Jokiharju to WJC, not to Portland; Chicago assigns defenceman to Finnish team . . . Swetlikoff leaves Vipers for Rockets


On the seventh day of our annual Christmas countdown, with a special Christmas wish to friend Stu Walters, here are The Tenors, with Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. . . . It’s right here.

The NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks revealed on Tuesday that they have assigned D Henri Jokiharju to the Finnish national junior team, so he will play for his home country in the 2019wjcWorld Junior Championship that opens Monday in Vancouver and Victoria. . . . Jokiharju, 19, has 11 assists in 32 games with the Blackhawks while averaging 20 minutes of playing time. . . . He played the past two seasons with the Portland Winterhawks and is eligible to be assigned there by Chicago after the WJC. . . . However, it sounds as though Portland fans shouldn’t get too excited. Mike Johnston, the Winterhawks’ general manager and head coach, told Taking Note on Tuesday that “from what I understand there is no chance that would happen.” . . . Last season, Jokiharju had 12 goals and 59 assists in 71 regular-season games with Portland. In 2016-17, he had nine goals and 39 assists in 71 games. . . . He also played for Finland at the WJC a year ago, putting up two goals and two assists in five games.

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And now for something completely different, it’s the Dropkick Murphys with The Season’s Upon Us, and it’s all right here. Yes, this one is a lot of fun.

The Kelowna Rockets have signed F Alex Swetlikoff, 17, to a WHL contract. The 6-foot-3 KelownaRocketsSwetlikoff, who is from Keolwna, had been playing with the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers, where he had eight goals and 12 assists in 27 games. . . . Swetlikoff was a third-round pick by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. The Thunderbirds sent Swetlikoff to the Hurricanes on May 3 for D Kirby Proctor, 17, who is with the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers and has committed to the U of Nebraska-Omaha for 2020-21. . . . The Rockets acquired Swetlikoff from Seattle on Dec. 6 for a fourth-round pick in the 2022 bantam draft. . . . Earlier Tuesday, the Canadian Junior Hockey League announced the rosters for its Top Prospects Game and Swetlikoff was on the list. That, of course, won’t happen now. . . . Swetlikoff, who had committed to the U of Denver for 2020-21, should make his WHL debut on Dec. 28 in Kamloops against the Blazers. . . . He is the second highly touted prospect to have left the Vipers after the start of this season. F Josh Prokop, who had a goal and four assists in six games, left to join the Calgary Hitmen on Sept. 26. . . . Since the start of this season, the Vipers also have lost G Max Palaga to the Everett Silvertips, F Kjell Kjemhus to the Moose Jaw Warriors and F Sebastian Streu to the Regina Pats.



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