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.
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 deal 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 of 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.
On Dec. 19, Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner, said that there would be an announcement “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 write 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.
F Joachim Blichfeld, the WHL’s leading scorer, struck for two third-period goals to help the 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.