F Jordan DePape is hoping to return to game action in 10 days. DePape, who hasn’t played since Nov. 11, left the Kamloops Blazers in late November in order to undergo his second major shoulder operation in two years.
DePape, 20, subsequently was released by the Blazers and was added by the Red Deer Rebels on Jan. 10. He has been skating with the Rebels for a couple of weeks and took part in his first full-contact practice on Monday.
If all goes according to plan, he will dress for the Rebels on March 15 against the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings. The next night, the Rebels wrap up their regular season in Edmonton.
DePape had six points, including four goals, in 17 games with Kamloops this season.
The Rebels will be hoping DePape can recapture the magic he showed in last season’s playoffs. He rejoined the Blazers after having had surgery and proceeded to put up 13 points, seven of them goals, in 11 playoff games.
Meanwhile, the Rebels play host to the Kootenay Ice tonight. Red Deer should have F Dominik Volek back after he missed three games while ill.
Since returning to the WHL after five seasons in the NHL, Brent Sutter says he has really noticed something.
Here’s part of what Sutter, the owner, GM and head coach of the Red Deer Rebels told Jason Gregor of the Edmonton Journal: “It is so noticeable on a hockey team that the kids who have played other sports and experienced different things are always the smarter players on your team, and they are able to handle adversity better. They deal with adversity better because they are thrown into different environments and they trust their skills that they may have learned elsewhere to get them through certain things.”
Perhaps the message will get through if parents hear it from someone with Sutter’s credibility.
Gregor’s piece is right here.
Mike Moore has been named assistant general manager of the Calgary Hitmen. Moore, who has worked as general manager with the Kamloops Blazers and Medicine Hat Tigers, had been Calgary’s director of business operations. This is Moore‘s 16th season in the WHL, his fifth with the Hitmen. . . According to a news release, “His hockey operations duties will be in addition to his current responsibilities of operating the business side of the organization.” . . . Kelly Kisio is the team’s general manager, executive vice-president and alternate governor.
Wearing No. 90, former WHL F Chris Schlenker made his debut as a WHL referee on Sunday in Medicine Hat when he worked alongside veteran Sean Raphael as the Tigers beat the Calgary Hitmen, 5-2. . . . Schlenker played with the Regina Pats and Prince Albert Raiders (2000-05), putting up 197, 188, 178 and 155 penalty minutes. A 29-year-old native of Medicine Hat, he totalled 92 points, including 25 goals, in 284 games. . . . “Haven’t been that nervous since 2001 #rookie,” he tweeted. . . . In his other life, Schlenker is a member of the Medicine Hat Police Service. He and Kato, a purebred German Shepherd, have worked together for almost two years now.
The Dallas Stars have signed F Taylor Peters of the Portland Winterhawks to a three-year, entry-level NHL contract. Peters, who turned 21 on Jan. 24, has 111 points in 313 career regular-season games with the Winterhawks. This season, he has 37 points in 62 games. Peters is one of the WHL’s top penalty-killing forwards and a superb defensive player. He also is a terrific faceoff man.
The New York Rangers have signed — or are close to signing — F Josh Nicholls of the Saskatoon Blades to a three-year, entry-level NHL contract. Nicholls was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the seventh round of the 2010 NHL draft but never signed. This season, he has 73 points, including 41 goals, in 65 games. . . . Bob McKenzie of TSN tweeted: “Nicholls contract with NYR is standard three-year entry level deal, listed with annual cap hit of $925K. Gets SB of $92.5K in each of 3 yrs.” . . . At the same time, Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix reported that Gerry Johannson, who is Nicholls’ agent, wouldn’t confirm a deal, but said he hoped to have something done today.
The matchups, if the WHL playoffs opened today:
Edmonton (1) vs. Kootenay (8)
Saskatoon (2) vs. Swift Current (7)
Calgary (3) vs. Medicine Hat (6)
Red Deer (4) vs Prince Albert (5)
Portland (1) vs. Seattle (8)
Kelowna (2) vs. Everett (7)
Kamloops (3) vs. Victoria (6)
Tri-City (4) vs. Spokane (5)
In Prince George, the Tri-City Americans erased a 1-0 deficit with three goals in 1:06 in the first period and went on to beat the Cougars, 6-3. . . . D Mark McNulty gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead with his eight goal, via the PP, at 4:37. . . . F Justin Feser tied it with his 41st at 11:06, on the PP. F Connor Rankin, with his 26th, gave the Americans the lead at 11:42, and D Mitch Topping added his 13th at 12:12. . . . Feser later added an assist, getting him to the 100-point plateau. . . . Rankin finished up with two goals. . . . The same teams will play again tonight in Prince George. . . . The Americans moved into fourth in the Western Conference, one point ahead of the Spokane Chiefs. Each team has seven games to play. . . . The Cougars, who have lost five in a row, are eight points out of a playoff spot with eight games left, six of them on the road.
From former TSN play-by-play voice Paul Romanuk (@paul_romanuk), who now lives in London, as in England: “Brit sports sections full of pre match Manu v Real Champions League coverage. Once again, nothing on Leafs.”
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