Special night in Kamloops, Prince Albert. . . . Dr. Smillie, Clark will be honoured. . . . NAHL adds two teams, USHL loses one

MacBeth

D Richard Nedomlel (Swift Current, 2010-13) has signed a one-year contract extension with Hradec Králové (Czech Republic, Extraliga). This season, he has four assists in 37 games.


ThisThat

Two men who have made huge contributions to the WHL will be honoured tonight.

In Kamloops, Dr. Bob Smillie will be presented with a Distinguished Service Award. In whlPrince Albert, the Raiders will induct Donn Clark into their Wall of Honour as a builder.

Dr. Smillie has had a long association with the league, starting with the Kamloops Chiefs in 1973-74 when he served as the team’s doctor. Later, he filled various roles with the Kamloops Jr. Oilers and the Blazers, including team doctor and education liaison. He also served on the Blazers’ board of directors when the franchise was community-owned. Now he is the executive director of the Kamloops Sports Legacy Fund, which began with the sale of the franchise in 2007. The fund has contributed more than $3.26 million to community sports groups in the Thompson-Nicola region.

Dr. Smillie will be saluted prior to the Blazers’ game against the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Clark, who will turn 57 on Monday, will be honoured before the Raiders meet the Red PrinceAlbertDeer Rebels.

Clark is from Kelvington, Sask. Yes, Wendel is his younger brother.

Donn played 68 games over three seasons with the Saskatoon Blades, before getting into 31 games for the Raiders in 1982-83. However, he is better known for his work in the Raiders’ front office. He did two stints as the team’s head coach (1993-95, 2000-02) and also worked as the club’s general manager and director of hockey operations (2001-08).

Bruce Vance, who once worked for the Raiders, is in Krasnoyarsk, Russia,  where daughter Jessica is a goaltender with Team Canada at the Winter Universiade. Bruce took time Thursday to tweet that Clark is a “great choice. This wall was Donn’s concept. He told me he’d never be on it . . . glad he is. Wish I could attend.”


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The NAHL has added two franchises — the Maine Nordiques and the New Mexico Ice Wolves.

The Nordiques are owned by ISS Kings of Youth Hockey Club, LLC., which is owned by NAHLDr. Darryl Antonacci. The Nordiques will be the seventh team in the East Division and play out of the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine. The arena seats 3,677 with a capacity of 4,000. The arena once housed the QMJHL’s Lewistone Maineiacs.

Dr. Antonacci also owns the ISS Kings Youth Hockey Club, which has been around for six seasons. Nolan Howe, the son of Hockey Hall of Fame Mark Howe, has been the Kings’ head coach from the start.

The Ice Wolves, who will be based in Albuquerque, are owned by Desert Ice Investment, LLC., which is owned and operated by Stan E. Hubbard. The Ice Wolves will play out of the Outpost Ice Arenas, which was purchased by Hubbard in August, and will become the seven team in the NAHL’s South Division.

This season, the NAHL comprises 24 teams playing in four six-team divisions.

Meanwhile, the USHL has lost a team with the news that the Central Illinois Flying Aces, who are based in Bloomington, Ill., have received approval for what they are calling a “one-year temporary withdrawal from play” for 2019-20. . . . More from a news release: “The Flying Aces’ current five-year lease to play in Grossinger Motors Arena ends at the close of this season. The team has fulfilled all the terms of the lease and commits to ensure all vendors continue to be paid in full for all services provided.” . . . The franchise is owned by CSH International, Inc., which, among other things, also owns the WHL’s Everett Silvertips.


While all of that was going on, the Canadian Sport School Hockey League issued a news release announcing “expansion of teams for existing members” for next season.

St. George’s School, which is based in Vancouver, will add a team in the Midget Prep Division. St. George’s already had teams in the Elite 15, Bantam Prep and Bantam Varsity divisions.

The Notre Dame Hounds of Wilcox, Sask., are adding an Elite 15 Division team. The team joins clubs in the Elite 15 and Bantam Prep divisions.

The Winnipeg-based Rink Hockey Academy is adding a team in the Female Varsity Division. RHA also has teams in the Midget Prep, Elite 15 and Bantam Prep divisions.

The CSSHL annual general meeting is scheduled for Winnipeg, May 6-8.


Tweetoftheday

WHL to restrict trading of youngest players . . . Royals, Pats make deal . . . Pedersen service set for Friday


MacBeth

F Brock Montgomery (Kootenay, 2009-13) signed a one-year extension with the Tilburg Trappers (Netherlands, Germany Oberliga Nord). Last season, he had 26 goals and 25 assists in 40 games. He led the league in PIM, with 134. . . .

D Richard Nedomlel (Swift Current, 2010-13) signed a tryout contract with Hradec Králové (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Last season, he had two assists in 34 games with Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He also was pointless in four games while on loan to Mladá Bloeslav (Czech Republic, Extraliga). . . .

F Peter Quenneville (Brandon, 2013-15) signed a one-year contract with Sparta Sarpsborg (Norway, GET-Ligaen). Last season, he had two goals and an assist in 13 games with Pardubice (Czech Republic, Extraliga); three goals and one assist in nine games with SaiPa Lappeenranta (Finland, Liiga); and six goals and four assists in 12 games with the Aalborg Pirates (Denmark, Metal Ligaen). . . .

F Dylan Hood (Kelowna, Moose Jaw, 2006-11) signed a one-year contract with Cergy (France, Division 1). Last season, he had five goals and three assists in 13 games with the Huntsville Havoc (SPHL).


ThisThat

Taking Note has been told that the WHL has acted in an attempt to put a halt to the number of young players who get traded within the league.

The move is a reaction to the number of deals that were made in the period leading up to last season’s Jan. 10 trade deadline.

To refresh your memory, from Nov. 13 through Jan. 10, the WHL’s 22 teams combined to whlmake 58 trades that involved 110 players, 77 bantam draft picks and 12 conditional bantam draft picks. (I started counting on Nov. 13 because that was when the Regina Pats, the host team for the 2018 Memorial Cup, made the first big deal, acquiring D Cale Fleury from the Kootenay Ice.)

You may recall that many observers commented in the deadline’s aftermath.

There obviously was concern at the league level. In May, WHL commissioner Ron Robison told Brandon Rivers of dubnetwork.ca:

“We are looking at that very seriously. We were concerned about the level of trade activity this year. We will be coming out soon with a decision. We want to make sure that these players are not concerned about that at that age and we are focusing on restricting moving players at a younger age.”

Taking Note has been told that the league has decided that its teams won’t be allowed to trade any 15- or 16-year-old players who have signed WHL contracts. On top of that, the only time the trading of a 17-year-old player will be allowed is if that player has requested a trade.

The 17-year-old player will have had to approach the team’s general manager to ask for a trade; a team won’t be able to make the first move, asking said player to waive his no-trade clause. Taking Note was told that the WHL will approach a 17-year-old player’s parents to make sure the procedure was followed.

“It’s going to be interesting to see teams that have top-end players to sell . . . when they can’t get another team’s stud prospects or 16-year-olds,” one WHL insider told Taking Note. “All you’ll be able to trade for really is (bantam draft) picks and unsigned players.”

Had these rules been in place prior to the Jan. 10 deadline, you have to wonder if the Swift Current Broncos and Lethbridge Hurricanes would have combined on perhaps the biggest deal of the season.

In that one, the Hurricanes landed F Logan Barlage, F Owen Blocker, D Matthew Stanley, G Logan Flodell, a 2020 first-round bantam draft pick, a third-rounder in 2020 and a conditional second-rounder in 2021, with the Broncos getting F Giorgio Estephan, F Tanner Nagel and G Stuart Skinner.

Barlage was the key component from Lethbridge’s perspective, but he was 16 years of age. Blocker, meanwhile, was 17.

How much might something like this change the face of the WHL? Well, if that Lethbridge-Swift Current trade isn’t made, do the Broncos win the Memorial Cup? At the very least, it’s food for thought.

Up until now, there always have been teams wanting to trade short-term players — rentals, if you will — to teams that are going all-in, and take back young prospects in return. Now, it seems, they won’t be able to make those moves.

Under these new rules it will be interesting to see how those teams who become “sellers” at the deadline choose to go through the rebuilding process.

For example, the Regina Pats spurred a rebuild by acquiring F Jake Leschyshyn, then 15, from the Red Deer Rebels on Jan. 5, 2015, and F Nick Henry, then 17, from the Everett Silvertips at the 2016 bantam draft. Under these new rules, the Pats would have been able to deal for Henry, who hadn’t signed with Everett, but couldn’t have had Leschyshyn, who had signed with the Rebels.

This means, of course, that a team’s bantam draft picks will take on added significance, meaning there will be more pressure on the scouting staffs to make the right selections.

As one WHL scout told Taking Note on Tuesday: “Good . . . make us more accountable.”


The Victoria Royals have acquired F Tanner Sidaway, 19, from the Regina Pats for an VictoriaRoyalseighth-round selection in the 2019 WHL bantam draft. . . . Sidaway, who is from Victoria, split last season between the Kootenay Ice and Regina. He had a goal and an assist in five games with Kootenay, then recorded three assists in 58 games with the Pats. In 2016-17, he had two goals and six assists in 65 games with the Ice. An undrafted player, he originally was listed by the Red Deer Rebels. . . . On Jan. 3, 2016, the Ice acquired Sidaway, F Presten Kopeck, 20, D Ryan Pouliot, 17, and second- and third-round picks in the 2016 bantam draft from Red Deer for F Luke Philp, 20. . . . On Oct. 10, the Ice dealt Sidaway and a seventh-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft to Regina for F Jeff de Wit, 19.



Jim Pedersen, a long-time hockey scout, died on Saturday. He was 81. . . . “He was always very helpful, even though he worked for a different team,” Ross Mahoney, the Washington Capitals’ Regina-based assistant general manager told the Regina Leader-Post. “I know he was an extremely hard worker because every time I went to a game, there was Jim Pedersen. I thought that maybe there were four or five Jim Pedersens, but there was only one.” . . . A memorial service is scheduled for Friday, 2 p.m., at the Memorial Centre in Milestone, Sask. . . . The Leader-Post’s story is right here.



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Lowes is Hall of Famer . . . Kehler wins duel with Hart as ‘Hawks win . . . Topping fills hat in rout of Royals . . . Anders blanks Blades

MacBeth

F Eric Johansson (Tri-City, 1997-2002) has been released by Val Pusteria Brunico (Italy, Alps HL). He had eight goals and 18 assists in 31 games. . . .

F Jiří Cetkovský (Calgary, 2002-03) has signed a contract for the rest of the season with Prostějov (Czech Republic, 1. Liga) after being released by Nové Zámky (Slovakia, Extraliga). He had five goals and eight assists in 38 games. . . .

D Richard Nedomlel (Swift Current, 2010-13) has been assigned on loan by Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga) to Mladá Boleslav (Czech Republic, Extraliga) for the rest of this season. He had two assists in 34 games. . . .

D Tomáš Voráček (Prince Albert, 2007-09) has signed a contract the for rest of this season with Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga) after obtaining his release from Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, KHL). He had three assists in 53 games. . . .

F Lukáš Vantuch (Calgary, Lethbridge, 2005-07) has been assigned on loan by Liberec (Czech Republic, Extraliga) to Chomutov (Czech Republic, Extraliga) for the rest of the season. He had two assists in 29 games. He also had one goal and two assists in three games while on loan to Benátky nad Jizerou (Czech Republic, 1. Liga).


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

Bob Lowes, a former WHL player and coach, was inducted into the U of Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday night. After completing his WHL playing career (Prince Albert, Regina, 1982-84), Lowes played four seasons (1985-89) with the U of Manitoba Bisons. . . . He later worked in the WHL as an assistant coach with the Regina Pats and Seattle Thunderbirds, then as a head coach with the Brandon Wheat Kings and Regina. . . . These days, he is the assistant director of player personnel with the NHL’s top team, the Vegas Golden Knights.


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Scoreboard

WEDNESDAY:

At Regina, the Pats unleashed a 60-shot barrage as they skated to a 4-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Pats (26-22-5) had lost their previous two games. They are ReginaPats100fourth in the East Division, four points behind Brandon. Regina also holds down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, four points ahead of Saskatoon. . . . The Cougars (18-26-8) are 0-3-1 on an East Division swing. They are 13 points out of a playoff spot. . . . The Pats held a 24-7 edge in first-period shots, but came out tied 1-1. F Jesse Gabrielle (7) scored for the Pats, on a PP, at 1:20, with F Jared Bethune (17) scoring, while shorthanded, for the Cougars at 7:57. . . . Regina took control with second-period goals from F Sam Steel, at 4:15, and F Matt Bradley (30), at 11:17. . . . F Cam Hebig (35) stretched the lead to 4-1, shorthanded, at 1:35 of the third period. . . . F Emil Oksanen had two assists for Regina, with Steel adding one. . . . G Max Paddock stopped 29 shots for Regina. . . . Prince George got 56 saves from G Taylor Gauthier. . . . The Cougars lost F Vladislav Mikhalchuk at 6:11 of the second period with a headshot major and game misconduct. . . . Announced attendance: 5,426.


At Saskatoon, G Ethan Anders posted his first WHL shutout as the Red Deer Rebels beat Red Deerthe Blades, 2-0. . . . Red Deer (14-25-12) has points in five straight (4-0-1) and is fourth in the Central Division, nine points behind Kootenay. . . . Saskatoon (25-24-3) had won its previous two games. It holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, three points ahead of Prince Albert. The Raiders hold two games in hand. . . . D Jacob Herauf (2) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 1:49 of the first period. . . . F Josh Tarzwell (6) got the empty-netter at 18:53 of the third period. . . . Anders, a 17-year-old freshman from Regina, stopped 33 shots. He is 8-14-6, 2.95, .910. . . . The Blades got 24 stops from G Tyler Brown. . . . F Kirby Dach (ill) was among Saskatoon’s scratches. . . . Announced attendance: 2,821.


At Cranbrook, B.C., the Edmonton Oil Kings scored the game’s first two goals and went on to a 5-2 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Edmonton (14-29-7) had lost its previous four EdmontonOilKingsgames (0-3-1). . . . The Ice (23-24-3) had won three in a row. It is third in the Central Division, three points behind Lethbridge. . . . F Trey Fix-Wolansky (21) got Edmonton started at 19:25 of the first period and F Tomas Soustal (13) made it 2-0 just 27 seconds into the second period. . . . Ice F Brett Davis scored a PP goal at 14:03. . . . The Oil Kings got that one back on a PP as F Nick Bowman (5) scored at 1:50 of the third period. . . . Davis (18) scored again at 5:06, but the Oil Kings put it away on goals from F Brett Kemp (12), at 9:47, and F Colton Kehler (23), into an empty net, at 19:06. . . . The Oil Kings got two assists from F Brendan Semchuk, with Soustal and Fix-Wolansky adding one each. . . . The Ice got two assists from D Jonathan Smart. He’s got three goals and 13 assists, including his 50th career assist, in 27 games with the Ice since moving over from Regina. . . . Edmonton was 1-4 on the PP; Kootenay was 1-7. . . . G Todd Scott earned the victory with 30 saves, 10 more than Kootenay’s Duncan McGovern. . . . Announced attendance: 2,112.


At Kamloops, D Luke Zazula broke a 1-1 tie at 2:02 of the third period and the Blazers went on to a 3-1 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Kamloops (24-24-3), which has Kamloops1won six of seven, is six points from a playoff spot. . . . Medicine Hat (26-21-6) has lost two in a row. It leads the Central Division by six points over Lethbridge. . . . F Luc Smith (16) gave Kamloops a 1-0 lead at 15:30 of the first period, using a baseball swing to bang in a goal-mouth rebound. . . . Medicine Hat tied it when F Elijah Brown (2) scored, on a PP, at 16:23 of the second period. . . . Zazula broke the tie with his third goal. . . . F Jermaine Loewen (24) provided insurance when he tipped in a point shot by D Montana Onyebuchi at 8:15 of the third period. . . . F Carson Denomie had two assists for Kamloops, with Loewen getting one. . . . Medicine Hat was 1-2 on the PP; Kamloops was 1-4. . . . G Dylan Ferguson was solid for the Blazers, with 36 saves, four more than Medicine Hat’s Michael Bullion. . . . F Ryan Chyzowski of the Tigers took a headshot major and game misconduct on Tuesday in Kelowna. Sometime on Wednesday that was changed to an interference major and it didn’t draw a suspension, so he was in the lineup in his hometown. In all liklihood, it also was the final meeting between the Chyzowski brothers. Nick, 20, is in his final season with the Blazers. . . . Announced attendance: 3,321.


At Portland, F Cody Glass and F Kieffer Bellows returned to the Winterhawks’ lineup with five points in a 3-0 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Portland (30-17-4) has won Portlandtwo in a row. It is second in the U.S. Division, three points behind Everett. . . . Everett (32-17-3) had points in each of its previous 10 games (9-0-1). The Silvertips are second in the Western Conference, one point behind Kelowna. . . . Bellows, who has 24 goals, scored at 11:11 and 13:18 of the third period. . . . F Skyler McKenzie (38) added an empty-netter at 18:51. . . . Glass, who missed six games with a hip injury, had three assists, with McKenzie adding one. . . . Bellows (hand) had sat out seven games. . . . G Cole Kehler stopped 21 shots in recording his third shutout this season and the fifth of his career. . . . Everett got 39 saves from Carter Hart, including 20 in the second period when the Winterhawks held a 20-5 edge. . . . Announced attendance: 3,938.


At Langley, B.C., F Ty Ronning scored twice to help the Vancouver Giants to a 4-1 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Vancouver (26-16-8) had lost its previous four games (0-2-2). VancouverThe Giants are third in the B.C. Division, four points behind Victoria. . . . Calgary (15-29-6) is 0-3-0 on a B.C. Division swing that began with two losses in Victoria. . . . Vancouver got out to a 1-0 lead at 9:59 of the first period on a goal by F Davis Koch (19). . . . F Tyler Popowich (5) made it 2-0 at 4:38 of the second period. . . . Ronning, who is second in the league with 44 goals, made it 3-0 at 11:22 of the second and 4-1 at 18:50 of the third. . . . Calgary got its goal from F Jakob Stukel (24) at 4:05 of the third. . . . F Tyler Benson had two assists for the winners. . . . Each team was 0-4 on the PP. . . . Vancouver G David Tendeck stopped 27 shots, three fewer than Calgary’s Nick Schneider. . . . F Justin Sourdif, the third-overall selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft, was in the Giants’ lineup. He was pointless in an earlier game with them. He plays for the Valley West Hawks of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. . . . D Darian Skeoch was among Vancouver’s scratches, and the Giants still are without F Milos Roman. . . . Announced attendance: 2,624.


At Kennewick, Wash., F Jordan Topping scored three goals before the game was half over to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 7-1 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Tri-City (26-16-TriCity307) has points in six straight (4-0-2). It is third in the U.S. Division, five points behind Portland and one ahead of Seattle. . . . Victoria (30-18-4) had won its previous three games. It is second in the B.C. Division, four points behind Kelowna. . . . Topping, who has 29 goals, got the game’s first two scores, at 2:30 and 5:05 of the first period. . . . He completed the hat trick at 7:22 of the second period, giving his guys a 5-0 lead. . . . That was Topping’s sixth career hat trick, and he now has 100 career goals in 220 games. This season, he has 29 goals and 29 assists in 49 games. . . . F Isaac Johnson (14) and F Michael Rasmussen (19) also had first-period goals for the Americans. . . . F Morgan Geekie (18), who also had three assists, added a second-period PP goal for a 6-0 lead. . . . Victoria F Jared Freadrich (11), on a PP, scored for Victoria at 2:37 of the third period. . . . Tri-City F Nolan Yaremko (16), on a PP, rounded out the scoring at 9:40. . . . The Americans got three assists from D Dylan Coghlan, two from Rasmussen, with Yaremko and Johnson each getting one. . . . Tri-City was 3-6 on the PP; Victoria was 1-3. . . . G Beck Warm stopped 28 shots for the Americans. . . . Victoria started Griffen Outhouse was beaten six times on 31 shots through 40 minutes. Dean McNabb finished up by stopping five of six shots in the third period. . . . F Tanner Kaspick, with six goals, four of them game-winners, in eight games since being acquired from Brandon, was among Victoria’s scratches. . . . D Juuso Valimaki was back in Tri-City’s lineup for the first time since Dec. 13. Between injuries and playing for Finland at the WJC, he has played in only 19 WHL games this season. . . . Announced attendance: 2,421.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Red Deer at Moose Jay, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Prince George at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Swift Current at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Spokane vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Everett at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

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

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

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


TWEET OF THE DAY