In honour of former scout & #Canucks alumnus Charlie #Hodge, seat #1 (the number he wore) has been re-named in the press box @RogersArena pic.twitter.com/exYRvxL1Ch— Canucks PR (@CanucksPR) November 18, 2016
The Prince George Cougars are all-in on this WHL season; the Prince Albert Raiders are all-out.
That became obvious Friday night when the Cougars acquired D Brendan Guhle, 19, from the Raiders for D Max Martin, 17, F Kolby Johnson, 18, and two bantam draft picks — a first-rounder in 2018 and a third-
rounder in 2019.
The trade was announced shortly after the Cougars beat the visiting Raiders, 4-2, on Friday night.
The Cougars (17-4-2) hold a 10-point lead atop the B.C. Division and are in first place in the Western Conference, two points ahead of the Everett Silvertips (15-2-4), who hold two games in hand.
The Raiders (5-16-1) went 0-5-0 on a B.C. Division trip. They have the WHL’s poorest record and are eight points out of the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card playoff spot.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Guhle, from Sherwood Park, Alta., is one of the WHL’s top defencemen, a smooth-skater who is in his fourth WHL season. He was the third-overall selection in the 2012 bantam draft. Buffalo picked him in the second round of the 2015 NHL draft — he signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Sabres in July 2015 — and he is seen as one of the Sabres’ prime prospects. In fact, he has had strong showings in each of the Sabres’ last two training camps.
Guhle has two goals and two assists in 15 games this season. Last season, he put up 28 points, including 10 goals, in 63 games. In 201 career regular-season games, all with the Raiders, he has 74
points, 17 of them goals.
Guhle finished last season with the AHL’s Rochester Americans, picking up a goal and three assists in six games. He has played five career NHL exhibition games and has two assists.
He is expected to practise for the first time with the Cougars on Monday and is scheduled to be in the lineup on Tuesday when Prince George plays host to the Regina Pats.
Guhle’s arrival will give the Cougars a rather formidable top four on the back end, along with Sam Ruopp, who has signed with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, Tate Olson, whose NHL rights belong to the Vancouver Canucks, and Josh Anderson, a draft pick of the Colorado Avalanche. (Ruopp served Game 5 of an eight-game suspension on Friday.)
Martin, from Winnipeg, was a second-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft. The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder was pointless in 10 games with the Cougars last season. This season, he has three goals and four assists in 19 games.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Johnson, from Kerrobert, Sask., was a third-round selection in the 2013 bantam draft. This season, he is pointless in six games. In his freshman season, he had a goal and three assists in 37 games.
At Brandon, F Reid Duke scored four times to lead the Wheat Kings to an 8-1 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Brandon was 5-6 on the PP. . . . Duke has 12 goals this season. . . . F Tyler Coulter added a goal, his eighth, and two assists for Brandon, while D Kale Clague had three assists. . . . Clague has 17 points, 13 of them assists, in 13 games. . . . Brandon G Jordan Papirny stopped 32 shots. . . . The Wheat Kings (11-7-3) have won four in a row. . . . The Blades (9-13-1) have lost two straight and been outscored 13-2 in the process. . . . The same teams meet again today (Saturday) in Brandon. . . . Announced attendance: 4,205.
At Kelowna, the Rockets scored the game’s first two goals and never trailed as they beat the Vancouver Giants, 5-3. . . . F Nick Merkley had two assists for Kelowna, while F Dillon Dube, who was playing in just his third game since recovering from a knee injury, scored his first goal. . . . Vancouver F Radovan Bondra notched his 16th goal. . . . The Rockets improved to 12-10-0; the Giants are 10-13-0. . . . Announced attendance: 5,616.
At Cranbrook, B.C., D Anatolii Elizarov scored his second goal of the season, at 2:55 of OT, to give the Edmonton Oil Kings a 3-2 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Edmonton F Colton Kehler forced OT with his fifth goal, on a PP, at 13:53 of the third period. . . . F Zak Zborosky scored his 17th goal for the Ice. . . . Edmonton G Patrick Dea stopped 29 shots, six fewer than Kootenay’s Payton Lee. . . . The Oil Kings are 9-10-2, while the Ice is 4-12-6. . . . Announced attendance: 1,749.
— PG Cougars (@PGCougars) November 19, 2016
At Prince George, the Cougars scored the game’s first two goals and went on to a 4-2 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . F Jesse Gabrielle’s 11th goal, at 11:41 of the third period, gave the home side a 3-1 lead and stood up as the winner. . . . After the game, the two teams announced that the Cougars had acquired D Brendan Guhle, 19, from the Raiders for F Kolby Johnson, 18, D Max Martin, 17, a first-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft and a third-round selection in 2019. . . . The Cougars (17-4-2) have won three straight. . . . The Raiders (5-16-1) have lost five in a row. . . . Announced attendance: 5,272.
— Seattle Thunderbirds (@SeattleTbirds) November 19, 2016
At Kent, Wash., F Alexander True struck three times to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 4-3 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . From Copenhagen, Denmark, True is in his third WHL season. This was his first hat trick. He has 29 goals in 122 regular-season games. . . . True, who has nine goals, opened the scoring at 1:35 of the first period. He gave Seattle a 3-1 lead with a PP goal at 8:57 of the second period, then broke a 3-3 tie at 3:13 of the third period. . . . Seattle F Elijah Brown, the 15th overall selection in the 2015 bantam draft, drew assists on True’s first and last goals. . . . F Ryan Bowen scored his sixth goal for Lethbridge. It was his first since coming over from the Moose Jaw Warriors in the deal that sent F Brayden Burke the other way. . . . F Tyler Wong got his 10th goal for the visitors. . . . Lethbridge G Stuart Skinner made 35 saves, 17 more than Seattle’s Rylan Toth. . . . The Thunderbirds (10-8-1) have won three in a row. . . . Lethbridge (7-11-3) is 0-4-1 in its past five games. . . . Announced attendance: 4,491. . . . Prior to the game, the Thunderbirds dropped F Dillon Hamaliuk, 16, from their roster. He had one goal in 17 games, but lost his roster spot with the return of veteran forwards Mathew Barzal and Keegan Kolesar. A sixth-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft, Hamaliuk will return to the midget AAA Leduc, Alta., Oil Kings.
At Spokane, the Chiefs snapped a 1-1 tie with four third-period goals as they dumped the Calgary Hitmen, 5-2. . . . Spokane F Hayden Ostir broke the tie with his first goal, at 2:11, and F Kailer Yamamoto added insurance one minute later. He’s got 17 goals. . . . F Ethan McIndoe had three assists for the Chiefs. . . . Spokane now is 8-7-5. . . . Calgary (7-9-2) has lost four straight. . . . Announced attendance: 4,547.
At Red Deer, F Matt Bradley scored two goals and added two assists as the Medicine Hat Tigers dumped the Rebels, 7-2. . . . Bradley has 12 goals. . . . Tigers F John Dahlstrom had two goals, breaking a 1-1 tie, on a PP, at 17:01 of the first period and giving his guys a 3-2 lead at 4:31. He’s got 10 goals in his freshman season. He also had an assist. . . . D Clayton Kirichenko helped the winners with his second goal and two assists. . . . F Mason Shaw, one of the WHL’s top scorers, had two assists for Medicine Hat (15-5-4), which has won three straight. . . . The Rebels (10-10-3) are 0-2-1 in their last three outings. . . . Announced attendance: 6,274.
Here's your warm, fuzzy story of the day: @SCBroncos D @max_lajoie (@Senators pick) donated a 55" tv to @SouthwestYES for homeless youth. pic.twitter.com/fjvtZzFeaH— Candace (@c_woodside) November 18, 2016
At Swift Current, F Nikita Popugaev scored twice and set up another as the Moose Jaw Warriors beat the Broncos, 3-2. . . . Popugaev, who has 16 goals, tied the game 1-1 on a PP, at 15:44 of the first period. . . . He drew the secondary assist on F Noah Gregor’s 10th goal, at 18:55, then added insurance with his second goal at 6:03 of the third period. . . . F Tyler Steenbergen got his 16th goal for the Broncos. . . . G Brody Willms blocked 32 shots for the victory. . . . The Warriors (13-4-4) are 2-0-2 in their last four games. . . . The Broncos (11-7-5) had points in each of their previous three games (1-0-2). . . . Announced attendance: 1,892.
At Kennewick, Wash., F Quinn Benjafield and F Collin Shirley each had three points as the Kamloops Blazers got past the Tri-City Americans, 6-5. . . . The Blazers erased 2-0 and 3-2 deficits en route to victory. . . . Benjafield scored twice, giving him six, and added an assist. He gave Kamloops a 5-4 lead, on a PP, at 11:07 of the third period. . . . Shirley’s 10th goal, at 16:13, proved to be the winner. He also had two assists. . . . Tri-City F Michael Rasmussen scored his WHL-leading 19th goal at 19:56 of the third. . . . The Americans got three assists from D Dylan Coghlan. . . . The Blazers (13-10-1) have won two in a row. . . . The Americans (14-8-1) had won their previous two games. . . . Announced attendance: 3,366.
SATURDAY’S GAMES (all times local):
Saskatoon at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.
Lethbridge at Everett, 7:05 p.m.
Calgary vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.
Swift Current at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.
Seattle at Portland, 7 p.m.
Kamloops at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.
Edmonton vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
Regina at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
There has never been a subscription fee for this blog, but if you enjoy stopping by here, why not consider donating to the cause? Just click HERE. . . and thank you very much.