By GREGG DRINNAN
Daily News Sports Editor
The Kamloops Blazers, with two exhibition games remaining, are one more move closer to their opening-game roster.
The Blazers designated defenceman Max Mowat, 17, for assignment on Tuesday. He is from Coldstream so presumably will play somewhere in the BCHL. That, however, will be up to his parents and his agent, Shane Corston.
Mowat was placed on the Blazers’ 50-player list during the 2008-09 season. He played with the major midget Okanagan Rockets last season, and got into one game with the Blazers.
Mowat’s departure leaves the Blazers with 25 players on their roster, including two goaltenders and eight defencemen. One of those defencemen is Brady Gaudet, a 16-year-old from Redvers, Sask., who was the Blazers’ first selection, 10th overall, in the 2009 bantam draft.
Gaudet, 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, suffered a knee injury in the Blazers’ training camp a year ago. He went on to play for the midget AAA Tisdale, Sask., Trojans.
Gaudet has gotten better as the regular-season opener has inched closer, and drew accolades from head coach Guy Charron for his play in a 3-2 victory over the visiting Kelowna Rockets on Friday.
On Tuesday, Kamloops general manager Craig Bonner pointed out in a text message that “Gaudet has played well (and must) continue to.”
Of the eight defencemen still on the roster, only two are first-year WHLers -- Gaudet and Corey Fienhage. However, Fienhage, who is in the Buffalo Sabres’ camp, is 20 and has spent the last two seasons with the U of North Dakota Fighting Sioux.
Of those eight, there are three in NHL camps -- Austin Madaisky is with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Josh Caron is with the Minnesota Wild. Bonner said yesterday he hasn’t heard if any of the three might be back before the weekend.
If not, the Blazers will go into their last two exhibition games with just five defencemen.
They close out the exhibition season by going home-and-home with the Prince George Cougars. They’ll play at Interior Savings Centre on Friday, 7 p.m., and at the CN Centre in Prince George on Saturday.
The same two teams will open the regular season here on Sept. 24, 7 p.m. The Blazers will entertain the Chilliwack Bruins the very next night.
JUST NOTES: The three other Blazers at NHL camps are F JT Barnett (Minnesota), F Brendan Ranford (Philadelphia Flyers) and F Chase Schaber (Edmonton Oilers). . . . Buffalo and Minnesota opened their rookie camps Monday. . . . In two games at the Traverse City prospects tournament, Caron is pointless with 12 penalty minutes, including two fighting majors, and Madaisky also is pointless. Barnett has one assist in one game. . . . Bob McKenzie of TSN, who is keeping tabs on things in Traverse City, tweeted last night: “Kamloops D Josh Caron is heavyweight, trying out for MIN. Curious to see if Wild sign. Toughness is duly noted. Takes punches, throws bombs.” . . . Schaber is in Penticton with the Oilers’ rookie team. He played last night against the Calgary Flames, centring LW Teemu Hartikainen and RW Cameron Abney. The Oilers scored a 5-3 victory. . . . The Traverse City tournament wraps up today, while the Penticton event runs through Thursday.
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