Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Hockey Canada juggles assignments . . . Broncos trim three . . . Are Giants close to coach?

Swiss-NLARapperswil-Jona (Switzerland, NL B) signed F Jared Aulin (Kamloops, 1997-2002) and F Andrew Clark (Brandon, 2005-09) to one-year contracts. . . . Last season, with Orebro (Sweden, SHL), Aulin had seven goals and 17 assists in 47 games. . . . Clark, last season with Esbjerg (Denmark, Metal Ligaen), led the league in points, with 75, including 25 goals, in 36 games. . . .
D Shaone Morrisonn (Kamloops, 1999-2002) signed a one-year extension with Medveščak Zagreb (Croatia, KHL). Last season, he had seven assists in 48 games. . . .

F Jesse Schultz (Tri-City, Prince Albert, Kelowna, 1999-2003) signed a one-year contract with Riessersee Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany, DEL2). Last season, with the Rapid City Rush (ECHL), he had 77 points, 34 of them goals, in 70 games. An alternate captain, he finished third in the ECHL scoring race.

With the move by DJ Smith from the OHL’s Oshawa Generals to the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, Hockey Canada had to make an adjustment to the coaching staff of its national junior team. . . . Smith, who was the head coach of the Memorial Cup-champion Generals, was to have been an assistant coach under head coach Dave Lowry of the Victoria Royals. . . . Hockey Canada announced Tuesday that Kelly McCrimmon, the owner, general manager and head coach of the Brandon Wheat Kings, will move from his post as head coach of the U-18 team into Smith’s vacated position. . . . Stan Butler, the general manager and head coach of the OHL’s North Bay Battalion, has moved in as head coach of the U-18 team that will play in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament in August. . . . Shaun Clouston, the general manager and head coach of the Medicine Hat Tigers, has joined the U-18 team as an assistant coach. He replaces Sheldon Keefe, who had been the head coach of the OHL’s Soo Greyhounds, but now is head coach of the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.
On Monday, McCrimmon announced that was turning down an offer to join the Toronto Maple Leafs’ front office, choosing instead to remain with the Wheat Kings. . . . With Canada’s national junior team, he will be away from the team for about a month, from its selection camp through the end of the tournament, which runs from Dec. 26 through Jan. 5 in Helsinki, Finland.

Hockey Canada also has announced the roster for its national junior team’s summer camp. That roster is right here.
The U-18 summer camp roster is right here.
The U-17 summer camp roster is right here.
All three camps, totalling 194 players, will be held in Calgary, July 29 to Aug. 6 in what Hockey Canada is calling its Summer Showcase.
BroncosThe Swift Current Broncos have released three 20-year-old skaters — F Tanner LeSann, D Ayrton Nikkel and F Linden Penner. . . . LeSann, from Yorkton, Sask., had 36 points, including 16 goals, in 195 games over three seasons with the Broncos. . . . Nikkel had two goals and nine assists in 67 games with Swift Current. From Kelowna, he was acquired early last season from the Saskatoon Blades. He also has played with the Brandon Wheat Kings and Everett Silvertips. . . . Penner, from Sherwood Park, Alta., played 36 games with the Broncos last season, putting up four goals and two assists. He also played with the Calgary Hitmen and Moose Jaw Warriors last season. . . . All three have cleared WHL waivers and are free agents. . . . The Broncos now have three 20-year-olds on their roster — G Landon Bow, D Griffin Foulk and F Zac Mackay.
AHLThe USHL’s board of governors decided at its annual meeting in Colorado Springs on the weekend to go to seven-minute overtime periods in regular-season games. They will play 4-on-4 until the first stoppage of play after three minutes of play, then will switch to 3-on-3. If the game remains tied after that, the game will be decided in a shootout, starting with three players from each team. . . . From a USHL news release: “The USHL previously tested the hybrid overtime period during the 2013 and 2014 preseasons with 3-on-3 overtime play. Over the past five seasons, 39 per cent of games were decided during 4-on-4 overtime in the USHL. Over the past two pre-seasons, 71 per cent ended in a 3-on-3 overtime.”


Some observers are expecting the Giants to make a coaching announcement before week’s end.
Eakins was fired last season as the head coach of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. McGill and Molleken are veteran WHL coaches. McGill’s contract as head coach of the Kootenay Ice wasn’t renewed after last season. Molleken last coached in 2013-14 when he was the GM/head coach of the Saskatoon Blades.
Whoever signs on will be Vancouver’s fourth head coach in three seasons. The Giants let Don Hay out of his contract after 10 seasons as head coach, allowing him to return to the Kamloops Blazers in time for last season. Troy Ward, hired as Hay’s replacement, was fired early in the season and replaced by Claude Noel, whose services weren’t retained after the season ended. . . . The Giants missed the playoffs last season, the second time in three seasons that has happened.
Brent Heaven has moved up and taken over as head coach of the Selkirk College Saints of the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League. They are based in Castlegar, B.C. . . . Heaven, a 35-year-old from Kamloops, had been an assistant coach with the Saints. He takes over from Alex Evin, who now is on the staff of the BCHL’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs. . . . The Saints won the BCIHL championship last season.

The Saskatoon Blades have signed F Chase Wouters and D Payton McIsaac. . . .  Wouters, from Lloydminster, Alta., was the 18th overall selection in the 2015 bantam draft. Last season, with the bantam AAA Lloydminster Heat, he had 57 points, including 19 goals, in 32 games. . . . McIsaac, from Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., was a second-round pick by the Blades in the 2015 bantam draft. He had 45 points, 11 of them goals, in 33 games with the bantam AAA Fort Saskatchewan Rangers.

The Seattle Thunderbirds have signed F Elijah Brown, who was the 15th overall selection in the 2015 bantam draft. Brown, from Edmonton, had 41 points, including 18 goals, in 31 games with the bantam AAA South Side Athletic Club team last season.
Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
Braeden Pistawka is the new general manager of the Okanagan Rockets of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. He takes over from David Michaud, who left after five years to join the BCHL’s Penticton Vees. Michard now is the Vees’ director of player personnel and corporate sales.

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