheim (Germany, Oberliga) after being released from a tryout contract by Žilina (Slovakia, Extraliga). He was pointless in two games. . . . Witala started the season with the Atlanta Gladiators (ECHL), putting up three goals and seven assists in 11 games. He also was pointless in five games with the Norfolk Admirals (ECHL).
F Curtis Hamilton (Saskatoon, 2006-11) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with SaiPa Lappeenranta (Finland, Liiga) after being released by mutual agreement on Monday by Tappara Tampere (Finland, Liiga). He was pointless in five games after signing with Tappara on Dec. 31. . . . Hamilton played 43 games with SaiPa last season before being assigned on loan to TPS Turku (Finland, Liiga) on Feb. 15. He had 14 goals and 13 assists in 43 games SaiPa, and one goal in two games with TPS.
A LITTLE OF THIS . . .
D Joe Hicketts became the first product of the WHL’s Victoria Royals to reach the NHL when he made his debut with the Detroit Red Wings as they beat the host New Jersey Devils, 3-0, on Monday night.
Paired with 6-foot-4 Jonathan Ericsson, the 5-foot-8 Hicketts took a regular shift and killed penalties — he played 23 shifts totalling 15 minutes 13 seconds. He had one hit, three blocks and two giveaways. He also was plus-1, just missing a second plus when he left the ice on a change. In fact, the replay from the camera behind the New Jersey net shows Hicketts still on the ice by the gate as his replacement heads into the Devils’ zone.
Hicketts was recalled by the Red Wings on Sunday after D Trevor Daley was injured on Saturday.
Hicketts, 21, is from Kamloops. His parents, Lee-Gaye and Mike, were in New Jersey for last night’s game.
Hicketts played four seasons (2012-16) with the Royals, and represented Canada twice at the World Junior Championship. He signed with the Red Wings as a free agent and was in his second season with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
“He’s excelled at every level,” Detroit head coach Jeff Blashill told Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press. “His skill set doesn’t scream NHL in terms of skating, size, body, all that, but he’s proven people wrong his whole life. He was one of the best defensemen when he played for the Canadian world junior team, was out there in big moments. He was a big piece of the Calder Cup championship team last (season) in Grand Rapids.
“He brings stuff to the table that I think can help our team.”
The Red Wings are at home to the Philadelphia Flyers tonight and Daley isn’t expected to play, so Hicketts may get in another NHL game. The Red Wings then are at home to the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday before the NHL goes into its all-star break.
Two WHL players have been taken off rosters for Thursday’s Top Prospects Game that is scheduled to be played in Guelph, Ont.
D Alex Alexeyev of the Red Deer Rebels has returned home to St. Petersburg, Russia, following the sudden death of his mother, Julia, on Monday morning.
D Jett Woo of the Moose Jaw Warriors also has been replaced. He didn’t play in Sunday’s 5-3 victory over the Blades in Saskatoon. At the time, it was said that the Warriors wanted to get D Matthew Benson into the lineup so were giving Woo some rest. Now it seems that he is injured.
Matthew Gourlie, who follows the Warriors for DUBnetwork.ca, tweeted Monday afternoon that “Woo said he ‘didn’t feel good’ during warm-up” prior to Friday’s 5-3 victory over the Pats in Regina. According to Gourlie, Woo played a few shifts, “then sat the rest of the game and was scratched Sunday.”
D Xavier Bernard of the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs and D Giovanni Vallati of the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers were named as replacements.
The Spokane Chiefs have returned G Bailey Brkin, 18, to the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats.
The Chiefs acquired Brkin’s rights from the Kootenay Ice earlier in the month and listed him as an AP while he was with the Bobcats. The Chiefs added him to their roster when G Dawson Weatherill suffered an undisclosed injury that has kept him out six games.
In four starts with the Chiefs, Brkin went 3-1-0, 2.51, .921.
“The terms of our affiliated player loan agreement with Lloydminster dictated that Bailey would be returned as soon as Dawson was available to play,” Chiefs’ general manager Scott Carter said in a news release. “With Weatherill ready to return to the lineup this week, we had to return Brkin to his regular club.”
Weatherill is 12-9-3, 3.23, .888 this season. Donovan Buskey, the other goaltender on the roster, is 8-8-0, 3.65, .868.
A tweet from TBird Tidbits (@TBirdTidbits) informs us of another set of WHL twins, although Connor and Curtis Honey didn’t play together.
From Edmonton, the twins now are 23.
Connor, a forward, played two plus seasons (2011-14) with the Seattle Thunderbirds. Curtis was a goaltender with the Brandon Wheat Kings at the same time.
“In their one game against each other,” TBird Tidbits notes, “Curtis won the battle, not allowing a goal by his brother.”
Earlier, with the help of readers, we had identified Bob and Ted McAneeley, Rich and Ron Sutter, Darren and Trevor Kruger, and Trevor and Troy Pohl as twins who were teammates in the WHL. Of course, the Kaphorn twins, Kaeden and Keenan, now are with the Kootenay Ice.
We also were informed via email of Chad and Cody Huseby, twin brothers who work as WHL linesman based in Red Deer.
No Games Scheduled.
TUESDAY (all times local):
Lethbridge vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.
Medicine Hat at Red Deer, 7 p.m.
Brandon vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
Swift Current at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.