F Brock Montgomery (Kootenay, 2009-13) signed a one-year extension with the Tilburg Trappers (Netherlands, Germany Oberliga Nord). Last season, he had 26 goals and 25 assists in 40 games. He led the league in PIM, with 134. . . .
D Richard Nedomlel (Swift Current, 2010-13) signed a tryout contract with Hradec Králové (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Last season, he had two assists in 34 games with Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He also was pointless in four games while on loan to Mladá Bloeslav (Czech Republic, Extraliga). . . .
F Peter Quenneville (Brandon, 2013-15) signed a one-year contract with Sparta Sarpsborg (Norway, GET-Ligaen). Last season, he had two goals and an assist in 13 games with Pardubice (Czech Republic, Extraliga); three goals and one assist in nine games with SaiPa Lappeenranta (Finland, Liiga); and six goals and four assists in 12 games with the Aalborg Pirates (Denmark, Metal Ligaen). . . .
F Dylan Hood (Kelowna, Moose Jaw, 2006-11) signed a one-year contract with Cergy (France, Division 1). Last season, he had five goals and three assists in 13 games with the Huntsville Havoc (SPHL).
Taking Note has been told that the WHL has acted in an attempt to put a halt to the number of young players who get traded within the league.
The move is a reaction to the number of deals that were made in the period leading up to last season’s Jan. 10 trade deadline.
To refresh your memory, from Nov. 13 through Jan. 10, the WHL’s 22 teams combined to make 58 trades that involved 110 players, 77 bantam draft picks and 12 conditional bantam draft picks. (I started counting on Nov. 13 because that was when the Regina Pats, the host team for the 2018 Memorial Cup, made the first big deal, acquiring D Cale Fleury from the Kootenay Ice.)
You may recall that many observers commented in the deadline’s aftermath.
There obviously was concern at the league level. In May, WHL commissioner Ron Robison told Brandon Rivers of dubnetwork.ca:
“We are looking at that very seriously. We were concerned about the level of trade activity this year. We will be coming out soon with a decision. We want to make sure that these players are not concerned about that at that age and we are focusing on restricting moving players at a younger age.”
Taking Note has been told that the league has decided that its teams won’t be allowed to trade any 15- or 16-year-old players who have signed WHL contracts. On top of that, the only time the trading of a 17-year-old player will be allowed is if that player has requested a trade.
The 17-year-old player will have had to approach the team’s general manager to ask for a trade; a team won’t be able to make the first move, asking said player to waive his no-trade clause. Taking Note was told that the WHL will approach a 17-year-old player’s parents to make sure the procedure was followed.
“It’s going to be interesting to see teams that have top-end players to sell . . . when they can’t get another team’s stud prospects or 16-year-olds,” one WHL insider told Taking Note. “All you’ll be able to trade for really is (bantam draft) picks and unsigned players.”
Had these rules been in place prior to the Jan. 10 deadline, you have to wonder if the Swift Current Broncos and Lethbridge Hurricanes would have combined on perhaps the biggest deal of the season.
In that one, the Hurricanes landed F Logan Barlage, F Owen Blocker, D Matthew Stanley, G Logan Flodell, a 2020 first-round bantam draft pick, a third-rounder in 2020 and a conditional second-rounder in 2021, with the Broncos getting F Giorgio Estephan, F Tanner Nagel and G Stuart Skinner.
Barlage was the key component from Lethbridge’s perspective, but he was 16 years of age. Blocker, meanwhile, was 17.
How much might something like this change the face of the WHL? Well, if that Lethbridge-Swift Current trade isn’t made, do the Broncos win the Memorial Cup? At the very least, it’s food for thought.
Up until now, there always have been teams wanting to trade short-term players — rentals, if you will — to teams that are going all-in, and take back young prospects in return. Now, it seems, they won’t be able to make those moves.
Under these new rules it will be interesting to see how those teams who become “sellers” at the deadline choose to go through the rebuilding process.
For example, the Regina Pats spurred a rebuild by acquiring F Jake Leschyshyn, then 15, from the Red Deer Rebels on Jan. 5, 2015, and F Nick Henry, then 17, from the Everett Silvertips at the 2016 bantam draft. Under these new rules, the Pats would have been able to deal for Henry, who hadn’t signed with Everett, but couldn’t have had Leschyshyn, who had signed with the Rebels.
This means, of course, that a team’s bantam draft picks will take on added significance, meaning there will be more pressure on the scouting staffs to make the right selections.
As one WHL scout told Taking Note on Tuesday: “Good . . . make us more accountable.”
The Victoria Royals have acquired F Tanner Sidaway, 19, from the Regina Pats for an eighth-round selection in the 2019 WHL bantam draft. . . . Sidaway, who is from Victoria, split last season between the Kootenay Ice and Regina. He had a goal and an assist in five games with Kootenay, then recorded three assists in 58 games with the Pats. In 2016-17, he had two goals and six assists in 65 games with the Ice. An undrafted player, he originally was listed by the Red Deer Rebels. . . . On Jan. 3, 2016, the Ice acquired Sidaway, F Presten Kopeck, 20, D Ryan Pouliot, 17, and second- and third-round picks in the 2016 bantam draft from Red Deer for F Luke Philp, 20. . . . On Oct. 10, the Ice dealt Sidaway and a seventh-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft to Regina for F Jeff de Wit, 19.
Jim Pedersen, a long-time hockey scout, died on Saturday. He was 81. . . . “He was always very helpful, even though he worked for a different team,” Ross Mahoney, the Washington Capitals’ Regina-based assistant general manager told the Regina Leader-Post. “I know he was an extremely hard worker because every time I went to a game, there was Jim Pedersen. I thought that maybe there were four or five Jim Pedersens, but there was only one.” . . . A memorial service is scheduled for Friday, 2 p.m., at the Memorial Centre in Milestone, Sask. . . . The Leader-Post’s story is right here.