Friday, May 26, 2017

Winterhawks land big one ... Tigers deal goalie to Hitmen ... All OHL final at World Series

F Mads Eller (Edmonton, 2013-15) has signed a one-year contract with Rødovre (Denmark, Metal Ligaen). Eller played his minor hockey with Rødovre. This season, with Gentofte (Denmark, Metal Ligaen), he had a goal and four assists in 25 games. . . .
D Renat Mamashev (Moose Jaw, 2000-01) has signed a one-year contract with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod (Russia, KHL). This season, with Sochi (Russia, KHL), he had four goals and 13 assists in 47 games.

F Kieffer Bellows is leaving Boston University to join the Portland Winterhawks. Bellows, who will turn 19 on June 10, is the son of former NHLer Brian Bellows.
Following this Memorial Day long weekend in the U.S., the Winterhawks will introduce Kieffer to the Portland fans and media at a Tuesday afternoon news conference.
The New York Islanders selected Bellows with the 19th overall pick in the NHL’s 2016 draft. A native of
Edina, Minn., he was a seventh-round selection by Portland in the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft. That pick was made by Mike Johnston, then Portland’s general manager and head coach. Johnston returned to the Winterhawks prior to this season after a stint as head coach of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins.
The 6-foot-0, 200-pound Bellows was a freshman at BU this season. He struggled at times against NCAA competition, finishing with seven goals and seven assists in 34 games. However, he was solid with the U.S. national team, with two goals and an assist in seven games, as it won the 2017 World Junior Championship. 
Bellows spent 2014-15 with the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede, scoring 33 goals and adding 19 assists in 58 games. In 2015-16, he played 62 games with the U.S. National U-18 team, putting up 50 goals and 31 assists in 62 games. He also played 23 games with the U.S. National Team Development Program U-20 team, scoring 16 times and adding 16 assists.
The Winterhawks see Bellows as a power forward along the lines of graduating captain Keegan Iverson, but with a better scoring touch. Iverson had 26 goals and 44 assists in 55 games this season.
You can bet the house that Bellows will get the opportunity to play alongside F Cody Glass, who will be an early first-round selection in the NHL draft next month. Glass, who turned 18 on April 1, is a tremendous playmaker who had a breakout season, with 94 points, including 62 assists, in 69 games.
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For the third time this week, two WHL teams have been involved in a deal involving a goaltender.
On Friday, the Medicine Hat Tigers dealt G Nick Schneider, who turns 20 on July 21, to the Calgary
Hitmen for a fourth-round selection in the 2019 WHL bantam draft.
This season, Schneider, from Leduc, Alta., went 32-11-1, 3.43, .886. In 142 career regular-season games, he is 76-47-5, 3.30, .893. The Calgary Flames signed him to a three-year entry-level contract as an undrafted free agent in September 2015. As a signed 20-year-old, he will be eligible to play in the Flames’ organization, perhaps with the AHL’s Stockton Heat. But don’t forget that the Flames’ parent company — Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation — also owns the Hitmen.
On the Calgary end, this trade was made by former general manager Mike Moore. He was moved up from vice-president business operations and general manager to vice-president and alternate governor on May 15, but is continuing to act as GM until a successor is found.
Schneider began his career by playing nine games with the Regina Pats in 2013-14. On Jan. 10, 2014, the Tigers traded F Logan McVeigh and G Daniel Wapple to the Pats for Schneider, then 16, and a third-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft.
Schneider joins two other veteran goaltenders on Calgary’s roster — Cody Porter, who turns 20 on Sept. 23, and Kyle Dumba, 19.
Aside from Porter, the roster includes four other 20-year-olds — F Matteo Gennaro, D Jaydan Gordon, D Brady Reagan and F Jakob Stukel.
On Tuesday, the Tigers acquired G Jordan Hollett, 18, from Regina for F Matt Bradley, 20, a second-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft and a fifth-rounder in 2019.
Having traded away Bradley and Schneider, the Tigers still have eight 20-year-olds on their roster, including G Michael Bullion. Others are Swedish F John Dahlstrom, F Zach Fischer, D Brad Forrest, D Jordan Henderson, F Mark Rassell, D Kristians Rubins, who is from Latvia, and D Ty Schultz.
The other trade involving a goaltender came down on Thursday, as the Everett Silvertips dealt Mario Petit, who will turn 20 on July 25, to the Kootenay Ice for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.
D Vojtech Budik of the Prince Albert Raiders has been invited to the summer camp of the Czech Republic’s national junior team. That camp is to run in Rokycany and Salzburg, June 9-16. . . . Budik, 19, had a goal and 25 assists in 56 games with the Raiders last season. . . . He was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the fifth-round of the NHL’s 2016 draft. . . . Budik played two games for Czech Republic at the 2017 World Junior Championship.
Coaching Game

The Buffalo Sabres have fired Dan Lambert, who was the head coach of their AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans, for one season. Lambert, a former WHL player and coach, went 32-41-3 with the Americans this season. Last season, Lambert, 47, was an assistant coach with the Sabres. Prior to that, he spent six seasons with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets, five as an assistant coach and the last one (2014-15) as head coach. The Rockets won the WHL title in his only season as head coach. . . . A defenceman, he played four seasons (1986-90) with the Swift Current Broncos, helping them to the 1989 Memorial Cup championship. . . . Even before the Sabres fired him on Friday, Lambert’s name had been mentioned in Spokane as a potential candidate for the Chiefs’ vacant head-coaching job.
Anthony Noreen is the new general manager and head coach of the USHL’s Tri-City Storm. Noreen takes over from Bill Muckalt, the head coach for two seasons, who left to pursue other opportunities. . . . When this season began, Noreen, 43, was in his second season as head coach of the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears. However, he was fired on Nov. 14. . . . Prior to that, the Chicago native spent five seasons with the USHL’s Youngstown Phantoms, one as an assistant coach and four as GM/head coach. . . . Muckalt spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Michigan Tech before joining the Storm.
Jessie Leung has stepped down as head coach of the Valley West Hawks of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League and has joined the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters as an assistant coach. . . . Leung spent six seasons with the Hawks, the last three as head coach. He guided them to a league title in 2015-16. . . . In Trail, Leung will work alongside general manager/head coach Cam Keith.



The OHL-champion Erie Otters broke a 2-2 tie with a pair of early third-period goals en route to a 6-3 victory over the QMJHL-champion Saint John Sea Dogs in the Memorial Cup semifinal on Friday night in Windsor, Ont. . . . The Otters will meet the host Spitfires in the tournament final on Sunday. Game time is 4 p.m. PT (7 p.m. ET). . . .
Last night, F Dylan Strome broke the 2-2 tie with his sixth goal of the tournament at 2:38 of the third period and F Gera Poddubnyi added insurance at 3:45 with his first goal. . . . F Taylor Raddysh (5) upped the lead to 5-2, on a PP, at 12:31. . . . Saint John D Thomas Chabot (2) chopped the deficit to two with his second goal at 16:28. . . . Erie F Warren Foegele (1) iced it with an empty-netter at 19:26. . . . Erie D Darren Raddysh (3) had opened the scoring at 9:56 of the first period, with F Joe Veleno (3) of the Sea Dogs equalizing at 14:10. . . . Erie went ahead 2-1 when Taylor Raddysh scoring, on a PP, at 10:57. . . . Saint John F Julien Gauthier, who also had two assists, tied it, on a PP, at 19:18. . . . F Alex DeBrincat recorded three assists for the Otters and F Anthony Cirelli had two. . . . Erie G Troy Timpano stopped 20 shots. At the other end, Callum Booth turned aside 31. . . . Erie was 2-7 on the PP; Saint John was 1-2. . . . Announced attendance: 5,410. . . .
When they met in the round-robin portion of the tournament, Windsor posted a 4-2 victory despite being outshot, 35-19. . . . The Otters are hoping to become the first U.S.-based team from the OHL to win the Memorial Cup. . . . Sunday’s final will be the first since 2007 to feature two teams from the same league. In 2007, the host Vancouver Giants beat the WHL-champion Medicine Hat Tigers, 3-1, in the final. . . . This will be the third Memorial Cup in a row won by an OHL team. The London Knights won it last year, with the Oshawa Generals having won in 2015. . . . 
Both head coaches — Windsor’s Rocky Thompson and Erie’s Kris Knoblauch — are former WHL players and coaches, who may be coaching their final major junior game on Sunday. Both are expected to move on to the pro ranks after this season. There has been speculation that Thompson will be the next head coach of the Utica Comets, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks. 
Jim Parker of Postmedia has a game story right here.

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