F Waltteri Hopponen (Everett, 2013-14) signed a one-year contract with Peliitat Heinola (Finland, Mestis). Last season, he had five goals and 14 assists in 46 games with Espoo United (Finland, Mestis). Espoo United declared bankruptcy after last season and was dissolved. . . .
F Anthony Bardaro (Spokane, Prince Albert, 2009-13) signed a two-year contract extension with Asiago (Italy, Alps HL). Last season, he had 31 goals and 25 assists in 39 games. He was the Alps HL’s most valuable player. He led the league in goals, and also led in playoff assists and points, putting up six goals and 17 assists in 14 games.
Some reaction off my Twitter timeline from yesterday’s report here about the WHL working to restrict the trading of younger players . . .
The Prince Albert Raiders have acquired F Noah Gregor, who is to turn 20 on July 28, from the Victoria Royals.
According to a news release from the Raiders, “Terms of the trade were not disclosed.”
According to a news release from the Royals, they received “conditional compensation.”
Gregor was a fourth-round selection by the San Jose Sharks in the NHL’s 2016 draft, so is eligible to start the season with their AHL affiliate, the San Jose Barracudas.
Chances are that Victoria received a bantam draft pick that is conditional on Gregor playing with Prince Albert, with the round changing depending on the number of games he plays. Or perhaps there is a big bag of cash involved? Hey, just kidding.
The Royals selected Gregor in the third round of the 2013 WHL bantam draft. They dealt him to the Moose Jaw Warriors on Jan. 6, 2014, in exchange for D Travis Brown. The Warriors also got third-round selections in the 2014 and 2016 bantam drafts, and an undisclosed conditional pick, as well.
On Dec. 11, 2017, the Royals reacquired Gregor from Moose Jaw, getting him and a 2018 eighth-round bantam draft pick for F Ryan Peckford and a fourth-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft.
Last season, he had 14 goals and 22 assists in 36 games with Moose Jaw, and 15 goals and 14 assists in 30 games with Victoria.
In 194 career regular-season games, Gregor has 86 goals and 119 assists.
The Raiders have three other 20-year-olds on their roster — F Kody McDonald, F Sean Montgomery and G Curtis Meger.
I think the Royals still have five 20-year-olds on their roster — F Braydon Buziak, F Dante Hannoun, D Ralph Jarratt, G Griffen Outhouse and F Lane Zablocki.
Later in the day, the Royals announced that they have acquired D Brayden Gorda, 19, from the Edmonton Oil Kings for a conditional fifth-round selection in the 2019 bantam draft.
Last season, Gorda had one goal and three assists in 30 games with Edmonton. In 151 regular-season WHL games, all with the Oil Kings, he had six goals and 26 assists.
Edmonton selected him in the third round of the 2014 bantam draft.
Gord was late reporting to the Oil Kings last season as he took time away from hockey to deal with the death of a close friend.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes have signed the two players they selected in the CHL’s 2018 import draft — Swiss G Akira Schmid and D Danila Palivko of Belarus. . . . Schmid, 18, was a fifth-round pick by the New Jersey Devils in the NHL’s 2018 draft. Last season, he put up a 2.60 GAA in 32 games with the U-20 Langnau club. Schmid will get a chance at being the Hurricanes’ starter in 2018-19 as they have to replace Logan Flodell, who played out his eligibility last season. . . . Palivko, who turns 17 on Nov. 30, played 40 games with Belarus’s U-17 team, putting up six goals and 20 assists. In 12 games with the U-18 team, he had six assists. The Hurricanes saw him at the Mac’s tournament in Calgary, where he had two assists in four games. . . . The Hurricanes finished last season with Russian F Egor Zudilov and D Igor Merezhko, who is from Ukraine, on their roster. The Hurricanes announced prior to the 2018 CHL import draft that Zudilov wouldn’t be back for a second season. Should Merezhko return, he would be a two-spotter as a 20-year-old import.
A third WHL player has had to bow out of Hockey Canada’s World Junior Showcase because of an undisclosed injury. F Justin Almeida of the Moose Jaw Warriors has been replaced by F Serron Noel of the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. . . . Noel was a second-round pick by the Florida Panthers in the NHL’s 2018 draft. . . . Earlier, D Josh Brook of the Warriors and F Jordy Bellerive of the Lethbridge Hurricanes were scratched because of injuries. Brook apparently has a wrist injury, while Bellerive continues to recover from burns suffered in an accident involving a bonfire. . . . There now are eight WHLers on Canada’s roster — D Cale Addison of Lethbridge, D Ty Smith of the Spokane Chiefs, D Jett Woo of Moose Jaw, F Jaret Anderson-Dolan of Spokane, F Connor Dewar of the Everett Silvertips, F Cody Glass of the Portland Winterhawks, F Stelio Mattheos of the Brandon Wheat Kings and F Michael Rasmussen of the Tri-City Americans. . . . The Showcase opens Saturday in Kamloops and runs through Aug. 4. It features teams from Canada, Finland, Sweden and the U.S.
Mike Needham has returned to the Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton. Needham, who was fired by the Kamloops Blazers on May 10, has been named OHA’s skills and development co-ordinator. . . . Needham, 48, spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach with the Blazers. Prior to that, he was the head coach of OHA’s bantam prep team for three seasons.
Cst. Curtis Warner, who works traffic with the Regina Police Service, is worth a follow on Twitter. Would love to see someone working traffic like this, and tweeting about it, in Kamloops.