Wednesday, May 4, 2011

D Denis Rehak (Prince George, 2003-04) signed a two-year contract extension with Vitkovice Ostrava (Czech Republic Extraliga). He had three goals and two assists in 48 games for Vitkovice this season. . . .
F Mikhail Yakubov (Red Deer, 2001-02) signed a two-year contract with Metallurg Magnitogorsk (Russia KHL). He had 11 goals and 10 assists in 53 games for Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia KHL) this season. . . .
F Egor Mikhailov (Spokane, 1996-97) signed a one-year contract
extension with Spartak Moscow (Russia KHL). He had 10 goals and nine assists in 49 games with CSKA Moscow and Spartak Moscow last season. (Egor’s father is Boris Mikhailov, who was part of the team that played against Canada in the 1972 Summit Series.)
D Jared Cowen of the Spokane Chiefs, whose season ended Monday night, will join the AHL’s Binghamton Senators. Cowen was selected ninth overall by the Ottawa Senators in the NHL’s 2009 draft. In fact, he almost made the Senators’ roster in training camp last fall. Binghamton is involved in the AHL’s Atlantic Division final. On Tuesday night, Portland won 6-2, leaving Binghamton with a 3-2 lead in the series. Binghamton is missing three regular defenceman, all of them injured, so Cowen is expected to see some playing time. . . .
The ECHL’s Victoria Salmon Kings cleaned out their dressing room on Tuesday. However, RG Properties, which owns the franchise, hasn’t yet revealed its plans for the Salmon Kings. We do know that they won’t be back in Victoria, has RG Properties has purchased the WHL’s Chilliwack Bruins and will relocate that team to the B.C. capital.
On Tuesday, Cleve Dheensaw of the Victoria Times Colonist talked with Mark Morrison, the Salmon Kings’ GM and head coach, about his thoughts. That story is right here.
THE COACHING GAME: Mike Verdone of the Sault Star reports that Mike Stapleton will be the next head coach of the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. A Soo assistant from 2008-10, Stapleton moved on after failing to agree on a contract with then-GM Dave Torrie. Stapleton, who will replace Denny Lambert, spent this season as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch. . . . Former Kootenay Ice head coach Mark Holick was the Crunch’s first-year head coach. . . . Gavin Holcomb, who had been an assistant coach with the La Ronge Ice Wolves for three seasons, is the new GM/head coach of the SJHL’s Melfort Mustangs. He replaces Darrell Mann, whose contract as director of hockey operations and head coach wasn’t renewed by the team’s board of directors.
The host Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors opened the OHL final with a 5-2 victory over the Owen Sound Attack on Tuesday. The Majors, the host team for the Memorial Cup, are 13-1 in the playoffs. Attendance was 2,644. Game 2 is Thursday in Owen Sound. . . . Yes, Owen Sound is in the Memorial Cup, too. . . . In the QMJHL, the Gatineau Olympiques scored a 4-2 victory over the host Quebec Remparts to win their semifinal, 4-3. The Olympiques had trailed the series 3-1 before winning three in a row. Attendance wsa 11,815. . . . The Olympiques will meet the Saint John Sea Dogs in the final. That series starts with games in Saint John on Thursday and Saturday. Saint John’s lineup includes former WHL G Jacob DeSerres, 20.
The WHL holds its bantam draft on Thursday in Calgary.
The vast majority of the drafted players will have been born in 1996, although there likely will be a few 1995-borns selected in the later rounds.
From a WHL news release: “Players eligible . . . will be 1996-born players who reside in Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.”
The Western Elite Hockey Prospects’ rankings that have appeared here, in advance of the draft, haven’t included any American players.
So here is WEHP’s top 10 Western U.S. prospects, keeping in mind that Tyler Neisz of WEHP has tried to weed out players who are expected to take the NCAA route:
1. F Matt Jones, Arizona 95 AAA, 5-10 170
2. F Steven Owre, L.A. Selects, 5-8, 143
3. F Kienan Scott, Spokane Jr. Chiefs, 5-9, 150
4. F Taylor Vickerman, Spokane Jr. Chiefs, 6-0, 175
5. D Carson Vance, Phoenix Jr. Coyotes, 5-7, 148
6. D David Dziezawiec, Pikes Peak Minors, 5-10, 147
7. F Chris Koukis, Pursuit of Excellence, 5-9, 150
8. G Daniel Mumaugh, Colorado Thunderbirds, 511, 160
9. F Scott Eansor, Colorado Thunderbifds, 5-10, 155
10. D Johnny Walker, Phoenix Jr. Coyotes, 6-0, 164
(SOURCE: Western Elite Hockey Prospects)
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