Cozens gets NHL deal with Sabres. . . . Thomson signs with Senators. . . . Hurricanes have contract with import

MacBeth

F Roberts Lipsbergs (Seattle, 2012-15) has signed a one-year contract extension with Dinamo Riga (Latvia, KHL). Last season, in 22 games with Dinamo Riga, he had two assists in 22 games. He also played 14 games with Liepaja (Latvia, Optibet Liga), scoring four goals and adding seven assists. . . .

F Adam Hughesman (Tri-City, 2006-12) has signed a one-year contract with the Manchester Storm (England, UK Elite). Last season, with Bordeaux (France, Ligue Magnus), he had 16 goals and 12 assists in 44 games. He led the team in goals. . . .

D Matt MacKenzie (Calgary, Tri-City, 2007-11) has signed a one-year contract with Tölzer Löwen Bad Tölz (Germany, DEL2). Last season, in 46 games with Bolzano (Italy, Erste Bank Liga), he had seven goals and 11 assists. . . .

D Artyom Minulin (Swift Current, Everett, 2015-19) has signed a two-year contract with Mettalurg Magnitogorsk (Russia, KHL). Last season, with the Everett Silvertips (WHL), he had one goal and 17 assists in 51 games. . . .

F Igor Bacek (Tri-City, 2005-06) has signed a one-year contract extension with the Hannover Indians (Germany, Oberliga Nord). Last season, in 45 games, he had 14 goals and 26 assists. . . .

F Brady Brassart (Spokane, Calgary, 2009-14) has signed a one-year contract with the Stavanger Oilers (Norway, GET-Ligaen). Last season, in 61 games with the Syracuse Crunch (AHL), he had three goals and eight assists.


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F Dylan Cozens of the Lethbridge Hurricanes has signed a three-year entry-level contract Lethbridgewith the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. They selected him seventh overall in the NHL’s 2019 draft. . . . Last season, he finished with 34 goals and 50 assists in 68 regular-season games with the Hurricanes. . . . Cozens suffered an injury to his left thumb during the Sabres’ development and underwent surgery earlier this month. The injury is expected to keep him out for up to three months, which means the start of his 2019-20 season likely will be delayed. . . . Cozens, 18, will almost certainly be back for a third season with the Hurricanes. His only other option is to play for the Sabres.


D Lassi Thomson, who played last season with the Kelowna Rockets, has signed a three-KelownaRocketsyear entry-level contract with the Ottawa Senators, who selected him 19th overall in the NHL’s 2019 draft. . . . Thomson, from Finland, had 17 goals and 24 assists as a freshman with the Rockets last season. . . . Thomson will turn 19 on Sept. 24. He attended the Senators’ development camp, and he will play for Finland at the World Junior Summer Showcase that is scheduled for Plymouth, Mich., from July 26 through Aug. 3. . . . It hasn’t yet been determined where Thomson will play in 2019-20. The Rockets, who will be host team for the 2020 Memorial Cup, are hoping to get him back, but there has been speculation that he will play for Ilves in Finland’s top professional league.


The Lethbridge Hurricanes have signed Slovakian F Oliver Okuliar, 19, to a WHL contract. He was picked by the Hurricanes in the CHL’s 2019 import draft. . . . Okuliar played last season with the QMJHL’s Sherbrooke Phoenix, putting up 14 goals and 28 assists in 66 regular-season games. . . . The Hurricanes’ other import is D Danila Palivko, who will turn 18 on Nov. 30. From Belarus, he had two goals and 13 assists in 61 games last season.


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Minulin ready so Silvertips move Walker to Pats . . . Ontario gov’t set to back OHL . . . Team USA will camp out in Everett and Kamloops


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With D Artyom Minulin poised to make his Everett debut, the Silvertips have traded D EverettKyle Walker to the Regina Pats for a fifth-round pick in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft. . . . The draft pick originated with the Medicine Hat Tigers. The Pats acquired it in a deal on May 23, 2017 that also included F Matt Bradley and a second-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft moving to Regina and G Jordan Hollett going to Medicine Hat. . . . Walker, an 18-year-old list player from Leduc, Alta., was pointless in 14 games with Everett this season. Last season, he had a goal and five assists in 50 games. . . . The Pats are scheduled to play the visiting Tri-City Americans tonight. . . .

Minulin, a 20-year-old Russian, was acquired from the Swift Current Broncos on Oct. 31 in exchange for D Alex Moar, 17, and an eighth-round pick in the 2021 bantam draft. Minulin has yet to play this season after undergoing off-season shoulder surgery. . . . He now has been cleared to play and has his immigration status looked after, so could play tonight against the Blazers in Kamloops. He was in Vancouver dealing with paperwork on Wednesday and was to meet the Silvertips in Kamloops on Thursday night. . . . In 206 regular-season games over three seasons with the Broncos, he had 26 goals and 100 assists.


Here’s Ken Campbell of The Hockey News:

“It should come as absolutely no surprise that it appears the Ontario government has quickly and unconditionally thrown its support behind the Ontario League’s attempts to prevent its players from making minimum wage. This is the same government that, early in its mandate, effectively killed Bill 148, which would have raised the minimum wage from $14 an hour to $15 an hour, along with granting two paid sick days, 10 emergency leave days and pay equity for casual and part-time workers. It was a move that prompted the president of the Ontario Federation of Labor to declare premier Doug Ford, ‘an enemy of workers.’”

Campbell’s complete piece is right here and there is input from a few agents, including one who makes quite a point in the last paragraph.


USA Hockey’s national junior team will train in Everett and Kamloops prior to the start of the 2019 World Junior Championship in Victoria and Vancouver. . . . Team USA will be in Everett from Dec. 14 through Dec. 18, then move to Kamloops and work there from Dec. 19 through Dec. 23. . . . The tournament is scheduled to open on Dec. 26. . . . Team USA’s training camp roster will be announced early in December.



Due to Justin Timberlake’s bruised vocal cords, the Prince Albert Raiders and Edmonton Oil Kings have had to reschedule a game in February. Timberlake was to have performed in Edmonton on Nov. 4 and 5, but was forced to postpone the stops on his Man of the Woods Tour because of bruised vocal cords. . . . The Edmonton stops now have been rescheduled for Feb. 6 and 7. . . . The game between the Raiders and Oil Kings that was to have been played on Feb. 6 at Rogers Place has been moved to Feb. 4.


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The junior B Campbell River Storm of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League announced late Wednesday night that it and general manager/head coach Lee Stone “have mutually agreed to part ways.” . . . Bill Brett has taken over as general manager, with Cam Basarab the head coach. . . . Brett had been an assistant coach, while Basarab was assistant GM/assistant coach. . . . “Stone, while pursuing other opportunities, will stay on board as a senior advisor to the owner and staff, shifting his focus to running a successful Cyclone Taylor Cup,” reads the announcement that ended with this: “There will be no further comment from the club.” . . . At the time of the moves, the Storm was 14-6-1 and leading the North Division standings by eight points over the Nanaimo Buccaneers.


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Silvertips add to defence corps . . . Giants and Hitmen swap veteran forwards . . . Ice trims two from roster


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The Everett Silvertips, it’s safe to say, are all in this season. Any doubt one may have had about that was erased on Wednesday when the Silvertips acquired Russian D Artyom EverettMinulin, 20, from the Swift Current Broncos.

The Silvertips gave up D Alex Moar, 17, in the exchange, while also getting back an eight-round selection in the WHL’s 2021 bantam draft.

The Silvertips had room on their roster for a 20-year-old and an import, so Minulin fills both of those spots. The import spot was available because F Peter Melcher, a freshman from Slovakian, is, as general manager Garry Davidson put it, “currently unavailable to play.” Melcher was listed on this week’s WHL roster report as being out indefinitely with an upper-body injury.

Minulin has yet to play this season after having had off-season shoulder surgery. The Broncos’ roster report listed him as day-to-day.

In 206 career regular-season games, all with the Broncos, Minulin put up 126 points. Last season, he had 13 goals and 30 assists in 64 regular-season games, then added a goal and seven assists in 20 playoff games as the Broncos won the Ed Chynoweth Cup.

“Artyom Minulin is a special talent who elevates the play of his teammates,” Davidson said in a news release. “The role he’s excelled in as a high-impact defenceman played a big piece in helping Swift Current win the WHL championship last season . . .

“He carries a tremendous reputation as a defenceman with an extremely hard shot, deft touch with the puck, and acumen to excel in all three zones.”

F Sean Richards and D Sahvan Khaira, a teammate of Minulin’s for the previous two seasons with the Broncos, are Everett’s other 20s. The other import on Everett’s roster is sophomore F Martin Fasko-Rudas, a Slovakian.

Moar was pointless in four games with the Silvertips. From Prince Albert, he was a fifth-round selection by the Silvertips in the 2016 bantam draft.

Last season, with the midget AAA Prince Albert Mintos, Moar had six goals and 23 assists.

The defending-champion Broncos, who have the 22-team WHL’s poorest record (1-14-1), SCBroncosstill are carrying nine defencemen. They are next scheduled to play Friday against the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes.

The Silvertips (10-5-0) lead the U.S. Division, by one point over the Spokane Chiefs (8-4-3) and two on the Tri-City Americans (9-4-0). Everett entertains Tri-City on Friday, but Minulin isn’t expect to play until sometime next week, once immigration issues get sorted out.

Meanwhile, G Max Palaga, 18, who was acquired by the Silvertips from the Kamloops Blazers earlier in the week, has arrived in Everett and practised with his new team on Wednesday. He joins Dustin Wolf as healthy goaltenders on the Silvertips’ roster.


The Calgary Hitmen and Vancouver Giants got together on Wednesday and swapped a Calgarypair of disgruntled forwards.

The Hitmen acquired F James Malm, 19, and an undisclosed conditional selection in the 2020 WHL bantam draft in exchange for F Tristen Nielsen, 18.

Malm, from Langley, B.C., led the Giants in goals (9) and points (15) in 13 games. He hasn’t played since suffering an undisclosed injury in a game against the visiting Portland Winterhawks on Oct. 20. The Giants’ weekly roster report lists Malm as being out day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

On Sunday, however, Malm asked Vancouver general manager Barclay Parneta to trade him.

A fourth-round selection by the Giants in the 2014 bantam draft, he has 134 points, including 48 goals, in 179 career regular-season games.

Malm could make his Calgary debut on Friday against the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers.

Nielsen, from Fort St. John, B.C., was selected by Calgary in the first round of the 2015 Vancouverbantam draft. He was in third season with the Hitmen when he chose to leave the team and ask for a trade.

This season, he was pointless in five games; he didn’t play in seven games after asking to be moved. Last season, he put up 19 goals and 16 assists in 49 games in a season that was partially derailed by a wrist injury. In 2016-17, as a freshman, he had three goals and four assists in seven games.

Nielsen arrived in Ladner, B.C., on Wednesday afternoon and is to practise with his new team today.

Nielsen is expected to be in Vancouver’s lineup on Saturday when they meet the Kamloops Blazers in Langley, B.C.

Steve Ewen of Postmedia has speculated that the Giants, under new head coach Michael Dyck, are playing a more structured game, one that Malm felt didn’t suit his game. . . . Ewen has more right here on this trade.


The Kootenay Ice apparently has released two veteran players. According to the WHL’s Kootenaynewweekly roster report, D Sam Huston and F Brendan Semchuk no longer are with the team, and both have been dropped from the team’s official roster. . . . Huston, 19, is from Brandon. He was in his third season with the Ice, and had scored once in 12 games. In two previous seasons, he totalled three goals and 13 assists in 107 games. The Ice selected him in the ninth round of the 2014 WHL bantam draft. . . . Semchuk, from Kamloops, was the 10th overall selection by the Vancouver Giants in the 2014 bantam draft. They later dealt him to Edmonton and the Ice acquired him from the Oil Kings on Sept 27, giving up a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2020 bantam draft. Semchuk, 19, had two goals and three assists in 14 games with the Ice. In 159 career regular-regular-season games, he has 23 goals and 30 assists. . . . Huston last played on Friday, while Semchuk is shown on the scoresheet as having played Tuesday night against the Broncos in Swift Current. Interstingly, that game will have been played well after the weekly roster report was posted on the WHL’s website.


Patti Dawn Swanson covered WHL teams in Winnipeg for the Tribune back in the day, and now blogs at pattitherivercityrenegade.wordpress.com.

On Thursday, she offered up these thoughts on a possible move by the Kootenay Ice to Winnipeg . . .

I have fond memories of riding the iron lung with Gerry Brisson, Muzz MacPherson and the Winnipeg Clubs/Monarchs in the 1970s, so the prospect of the Western Hockey League returning to Good Ol’ Hometown is intriguing.

I’m skeptical about it working, though.

If you missed it, Mike Sawatzky reported in the Winnipeg Free Press that the Kootenay Ice are having a rough go of it in Cranbrook, B.C. Average attendance is 2,307, lowest in the WHL, and the town’s mayor, Lee Pratt, told the Cranbrook Daily Townsman this: “With the fan support they are getting right now it’s not a viable operation.”

The Green Bay Committee held a town hall meeting in support of the Ice (on Oct. 24), and they’ll gather again tomorrow night (Thursday) in the hope they can corral 500-600 new season-ticket subscribers to save the franchise. Failing that, team owners Greg Fettes and Matt Cockell might be inclined to pull up stakes and head east.

That begs questions, though. To wit:

Would they be better off in River City?
Would a WHL franchise operating out of the University of Manitoba attract 2,000 or more customers?
If an average head count of 2,307 can’t work in Cranbrook, how can it possibly work in Winnipeg?
Would the arrival of a WHL outfit strike the death knell for Winnipeg Blues of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League?

Remove the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League and I’d say Fettes and Cockell might have a chance in Good Ol’ Hometown. As it is, I don’t see it happening. But I hope I’m wrong.


David Michaud, who has been a familiar face in B.C. arenas for a number of years, has been named president of Keycorp Sports and Entertainment Ltd., the owners of lacrosse’s legendary Victoria Shamrocks. . . . According to a news release, Michaud will be “responsible for growing the division of the Keycorp group of companies by working with new and existing sports teams, entertainment venues, concert promoters, and more to bring professional-level promotion, ticketing, and event-day production to Victoria, and across British Columbia. He also will be working with the Victoria Shamrocks to continue the excellence in promotion and entertainment that the club has provided in the Greater Victoria area for the last 70 years.” . . . Prior to this move, Michaud spent three years with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees as director of corporate partnerships. He also was the team’s alternate governor. He also has worked with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and with the major midget Okanagan Rockets. . . . Michaud won’t be too far removed from the BCHL in his new position. The Shamrocks play out of the Q Centre in Colwood, which has a capacity of 2,780 and also is home to the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies.


The Fort Sask Chiefs, a senior AAA men’s hockey team that played out of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., has folded, at least for the remainder of this season. . . . According to a team-issued news release: “Various factors led to the tough decision that it would no longer be sustainable for our organization to continue to operate this year. With that being said, we are hopeful our hockey club be back playing senior again in the coming years.” . . . The Chiefs were 0-6-1 and in last place in the five-team Allan Cup Hockey West. Their demise leaves the league with teams in Rosetown, Sask., and the Alberta communities of Stony Plain, Lacombe and Innisfail.


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Stephen Peat was as tough as they come during a four-season career in the WHL (Red Deer, Tri-City Calgary, 1996-2000), and he maintained that reputation in a pro career that included 130 NHL games. Now he’s living in his truck or couch surfing with friends on the Lower Mainland of B.C. Jeremy Allingham of CBC News has more right here.


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WHL and Cherry promoting organ donation again . . . Blades, Giants add defencemen . . . Minulin soon to rejoin Broncos


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WHLKidney

The WHL revealed on Sept. 20 that it will partner with RE/MAX of Western Canada again this season for the second annual WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation. On Tuesday, the WHL released the full details of the promotion.

Last season, it raised $265,500 that, according to a WHL news release, represents “the largest public awareness and fundraising campaign in the history of the Kidney Foundation of Canada.”

According to the news release: “From January through March 2019, all 17 WHL clubs in Canadian markets will play host to their very own themed games, complete with a variety of special promotions for fans in attendance. A total of 1,000 limited second edition Don Cherry bobbleheads will be distributed to fans in attendance. . . .

“During the 2018-19 regular season, WHL teams will sport their own unique and specially designed Don Cherry-themed uniforms on a designated game night. This season, players will sport uniforms emblazoned with fun nicknames as opposed to traditional surnames across their shoulders. Fans will have the opportunity to bid on the limited-edition jerseys, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to local chapters of the Kidney Foundation of Canada. In addition to game-worn uniforms, fans will have the chance to bid on one Don Cherry-autographed jersey in each participating WHL market.”

Why is Don Cherry involved? Because his son, Tim, and daughter, Cindy, are well aware of kidney disease and the impact it can have on a family. Tim, then 13, received a kidney from Cindy in 1978.

Here are the dates for the WHL games:

Saturday, January 19 – Edmonton Oil Kings.

Friday, January 25 – Red Deer Rebels.

Friday, February 1 – Kamloops Blazers, Moose Jaw Warriors.

Saturday, February 2 – Prince Albert Raiders.

Friday, February 15 – Regina Pats, Vancouver Giants.

Saturday, February 16 – Brandon Wheat Kings.

Friday, February 22 – Lethbridge Hurricanes, Swift Current Broncos.

Friday, March 1 – Kootenay Ice.

Saturday, March 2 – Victoria Royals.

Sunday, March 3 – Calgary Hitmen.

Friday, March 8 – Prince George Cougars.

Saturday, March 9 – Kelowna Rockets, Medicine Hat Tigers, Saskatoon Blades.

For more info or to sign up to be an organ donor, please visit CanadaDonates.ca.

The complete WHL news release is right here.


The Saskatoon Blades, with two defencemen down and an opening for a 20-year-old, have acquired veteran D Brandon Schuldhaus from the Moose Jaw Warriors.

The Blades gave up a fifth-round selection in the 2019 WHL bantam draft and a second-round pick in 2020. Both picks originated with the Blades; they have two other second-rounders in 2020, from the Regina Pats and Swift Current Broncos.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Schuldhaus is joining his fourth WHL team, having also played for Moose Jaw, the Red Deer Rebels and Seattle Thunderbirds. He was a fifth-round pick by Seattle in the 2013 bantam draft. . . . In 189 regular-season games, he has 12 goals and 35 assists.

The Warriors acquired Schuldhaus and a fourth-round pick in the 2020 bantam draft from Red Deer on Jan. 5, sending second-round selections in the 2019 and 2020 drafts to Red Deer.

This season, he was pointless in one game with Moose Jaw after missing the first three games of the regular season as he served a suspension left over from last season’s playoffs.

Born in Houston, Texas, Schuldhaus is a dual citizen of Canada and the U.S. . . . His grandfather, George Kirkwood, is from Edmonton and played for the Oil Kings (1955-57) when they were a junior A team.

The Blades opened an Alberta road swing with a 5-4 loss in Red Deer on Tuesday night. Saskatoon was without D Seth Bafaro and D Jackson Caller, both out with undisclosed injuries.

Schuldhaus is expected to make his Blades’ debut in Edmonton against the Oil Kings on Wednesday.

Saskatoon had room for a 20-year-old after F Brad Goethals left the team. Schuldhaus joins F Max Gerlach and D Dawson Davidson as Saskatoon’s 20s.

Meanwhile, the trading of Schuldhaus allowed the Warriors to get down to three 20s — D Dalton Hamaliuk, F Tristin Lang and G Brodan Salmond.



The Prince Albert Raiders received an upgrade to their offence on Tuesday when the NHL’s San Jose Sharks sent F Noah Gregor, 20, back to the WHL. . . . The Sharks selected PrinceAlberthim in the fourth round of the NHL’s 2016 NHL draft and have signed him to a three-year entry-level deal. . . . Gregor, from Beaumont, Alta., had been in camp with the Sharks’ AHL affiliate, the San Jose Barracuda. . . . The Raiders acquired Gregor from the Victoria Royals on July 25 for a conditional third-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft and a conditional fourth-rounder in 2021. The conditions are triggered by point totals and games played. The Royals could end up with none, one or both picks depending on how Gregor does this season. . . . The Royals selected him in the third round of the 2013 bantam draft, later dealt him to the Warriors, then re-acquired him. . . . He split last season between Victoria and the Moose Jaw Warriors, totalling 29 goals and 36 assists in 60 games. In 194 career regular-season games, he has 205 points, including 86 goals. . . . Gregor also has played in 28 playoff games, recording 11 goals and 12 assists. . . . The Raiders open a Central Division swing tonight (Wednesday) in Medicine Hat and should have Gregor in their lineup against the Tigers.


Feel free to scoot on over to my Twitter timeline (@gdrinnan) and vote on a 2020 Memorial Cup-related poll that I posted on Tuesday night.


D Artyom Minulin, a 20-year-old Russian, is on his way back to the Swift Current Broncos after having had off-season shoulder surgery.

Minulin flew into Edmonton on Tuesday. He will travel to Calgary to do the necessary SCBroncosimmigration-related stuff, then rejoin the Broncos so that their medical team can check him over and determine how close he is to returning to action.

He has played three seasons with the Broncos, putting up 26 goals and 100 assists in 206 games. Last season, he had 13 goals and 30 assists in 64 regular-season games, then added a goal and seven assists in 20 playoff games.

When Minulin is added to the active roster, the Broncos will be carrying four 20-year-olds — the others are F Andrew Fyten, F Tanner Nagel and D Matthew Stanley — and three imports, the other two being freshman Finnish forwards Joona Kiviniemi and D Roope Pynnonen.

When Minulin does return, the Broncos will have 10 days to make a decision on their 20s. They also would have to get down to two imports by moving Minulin or releasing one of the other two. The window to trade first-year imports doesn’t open until Dec. 15.

The Broncos moved out a 20-year-old on Tuesday when the Vancouver Giants, who Vancouveracquired D Ty Ettinger, 18, from the Brandon Wheat Kings on Monday, added D Ryan Pouliot, 20, off waivers.

The Giants have three defencemen sidelined with injuries — Matt Barberis (undisclosed, indefinite), Baily Dhaliwal (shoulder, four weeks) and Joel Sexsmith (undisclosed, day-to-day).

Pouliot was born in Ottawa, but played some minor hockey in B.C.’s Lower Mainland, with the North Shore and Burnaby winter clubs. . . . The Broncos had claimed him on waivers from the Kootenay Ice during the off-season. . . . In 172 regular-season games — 14 with the Red Deer Rebels, 155 with Kootenay and three with the Broncos — he has three goals and 27 assists. . . . The Saskatoon Blades selected him in the 11th round of the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft.

Pouliot is expected to be in the Giants’ lineup tonight (Wednesday) when they meet the Rockets in Kelowna.

The Giants now have four 20-year-olds on their roster — Pouliot, Barberis, F Jared Dmytriw and F Davis Koch. Once Barberis returns, they will have 10 days to get down to three.


Stan Butler, the director of hockey operations and head coach of the OHL’s North Bay Battalion, has taken a medical leave while he deals with an undisclosed health issue. . . . Butler wasn’t behind the team’s bench on Sunday when they dropped a 6-1 decision to the Generals in Oshawa. . . . Adam Dennis, the assistant general manager and assistant coach, will handle the director of hockey operations’ duties, while Scott Wray, an assistant coach, will look after the coaching side of things. . . . Butler, the fourth-winningest head coach in OHL history, is into his 21st season with the Battalion. He spent one season (1996-97) as head coach of the WHL’s Prince George Cougars.


TUESDAY NIGHT NOTES:

The Red Deer Rebels (4-2-0) ran their winning streak to four games by erasing a 2-0 first-Red Deerperiod deficits en route to a 5-4 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . The Blades have lost two in a row after opening the season with three straight victories. . . . The game featured two PP goals by each team. . . . F Jeff de Wit scored twice for Red Deer. He’s got five goals in six games; he finished last season with 11 goals in 43 games split among the Regina Pats, Kootenay Ice and Victoria Royals. . . . Red Deer D Alex Alexeyev had two assists to run his point streak to six games.


The WHL’s weekly roster report is right here.


F Jaret Anderson-Dolan, who spent the past three seasons with the Spokane Chiefs, remains on the roster of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings as they prepare to open the regular season on Friday against the visiting San Jose Sharks. . . . Anderson-Dolan, 19, was a second-round pick by the Kings in the NHL’s 2017 draft. . . . From Calgary, he had 91 points, including 40 goals, with the Chiefs last season. In 212 regular-season games, he has 193 points, including 100 assists. . . . He has signed with the Kings, so is able to play nine games before the first year of his contract kicks in. . . . The Kings will be without F Dustin Brown (broken finger, four-to-six weeks), which may have opened the door for Anderson-Dolan to claim a roster spot. . . . The last two spots on the Kings’ 22-man roster went to Anderson-Dolan and F Austin Wagner, 21, a speedster who played four seasons (2013-17) with the Regina Pats.


The Regina Pats have signed D Jake Johnson, 15, who was a 10th-round selection in the 2018 WHL bantam draft. From Scottsdale, Ariz., he played the past two seasons with the bantam Phoenix Jr. Coyotes. This season, he is expected to play with the Jr. Coyotes U15 in the T1EHL.


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Awards, bantam draft off to Red Deer . . . Broncos win showdown with Warriors . . . Visiting Raiders bury Hurricanes


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

A tip of the Taking Note cap to the WHL for moving its awards show and the bantam draft to Red Deer for at least the next three years. . . . This year, the awards will be handed out on May 2, with the bantam draft on May 3, with both taking place at the Sheraton Hotel. . . . The more the WHL is able to spread its annual events around, the better for all involved. . . . Now it’s about the annual meeting that seems to have settled into secrecy in Vancouver, and that annual gather on Super Bowl weekend in Las Vegas. If only the WHL pooh-bahs would move those around, too.


The Kootenay Ice has added D Anson McMaster, 15, to its roster. McMaster, from Siksika Nation, Alta., was a second-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. This season, he had 13 assists in 35 games with the midget AAA Okotoks Oilers.


Noah Geekie’s father, Craig, played four seasons in the WHL, playing with the Brandon Wheat Kings and Spokane Chiefs. Noah’s brother, Morgan, is in his third season with the Tri-City Americans and was a third-round pick by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2017 NHL draft. Noah was selected by the Calgary Hitmen in the second round of the 2015 bantam draft. . . . With all that hockey in the family, why has Noah turned to baseball? Bob Elliott of the Canadian Baseball Network has Noah’s story right here, and it involves a fastball that improved by 12 miles per hour, now touching on 87.


If you have a tip or just want to chat, email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com. You are able to follow me on Twitter at @gdrinnan.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

WEDNESDAY:

At Portland, the Kamloops Blazers scored three second-period goals and went on to score a 3-1 victory over the Winterhawks. . . . Kamloops (27-29-5) had lost its previous five Kamloops1games (0-4-1). It now is six points from a playoff spot with 11 games to play. . . . Portland (35-20-4) has lost two in a row. It is second in the U.S. Division three points ahead of Spokane. . . . The Blazers won the season series, 3-1-0. . . . F Cody Glass (28) gave Portland a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 7:00 of the first period. . . . Kamloops F Jermaine Loewen tied it, on a PP, at 4:28 of the second period and F Nick Chyzowski (17) put the visitors ahead, on a PP, at 19:01. . . . Loewen (31) provided insurance 47 seconds later. . . . D Joe Gatenby had two assists for Kamloops. . . . Portland F Skyler McKenzie picked up his 200th career point when he drew an assist on his club’s first goal. . . . Kamloops was 2-5 on the PP; Portland was 1-4. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 30 shots to earn the victory. . . . G Cole Kehler started for Portland and surrendered three goals on 22 shots through two periods. Shane Farkas played the third period, stopping all four shots he faced. . . . The Blazers were without D Luke Zazula and F Luc Smith for a seventh straight game. . . . Announced attendance: 5,589.


At Swift Current, D Artyom Minulin drew three assists to help the Broncos to a 4-2 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Swift Current (43-13-5) has points in eight SCBroncosstraight (7-0-1). . . . Moose Jaw (44-12-3) and Swift Current are tied atop the overall standings, with the Warriors holding two games in hand. . . . I don’t know who is leading the season series, but Swift Current is 4-3-0 and Moose Jaw is 3-2-2. . . . The Broncos took a 1-0 lead when F Aleksi Heponiemi (26) scored, on a PP, at 9:00 of the first period. . . . F Tanner Jeannot (36) pulled Moose Jaw even, on a PP, at 19:25. . . . The Broncos went ahead 3-1 on goals from F Max Patterson (9), at 12:26 of the second period, and F Beck Malenstyn (11), shorthanded, at 7:07 of the third. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs (57) got the Warriors to within one, on a PP, at 7:29. . . . Swift Current got insurance from D Colby Sissons (13), on a PP, at 16:32. . . . The Broncos got two assists from F Giorgio Estephan, with Heponiemi and Sissons each getting one. . . . D Kale Clague and F Brayden Burke each had two assists for the Warriors. . . . Broncos G Glenn Gawdin had one assist for his 300th career point. It came in his 305th game, all with the Broncos. . . . He leads the WHL in scoring this season, with 112 points, six more than Burke. . . . Swift Current was 2-4 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 2-6. . . . The Broncos got 37 saves from G Stuart Skinner, who posted his 100th regular-season victory. The first 88 of those came with Lethbridge. He is 12-3-1, 2.43, .925 since being acquired by the Broncos. . . . Moose Jaw’s Brody Willms stopped 21 shots. . . . The Warriors were without F Barrett Sheen and D Jett Woo, both of whom are suspended. . . . Announced attendance: 2,890.


At Calgary, F Jake Kryski and F Jakob Stukel each had a goal and two assists as the Hitmen bounced the Red Deer Rebels, 6-4. . . . Calgary (18-33-7) had lost its previous two Calgarygames. . . . Red Deer (21-27-13) had won its previous four games. It is third in the Central Division, two points ahead of Kootenay. Red Deer has a game in hand. . . . F Mason McCarty gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 5:07 of the first period. . . . Calgary scored the next three goals. . . . Stukel (28) tied it at 9:16. F Tristen Nielsen (13) gave Calgary a 2-1 lead at 4:27 of the second period, with F Luke Coleman (14) making it 3-1 at 10:42. . . . The Rebels came back with three straight goals. . . . F Brandon Hagel (11) scored, shorthanded, at 18:20, with McCarty (33) getting his second goal, just 1:05 later. . . . F Kristian Reichel (28) gave the Rebels a 4-3 edge 32 seconds into the third period. . . . Kryski (11) got Calgary into a tie at 2:04, with D Vladislav Yeryomenko (12) giving the Hitmen a 5-4 lead at 9:42. . . . F Riley Stotts (13) provided the insurance at 18:59. . . . D Egor Zamula had two assists for Calgary, with Yeryomenko and Stotts each getting one. . . . Red Deer got two assists from each of F Grayson Pawlenchuk and D Carson Sass. . . . Red Deer was 0-1 on the PP; Calgary was 0-2. . . . G Nick Schneider blocked 19 shots to earn the victory. . . . Red Deer starter Riley Lamb allowed three goals on 19 shots in 30:42. Ethan Anders came on to stop eight of 10 shots in 29:03. . . . Announced attendance: 4,706.


At Lethbridge, the Prince Albert Raiders took control with six straight goals en route to an 8-2 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . Prince Albert (24-25-11) had lost its previous two PrinceAlbertgames. It now is six points out of a playoff spot. . . . Lethbridge (29-25-6) had won three straight. It is second in the Central Division, three points behind Medicine Hat and with a game in hand. . . . F Brett Leason (13) put the visitors ahead 1-0 at 0:16 of the first period and F Sean Montgomery (12) made it 2-0 at 2:53. . . . F Jadon Joseph (8) got Lethbridge on the scoreboard at 14:34. . . . F Justin Nachbaur (8) started the six-goal onslaught at 18:58. . . . The Raiders got second-period goals from F Curtis Miske (20), at 7:54; F Cole Fonstad (18), 14:51; and F Kody McDonald (30), at 4:35; with third-period scores coming from F Sean Montgomery (13), at 4:54, and D Sergei Sapego (2), on a PP, at 6:50. . . . F Keltie Jeri-Leon (7) got Lethbridge’s last goal. . . . Fonstad added two assists to his goal, with Leason, Sapego, Montgomery, McDonald and Nachbaur each getting one. . . . Joseph had an assist for Lethbridge. . . . Prince Albert was 1-5 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-7. . . . The Raiders got 35 stops from G Ian Scott. . . . The Hurricanes started Reece Klassen, who gave up seven goals on 27 shots in 44:54. Logan Flodell finished up, stopping six of seven shots in 15:06. . . . The Raiders took 72 of the game’s 140 penalty minutes. That total included 10 misconducts late in the game. . . . The Raiders had D Vojtech Budik back after a one-game absence. . . . The Hurricanes were without D Calen Addison as he served a one-game suspension. . . . Announced attendance: 3,036.


At Kennewick, Wash., F Jordan Topping scored twice to help the Tri-City Americans to a 4-2 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Tri-City (30-21-8) had lost its previous two TriCity30games. It holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, and is fourth in the U.S. Division, three points behind Spokane. . . . Seattle (28-22-9) has lost two in a row. It is in possession of the conference’s second wild-card spot, three points behind Tri-City. . . . Tri-City is 5-2-1 in the season series; Seattle is 3-3-2. . . . Topping opened the scoring at 10:56 of the first period. . . . The Thunderbirds tied it 18 seconds into the second period when D Austin Strand got No. 20. . . . F Nolan Yaremko (18) gave the Americans a 2-1 lead at 2:29. . . . The Thunderbirds tied it at 5:31 when D Jarret Tyszka (8) scored. . . . Topping (34) snapped the tie at 9:51. . . . F Michael Rasmussen (23), who also had an assist, upped the lead to 4-2, on a PP, at 19:54. . . . Tri-City was 1-3 on the PP; Seattle was 0-3. . . . G Patrick Dea earned the victory with 26 saves. . . . Seattle G Liam Hughes stopped 41 shots. . . . With F Blake Bargar and Sami Moilanen injured, the Thunderbirds again have added F Payton Mount, who turned 16 on Monday, and F Graeme Bryks, who turns 17 today, to their roster. Mount, from Victoria, plays at the Delta Hockey Academy. He was a first-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. This was his fourth game with Seattle this season. Bryks, an eighth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft, plays for the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints. This was his fifth game with Seattle this season. . . . Announced attendance: 2,547.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Edmonton at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Brandon at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Seattle at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Prince George at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Kamloops vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

Regina at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Portland at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

Everett vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Vipers’ owner dies at 68 … WHL hits two GMs with fines … Raiders guarantee win over Broncos

MacBeth

F Brady Ramsay (Lethbridge, 2010-14) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with the Fife Flyers (Scotland, UK Elite). He started the season with the Sheffield Steelers (England, UK Elite), scoring one goal and adding four assists in 13 games. He was released by the Steelers on Dec. 5.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The hockey community is in mourning today following the death of Duncan Wray, the longtime owner of the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers. Wray, who had owned the franchise since 1992, died suddenly Thursday morning, which happened to be his 68th birthday. . . . Besides owning the Vipers, Wray also was the chairman of the BCHL’s board of governors. . . . It was just on Saturday when the Vipers and Prince George Spruce Kings played the final game in the history of Vernon’s Civic Arena. Prior to the game, Wray had, according to Roger Knox of the Vernon Morning Star, “received a loud ovation” when he was introduced to the crowd. . . . Former Vipers head coach Troy Mick too Knox: “This is the saddest day of my life. Part of my heart feels ripped out. I haven’t stopped crying since this morning.” . . . Knox’s story is right here.


The WHL’s disciplinary office added to its coffers on Thursday, having fined a couple of its general managers.

Peter Anholt of the Lethbridge Hurricanes got touched for $750 “for actions following” a whlJan. 5 game against the visiting Vancouver Giants, who won that contest, 5-2.

Stu MacGregor of the Kamloops Blazers will be $500 lighter after being fined “for actions following” a game against the visiting the Spokane Chiefs on Sunday night. The Blazers won that game, 2-1.

Meanwhile, two players have drawn three-game suspensions.

D Matthew Benson of the Moose Jaw Warriors will sit out after taking a headshot major and game misconduct in a game against the host Edmonton Oil Kings on Saturday.

F Max James of the Tri-City Americans got hit with three games after he took a charging major and game misconduct for a hit during a game against the host Everett Silvertips on Wednesday night.


The Swift Current Broncos, having gone all-in at the WHL trade deadline, are hoping their fans will follow suit at the box office. The team announced Thursday that it is selling SCBroncospro-rated season tickets — prices are based on the number of regular-season home games remaining — through Jan. 31.

Season-ticket holders, of course, also have the first option on their seats for the 2018 playoffs. As well, should the Broncos have 2,100 season tickets sold by Jan. 31 — they went over 2,000 on Thursday — they will be giving away one free 2017-18 season ticket during each of the last 10 home regular-season games.

According to Dianne Sletten, the team’s director of business operations, “We’ve sold (more than) 250 season tickets this week and are thrilled to see an electric atmosphere as we push forward.”

The Broncos are at home Saturday when they entertain the Edmonton Oil Kings. Three of the Broncos — D Tyler Steenbergen, Canada’s golden boy, D Artyom Minulin (Russia) and F Aleksi Heponiemi (Finland) — will be saluted for having played in the WJC in Buffalo.


The Swift Current Broncos are scheduled to play their first game since the trade deadline tonight against the host Prince Albert Raiders.

What makes this game noteworthy is that the Raiders, who are 19th in the 22-team PrinceAlbertWHL’s overall standings, have guaranteed a victory over the No. 2 Broncos.

Yes, they have!

“Here’s how it works,” reads a Raiders’ news release. “After we beat Swift Current, we’ll all be happy. To be honest, we don’t think we’re going to lose.

“In the small chance that the Broncos pull off a miracle, here’s what we’ll do. We’ll hand out ticket vouchers to all fans in attendance on the way out. Each fan can bring that voucher, as well as the used game ticket from Friday night, to the Raiders box office on Saturday, Jan. 13, between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and redeem it for a free ticket to Saturday night’s game against the Moose Jaw Warriors.”

After the Raiders post the victory, they will trail the Broncos by 21 points.


On the subject of players having returned from the WJC, the Kelowna Rockets honoured D Cal Foote and F Dillon Dube prior to a 7-4 victory over the visiting Spokane Chiefs on Wednesday night. Both played for Canada in Buffalo, with Dube serving as team captain. . . . Unfortunately, Dube wasn’t in attendance on Wednesday, as a flu bug kept him out of action.

Meanwhile, the Portland Winterhawks welcomed back F Kieffer Bellows (U.S.) and D Henri Jokiharju (Finland) on Thursday. Both players are expected to play tonight (Friday) in Kennewick, Wash., against the Tri-City Americans. The Americans should have D Jake Bean, who also played for Canada, in their lineup tonight, too. Bean was acquired by the Americans from the Calgary Hitmen earlier in the week. He arrived in Kennewick on Thursday.


The Tri-City Americans have signed F Blake Stevenson, 16, to a WHL contract. Stevenson has five goals and three assists in 27 games with the AJHL’s Calgary Canucks and will remain there for the remainder of this season. Last season, he had 23 goals and 32 assists for the minor midget AAA CNHA Canucks. . . . The Americans selected him in the fourth round of the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft.


The Saskatoon Blades have released F Dryden Michaud, 19, and he has joined the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles. From Maple Ridge, B.C., Michaud had two goals and two assists in 29 games this season. Last season, he had one goal in 29 games with the Blades.


The Saskatoon Blades have added F Tristen Robins and F Kyle Crnkovic to their roster for a three-game road trip that features stops in Red Deer on Saturday, Cranbrook, B.C., on SaskatoonSunday, and Calgary on Tuesday. . . . Robins, who turned 16 on Nov. 15, is from Brandon and plays at the Rink Hockey Academy in Winnipeg. He is the son of former Blades G Trevor Robins. Tristen was acquired from the Regina Pats earlier in the week. They had selected him in the fourth round of the 2016 bantam draft. . . . Crnkovic, the Blades’ first-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft, played two WHL games earlier this season. He is playing for the Northern Alberta X-Treme prep team in the CSSHL. . . . The Blades won’t have F Kirby Dach on this trip. Dach, who is to turn 17 on Jan. 21, has four goals and 19 assists in 23 games. However, he hasn’t played since Dec. 27 and is sidelined on a weekly basis with an undisclosed injury.


F Ian Briscoe, 18, who was released by the Seattle Thunderbirds, has signed with the MJHL’s Dauphin Kings. Briscoe, from Winnipeg, had three assists in 24 games this season. Last season, he had two goals in 20 games. He also played 22 games with Dauphin last season, recording six goals and 10 assists. . . . Seattle selected him in the fifth round of the 2014 bantam draft.


The Moose Jaw Warriors have dropped D Brenden Kwiatkowski, 17, from their roster. He is expected to join the AJHL’s Grande Prairie Storm. Kwiatkowski, who is from Grande Prairie, had one assist in 22 games with the Warriors.


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Scoreboard

THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Edmonton at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Swift Current at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Regina, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Lethbridge at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Prince George at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Portland vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

Kamloops at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

Kelowna vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:35 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY