The Brandon-Everett trade that wasn’t . . . Bader leaves Raiders, cites personal reasons . . . Blichfeld hits 200 in victory

MacBeth

F Tomáš Netík (Medicine Hat, 2000-01) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Innsbruck (Austria, Erste Bank Liga) after obtaining his release from Košice (Slovakia, Extraliga). He had six goals and 18 assists in 30 games. . . .

G Juraj Hollý (Calgary 2010-11) has been traded by Liptovský Mikuláš to Dukla Trenčín (both Slovakia, Extraliga) for Marek Šimko. In 17 games, Hollý was 3-12-0, 3.47, .901 with one shutout.


ThisThat

The Brandon Wheat Kings traded F Stelio Mattheos, their leading scorer, to the Everett Silvertips on Jan. 10, which was the WHL’s trade deadline.

Except that they didn’t.

Josh Horton of the Everett Herald reported Wednesday that “the Silvertips agreed to a Everettdeal to acquire top-flight Brandon forward Stelio Mattheos . . . but the trade fell apart at the last minute.”

According to Horton, “A Silvertips player and draft picks were headed to Brandon in return for the 19-year-old Mattheos, sources said.”

Horton, citing sources, added that “both of the players involved had been informed of the trade and were getting ready to leave for their new teams when the deal collapsed.”

No one is saying how many WHL bantam draft picks were involved in the swap. However, Taking Note has been told that the teams had been working on the deal for a couple of months and that the Everett player who was told he was on his way to Brandon was F Reece Vitelli, whom the Silvertips selected in the fourth round of the 2016 bantam draft.

Garry Davidson, the Silvertips’ general manager, told Horton that a deal was in the works but that “it didn’t work out.” However, that is all Davidson, who is said to have been most upset, would say.

Taking Note also has been told that the deal didn’t really collapse, that it was more a case BrandonWKregularof it not having been filed in its entirety with the WHL office in time to beat the deadline of 3 p.m. MT.

Neither the WHL office nor Brandon GM Grant Armstrong would comment to Horton.

Interestingly, Davidson and Armstrong worked together with the Portland Winterhawks. Davidson, who is in his seventh season as Everett’s GM, was Portland’s director of player personnel for four seasons (2008-12); Armstrong, now in his third season as Brandon’s GM, was Portland’s head scout during that time.

This season, Vitelli, a 17-year-old sophomore from Winnipeg, has five goals and 11 assists in 45 games. He has one goal in five games since the trade deadline.

Last season, Vitelli finished with two goals and eight assists in 70 games, then added four goals and three assists in 22 playoff games.

Mattheos also is from Winnipeg. The Wheat Kings selected him with the first overall pick in the 2014 bantam draft. His NHL rights belong to the Carolina Hurricanes, who picked him in the third round of that league’s 2017 draft. Mattheos has yet to sign an NHL contract.

Mattheos is Brandon’s captain and leads the Wheat Kings in goals (30), assists (31) and points (61), all in 40 games.

Last season, Mattheos put up 43 goals and 47 assists in 90 games. In 228 career regular-season games, he has 243 points, including 113 goals.

The Silvertips and Wheat Kings aren’t scheduled to meet again this season. They played in Brandon on Oct. 19, with the home team winning, 5-2, behind three goals from Mattheos. Vitelli, playing in his home province, had one assist.


KOOTENAY KOUNTDOWN

On Dec. 19, Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner, said that there would be an 36announcement “very soon” and that it would deal with “what the future of that franchise is.”

That franchise is the Kootenay Ice, an organization that is believed to be headed to Winnipeg once this season is over.

But we now are into the 36th day since Robison appeared on TSN Radio 1260 in Edmonton with host Dean Millard.

Since then . . . crickets from the Ice and the WHL office.


F Bryce Bader has left the Prince Albert Raiders.

According to a news release from the Raiders, Bader, 17, flew to Calgary on Sunday “to PrinceAlbertwrite a final exam,” then “elected not to re-join the team for personal reasons.”

The Raiders added: “There will be no further comment from the hockey club.”

Bader’s departure leaves the Raiders’ roster at 21 players, including seven defencemen and 12 forwards.

Bader, from Sherwood Park, Alta., was selected by the Calgary Hitmen in the second round of the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft.

The Raiders acquired Bader from the Hitmen on Jan. 10 in exchange for F Quinn Olson, a 17-year-old Calgarian who has committed to the U of Minnesota-Duluth for 2020-21. In the deal, the teams also swapped conditional sixth-round selections in an undisclosed bantam draft.

This season, Bader had four goals in 10 games with the Hitmen this season, but had yet to play for the Raiders.

The Raiders, the CHL’s top-ranked team, is scheduled to conclude a B.C. Division swing tonight against the Vancouver Giants. The game will be televised on Sportsnet.


WEDNESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

F Joachim Blichfeld, the WHL’s leading scorer, struck for two third-period goals to help Portlandthe host Portland Winterhawks to a 4-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Portland (28-13-5) is second in the U.S. Division, seven points behind the Everett Silvertips. . . . Tri-City (24-17-3) had points in each of its previous four games (3-0-1). It remains fourth in the U.S. Division, two points behind the Spokane Chiefs. At the same time, the Americans are in control of the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, with a 12-point lead on the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . With two games left in the season series, Tri-City is 5-1-0; Portland is 1-1-4. That means that while Tri-City has won five of six games, Portland still has grabbed six points. . . . The Americans grabbed a 2-0 lead on first-period goals 40 seconds apart by F Krystof Hrabik (10) and F Kyle Olson (14). . . . Portland pulled even late in the period as F Jaydon Dureau (10) scored at 18:58 and F Josh Paterson (17) found the range at 19:35. . . . The teams played a scoreless second period, before Blichfeld, who now has 42 goals, hit at 9:53 and 16:18, with F Cody Glass assisting on both scores. . . . Blichfeld’s second goal gave him 200 career regular-season points. He has 94 goals and 106 assists in 165 games. . . . Blichfeld, who also had an assist, leads the WHL with 86 points, 10 more than F Tristin Langan of the Moose Jaw Warriors and F Trey Fix-Wolansky of the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Blichfeld’s 42 goals are five more than Langan. . . . Andy Kemper, the Winterhawks’ historian, points out that Blichfeld is the second import in franchise history to get to 200 points. F Oliver Bjorkstrand, who put up 290 points in 193 regular-season games. . . . G Joel Hofer blocked 26 shots for Portland, 16 fewer than Tri-City’s Beck Warm. . . . Portland won 41 of the 63 faceoffs, and was 0-5 on the PP. Tri-City was 0-1. . . . The Americans were without F Blake Stevenson (undisclosed injury) and F Sasha Mutala, who was in Red Deer for the Top Prospects Game. . . . D John Ludvig was among Portland’s scratches.


Tweetoftheday

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Wrapping up Deadline Day . . . Teams close with 11 deals involving 16 players . . . Raiders involved in three trades

tradewire

THE DEADLINE IS GONE

(WHL trade deadline: Thursday, 3 p.m. MT)

Thursday’s action:

No. of trades: 11.

Players: 16.

Bantam draft picks: 10.

Conditional draft picks: 4.

——

Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 44.

Players: 77.

Bantam draft picks: 63.

Conditional draft picks: 15.

(Note: On Nov. 30, Kelowna traded F Jack Cowell, 19, to Kootenay for a third-round selection in the 2020 bantam draft. Cowell chose not to report and the deal was voided, so isn’t included in these totals.)

——

The Prince Albert Raiders did some last-minute shopping on Thursday as the WHL’s annual trade deadline passed us by.

The Raiders completed three deals, all before noon their time, after which management PrinceAlbertpresumable went snow golfing.

In all, the Raiders added three depth players — a goaltender, a defenceman and a forward.

The Raiders added G Boston Bilous, 17, from the Edmonton Oil Kings, giving up a conditional sixth-round selection in the 2022 WHL bantam draft.

Bilous, from Langley, B.C., was a fourth-round pick by the Oil Kings in the 2016 bantam draft. At the time, he had committed to the U of Denver Pioneers, but later changed his mind and signed with the Oil Kings.

The 6-foot-3, 175-pounder appeared in 10 games for Edmonton this season, going 3-4-1, 3.56, .859. Last season, he was 0-10-1, 4.72, .838.

Bilous has been hampered by injuries, missing two weeks in early November. He returned to play two games, but now hasn’t been in a game since Nov. 24.

Last season, he also missed couple of weeks in November, returned for three games and then was out until late February.

Bilous is eligible for the NHL’s 2019 draft and, in fact, is on NHL Central Scouting’s watch list where he is projected as a potential late-round selection.

After making the deal, the Raiders had three goaltenders on their roster — Bilous, starter Ian Scott and Donovan Buskey, who was acquired from the Spokane Chiefs on Aug. 31 for a sixth-round pick in the 2020 bantam draft.

Later in the day, Prince Albert dropped Buskey from its roster. He is expected to join the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters.

Scott, 20, is 24-4-1, 1.73, .939. Buskey, who is to turn 19 on Jan. 29, had gotten into 11 games, going 9-1-0, 3.15, .870.

While the Raiders may be looking for some competition at the backup position, they also are looking to next season when Scott no longer will be part of their organization. It could be that a change in scenery will help Bilous kick the injury thing and get things back on track. After all, in his bantam draft season he was the CSSHL’s top goaltender while player at the Delta Hockey Academy.

Bilous’s departure leaves the Oil Kings with veterans Dylan Myskiw, 19, and Todd Scott, 18, as their goaltenders.

Earlier in the day, the Raiders acquired D Loeden Schaufler, 18, from the Seattle Thunderbirds for an eighth-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft.

From De Winton, Alta., Schaufler was a third-round selection by the Kootenay Ice in the 2015 bantam draft.

The Ice dealt him to Seattle on Oct. 9, along with a conditional ninth-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft, for F Eric Fawkes, 17, a Winnipegger who is with the MJHL’s Winkler Flyers and has committed to RPI (Rensselaer Polytech Institute) for 2020-21.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Schaufler has eight assists in 57 regular-season games, 37 of them with the Ice, including 32 last season. This season, he had two assists in 20 games with Seattle.

Schaufler only recently returned to action after being injured on Dec. 8 when he was on the receiving end of a hit by F Sean Richards, then of the Everett Silvertips. Richard drew a boarding major and game misconduct on the play and subsequently was suspended for eight games. While serving that suspension, he found himself traded to Seattle in a deal that had F Zack Andrusiak go to Everett. Schaufler returned to the lineup on Jan. 4 against the Wheat Kings in Brandon.

Later in the day, the Raiders dropped D Lane Kirk, 18, from their roster. Kirk, from Swan River, Man., was a fifth-round pick by the Raiders in the 2015 bantam draft. However, he has been injured and has yet to play this season. He now is expected to join the MJHL’s Swan Valley Stampeders, who play out of Swan River.

The Raiders began the day by sending F Quinn Olson, 17, to the Calgary Hitmen for F Bryce Bader, 17. The teams also swapped conditional sixth-round bantam draft picks — the year wasn’t revealed — in the deal.

From Sherwood Park, Alta., Bader, 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, has played 14 games with Calgarythe Hitmen over three seasons. This season, he has four goals in 10 games, with three of them coming over his past three games. Bader was injured in Calgary’s final exhibition game  and didn’t get back into game action until Nov. 9. He played the previous two seasons with the midget AAA Sherwood Park Kings, putting up 21 goals 23 assists in 58 games.

The Hitmen selected him in the second round of the 2016 bantam draft.

The Raiders selected Olson, who is from Calgary, in the sixth round of that same draft. The 5-foot-10, 155-pounder has committed to the U of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs for 2020-21, and has played the past two seasons with the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers. This season, he has 17 goals and 25 assists in 35 games; last season, he put up 14 goals and 39 assists in 53 games.

The Raiders are back on home ice, where they have lost three of their last four games, against the Portland Winterhawks tonight.

——

The Tri-City Americans acquired F Samuel Huo, 17, from the Seattle Thunderbirds for a conditional fifth-round selection in the WHL’s 2020 bantam draft.

A 6-foot-4, 185-pounder from Richmond, B.C., was added to Seattle’s protected list in 2017.

This season, Huo has three goals and six assists in 34 games. Last season, as a freshman, he had three goals and three assists in 67 games.

“Samuel is a young, experienced forward with good upside,” Tri-City general manager Bob Tory said in a news release. “After the departure of Isaac Johnson and recent injuries we felt it was necessary to add another forward to our roster.”

Tory told Taking Note on Wednesday night that Johnson, who had been a point-a-game player this season, has retired for personal reasons.

Huo is expected to be in the Americans’ lineup on Friday night when they visit the Everett Silvertips.

——

The Saskatoon Blades acquired F Ryan Hughes, 19, from the Saskatoon Blades for F Josh SaskatoonPaterson, 19, and two bantam draft picks — a second-rounder in 2020 and a fourth-rounder in 2021. . . . The second-round pick originally belonged to the Swift Current Broncos. They sent it and a fifth-rounder in 2019 to the Blades for G Logan Flodell on Sept. 20, 2017.

The 5-foot-8, 155-pound Hughes, who is from Edmonton and was listed by Portland, has played 223 regular-season games with the Winterhawks, putting up 64 goals and 87 assists. This season, Hughes has 17 goals and 23 assists in 36 games.

The Blades selected the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Paterson, who also is from Edmonton, in the second round of the 2014 bantam draft. He has played 246 regular-season games with Saskatoon, totalling 74 goals and 64 assists. This season, Paterson, an alternate captain, has 14 goals and 18 assists in 41 games.

The Winterhawks and Blades are in second place in their respective divisions, Portland Portlandtrailing the Everett Silvertips by 11 points in the U.S. Division and Saskatoon 14 points in arrears of the Prince Albert Raiders in the East Division.

The Winterhawks obviously feel they need more size in order to get to Everett’s level, while Blades’ management is of the opinion that they must have more speed and offence in order to compete with Prince Albert.

Portland also is able to add a couple of bantam draft picks in this deal, one day after sending six selections to the Broncos for G Joel Hofer.

The Blades are to entertain the Calgary Hitmen on Friday night. On Saturday night, the Winterhawks, who play in Prince Albert on Friday, will visit Saskatoon.

——

The Moose Jaw Warriors have acquired F Carson Denomie, 18, from the Kamloops MooseJawWarriorsBlazers for a seventh-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft.

The 6-foot-0, 195-pound Denomie is from Regina. The Blazers selected him in the fifth round of the 2015 bantam draft.

This season, he has one goal and three assists in 36 games. Last season, he recorded six goals and 13 assists in 66 games.

In 2016-17, Denomie helped the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians to a league championship, putting up 16 goals and 30 assists in 44 regular-season games.

The trade was made while the Blazers were in Victoria, where they are to meet the Royals on Friday night after dropping a 5-3 decision on Wednesday.

Interestingly, the Warriors will be in Kamloops to meet the Blazers on Tuesday.

——

Moose Jaw and Swift Current got together on a buzzer-beater, with the Warriors landing F Alec Zawatsky, 19, in exchange for F Tyler Smithies, 18, and two bantam draft picks — a fourth-rounder in 2020 and a fifth in 2021.

Zawatsky, from Yorkton, led the Broncos in goals (13) and points (26), in 39 games. Last season, he had three goals and five assists in 43 games with the Saskatoon Blades, under head coach Dean Brockman. After the Blades fired Brockman, he ended up joining the Broncos and he found a spot for Zawatsky on the roster.

Smithies, from Beaumont, Alta., has two goals and an assist in 19 games with the Warriors this season. Last season, he had a goal and four assists in 36 games.

The Warriors are at home to the Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday night, while the Broncos will entertain the Thunderbirds on Saturday.

——

The Kootenay Ice have acquired D Chase Hartje, 19, from the Brandon Wheat Kings for a Kootenaynewthird-round selection in the 2019 WHL bantam draft. The pick originally belonged to the Red Deer Rebels.

Hartje, from Bemidji, Minn. has four goals and eight assists in 35 games with Brandon this season. Last season, he had 17 assists in 31 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors, then added three goals and five assists in 27 games with the Wheat Kings.

This was the second deadline day in a row on which Hartje changed teams. A year ago, Moose Jaw dealt him to Brandon as part of the trade in which the Warriors landed D Kale Clague and the Wheat Kings got F Luka Burzan.

The Ice next plays Saturday when it visits the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

——


The Vancouver Giants added D Nic Draffin, 17, from the Red Deer Rebels in exchange for a seventh-round selection in the 2021 WHL bantam draft.

Michael Dyck, the Giants’ first-year head coach, is most familiar with Draffin, having Vancouvercoached him bantam AAA and midget AAA in Lethbridge. While there, Draffin also was teammates with D Bowen Byram, who now stars for Vancouver.

This season, Draffin has one goal and four assists in 35 games with the AJHL’s Calgary Mustangs.

The Rebels selected Draffin in the third-round of the 2016 bantam draft.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Draffin, who is from Lethbridge, is expected to join the Giants in time for home games against the Kamloops Blazers on Saturday and Victoria Royals on Sunday.

After Alan Caldwell posted the above tweet, the Kelowna Rockets claimed D Matt Barberis, 20, on waivers from the Giants, then released F Lane Zablocki, 20, who has joined the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers.

Barberis, from Surrey, B.C., has played only nine games this season due to injury. This KelownaRocketswould have been his fourth full season with the Giants; in the previous three, he played 49, 48 and 56 games. In 168 regular-season games, he has 21 goals and 64 assists. The Giants selected him with the 20th overall pick of the 2013 bantam draft.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Barberis joins D Dalton Gally and D Schael Higson as 20-year-olds on Kelowna’s roster.

Bruce Hamilton, the Rockets’ general manager, said in a news release that Barberis has medical clearance to play, but “he probably won’t play until next weekend.”

Zablocki had four goals and eight assists in 22 games with the Rockets, who acquired him from the Victoria Royals on Sept. 28, giving up a seventh-round bantam draft pick in 2019 and a fourth-rounder in 2021. He has 62 goals and 72 assists in 223 career regular-season WHL games.

——

In a one-for-one exchange that was made right before the trading deadline, the Medicine Tigers Logo OfficialHat Tigers sent F Josh Williams, 17, to the Edmonton Oil Kings for F Brett Kemp, 18.

Williams, who has been selected to play in the Top Prospects Game in Red Deer on Jan. 23, has nine goals and

Williams, from Langley, B.C., was selected by the Tigers with the fifth-overall pick in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder has nine goals and 12 assists in 41 games this season, after putting up 11 goals and nine assists in 47 games last season. He had five goals and an EdmontonOilKingsassist in five games with Canada’s U-18 team at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Red Deer and Edmonton in August.

Kemp, from Yorkton, Sask., was selected by the Everett Silvertips in the second round of the 2015 bantam draft. The Oil Kings acquired Kemp and F Graham Millar, along with a 2018 first-round bantam draft pick from Everett on Jan. 4, 2017, for D Aaron Irving and a seventh-rounder in the 2017 draft.

The 6-foot-1, 160-pound Kemp has 43 goals and 46 assists in 146 regular-season games, all but 17 of them with Edmonton. This season, he has 22 goals and 17 assists in 40 games. He had been the Oil Kings’ second-leading point producer.

Kemp is expected to be in the Tigers’ lineup on Friday against the visiting Regina Pats, while Williams should be Edmonton’s lineup when it visits the Lethbridge Hurricanes. On Saturday, the Tigers are at home to the Oil Kings, meaning Kemp and Williams will be going up against their former teammates.

——

The Everett Silvertips added size to their roster, and they hope they got some offence, Everetttoo, with the acquisition of F Robbie Holmes, 19, from the Regina Pats.

In exchange for the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Holmes, from Sherwood Park, Alta., the Pats get F Sloan Stanick, 15, who hasn’t signed a WHL contract, and two WHL bantam draft picks — a second-rounder in 2020 and a sixth in 2022.

An 11th-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft, Holmes has 29 goals and 27 assists in 148 regular-season games with Regina. This season, he has nine goals and seven assists in 24 games.

Stanick, from Rapid City, Man., was selected by Everett in the seventh round of the 2018 bantam draft.

This season, he has 12 goals and 12 assists in 31 games with the Yellowhead Chiefs of the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League. Last season, with the bantam AAA Chiefs, he finished with 28 goals and 31 assists in 36 games.

Stanick’s twin brother, Slade, also plays for the midget AAA Chiefs. Slade is on Everett’s protected list.

The Silvertips are at home to the Tri-City Americans on Friday night.

Ice may have lost pick to UND . . . Ex-WHLer’s son makes verbal commitment . . . Hitmen make some moves

MacBeth

F Richard Nejezchleb (Brandon, Tri-City, 2012-15) has been assigned on loan by Litvínov (Czech Republic, Extraliga) to České Budějovice (Czech Republic, 1. Liga) for the rest of this season. He had five goals and one assist in 22 games with Litvínov this season.


A LITTLE OF THIS …

F Jake Sanderson, the son of former WHL/NHL F Geoff Sanderson, has made a verbal commitment to attend the U of North Dakota and play for the Fighting Hawks starting in 2021-22.

Jake, who won’t turn 16 until July 8, was a fourth-round selection by the Kootenay Ice in UNDthe WHL’s 2017 bantam draft.

From Calgary, Sanderson is a Grade 9 student at the Edge School. He has six goals and 12 assists in 14 games with the school’s elite 15 entry in the CSSHL.

His father played three seasons (1988-91) with the Swift Current Broncos, totalling 112 points, including 62 goals, in 1990-91.

Sanderson is one of a number of WHL bantam draft picks who have said they will attend UND.

D Luke Reid, a second-round pick of the Victoria Royals in the 2016 bantam draft, also has committed to UND, but for 2020-21. Reid, 16, is from Warman, Sask. He is in his first season with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees.

D Tyler Kleven, 15, has committed to UND, but for the 2022-23 season. Kleven, from Fargo, N.D., was a 10th-round selection by the Portland Winterhawks in the 2017 bantam draft. He is playing with Great Plains in the Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League.

D Jacob Bernard-Docker, 17, is in his second season with the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers and has said he will go to UND for 2019-20. The Swift Current Broncos selected him in the fifth round of the 2015 bantam draft.

D Jonny Tychonick, a 17-year-old Calgarian who is in his second season with the Vees, has committed to UND starting next season. The Saskatoon Blades selected him in the first round of the 2015 bantam draft, but dealt his WHL rights to the Calgary Hitmen on Nov. 7, 2016, for a third-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft and a conditional first-round selection.

Brad Elliott Schlossmann of the Grand Forks Herald has more right here.


The Edmonton Oil Kings have added F Matthew Culling, 16, to their roster. From Regina, Culling has 23 goals and 26 assists in 31 games with the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians. . . . The Oil Kings selected him in the 10th round of the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft.


The Calgary Hitmen have added F Ryder Korczak, 15, to their roster. From Yorkton, Sask., he was a second-round pick in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. He has 11 goals and 14 Calgaryassists in 29 games with the midget AAA Yorkton Maulers.

Meanwhile, the Hitmen have returned three players to their midget teams.

D Luke Prokop, 15, has two assists in 11 games with the Hitmen this season. The seventh-overall selection in the 2017 bantam draft, he is on his way back to the Northern Alberta X-Treme prep team.

D Devan Klassen, 16, who was pointless in nine games with the Hitmen, is returning to the midget AAA Grande Prairie, Alta., Storm.

F Bryce Bader, 16, was a second-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. He was pointless in three games with Calgary, and now is going back to the midget AAA Sherwood Park, Alta., Kings.


Scoreboard

MONDAY:

No Games Scheduled


TUESDAY (all times local):

Edmonton at Brandon, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Spokane at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Portland vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Calgary at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Regina, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Vancouver at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Everett, 7:05 p.m.

Spokane at Kelowna 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Royals, Raiders make a deal . . . OHL swap includes 5-year-old . . . Skinner returns with record shutout

Scattershooting

Come on, folks. Lighten up. Anyone piling on Christian Wohlwend, the Swiss junior team’s head coach, for his comments on Sunday needs to stop drinking so much coffee. He’s a funny man, and his team had zero chance of beating Canada. You can bet his players knew it, too, so how be we cut him some slack.


Canada dumped Switzerland, 8-2, on Tuesday, as Wohlwend had pretty much predicted. Did I watch? No, because I took Wohlwend at his word.


However, I did watch Sweden and Slovakia, with Dennis Beyak and Craig Button doing their usual excellent job. Earlier in the day, Beyak and Button called a thriller between Finland and Czech Republic. Later, I went in and out of the game between Russia and the U.S. The host team playing the Russians and the arena was devoid of people and atmosphere.



Let’s be honest. We all want to see Canada and the U.S. on a real ice surface in Friday’s championship final. We’ll watch then, unless the poohbahs take the game and move it outside.



Willie Desjardins, the head coach of Canada’s Olympic team, is in Buffalo now, having conquered Europe — they won the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland, last week. Also there are assorted other Team Canada officials, including GM Sean Burke, as they continue to look for those who would be Canadian Olympians.


This morning at 11 o’clock, Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops is expected to introduce Curtis Atkinson as its new athletic director. He will take over from Ken Olynyk, who is retiring after 14 years in charge. Atkinson, who has been working for Canada West, is a former interim AD at the U of Regina. Former WHLer Peter Soberlak, who is on staff at TRU, was the other candidate who received serious consideration.


BTW, America, can’t you do something about President Tweet? If you aren’t aware, he has become something of an embarrassment.


After President Tweet’s big button shot at North Korea on Tuesday, how comfortable are you if you’re preparing to head for South Korea and the Olympic Winter Games? Yeah, that’s what I thought.


A reader sends this note . . .

Before their loss in Kamloops on Monday, the Victoria Royals were listed as 1-0-0-1 in the ‘Streak’ column in the standings on the WHL website. That was for a win on Thursday against Prince George and a shootout loss Saturday in Kelowna. After Monday’s regulation loss to the Blazers, the Royals’ streak now is listed as 0-1-0-1. So I guess that a shootout loss can be part of both a winning streak and a losing streak.


MacBeth

F Rodrigo Ābols (Portland, 2015-17) has been assigned on loan by Örebro (Sweden, SHL) to Karlskoga (Sweden, Allsvenskan). The length of the loan wasn’t specified. He had one assist in 26 games, while averaging 7:34 time on ice per game with Örebro this season.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

There have been a number of trades in the OHL over the past few days, but only one of them included a five-year-old who, as Scott Radley of the Hamilton Spectator points out, “is somewhere in Ontario currently enjoying his Christmas break from the grinding rigours of kindergarten.” . . . Yes, a deal made Monday between the Windsor Spitfires and Kingston Frontenacs included a selection in the OHL’s 2028 draft. No one trades picks like OHL teams, and this deal was no different. Windsor traded away two veterans for a 16-year-old centre and draft picks from 2020, 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2027 and, yes, 2028. . . . Radley has more right here and it’s an entertaining read.


The Seattle Thunderbirds are down to three 20-year-olds with the news that F Tyler Adams has joined the SJHL’s Nipawin Hawks. . . . A native of Regina, Adams got into only one game with Seattle this season, thanks to an undisclosed injury. He was acquired last season from the Swift Current Broncos, and had three goals and five assists in 41 games with the WHL-champion Thunderbirds. . . . His departure leaves Seattle with F Donovan Neuls, D Turner Ottenbreit and D Austin Strand as its 20-year-olds.


The Calgary Hitmen have added F Bryce Bader, 16, to their roster. From Sherwood Park, Alta., he was a second-round selection by the Hitmen in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . This season, he has 10 goals and 12 assists in 25 games with the midget AAA Sherwood Park Kings. . . . He got into one game with the Hitmen last season, but was pointless.


WHEELING AND DEALING . . .

NUMBER OF TRADES (since Nov. 13): 18

PLAYERS: 32

BANTAM DRAFT PICKS: 20

CONDITONAL BANTAM DRAFT PICKS: 4


TUESDAY:

THE DEAL: The Victoria Royals have acquired the WHL rights to F Hunter Strand, 15, a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft, and sixth-and 10th-round picks in 2018 from the Prince Albert Raiders for F Regan Nagy, 20.

THE INFO: Strand was selected by the Raiders in the sixth round of the 2017 bantam draft. He hasn’t yet committed to the WHL. In fact, on Nov. 30, he made a verbal commitment to attend Notre Dame and play for the Fighting Irish, starting with the 2021-22 season. Of course, verbal commitments are non-binding, so the Royals have plenty of time to deliver their pitch. . . . Strand, who is in Grade 9, has a late birthday; he turned 15 on Nov. 13. . . . Nagy had  been a part of the Victoria organization since being a second-round selection in the 2012 bantam draft.

THE NUMBERS: The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Strand, who is from Anchorage, is playing for the U-16 Alaska Oilers, a midget AAA team in the Alaska State Hockey Association. In his first 21 games this season, through Nov. 5, he had 26 goals and 16 assists in 21 games. The Oilers’ website doesn’t include stats past that date. . . . The Royals got a good look at Strand in December 2016, when he put up 10 goals and eight assists in five games at the Rick LaPointe Memorial bantam tournament in Victoria. . . . Nagy, who is from Ogema, Sask., has 18 goals and six assists in 26 games this season. He hasn’t played since Nov. 28 due to a finger injury. Last season, the 6-foot-0, 195-pound Nagy had 18 goals and 23 assist in 69 games. In 253 career games, he has 50 goals and 47 assists.

WHY: The Royals are hoping they can convince a young player with high-end offensive skills to sign with them. They also added three bantam draft selections and those always are useful. . . . Moving Nagy also gets the Royals back to three 20-year-olds — D Kade Jensen, D Chaz Reddekopp and F Tyler Soy. . . . With the trade deadline arriving on Jan. 10, the Raiders, despite being seven points out of a playoff spot, appear to have signalled that they aren’t in a selling mode. Acquiring Nagy gives them four 20-year-olds, one over the maximum, meaning they will have to move one over the next week. The others, all forwards, are Curtis Miske, Devon Skoleski and Jordy Stallard.


Scoreboard

TUESDAY:

At Lethbridge, G Stuart Skinner, who had been in sick bay, stopped 20 shots to help the Hurricanes to a 7-0 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . The Hurricanes (17-17-3) have Lethbridgepoints in three straight games (2-0-1). . . . The Ice (18-18-3) have points in each of its previous seven games (5-0-2). . . . Kootenay is 0-1-1 to being a stretch of five games in six nights. The Ice will be in Swift Current tonight. . . . Lethbridge is third in the Central Division, two points behind Kootenay, which is five points back of Medicine Hat. . . . Skinner was back in goal after not having played since Dec. 16. He became ill after the Christmas break. He posted his fourth shutout this season and the 10th of his career. He now holds the franchise’s career record with one more than Logan Koopmans (1999-2004). . . . It may have been key that the Hurricanes scored in the last minute of each of the first two periods. . . . F Jordy Bellerive opened the scoring, on a PP, with five seconds left in the first period. . . . F Giorgio Estephan, who also had three assists, scored his 17th goal, on a PP, at 8:43 of the second period. . . . F Jadon Joseph (4) made it 3-0 at 19:08. . . . The home side put it away with four third-period goals, from Bellerive (22), at 3:43; F Taylor Ross (10), at 4:36; F Zachary Cox (1), at 5:42; and F Lane Zablocki (11), at 10:50. . . . Lethbridge got two assists from each of D Calen Addison, F Dylan Cozens and D Igor Merezhko, with Zablocki and Joseph adding one each. . . . Lethbridge was 2-4 on the PP; Kootenay was 0-4. . . . G Duncan McGovern stopped 34 shots for the Ice, which was outshot 34-13 over the final two periods. . . . D Nolan Jones, 16, a second-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft, was in Lethbridge’s lineup, as was D Alex Cotton, 16, who was a fifth-round pick in that draft. Jones, who was pointless in three games last season, is from Moose Jaw and has four goals and 11 assists in 28 games with the midget AAA Moose Jaw Generals. Cotton, who made his WHL debut, is from Langley, B.C. He has four goals and 32 assists in 24 games with the CSSHL’s Yale Hockey Academy prep team. . . . F Holden Kodak, 16, who is from Cloverdale, B.C., made his WHL debut with the Ice. An 11th-round selection by the Portland Winterhawks in the 2016 bantam draft, he was placed on Kootenay’s protected list in October and signed on Dec. 19. Kodak has been playing with the Yale Hockey Academy’s prep team in the CSSHL. He has 60 points, 36 of them goals, in 26 games. . . . Announced attendance: 2,973.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Brandon at Regina, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


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