The Prince George Cougars may have taken something of a hit earlier this week when Finnish G Joonas Korpisalo, 18, signed a two-year extension with Jokerit Helsinki (SM-Liiga). . . . The Cougars had selected him fifth overall in the CHL’s 2012 import draft. . . . “It was a shot,” Prince George GM Dallas Thompson told me Tuesday afternoon. “We took the best player.” . . . The Columbus Blue Jackets took Korpisalo with the 62nd selection in the NHL’s 2012 draft. . . . Korpisalo, 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds, played last season with Jokerit Helsinki’s junior team, putting up a 2.04 GAA and .920 save percentage in 38 games. He also played for Finland in the U-18 World championship, going 3.02 and .902 in six games. Without Korpisalo on his way, it would appear that Devon Fordyce, 18, is No. 1 on the Cougars’ depth chart at goaltender. Fordyce, from Cochrane, Alta., got into 14 games last season, going 2-8-1, 4.30, .875.
Also on that depth chart at this point are Brett Zarowny, 17, of Edmonton, who was a third-round selection in the 2010 bantam draft; Tyler Santos, 18, of Edmonton, who was acquired from the Saskatoon Blades; and, Ty Edmonds, 16, of Winnipeg, who was a ninth-round pick in the 2011 bantam draft.
Santos was a 10th-round pick by the Blades in 2009 and was dealt to the Cougars at the trade deadline in 2010, along with a 2010 third-rounder and a 2011 conditional third-rounder for F Marek Viedensky.
The Prince George Cougars have signed D Tate Olson, who was a second-round selection in the WHL’s 2012 bantam draft. Olson had 50 points, including 21 goals, in 36 games last season with his hometown bantam Saskatoon Stallions. . . . The Cougars now have signed there top three selections from that draft.
Perhaps the most mysterious thing to happen in the WHL this offseason was the disappearing act pulled by Marc Habscheid.
One minute, the career coach was the general manager and head coach of the Victoria Royals, and the next he was shuffled upstairs in the Victoria Royals’ parent company.
And you can bet there are people in the WHL who wonder what happened.
Habscheid, who has a ranch in the Swift Current area, was in that city on Saturday night for the inaugural Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame induction banquet. That was only fitting, because he was one of the folks who originally got behind the idea of such a Hall in the first place.
While there, Habscheid chatted with Broncos’ play-by-play man Shawn Mullin. That interview is right here, but in typical Habscheid fashion, he doesn’t say a whole lot.
THE COACHING GAME:
Ryan Cuthbert has resigned from his position as an assistant coach with the Kelowna Rockets. According to Doyle Potenteau of the Kelowna Daily Courier, Cuthbert, a former Rockets captain, resigned “for undisclosed personal reasons.” . . . Cuthbert had been on the Rockets’ coaching staff for five seasons; he also played for the Rockets for five seasons. His pro career was cut short after three seasons due to post-concussion syndrome. . . . There aren’t any plans to replace him, leaving head coach Ryan Huska with assistants Kim Dillabaugh, who works with goaltenders, Kim Gellert and Dan Lambert. . . .
Scott Allen has signed on as an assistant coach with the Peoria Rivermen, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s St. Louis Blues. Allen will work alongside Peoria head coach Dave Allison. . . . Allen, 46, spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach with the NHL’s New York Islanders. . . .
The CHL has to be snickering into its hand today. Why? Because another hockey season is almost upon us and College Hockey Inc., which not that long ago was a tremendous pain in the you-know-where, is twiddling its thumbs.
As Chris Dilks at WCHBlog points out right here, at least one other NCAA sport, men’s basketball, has dealt with recruiting issues, while hockey hasn’t done much of anything.
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