NHL Central Scouting likes WHLers. . . . Former Pats sniper dead at 42. . . . BCHL coach of the year makes move


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F Milan Bartovič (Brandon, Tri-City, 1999-2001) has signed a one-year contract extension with Dukla Trenčín (Slovakia, Extraliga). An alternate captain, he had 15 goals and 25 assists in 54 games this season. . . .

F Kris Foucault (Swift Current, Kootenay, Calgary, 2006-11) has signed a one-year contract with Ingolstadt (Germany, DEL). This season, with Grizzlys Wolfsburg (Germany, DEL), he had five goals and two assists in seven gams. He missed most of the season after suffering a concussion. . . .

F Dustin Johner (Seattle, 1999-2004) announced his retirement via his Twitter account. This season, with the Belfast Giants (Northern Ireland, UK Elite), he had 23 goals and 23 assists in 58 games. . . .

F Jordan Knackstedt (Red Deer, Moose Jaw, 2004-08) has signed a one-year contract extension with Dresden (Germany, DEL2). This season, he had 21 goals and 50 assists in 41 games. He led his team in assists and points. He was second in the league in assists and fourth in points.


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NHL Central Scouting issued its final rankings prior to the 2019 draft and three of the top whlfive-rated North American skaters are out of the WHL. . . . D Bowen Byram of the Vancouver Giants moved from No. 4 in the midseason rankings to No. 2. F Kirby Dach of the Saskatoon Blades is at No. 3, and F Dylan Cozens of the Lethbridge Hurricanes is ranked fifth. . . . F Jack Hughes of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program U-18 team is the top-ranked North American skater. . . . Central Scouting has seven NTDP skaters rated as potential first-round picks. . . . F Kaapo Kakko of TPS in Finland is atop the list of international skaters. . . . All told there are 50 WHLers in the final rankings. . . . The draft is scheduled for Rogers Arena in Vancouver, June 21 and 22. . . . There is more on the rankings right here.


F Riley Sutter of the Everett Silvertips has joined the Hershey Bears, the AHL affiliate of Everettthe NHL’s Washington Capitals. Sutter, who will turn 20 on Oct. 25, was a third-round pick by the Capitals in the NHL’s 2018 draft. . . . This season, Sutter had 14 goals and 27 assists in 38 games. He missed 37 consecutive games with an undisclosed injury, before returning for Game 3 of a second-round series against the Spokane Chiefs. The Chiefs won that series in five games. . . . In 204 career regular-season WHL games, Sutter had 137 points, including 60 goals. . . . Hershey is scheduled to open the AHL playoffs on Friday. . . . If you’re wondering, Riley is a member of the famed hockey family. His father, Ron, is one of the Sutter twins and played 19 seasons in the NHL.


Three skaters from the WHL are on the roster for the Czech team that will play in the IIHF U-18 World Championship that is to begin on Thursday. . . . F Martin Lang of the Kamloops Blazers, F Matej Toman of the Prince George Cougars and D Simon Kubicek of the Seattle Thunderbirds are on the final roster that was revealed on Monday. . . . The tournament is to run through April 28 in the Swedish cities of Ornskoldsvik and Umea. . . .

Team Canada won its second pre-tournament game on Monday, beating Russia, 5-4, in Umea. Dylan Cozens (Lethbridge Hurricanes), who had three assists in a 6-5 OT victory over Belarus on Sunday, scored twice, one on a penalty shot. F Peyton Krebs (WInnipeg Ice) had two assists. G Taylor Gauthier (Prince George Cougars) stopped 32 shots. . . . Team Canada is to open tournament play on Thursday against Finland.



Joe Martin, the BCHL’s coach of the year for this season, has left the Merritt Centennials AlberniValleyto sign on as the Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ general manager and head coach. Martin, 38, spent four seasons as the Centennials’ general manager and head coach. This season, the Centennials were 36-15-4-3 and finished second in the Interior Division. They lost a first-round series, 4-1, to the Trail Smoke Eaters. . . . Martin had been with Merritt since signing on as an assistant coach prior to the 2011-12 season. . . . In Alberta Valley, Martin replaces Matt Hughes, who, according to the Bulldogs, “resigned his position from the club by mutual agreement” late in March. . . . Taking Note actually was told by a reliable source on April 4 that “Joe Martin is going to Alberni Valley.” On Friday, that same source told Taking Note: “It’s happening. Joe Martin to Alberni Valley.” . . . That same day, when Bulldogs business manager David Michaud was asked about Martin, his response was: “Joe Martin is under contract with the Merritt Centennials. If you want to write gossip about a man who just gave birth to a newborn have at it. Get better sources or call me.” . . . If Martin was under contract to Merritt on Friday and my source was feeding me gossip, it would seem that the deal between him and the Bulldogs got done in a hurry.


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Giants set to introduce new GM . . . Hay: ‘I do want to coach . . . passion is still there’ . . . Americans sign draft pick

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G Andrei Makarov (Saskatoon, 2011-13) was traded by Spartak Moscow to  Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (both Russia, KHL) for monetary compensation. This season, in 12 games, he was 6-5-0, 2.11, .922 with one shutout. . . . This trade reverses the May 1 deal between the two clubs, which also was for monetary compensation. . . .

D David Musil (Vancouver, Edmonton, 2009-13) signed a one-year contract extension with Třinec (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He had one goal and five assists in 52 games. . . .

D William Wrenn (Portland, 2010-12) signed a one-year contract with Grizzlys Wolfsburg (Germany, DEL). This season, with Dinamo Riga (Latvia, KHL), he had one assist in 21 games. He also had three goals and five assists in 25 games with Sport Vaasa (Finland, Liiga), and had one assist in five games while on loan to Lukko Rauma (Finland, Liiga). . . . Sport’s loan of Wrenn to Lukko was made once Sport was eliminated from playoff contention. . . . Wrenn averaged 17:04 time on ice per game with Dinamo Riga, 20:13 TOI per game with Sport and Ilves. . . .

F Jordan Knackstedt (Red Deer, Moose Jaw, 2004-08) signed a one-year contract with Dresdner Eislöwen (Germany, DEL2). This season, with Eispiraten Crimmitschau (Germany, DEL2), he had 22 goals and 46 assists in 51 games. He led his team in points and assists. He was second in the league in assists and fourth in points.


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The Vancouver Giants will introduce Barclay Parneta as their new general manager at a Vancouvernews conference today (Wednesday) in Tsawwassen. Parneta, 47, takes over from Glen Hanlon, who left the Giants last week after spending two seasons as the GM. . . . Parneta, who has a home in Richmond, B.C., has been working with the Tri-City Americans for the past eight seasons, most recently as assistant GM. He has experience with the Giants, having scouted with them for three seasons under then-GM Scott Bonner. . . . Steve Ewen of Postmedia has more right here.


Don Hay, who stepped aside as head coach of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers earlier this month, said on Tuesday that he still wants to coach and that he is prepared to look at “all different opportunities.”

Chatting with Don Taylor and Bob Marjanovich of TSN-Vancouver 1040, Hay, who now is in an advisory role with the Blazers, said: “I do want to coach. I still have the passion to coach . . . the passion is still there.

“I enjoy getting up every day and having the challenge of coaching and going to the rink. Coaching is more than just teaching hockey. It’s life skills and social skills for the young guys who are leaving home at an early age. It’s something that I’ve done for a long time that I feel I can still do a good job of.”

Hay admitted that his decision to vacate his role after four seasons as the Blazers’ head coach was “a real tough decision for me.” He added: “I’m still passionate about coaching. I enjoyed my time in the Western Hockey League. I thought it was time to take a step back maybe for a year to get recharged. . . . Any time you step away you are going to have to do a lot of thinking about it . . . it was definitely a tough decision.”

Hay is the WHL’s all-time winningest head coach, both in terms of regular-season and playoff victories.

Hay, 64, made no bones about the fact that he still wants to coach.

“I look forward to another opportunity down the road a little bit,” Hay said. “I’d look at all different opportunities, whether it’s overseas or junior or in pro. If it’s a good opportunity for myself and my family and I’m excited about it, I think it’s something I would look at.”

In the meantime, he’s preparing for his new role as an advisor with the Blazers, who are in the market for a general manager and a head coach.

“I’m really looking forward to this new role,” Hay said. “Kamloops is my home. It’s pretty easy to get from my house to the rink. I look forward to that role.”


The Memorial Cup schedule (all times local):

Game 1, Friday – Regina 3, Hamilton 2 (5,678)

Game 2, Saturday – Acadie-Bathurst 4, Swift Current 3 (OT) (6,237)

Game 3, Sunday – Acadie-Bathurst 8, Regina 6 (5,832)

Game 4, Monday – Hamilton 2, Swift Current 1 (5,820)

Game 5, Tuesday – Hamilton 3, Acadie-Bathurst 2 (6,072)

Game 6, Wednesday – Regina vs. Swift Current, 8 p.m.

Tiebreaker (if necessary) – Thursday, 6 p.m.

Semifinal – Friday, 8 p.m.

Final — Sunday, 5 p.m.



The Tri-City Americans have signed D Carson Haynes, who had eight goals and 16 assists in 36 games with the bantam AAA Lethbridge Golden Hawks this season. The Americans selected Haynes in the third round of the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. . . .


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