The Columbus Blue Jackets announced Tuesday that they will keep F Ryan Johansen, 19, rather than return him to the Portland Winterhawks. As a 19-year-old, he either has to play in the NHL with Columbus, or with the Winterhawks, who hold his WHL rights.
When it comes to keeping or returning junior-aged players, keep in mind that NHL teams are faced with two deadlines.
One involves 10 NHL games. Once a player dresses for his 10th game of a season, his NHL contract kicks in. So a player on a three-year contract uses up the first year with game No. 10.
There also is a 40-game mark of which you should be aware. Once a player suits up for a 40th game in one season, he is one year closer to unrestricted free agency.
The Brandon Wheat Kings have dealt F Carter Proft, 17, to the Spokane Chiefs for a fifth-round pick in the 2012 bantam draft. Proft, from Spruce Grove, Alta., was a fifth-round pick by Brandon in the 2009 draft. He had one goal and 10 penalty minutes in 13 games with Brandon this season. "Carter was in a situation where we weren't going to be able to get him adequate ice time to keep him happy", Brandon GM Kelly McCrimmon said in a news release. "When Jens Meilleur and Dominick Favreau return to our line-up we would have 14 forwards. When this opportunity presented itself, we felt it was the right move for all involved."
JUST NOTES: F Emerson Etem of the Medicine Hat Tigers is the WHL’s player of the month for October. He had 31 points, including 21 goals, in 15 games. . . . Nathan Lieuwen of the Kootenay Ice is the WHL’s goaltender of the month. He was 9-2-0 with a 1.45 GAA and a .948 save percentage. . . . A couple of WHL grads scored their first NHL goals on Tuesday night. F Brett Connolly (Prince George) had the Tampa Bay Lightning’s second goal in what was a 4-2 loss to the host Carolina Hurricanes. D Jared Cowen (Spokane) scored his first in a 5-3 loss to the host Boston Bruins. Cowen tied the game 3-3 in the third period, only to have the Bruins come back with two quick ones. The first of those came off the stick of Boston D Johnny Boychuk, also a former WHLer. . . . Tyler Bunz of the Medicine Hat Tigers is the CHL’s goaltender of the week. He was 2-0-0, 1.00, .966 last week.
With the Canadian Finals Rodeo making its annual stop in Edmonton, the NHL’s Oilers, including C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, are heading out on a six-game road trip that will take them to Los Angeles, Phoenix, Montreal, Boston, Detroit and Chicago.
"I got $80 every two weeks when I played in Red Deer,” Nugent-Hopkins told Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal. “I think per diem in the NHL is $98 a day. I don't think I've touched much of that yet.”
And, yes, the Oilers will be flying, something the kid didn’t do with the Red Deer Rebels.
"The bus in Red Deer was a nice-looking bus, but it's sometimes eight hours on the road and you have to play the next day," Nugent-Hopkins continued. "A plane is still, uh, better than a bus."
One other thing . . .
"I've noticed the hotels are probably a little nicer in the NHL than junior," he said with a laugh.
Matheson’s complete story is right here.
In Medicine Hat, F Emerson Etem continued to burn up the WHL, scoring one goal and setting up four others — getting all five points in the third period — as the Tigers bounced the Everett Silvertips, 10-2. . . . Etem leads the WHL in goals (22) and points (36), all compiled in 16 games. . . . Tigers F Hunter Shinkaruk had a six-point night, including three goals. He has 14 goals in 17 games. . . F Dylan Bredo, the third member of that line, had a goal and three helpers. They combined for 15 points and finished plus-12. . . . The Silvertips tied a single-game franchise record for goals allowed and set a franchise record for goals against in a period when the Tigers struck six times in the third. . . . The Tigers, who also had two goals disallowed, held a 52-25 edge in shots. . . .
In Regina, the Pats built up a 2-0 lead and hung on to beat the Saskatoon Blades, 2-1. . . . The Pats are 11-6-0 and two points behind the Eastern Conference-leading Kootenay Ice (11-3-2). . . . Regina G Matt Hewitt stopped 26 shots, one fewer than Saskatoon’s Andrey Makarov. . . . Regina D Artem Bidlevskii was back after missing three games with a concussion. . . .
In Kent, Wash., F Brendan Gallagher scored three goals and drew an assist as the Vancouver Giants doubled the Seattle Thunderbirds, 4-2. . . . Gallagher has 14 goals in 13 games. . . . His first goal was the 226th point of his career. The Vancouver franchise record for career points (273) is held by F Adam Courchaine. . . . Seattle G Calvin Pickard stopped 46 shots. . . .
In Prince Albert, F Jimmy Bubnick struck for three goals as the Calgary Hitmen came from behind to beat the Raiders, 5-2. . . . It was the second three-goal game of Bubnick’s career, and came in his 276th regular-season game. Bubnick, who is from Saskatoon, had three goals in a 4-3 loss to the Cougars in Prince George on Dec. 1. . . . Calgary scored four third-period goals to erase a 2-1 deficit. . . . The Hitmen got a shorthanded score from F Calder Brooks. That was his first WHL goal. . . . It was the ninth shorthanded goal allowed by the Raiders this season. . . . Calgary F Brady Brassart took a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct for a late second-period hit on Prince Albert D Antoine Corbin. . . .
In Swift Current, F Michael Ferland scored three times and set up another, leading the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 7-3 victory over the Broncos. . . . It was Ferland’s second hat trick of the season. . . . He has 14 goals. . . . Brandon F Mark Stone had a goal, running his season-opening point streak to 16 games. . . . Brandon F Darian Dziurzynski took a charging major and game misconduct for a hit on F Andy Blanke at 19:16 of the third period. . . . Things got silly late in the game and that included Broncos G Jon Groenheyde getting tossed at 19:51 after he tried to entice Brandon G Corbin Boes into a bout. . . . In the end, the Broncos took 65 of the 123 penalty minutes handed out. . . . The Broncos sold tickets for $2 apiece and drew 2,187 fans.
One interesting note from last night’s games. . . . Brandon F Michael Ferland, Vancouver F Brendan Gallagher and Medicine Hat F Hunter Shinkaruk each scored three goals. . . . Each of them has 14 goals, tied for second behind Medicine Hat F Emerson Etem, who has 22. . . . If you were wondering, F Tyler Toffoli of the Ottawa 67’s leads the OHL with 13 goals in 12 games. In the QMJHL, F Zach O’Brien of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan has the lead, with 18 goals in 20 games.
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