Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The WHL’s 20-year-old deadline arrives this afternoon.
Each WHL team has to declare a maximum of three such players by the deadline.
The Saskatoon Blades will have to make a move as they are carrying four 20s since acquiring F Adam Kambeitz from the Red Deer Rebels on Monday. The Blades also have D Connor Cox, F Josh Nicholls and F Brenden Walker on their roster.
The Portland Winterhawks also are carrying four 20s — G Cam Lanigan, G Mac Carruth, F Taylor Peters and D Troy Rutkowski. However, Carruth was just assigned to them by the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, so the Winterhawks have 14 days from his arrival to get down to four 20s.
The Medicine Hat Tigers’ roster also includes four 20s — F Kale Kessy, F Elgin Pearce, D Derek Ryckman and D Alex Theriau. The situation here isn’t what it seems, however, as Theriau is on the injury list as he recovers from offseason hip surgery and, as you will read further on, Kessy, while under a WHL suspension, no longer is with the Tigers.
Two other teams — the Kamloops Blazers and Prince Albert Raiders — are keeping close tabs on a couple of AHL camps.
D Austin Madaisky has spent the last two-plus seasons with the Blazers. He has signed an NHL contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets and is with their AHL affiliate, the Springfield, Mass., Falcons. He is one of 10 defencemen on their roster as Saturday’s season-opener approaches. The Blazers have three 20s on their roster in F Jordan DePape, F Brendan Ranford and F Dylan Willick.
At the same time, the Prince Albert Raiders are watching the camp of the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs because D Antoine Corbin is there. If he returns to Prince Albert, the Raiders will have 14 days to make a move involving him, F Anthony Bardaro, D Davis Vandane or G Luke Siemens.
Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oil Kings are at the other end of the spectrum, with two 20s — F T.J. Foster and F Dylan Wruck.
When F Jordan Messier woke up Tuesday, you can bet he was thinking about the Tri-City Americans’ approaching swing into the East Division.
It wasn’t long, however, before Messier had a head start.
The Americans, who will head east today, dealt Messier, 20, to the Moose Jaw Warriors yesterday, getting back a 2014 fourth-round bantam draft pick. He was packing his gear, while his former teammates were preparing to head east.
In six games this season, his fifth in the WHL, Messier has three points.
Messier, from Canmore, Alta., has 163 points in 270 regular-season games, all of them with the Americans. Tri-City selected him in the second round of the 2007 bantam draft.
He is expected to make his Moose Jaw debut on Saturday against the visiting Prince Albert Raiders. The Americans, whose roster includes Jordan’s brother Marcus, 18, will play in Moose Jaw on Sunday.
Jordan met up with G Eric Comrie for lunch yesterday.
“I had a bite to eat with Eric and joked to let me slip one past him,” Messier told Annie Fowler of the Tri-City Herald. “It will be good to see the boys so soon. I will definitely come out hard for that one.”
The deal leaves the Americans with three 20-year-olds — D Drydn Dowd, F Justin Feser and F Jesse Mychan.
To stay at three 20-year-olds, the Warriors promptly released F Austin Bourhis, who had one assist and 17 penalty minutes in four games this season. Bourhis, from Kipling, Sask., has split 117 regular-season games between the Medicine Hat Tigers, Prince Albert and Moose Jaw.
The Warriors other 20-year-olds are F Justin Kirsch and D Kendall McFaull.
The Everett Silvertips have traded F Ryan Chynoweth, 17, to the Tri-City Americans for a conditional fifth-round selection in the 2014 bantam draft. Chynoweth, the son of Kootenay Ice president/general manager Jeff Chynoweth, was the Silvertips’ first pick, going 24th overall, in the 2010 bantam draft.
Nick Patterson of the Everett Herald reports that Ryan Chynoweth asked the Silvertips for a trade. Patterson also writes that the conditional pick “begins as a fifth-rounder, but could rise to as high as a third-rounder depending on how Chynoweth performs” in 2013-14.
Chynoweth, who was a healthy scratch for two weekend games, is pointless in four games this season. Last season, he had eight points, two of them goals, in 66 games.
If you’re wondering, there was no chance of his ending up with the Ice. Prior to the 2010 bantam draft, he told his father that he didn’t want to play at home. That holds true today.
“I never even pursued it,” Jeff Chynoweth told me via text yesterday. “It wouldn’t be fair to him or the team.”
The Tri-City Americans were really busy yesterday, as they also dealt D Sam Grist, 19, to the Kamloops Blazers for a pair of bantam draft picks — a third-rounder in 2013 and a fifth-rounder in 2014. (For now, that fifth is the pick the Americans got from Everett for F Ryan Chynoweth. Of course, as noted, that pick could escalate to a third.)
The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Grist is in his third WHL season. He has 15 points and 207 penalty minutes in 119 regular-season games.
“With the emergence of some of our younger defencemen like (Wil) Tomchuk and (Brodie) Clowes, who is close to returning to practice, we had to get our numbers down on defense,” Tri-City general manager Bob Tory said in a news release. “This move allows Sam to play on a good team, closer to home, while opening some ice time for our other players.”

Following the Monday trade of F Adam Kambeitz, who was the team captain, the Red Deer Rebels have announced that F Turner Elson, 20, will wear the ‘C.’ Kambeitz, 20, was traded to the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Elson returned to the Rebels’ lineup last night in Swift Current after missing seven games with an undisclosed injury. . . .
The Brandon Wheat Kings are a finalist in the Small Business category of the 2012 Manitoba Business Awards, which are into the final stages. The Small Business division comprises those with fewer than 30 employees. . . . Brandon businesses were nominated by the Economic Development Brandon office and the Brandon Chamber of Commerce submitted the applications. . . . Winners will be announced on Oct. 18 at the annual awards gala in Winnipeg. . . .
The Everett Silvertips left on their East Division swing Tuesday and there were three goaltenders on the bus when it hit the highway. G Austin Lotz (groin) was injured Saturday and unable to play Sunday, but he is on the trip. Also on the trip are Cole Holowenko, who was sharing time with Lotz, and Daniel Cotton, who was acquired Sunday from  the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . .
It seems that F Kale Kessy of the Medicine Hat Tigers is serving out his WHL suspension in the training camp of the AHL’s Portland Pirates. Kessy drew a 12-game suspension on Sept. 24 for a headshot major. Sean Rooney of the Medicine Hat News writes that “the Tigers quietly shipped off their fourth-most experienced player . . . two weeks ago. The only mention of the move from the team came in a note on their Oct. 2 injury report, found on the WHL’s website.” . . . Kessy, a fourth-round selection by the Phoenix Coyotes in the NHL’s 2011 draft, isn’t eligible to return to the Tigers’ lineup until Oct. 26. . . . D Ryan Pilon of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, who was the subject of Kessy hit, hasn’t played since Sept. 22. . . . Rooney also reports that the Tigers should have freshman D Ty Stanton (undisclosed upper body injury) in the lineup tonight when they play host to the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . .
The Edmonton Oil Kings will be without F Stephane Legault for up to six weeks. He suffered a broken left foot when he blocked a shot by D Alex Roach during Sunday’s 6-5 OT loss to the Hitmen in Calgary. . . . The Oil Kings continue to be without D Keegan Lowe (knee), but he skated Tuesday. Lowe has missed four games. . . .
The Saskatoon Blades will honour former star Gerry Pinder on March 8 prior to a game against the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers. He will have his number (7) retired. Actually, the number already is retired – F Brent Ashton wore it. Other numbers retired by the Blades are F Bob Bourne’s 12, F Wendel Clark’s 22, F Bernie Federko’s 15 and F Brian Skrudland’s 10. . . . Pinder played for the Blades in the early days. In fact, he set the WHL record for most points in one game (10) and that’s a mark that has been equalled but not broken. He had six goals and four assists in a 17-5 victory over the visiting Calgary Buffaloes on March 12, 1967. . . . Pinder put up 221 points in 109 games with the Blades.
Sophomore F Brooks Maxwell scored his first goal of the season, a PP score at 17:30 of the third period, to break a 2-2 tie and give the Red Deer Rebels a 3-2 victory over the Broncos in Swift Current. . . . The Broncos (3-1-4) lost for the first time in regulation time this season. . . . It was a battle of import goaltenders, with Red Deer’s Patrik Bartosak, a Czech, and the Broncos’ Eetu Laurikainen, a Finn, each stopping 29 shots. . . . The Rebels ended up 3-2-1 on an swing through the East Division. . . . The Rebels will be without sophomore D Kayle Doetzel (broken jaw) for up to six weeks. He was injured on Oct. 3 in a 5-3 victory over the Blades in Saskatoon. . . .

F Lane Scheidl scored in OT to give the host Regina Pats a 3-2 victory over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Scheidl’s fourth goal of the season came at 4:28 of extra time, just 28 seconds after the Pats had killed off a Portland PP. . . . Regina G Matt Hewitt was huge with a 34-save effort. . . . Portland G Brendan Burke stopped 21 shots. G Mac Carruth, assigned to the team by the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks after a stint in camp with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, was on the bench, leaving Cam Lanigan as a healthy scratch. . . . Portland F Taylor Peters forced OT with his first goal of the season at 16:55 of the third. . . .

The Prince Albert Raiders continued to write the WHL’s best early-season success story as they ran their winning streak to seven games with a 4-1 victory over the Hurricanes in Lethbridge. . . . The Raiders now are 7-0-1. . . . According to WHL Facts (@WHLFacts), the Raiders last won seven in a row in February/March of 1999. . . . D Sawyer Lange, a sophomore from Prince Albert, scored his third goal in eight games and it stood up as the winner. He had one goal in 58 games last season. . . . The Hurricanes actually opened the scoring when veteran F Russell Maxwell scored 21 seconds into the game. That was the first time in seven games this season that Lethbridge had scored the game’s first goal. . . . Prince Albert F Mike Winther, who hadn’t played since Sept. 28 because of a groin injury, scored his first goal of the season. . . . The Raiders went 4-0 on a swing that took them to Edmonton, Calgary, Cranbrook and Lethbridge.
Portland F Joey Baker

F Ryan Chynoweth (@RChynowethh) has a scoop: “Going to miss the boys so much :(. Excited for a new start in tri city's!”
Chynoweth’s tweet announced his trade from Everett to Tri-City well in advance of either team issuing a news release.

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