WJC rosters include 14 WHLers . . . Tourney opens with four games . . . Finland-Sweden in Day 1 spotlight

Mowing
If you didn’t see this photo on Twitter earlier, it was taken on Christmas Day at about 2 p.m. Hey, I was born in Sherridon, Man., and raised in Lynn Lake, Man. — look them up on Google Maps — so I had never before seen grass this green on Dec. 25. LOL! . . . This is at the back of our home; there were nine deer on a field just west of the front yard. Now that I think about it, I didn’t get a really close look, so it may have been Rudolph and some friends.

MacBeth

F Radel Fazleyev (Calgary, 2014-16) has signed a two-way contract for the rest of this season with Ak Bars Kazan (Russia, KHL) after clearing NHL unconditional waivers and having his contract with the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) terminated. He had two assists in 15 games with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AHL).


ThisThat

The 10-team World Junior Championship opens today in Vancouver and Victoria with two games in each venue.

In Vancouver, it’s Czech Republic versus Switzerland (1 p.m. PT) and Canada versus Denmark (5 p.m.)

In Victoria, it’s U.S.A. versus Slovakia (3:30 p.m.) and Finland versus Sweden (7:30 p.m.).

In other words, Day 1 should bring us three no-contests and one thriller. Don’t forget that 2019wjcas much as we look forward to this tournament, the early-going often is full of lop-sided games. What today’s schedule means is that you will be able to go out and soak up some of those Boxing Day sales before coming home to watch Finland and Sweden do battle.

BTW, make certain that you’re aware of the IIHF’s new late-hit rule because if you aren’t it’s going to make you crazy.

And note that you aren’t going to read a whole lot about the WJC on this site after this report. I’m not there, nor will I pay particular attention through the early part of the tournament. But there will be a whole lot of other places loaded with info from those who are taking in the games in person.

——

The 10 teams taking part in the WJC filed their preliminary rosters on Tuesday.

Under IIHF regulations teams had to register at least 15 skaters and two goaltenders. If a team doesn’t file the maximum (20 skaters and three goaltenders), it is allowed to add players to its roster until two hours before games until reaching the maximum.

By my count, there are 14 WHL players on those rosters. Here’s a look:

Canada (6) — G Ian Scott, Prince Albert Raiders; D Josh Brook, Moose Jaw Warriors; D Ty Smith, Spokane Chiefs; F Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Spokane; F Cody Glass, Portland Winterhawks; F Brett Leason, Prince Albert. . . . Tim Hunter of Moose Jaw is Canada’s head coach; Brent Kisio of the Lethbridge Hurricanes is one of the assistant coaches. . . . Registered 13 forwards, seven defencemen and two goaltenders.

——

Czech Republic (3) — G Jiri Patera, Brandon Wheat Kings; D Filip Kral, Spokane; F Krystof Hrabik, Tri-City Americans. . . . The roster also includes former Brandon D Daniel Bukac, now of the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs, and F Martin Kaut of the AHL’s Colorado Eagles, whose CHL rights belong to Brandon. . . . Registered 12 forwards, six defencemen and three goaltenders.

——

Denmark (2) — G Mads Sogaard, Medicine Hat Tigers; F Phillip Schultz, Victoria Royals. . . . Registered 13 forwards, seven defencemen and three goaltenders.

——

Finland (0) — The roster includes D Henri Jokiharju of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, who played the previous two seasons with Portland; F Aleksi Heponiemi of the Finnish pro team Karpan Oulu, who spent the previous two seasons with the Swift Current Broncos; and F Sami Moilanen of Tappara Tampere, who played the past two seasons with the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Registered 12 forwards, six defencemen and two goaltenders.

——

Kazakhstan (0) — None. . . . Registered 13 forwards, seven defencemen and three goaltenders.

——

Russia (1) — D Alex Alexeyev, Red Deer Rebels. . . . D Mark Rubinchik, who plays for Toros Neftekamsk of the VHL, was with the Saskatoon Blades for the previous two seasons. . . . Registered 11 forwards, six defencemen and three goaltenders.

——

Slovakia (2) — F Andrej Kukuca, Seattle; F Milos Roman, Vancouver Giants. . . . Registered 12 forwards, seven defencemen and three goaltenders.

——

Sweden (0) — Brandon holds the CHL rights to D Erik Brannstrom of the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. . . . Registered 13 forwards, seven defencemen and two goaltenders.

——

Switzerland (0) — F Justin Sigrist of the GCK Lions Zurich played with the Kamloops Blazers in 2017-18. . . . Registered 12 forwards, six defencemen and three goaltenders.

——

USA (0) — None. . . . Registered 13 forwards, seven defencemen and three goaltenders.

——

Meanwhile, Mason Black, who is on Twitter at @NHL RankKing, went over the WJC rosters and has an easy-to-read NHL team-by-team list of prospects right here.

——

If you feel so inclined, please click on the DONATE button over there on the right. Thanks in advance, and Merry Christmas.

——

This piece is four years old, but if you’re a fan of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and haven’t seen it yet, it’s worth your time. It’s from Rolling Stone and it’s a behind-the-scenes look at what went into what has become a movie with an amazing following. . . . The story — it’s an oral history — is right here.


Here is one more great read for you. . . . It’s not that long ago when Austin Murphy was one of the best and most-prolific writers employed by Sports Illustrated. These days, as he writes, “I drive a van for Amazon.” . . . He has written a first-person piece on the adventure of a package deliverer and it’s awesome stuff. You’ll find it right here.


Tweetoftheday

‘Tips get Patterson from Broncos . . . Warriors add two forwards . . . WHL has seven on camp roster


ThisThat

COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

(WHL trade deadline: Jan. 10, 3 p.m. MT)

Monday’s action

No. of trades: 3.

Players: 4.

Bantam draft picks: 3.

Conditional draft picks: 0.

——

Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 8.

Players: 21.

Bantam draft picks: 18.

Conditional draft picks: 3.


The Everett Silvertips have acquired F Max Patterson from the Swift Current Broncos for F Dawson Springer, 16, and a fourth-round selection in the 2020 WHL bantam draft.

Patterson, from Kamloops, is the third member of the Broncos’ championship team from Everettlast season now on Everett’s roster, along with D Artyom Minulin and D Sahvan Khaira, both of whom are 20 years of age.

The Broncos beat the Silvertips in six games in last spring’s WHL final. This season, the  Broncos have the 22-team WHL’s poorest record (4-21-2), while the Silvertips lead the U.S. Division, at 22-7-1.

The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Patterson will turn 19 on Dec. 27. He is the son of former WHL/NHL F Ed Patterson.

Max was selected by the Kootenay Ice in the fourth round of the 2014 bantam draft. He had 15 goals and 10 assists in 127 games with the Ice, before being dealt to the Broncos on Sept. 10, 2017, for G Bailey Brkin and a fifth-rounder in the 2018 bantam draft.

Last season, Patterson had nine goals and 15 assists in 72 games. He had five goals and SCBroncostwo assists in 26 playoff games. This season, he had eight goals and 11 assists in 27 games.

With his size, Patterson will give the Silvertips more grit along the boards and on the forecheck, and more net-front presence in the offensive zone.

Springer, from Yorkton, Sask., was listed by Everett last month. He was in the Brandon Wheat Kings’ training camp prior to the 2017-18 season.

Springer is playing for the midget AAA Prince Albert Mintos and is tied for the league lead with 18 goals. In 21 games, he has put up 25 points

Last season, Springer had 35 goals and 16 assists in 36 games with the midget AA Melville Millionaires.


The Moose Jaw Warriors were involved in two trades on Monday, acquiring F Luke Ormsby, 19, from the Everett Silvertips and getting F Kjell Kjemhus, 17, from the Prince MooseJawWarriorsGeorge Cougars.

In exchange for Ormsby, who is from Everett, the Warriors gave up a sixth-round selection in the 2022 bantam draft.

The Warriors gave up a seventh-round pick in the 2020 bantam draft for Kjemhus. The pick originally belonged to the Seattle Thunderbirds.

This season, Ormsby has three goals and three assists in 25 games. In 150 regular-season games, he has 11 goals and 13 assists. He was a ninth-round selection by Seattle in the 2014 bantam draft. The Silvertips acquired him from the Thunderbirds on Nov. 2, 2017, for a ninth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.

Kjemhus, from Grande Prairie, Alta., was a fourth-round selection by the Regina Pats in the 2016 bantam draft. He was dealt to Prince George in January in a deal that had F Jesse Gabrielle, then 20, join the Pats.

This season, Kjemhus had two assists in five games with the Cougars and had been a frequent healthy scratch. In 36 career games, six of them with Regina, had has two goals and four assists.


If you stop off here and enjoy what you see — or even if you don’t — feel free to click on the DONATE button over there on the right and make a contribution. Thanks in advance.


Seven WHL players were among the 34 invitees by Hockey Canada to the selection camp for the country’s national junior team.

The WHL contingent includes F Jaret Anderson-Dolan of the Spokane Chiefs, who is Canadasidelined with a broken wrist and may not have medical clearance in time for the selection camp.

Also on the camp roster are G Ian Scott and F Brett Leason of the Prince Albert Raiders, D Calen Addison of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, D Josh Brook of the Moose Jaw Warriors, Spokane D Ty Smith and F Cody Glass of the Portland Winterhawks.

The roster, which is right here, includes 14 players from the OHL, eight from the QMJHL, seven from NCAA teams and one from the NHL. F Gabe Vilardi is with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings but is expected to be assigned to the camp.

The roster features three goaltenders, 12 defenceman and 19 forwards.

The selection camp is to run Dec. 11-14 at the Q Centre, the home of the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies.

The 2019 World Junior Championship runs from Dec. 26 through Jan. 5 in Victoria and Vancouver.

NOTES: Finland’s selection camp roster includes D Lassi Thomson of the Kelowna Rockets. He is one of 10 defencemen on the roster. . . . Finland’s roster also includes F Aleksi Heponiemi, who played the past two seasons with the Swift Current Broncos but now is with Kärpät in Finland’s top pro league. Heponiemi, 19, put up 204 points, including 148 assists, over two seasons with the Broncos. He has six goals and 16 assists in 25 games with Kärpät. . . . Jiri Patera of the Brandon Wheat Kings is one of three goaltenders on Czech Republic’s selection camp roster. Also listed are D Filip Kral of Spokane, D Libor Zabransky of Kelowna and F Krystof Hrabik of the Tri-City Americans. D Daniel Bukac also is on the roster. He played two seasons with Brandon, and now is with the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs.

——

At least three WHL players will be playing in the IIHF World Junior Championship (Division 1 Group A) that begins Sunday and runs through Dec. 15 in Fussen Germany.

F Aliaksei Protas and D Sergei Sapego of the Prince Albert Raiders will play for Belarus, while F Kristian Roykas-Marthinsen of the Saskatoon Blades is to be in Norway’s lineup.

The Division I Group A tournament features the national junior teams from Austria, Belarus, France, Germany, Latvia and Norway. The winner of the tournament will be promoted to play with the big boys in the 2020 World Junior Championship.

All three players are expected to miss six games, but should be back by Dec. 27 when both teams return from the Christmas break for a game in Saskatoon.



Veteran NHL assistant coach Rick Wilson, who spent eight seasons on the coaching staff of the Prince Albert Raiders, is joining the Philadelphia Flyers. Wilson, 68, is from Prince Albert. . . . He was an assistant coach with the Raiders for six seasons (1980-86) and the head coach for two seasons. . . . He then went on to an NHL career that has included stints with the New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota North Stars, Dallas Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues. He actually had two stints with Dallas — 1993-2009 and last season. . . . With the Flyers, he will fill the void created by last week’s firing of Gord Murphy. Wilson be working under head coach Dave Hakstol, a former U of North Dakota head coach. Wilson played at UND and also spent two seasons (1978-80) there as an assistant coach. . . . The Wilson signing was first reported by Brad E. Schlossman of the Grand Forks, N.D., Herald.


Tweetoftheday