The Kamloops Blazers assigned F Brock Balson, 19, to an undisclosed junior A team on Monday. Balson was a third-round selection by the Prince Albert Raiders in the 2008 bantam draft. He joined the Blazers last season from the BCHL’s Salmon Arm SilverBacks and had six points in 42 games with the Blazers. . . .
With the move, Kamloops is down to 25 players. That doesn’t include D Austin Madaisky, 20, who has been assigned by the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets to the AHL’s Springfield Falcons. That leaves Kamloops with three 20-year-olds — F Brendan Ranford, F Dylan Willick and F Jordan DePape, who finished the exhibition season playing on the same line. . . .
The Saskatoon Blades are down to 23 players after assigning D Kyle Schmidt, 19, to the SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars and G Patrick Johnson, 19, to the SJHL’s Melfort Mustangs. Schmidt, from Waldheim, Sask., was acquired last season from the Calgary Hitmen and had 12 points in 61 games with the Blades. Johnson, from Saskatoon, got into one game with the Blades last season. . . .
The Moose Jaw Warriors have assigned F Darcy DeRoose, 17, to the SJHL’s Estevan Bruins and F Brayden Cuthbert, 18, to the SJHL’s Melville Millionaires. Cuthbert is awaiting medical clearance after not having played since suffering a concussion on Jan. 22, 2011. . . .
The Spokane Chiefs assigned F Markson Bechtold, 16, to the midget UFA Bisons, who play out of Strathmore, Alta. Bechtold was a third-round selection in the 2011 bantam draft. . . .
The Brandon Wheat Kings have trimmed G Jordan Papirny, 16, from their roster which means they will open the season with Corbin Boes, 19, and Curtis Honey, 18, as their goaltenders. . . . Papirny was a first-round selection in the 2011 bantam draft. . . . Brandon also released F Dominic Favreau, 20, leaving it with three 20s – F Nick Buonassisi, D Ryley Miller and D Tyler Yaworski. . . . Favreau spent two seasons in Brandon after being acquired from the Regina Pats for D Mark Schneider. Last season, Favreau had 18 points in 42 games with Brandon. . . . The Wheat Kings got down to 26 players by also assigning F Kailum Gervais, F Kyler Hehn, 17, and F Hunter Smith, 17. . . .
The Vancouver Giants, with one victory in six exhibition games, made some significant moves on Monday, especially considering that they came four days before the start of the regular season.
Vancouver acquired F Tanner Moar, 18, and F Stewart Coyle, 17, from the Kelowna Rockets for a fourth-round selection in the 2014 bantam draft and a sixth-round pick in 2015.
The Giants also picked up F Tristan Sieben, 18, from the Edmonton Oil Kings for a sixth-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft. Sieben, from Edmonton, played 34 games with the Oil Kings last season, picking up 14 points.
Moar, from Canwood, Sask., had eight points in 65 games with Kelowna last season. At 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds, he brings some size to the Giants’ forward ranks, something that has been lacking of late.
Coyle, 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, played last season with the junior B Sicamous Eagles of the Kootenay International league. He had five points in 22 games with the Eagles. In four exhibition game with the Rockets, he had three points. Coyle is from Sicamous.
The Giants now have 29 players on their roster, including injured F Arvin Atwal, so more moves are imminent.
The Prince Albert Raiders have traded G Cole Holowenko, 19, to the Everett Silvertips for G Andy Desautels, 18, and D Evan Morden, 19.
Desautels, from White City, Sask., played last season with the SJHL’s Flin Flon Bombers, going 3.64, .899 in 25 games. His arrival leaves the Raiders still with three goaltenders, the other two being Luke Siemens, 20, who was acquired over the summer from the Moose Jaw Warriors, and Rylan Parenteau, a 16-year-old from Saskatoon.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Morden, from Swan River, Man., is prepping for his third WHL season. He had 13 points and 92 penalty minutes in 114 games over the last two seasons.
Holowenko, from Penticton, B.C., was 13-26-2, 3.98, .890 in 47 games as a freshman with the Raiders last season.
The Silvertips then got down to two goaltenders by assigning 6-foot-7 Troy Trombley, 18, to the SHL’s Melville Millionaires. That leaves Holowenko and sophomore Austin Lotz, 17, to mind the twine in Everett.
The Tri-City Americans got down to 27 players by dropping G Luke Lee-Knight, 19, F Dallin Wolf, 18, and F Dylan Schellenberg, 19. . . . Lee-Knight, from Calgary, played 22 games in the WHL last season, splitting them with the Spokane Chiefs and Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Lee-Knight’s departure means that freshman Brenden Fiebelkorn, 17, of Winnipeg will back up sophomore G Eric Comrie. . . . Wolf has been returned to the junior B Kimberley Dynamiters of the Kootenay International league. He had 14 points and 135 penalty minutes in 39 games there last season. . . . Schellenberg, from Drumheller, split last season between the AJHL’s Drumheller Dragons and Camrose Kodiaks. . . . The Americans are carrying two goaltenders, nine defencemen and 16 forwards.
It would seem that the Seattle Thunderbirds are down to three 20-year-olds — G Brandon Glover, F Luke Lockhart and F Brendan Rouse.
Deagle (@BraDeagle92) tweeted this on Monday: “Was fortunate to meet a lot of great people in Seattle made many new friends and a lot of new brothers! Going to miss it #thunderbeauties.”
G Keith Hamilton, who has WHL experience with the Portland Winterhawks and Victoria Royals, has signed with the QMJHL’s Baie-Comeau Drakkar. . . . Hamilton, a 20-year-old from Kelowna, was 20-31-5, 4.10, .880 with Victoria last season. He was released by the Royals last week as they worked to get down to the maximum three 20-year-olds. . . . The signing of Hamilton was first reported by Parlons junior, a Quebec-based website.
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