Monday, October 10, 2016

All eyes on P.G. on Tuesday . . . Three veteran 20s headed back . . . Oil Kings goalie done for season

This was our company for Thanksgiving dinner on Monday evening.

F Michal Řepík (Vancouver, 2005-08) has been released by Traktor Chelyabinsk (Russia, KHL) by mutual agreement. He was pointless in two games.

The Everett Silvertips made their annual stop in Quesnel, B.C., on Monday, as they rode the bus to Prince George for a Tuesday/Wednesday doubleheader with the Cougars.
Why Quesnel? Well, it has a rink in which the Silvertips are able to skate. More importantly, though, Silvertips assistant coach Mitch Love is one of Quesnel’s hometown heroes.
While it’s too early — way too early — to pin the ‘IMPORTANT’ label on these two games, they should be viewed with a great deal of interest.
The Cougars, after all, go in with an 8-0-0 record — they’ve won four on the road and four at home — and were No. 1 in the CHL rankings when they were released last week.
In eight games, the Cougars have scored 34 goals and surrendered 16.
Everett, meanwhile, is 4-1-1 and has allowed only 13 goals in its six games. It has scored 19 times.
Interestingly, the paths of the two head coaches — Everett’s Kevin Constantine and Prince George’s Richard Matvichuk — haven’t crossed prior to tonight.
While Constantine was skating in Quesnel on Monday, Matvichuk was spending Thanksgiving Day in Canada for the first time since 2008. That was the first Thanksgiving Day following his retirement as a player and he hadn’t yet gotten into coaching.
BTW, Hartley Miller, the sports director at Prince George radio station 94.3 The Goat, says the Cougars’ club record for longest winning streak is 10 games.
F Adam Brooks, the reigning WHL scoring champion, is on his way back to the Regina Pats. Brooks, a 20-year-old Winnipegger, won the WHL scoring title last season, with 120 points, including 38 goals, in 72 games. He also led the league in assists (82).
He was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fourth round of the NHL’s 2016 draft. He went to camp with the Maple Leafs and recently had been moved to the camp of their AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies. The Maple Leafs announced Monday that he was being returned to Regina.
Brooks was a second-round pick by the Pats’ previous regime under GM Brent Parker in the 2011 bantam draft. Brooks is going into his fifth WHL season, all with Regina. He has 205 points, 76 of them goals, in 251 regular-season games.
Brooks’ return will leave the Pats with three 20-year-olds, which is the CHL-mandated maximum. The others are F Dawson Leedahl, an off-season acquisition from the Everett Silvertips, and D Chase Harrison.
Brooks is expected to be in the Pats’ lineup on Wednesday when they play host to the Portland Winterhawks.
Meanwhile, the Pats have dropped D Owen Williams, 16, from their roster. He was a ninth-round selection in the 2015 bantam draft. From Delta, B.C., he is expected to play for the Greater Vancouver Canadians of the B.C. Major Midget League. Williams was pointless in one game with the Pats.
The New York Rangers, presumably wanting F Ryan Gropp to get more playing time in more situations than he would in the AHL or ECHL, returned the veteran 20-year-old to the Seattle Thunderbirds on Monday.
Gropp was a second-round selection by the Rangers in the 2015 NHL draft. His birthday falls on Sept. 16; had he been born one day earlier, he would have been eligible for the 2014 draft.
Gropp had been in camp with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, after being assigned there following a stint with the Rangers.
The Kamloops native played one season (2012-13) with the Penticton Vees and had committed to attend the U of North Dakota. However, he changed his mind and joined the Thunderbirds early in 2014-15.
He had 58 points, 30 of them goals, in 67 games as a freshman, then put up 70 points, including 34 goals, in 66 games last season during which he signed a three-year entry-level deal with the Rangers.
It could be, too, that the Rangers would like to see what Gropp can do without F Mathew Barzal around. It appears that Barzal, 19, will stick with the New York Islanders, who selected him with the ?? selection in the ?? NHL draft. Last season, the Seattle line that had Barzal between Gropp and Keegan Kolesar was as good as it got in the WHL. (Kolesar came back from the camp of the Columbus Blue Jackets having undergone surgery for a supraumbilical hernia and is likely to miss at least another four weeks.)
Gropp’s return will leave the Thunderbirds with four 20-year-olds and that’s one over the maximum. F Scott Eansor, the team captain, F Cavin Leth and G Rylan Toth, who was acquired from the Red Deer Rebels last month, are the others.
Toth is one of three goaltenders on Seattle’s roster, along with Carl Stankowski, a 16-year-old freshman, and Matt Berlin, 18, who was acquired last week from the Spokane Chiefs.
The WHL’s deadline for each team to declare as many as three 20s is Saturday (Oct. 15). However, in situations where a player returns from the professional ranks, a team has two weeks from his arrival to get back down to three such players.
The Brandon Wheat Kings also welcomed back a 20-year-old as F Reid Duke was returned by the NHL’s New York Rangers. He had been in camp with their AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Duke, from Calgary, had 62 points, including 33 goals, in 68 regular-season games last season, his fourth in the WHL. He added 24 points, eight of them goals, in 21 playoff games as the Wheat Kings won the Ed Chynoweth Cup.
In 252 regular-season games, he has 183 points, including 78 goals. He began his career with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, who selected him with the fifth overall pick of the 2011 bantam draft. The Wheat Kings acquired him early in 2014-15.
With Duke on the roster, the Wheat Kings have four 20-year-olds, meaning they will have to make a move with one of them. The others are F Tyler Coulter, F Duncan Campbell, both of whom are from Brandon, and G Jordan Papirny. All three were on last season’s championship roster.
Brandon will have two weeks from Duke’s arrival to make a move.
The Wheat Kings also learned Monday that, as they had expected, D Ivan Provorov, 19, will open the season with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers. Provorov, the seventh overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft, played two seasons with the Wheaties, putting up 134 points, including 36 goals, in 122 regular-season games. Last season, he led WHL defencemen in points (73).
After last season, he was named the CHL’s top defenceman.
The Flyers also are keeping F Travis Konecny, who is eligible to be returned to the OHL’s Sarnia Sting.
"Those kids, they made this team on their own," Flyers GM Ron Hextall told Brian Smith of "They're not on the team because anyone felt like politically or anything else. . . . Our whole thing with Travis and Ivan is, 'Are they ready to be here the whole (season)?’ We feel like they are."
The Edmonton Oil Kings announced on Monday that G Alec Dillon, 20, won’t play again this season.
In fact, it sounds as though Dillon, who underwent hip surgery last season, may be forced into retirement.
“It is an unfortunate situation for Alec,” Oil Kings GM Randy Hansch said in a news release. “He put a lot of time into his rehabilitation this past year after his hip surgeries. We will certainly be there supporting him in whatever direction he takes. He has represented our team very well both on and off the ice and has been a valuable contributor to our community.”
Dillon, a 6-foot-5, 186-pounder from Victoria, was acquired by the Oil Kings from the Swift Current Broncos in November 2013. Swift Current had selected him in the fifth round of the 2011 bantam draft. He also was a fifth-round pick by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2014 NHL draft.
Dillon got into seven games with the Oil Kings last season, going 2-2-1, 3.81, .871 before suffering the season-ending hip injury that required surgery.
The Oil Kings have two other goaltenders — veteran Patrick Dea, 19, and freshman Liam Hughes, 17 — on their roster.
They also are left with three 20-year-olds — F Tyler Robertson, F Lane Bauer and D Aaron Irving.
The Vancouver Giants announced Monday that Czech F Filip Zadina has “chosen to sign a two-year deal to play in Sweden.” . . . Zadina is scheduled to turn 17 on Nov. 27. . . . The Giants selected him fourth overall in the CHL’s 2016 import draft. He is projected as an early selection in the NHL’s 2018 draft. . . . Zadina now is on CHL waivers. Should he clear, he will be available to be selected in the 2017 import draft. . . . He has played five games with the Czech U-20 team this season, putting up four goals and two assists. But he was pointless in seven games with Dynamo Pardubice of the Czech Extraliga.
Zadina’s decision leaves the Giants with Slovakian F Radovan Bondra, 19, and Russian D Dmitry Osipov, 20, as their imports.


The Red Deer Rebels have dropped D Austin Shmoorkoff, 19, from their roster. From Edmonton, he is expected to join the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders. . . . He had three assists in 64 games with the Rebels last season. . . .
F Austin Wagner of the Regina Pats has had his suspension set at two games by the WHL office. Wagner was suspended after taking a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct for a hit on F Kaeden Taphorn of the Kootenay Ice on Friday in Regina. . . . Taphorn didn’t return to that game and has since missed two other games. . . . Wagner sat out the Pats’ 5-2 victory over the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings on Saturday and will miss a visit by the Portland Winterhawks on Wednesday.
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At Calgary, F Tyler Benson scored once and added three assists to lead the Vancouver Giants to a 5-3 victory over the Hitmen. . . . Vancouver F Ty Ronning broke a 2-2 tie at 13:11 of the second period and F Jack Flaman scored twice in the third period to provide some breathing room. . . . Flaman has six goals this season; Ronning has three. . . . The Hitmen got to within two when F Matteo Gennaro scored at 18:09 of the third. . . . Vancouver F Radovan Bondra had a goal and an assist, while Ronning also had an assist. . . . The Hitmen got a goal and an assist from F Jordy Stallard. . . . Benson, who has had problems staying healthy, has a goal and four assists in four games. . . . Vancouver G Ryan Kubic stopped 31 shots, 17 more than Calgary’s Kyle Dumba. . . . The Giants were 2-3 on the PP; the Hitmen were 0-6. . . . The Giants (2-8-0) had lost their previous three games. . . . The Hitmen are 3-2-0. . . . Announced attendance: 5,396.
The Swift Current Broncos celebrate a goal against the Kootenay Ice
on Monday, which was Pink in the Rink day.
(Photo: Darwin Knelsen)
At Swift Currrent, F Kaden Elder and F Conner Chaulk each scored his first goal of the season as the Broncos got past the Kootenay Ice, 4-3. . . . Elder opened the scoring at 2:02 of the first period. . . . Ice D Nikita Radzivilyuk tied it with his first goal, at 9:55 of the second. . . . Chaulk broke the tie at 3:23 of the third period. . . . Broncos F Arthur Miller, who continues to write a fine freshman act, scored his fourth goal, at 6:06, and veteran F Glenn Gawdin, with his fifth goal, made it 4-1 at 11:30. . . . The Ice got two late goals, from F Michael King, at 18:26, and D Dallas Hines, at 19:32, both scoring their first goals. . . . Chaulk and Elder added an assist each as they and linemate Cole Johnson, who also had an assist, led the way. . . . The Broncos (6-2-1) got 23 saves from G Taz Burman as they ran their point streak to five games (3-0-1). . . . The Ice (1-5-2) got 26 saves from G Jakob Walter. . . . Kootenay was 1-2 on the PP; Swift Current was 0-3. . . . Announced attendance: 1,836.

TUESDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

Portland at Brandon, 7 p.m.
Vancouver at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Victoria at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.
Everett at Prince George, 7 p.m.
Spokane vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

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