|Goaltender Mac Carruth of the Portland Winterhawks accepts congratulations|
from Darrell May Sr. after breaking the latter's franchise record for career
victories on Wednesday night.
(Bryan Heim / Portland Winterhawks)
F Lukas Vartovnik (Everett, 2006-08) was one of seven players released by Martin (Slovakia, Extraliga) for financial reasons. Vartovnik had five goals and three assists in 25 games for Martin this season.
The Prince George Cougars have acquired F Klarc Wilson, 19, from the Edmonton Oil Kings for a third-round selection in the 2014 bantam draft. . . . Wilson was taken 10th overall by the Brandon Wheat Kings in the 2008 bantam draft. . . . He has 16 points, five of them goals, and 55 penalty minutes in 40 games this season. In 225 career games with Brandon (19) and Edmonton (206), he has 78 points and 332 penalty minutes.
The Cougars, with F Daulton Siwak, 19, and F Alex Forsberg, who turned 18 on Jan. 4, having left them in recent days, get a badly needed forward and one with some experience. Wilson will get a lot more ice time with the Cougars.
Prince George general manager Dallas Thompson is going right down to the wire with Forsberg, who didn’t return to the team after the Christmas break and asked to be traded. He was the first overall selection in the 2010 bantam draft.
Thompson has said that he will only move Forsberg if the gets a substantial return and it seems that as of Wednesday he hadn’t seen anything resembling what he wants.
The Edmonton Oil Kings have acquired F Trevor Cheek, 20, from the Vancouver Giants for a second-round selection in the 2013 bantam draft. It will be a late second-round selection because it originally belonged to the Portland Winterhawks, who gave it up last season in order to land F Cam Reid, a 20-year-old who left St. Cloud State to come to the WHL. . . . Cheek, who is from Vancouver, Wash., began this season with the Calgary Hitmen. They dealt him to Vancouver for a fourth-round pick in the 2013 bantam draft and a fifth-rounder in 2014. . . . Cheek had 32 points, including 18 goals, in 39 games with the Giants, after picking up one assist in one game with Calgary. In the previous two seasons, he had 74 points in 124 games with Calgary. . . . The trade leaves Edmonton with Cheek, F T.J. Foster and F Dylan Wruck as it’s three 20-year-old players. . . . The Giants are left with D Wes Vannieuwenhuizen, their captain, as their only 20 and he will sit for the next few weeks with a hand injury.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes have added some more size with the acquisition of D Mike Simpson, 18, from the Kootenay Ice. The Hurricanes gave up a 2013 fifth-round bantam draft pick in the exchange. Simpson, 6-foot-4 and 207 pounds, is from Semiahmoo, B.C. He has one assist and 47 penalty minutes in 40 games this season, after putting up four points and 52 penalty minutes in 52 games last season. He was a sixth-round selection in the 2009 bantam draft. . . . Earlier in the week, the Hurricanes added 6-foot-2, 190-pound F Josh Derko in a deal with the Swift Current Broncos.
As for the Ice, the deal left it with five defencemen on the roster, so obviously something will happen there. But as of last night GM Jeff Chynoweth hadn’t moved either D Joey Leach or F Brock Montgomery, both of whom are 20. You get the feeling that Chynoweth won’t be unhappy if he ends up keeping both of them.
After the Simpson deal, the Ice owns seven selections in the first five rounds of the 2013 bantam draft, including four fifth-rounders.
The Spokane Chiefs have acquired D Stewart Coyle, 17, from the Vancouver Giants for a sixth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . Unofficially, that is the first 2016 draft pick to change hands. . . . The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Coyle, who is from Sicamous, B.C., was pointless in 10 games with the Kelowna Rockets last season. This season, he had two assists in 17 games with the Giants. . . . The Giants got Coyle and F Tanner Moar from t he Rockets for two draft picks, a fourth in 2014 and a sixth in 2015, on Sept. 17.
F Tanner Moar has left the Vancouver Giants, apparently choosing to retire rather than continue his WHL career. Moar, 18, is from Canwood, Sask. He had four points in 29 games with the Giants. Last season, he had eight points in 65 games with the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Moar was a seventh-round selection by the Rockets in the 2009 bantam draft.
The Moose Jaw Warriors have assigned F Brett Brooks, who turned 18 on Dec. 2, to the MJHL’s Winnipeg Blues. A Winnipeg native, he had one point in 31 games this season after putting up three points in 38 games last season. . . .
The Red Deer Rebels have added F Hunter Smith, 17, of Carlyle, Sask., to their roster. He had four points in nine games with the Carlyle Cougars of the Big 6 Hockey League. . . . Smith was a ninth-round selection by the Brandon Wheat Kings in the 2010 bantam draft. . . .
Bruce Fuhr of the Castlegar Source has more right here on that bizarre situation involving the junior B Beaver Valley Nitehawks and the junior A Trail Smoke Eaters. And, yes, it seems there will be an investigation. . . .
The NAHL’s Wenatchee Wild have once again begun the process that could lead to its moving into the BCHL. Brent Stecker of the Wenatchee World has that story right here.
A note from Cam Wietzel advises that the 35th anniversary edition of the John Reid Memorial bantam tournament is scheduled for Jan. 17-20 at Servus Place in St. Albert, Alta.
“This tournament,” he notes, “features the top 16 bantam AAA teams in Western Canada and will feature many of the top 14-year-old hockey players in the country.”
He also was kind enough to provide a few tidbits . . .
1. The 2012 WHL bantam draft featured 93 players who were participants in the JRMT. That is an amazing 31 per cent of all invitees from the 2012 edition of the event, who went on to be drafted in to the WHL. 2013 is expecting to be as prolific.
2. The current top three scorers in the WHL — Colin Smith, Nicolas Petan and Brendan Leipsic — all were participants in the JRMT, as were two members of Canada's 2013 U-20 WJHC team — Morgan Rielly and Mark McNeill.
3. Over 60 alumni from the JRMT have gone on to play in the NHL, including Jarome Iginla, Scott and Rob Niedermayer, Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards, Eric Staal and Jonathan Toews.
4. This year's tournament features 23 of the top 30 scorers in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League, including South Side Athletic Club's Tyler Benson, who is on pace to shatter the AMBHL scoring record, currently held by Ty Rattie.
5. The all-time single tournament scoring leader is Jonathan Toews, who had 36 points in seven games in 2003.
6. Michael St. Croix, currently with the Edmonton Oil Kings, scored a record 38 points (including 15 as an underage) over two tournaments (2007 and 2008).
7. Thunder Bay won the tournament a record four consecutive years (1997-2000). The 1997 Thunder Bay squad featured three current NHLers — Patrick Sharp, Taylor Pyatt and Alex Auld.
8. Current Oil Kings F Curtis Lazar was named MVP of the 2010 JRMT. His performance at the JRMT was his self-described, “coming out party” in terms of his meteoric rise up the scouts’ rankings. He eventually was selected second overall in the WHL draft and is a potential first-round selection in the upcoming NHL draft.
9. Several coaching staffs from teams attending this year's tournament feature ex-NHLers. Blake Wesley, Dixon Ward, Norm Lacombe, Joby Messier, Kevin Smyth and Mike Needham all will be in St. Albert providing leadership and mentorship to these talented athletes.
10. St. Albert has won its own tournament once — in 1983, led by future NHL sniper Rob Brown.
In Moose Jaw, the Calgary Hitmen ran their winning streak to five games with a 6-4 victory over the Warriors. . . . F Brady Brassart had two goals and was plus-5 for the Hitmen, while F Brooks Macek and F Cody Sylvester each had a goal and two assists. . . . Macek scored six seconds into the second period, which is two seconds off the franchise record for fastest goal to start a period. On Tuesday, Macek set a franchise record for fastest goal to open a game when he scored nine seconds into what became a 7-2 victory over the Wheat Kings in Brandon. . . . Calgary G Chris Driedger came on in relief to stop 15 of 16 shots. . . . The Hitmen now are 15-2-1 on the road. . . . The Warriors have lost five in a row. . . .
In Swift Current, F Adam Lowry had a goal and an assist to lead the Broncos to a 5-2 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Lowry’s first-period goal, his 28th of the season, ran his point streak to 18 games. . . . That equals the longest point streak in the WHL this season. Portland B Brendan Leipsic had an 18-gamer earlier. . . . Broncos G Eetu Laurikainen, just back from an appearance with Finland at the World Junior Championship, stopped 34 shots. . . . With G Patrik Bartosak having returned from the Czech national junior team, the Rebels have returned G Grant Naherniak, 16, to the midget AAA Moose Jaw Generals. . . .
In Prince Albert, the Raiders erased a 3-1 first-period deficit and beat the Regina Pats, 9-4. . . . F Colton Stephenson’s ninth goal of the season, at 9:05 of the first, gave Regina a 3-1 edge. . . . The Raiders then scored four straight goals. . . . Regina had won its previous five games. . . . D Dylan Busenius had three assists for the Raiders, who got goals from nine different players. . . . Prince Albert G Andy Desautels came on at 3-1 and stopped 19 of 20 shots. . . . D Luke Fenske (ill) was among Regina’s scratches. . . .
In Lethbridge, the Hurricanes scored five first-period goals on 12 shots and went on to beat the Vancouver Giants, 7-4. . . . The Giants got back to within one, at 5-4, late in the second period. . . . Lethbridge got two third-period goals from F Jaimen Yakubowski, his 24th and 25th, the latter into an empty net. . . . Four players scored their first goals of the season — F Michael Sofillas and D Adam Henry of the Hurricanes and F Luca Leone and F Travis McEvoy of the Giants. . . . Lethbridge F Reid Duke, who played his first 29 games without a goal, enjoyed his second straight two-goal outing. He also had an assist in this one. . . . The Hurricanes lost F Brady Ramsay at 9:43 of the first period when he was given a match penalty for attempt to injure. . . . The Giants dressed 16 skaters, two under the maximum. . . . Vancouver F Scott Cooke, who suffered an arm injury in Tuesday’s 4-0 loss in Medicine Hat, will be out for at least four weeks. . . . Vancouver went 1-4-0 on a Central Division swing on which it played five games in six nights. . . .
In Portland, G Mac Carruth stopped 23 shots as the Winterhawks beat the Prince George Cougars, 3-0. . . . The Winterhawks have won 12 in a row. . . . Carruth posted his 106th regular-season victory, a career franchise record. The previous record had been held by Darrell May Sr., who was there to congratulate Carruth. May’s WHL career ended in 1982. . . . Carruth has four shutouts this season and eight in his career. He now shares the Portland career shutout record with Lanny Ramage and Kurtis Mucha. . . . While Carruth has four shutouts this season, he has only two losses. He is 19-2-0. His career record is 106-41-4. . . . Portland F Nic Petan picked up one assist and moved into the lead in the WHL scoring race. He has 69 points, one more than Kamloops F Colin Smith. . . . Portland scratched F Paul Bittner, who was on a six-game point streak, and F Chase De Leo (ill), who had played all 40 previous games this season. . . . The Cougars, who got 46 saves from G Mac Engel, dressed 16 skaters for the second night in a row. They lost 6-4 in Portland on Tuesday. . . .
In Kamloops, F Beau McCue broke a 1-1 tie 30 seconds into the third period as the Tri-City Americans beat the Blazers, 3-1. . . . F Tim Bozon gave the Blazers a 1-0 lead on the PP at 2:53 of the first period. . . . Tri-City D Michal Plutnar tied it on the PP at 11:14 of the second. . . . Tri-City G Eric Comrie stopped 34 shots. . . . The Blazers were 1-for-7 on the PP. . . . The Americans had lost their last four games in Kamloops. . . . The Blazers scratched F JC Lipon and D Marek Hrbas. Lipon, who played for Canada at the World Junior Championship, is at home in Regina catching up on some rest. He will join the Blazers in Prince George for a Friday-Saturday doubleheader with the Cougars. Hrbas, who played for the Czech Republic at the WJC, returned to Kamloops on Tuesday night, but was given the night off. . . .
In Kelowna, the Rockets scored five times in the second period en route to a 6-1 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . The victory, Kelowna’s 16th straight on home ice, lifted the Rockets into first place in the B.C. Division, two points ahead of Kamloops. . . . D Damon Severson and F Ryan Olsen each had a goal and two assists for the Rockets. . . . D MacKenzie Johnston scored his first goal of the season, in 22 games. He has 10 points this season, one more than he scored in 70 games last season. . . . D Madison Bowey (ill) was among Kelowna’s scratches. . . .
In Spokane, G Eric Williams stoppd 30 shots as the Chiefs dropped the Seattle Thunderbirds, 4-1. . . . F Liam Stewart got the winner for the second straight night. His 10th goal broke a 1-1 tie at 3:16 of the second period. . . . F Mitch Holmberg scored his 25th goal of the season for the Chiefs, while F Mike Aviani got his 21st. . . . Spokane F Carter Proft scored the Chiefs’ fourth goal on a third-period penalty shot. . . . The Thunderbirds played three straight games against Spokane and lost each one — 5-2, 4-3 and 4-1. . . . Seattle now has lost 12 straight games.
D Richard Nedomlel, Swift Current
F Joey Baker, Portland
From Calgary Hitmen F Calder Brooks (@CalderBrooks): “Just a casual skate with Mike Cammalleri at the Dome today, helping him with his shot and stuff #whatatreat”
The WHL’s trade deadline arrives today (2 p.m. in B.C., 3 p.m. in Alberta, 4 p.m. in Saskatchewan and Manitoba). Here is a look at trades since the end of the WHL’s Christmas trade moratorium:
Jan. 1: Medicine Hat trades D Dylan Busenius, 19, F Jayden Hart, 18, and a 2014 sixth-round bantam draft pick to Prince Albert for F Logan McVeigh, 18, D Zach Hodder, 19, F Connor Hobbs, 15, and a 2013 second-round bantam draft pick.
Jan. 2: Vancouver trades F Kale Kessy, 20, to Kamloops for F Rob Trzonkowski, 18, and a 2015 fifth-round bantam draft pick.
Jan. 3: Everett trades F Trent Lofthouse, 18, to Victoria for a 2014 sixth-round bantam draft pick.
Jan. 3: Victoria trades G Jared Rathjen, 18, to Vancouver for a 2013 eighth-round bantam draft pick.
Jan. 7: Victoria trades D Jesse Zgraggen, 19, to Calgary for a 2013 fourth-round bantam draft pick.
Jan. 7: Lethbridge trades F Jay Merkley, 17, to Swift Current for F Josh Derko, 19, and a 2014 third-round bantam draft pick.
Jan. 9: Vancouver trades F Trevor Cheek, 20, to Calgary for a 2013 second-round bantam draft pick.
Jan. 9: Kootenay trades D Mike Simpson, 18, to Lethbridge for a 2013 fifth-round bantam draft pick.
Jan. 9: Vancouver trades D Stewart Coyle, 17, to Spokane for a 2016 sixth-round bantam draft pick.
Jan. 9: Edmonton trades F Klarc Wilson, 19, to Prince George for a 2014 third-round bantam draft pick.
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