Wednesday, June 30, 2010

AJHL Announces 2010-2011 Schedule

Press Release

June 29th, 2010 – The Alberta Junior Hockey League announced today the 2010 Exhibition Season Schedule and the 2010-2011 Regular Season Schedule. The 2010-2011 AJHL Season will begin with a 46-game Exhibition Schedule on August 25th, 2010. The Regular Season will open on Friday, September 10th, 2010 with 10 teams in action across the province.

The 2010-2011 AJHL Regular Season will consist of 16 teams playing an unbalanced schedule of 60 games apiece, including two regular season games at the Annual AJHL Showcase. The AJHL Regular Season will conclude on Monday, February 21st, 2011 after 480 regular season games.

The Drayton Valley Thunder, Spruce Grove Saints, Sherwood Park Crusaders, and St. Albert Steel will compete in a pre-season tournament from August 27th – 29th. Games will be played in Sherwood Park and Spruce Grove; the finals will be hosted by the St. Albert Steel at Servus Credit Union Place. The Brooks Bandits, Grande Prairie Storm and Fort McMurray Oil Barons will battle in pre-season games against teams from the BCHL, SJHL NAHL, and ACAC.

The AJHL will hold the 4th Annual AJHL Showcase Weekend at the Transalta Tri-Leisure Centre in Spruce Grove, Alberta from September 30th – October 2nd, 2010. The AJHL will not host an All-Star Weekend in 2011 as the League is exploring a new format to revitalize the event. The AJHL Semi-Annual Meeting will be held on January 15th, 2011 in Red Deer, Alberta.

Select AJHL players will have the opportunity to participate in Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) events. The CJHL in conjunction with Hockey Canada will host the 2010 World Junior A Challenge in Penticton, BC from November 8th – 14th, 2010. . The WJAC was created to showcase the talent in Canada’s Junior A leagues.

The date and location for the 2010 CJHL Prospects Game has yet to be determined. The CJHL Prospects Game features players from the CJHL’s five Western leagues competing against the best players from the six Eastern leagues.

The Alberta Junior Hockey League will crown Divisional Champions in the 2011 AJHL Enerflex Cup Playoffs. Each division will playoff to determine a divisional champion at the conclusion of Round Three in the AJHL Playoffs. The North Division Champion and the South Division Champion will then compete in the League Final for the AJHL Enerflex Cup. The battle for the 2011 AJHL Enerflex Cup will begin February 24th, 2011:

Round One

February 24th – March 3rd, 2011

Round Two

March 5th – 16th, 2011

Round Three – League Semi-Finals

March 19th –29th, 2011

Round Four – League Final (Enerflex Cup):

April 1st – 12th, 2011

The 2011 Doyle Cup will be held from April 15th – 24th , 2011 commencing in BC. The 2011 RBC Cup National Junior A Championship is scheduled for April 30th – May 8th, 2011 in the AJHL Community of Camrose, Alberta.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Future Prospects Tournament field announced

Press Release

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced the field for its Future Prospects Tournament, which will be held September 16-19, 2010 at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn.

Twenty teams at the Midget Major (eight teams) and Midget Minor (12) levels will compete at the event, which will be held in conjunction with the eighth annual Sherbrook/NAHL Showcase Tournament and the first event of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) season.

Midget Major (U18)
Carolina Jr. Hurricanes
Amherst Knights
Wisconsin Elite
Alaska All Stars
Minnesota Blades
Orange County Hockey Club
Affton Americans

Midget Minor (U16)
Carolina Jr. Hurricanes
North Jersey Avalanche
Team Wisconsin
Alaska All Stars
Minnesota Blades
O2 Fitness Hockey Club
Alaska Wolves
Orange County Hockey Club
Arctic Lions
Wisconsin Elite

Each club is guaranteed to play four games with playoff rounds culminating in a championship game.

The Future Prospects Tournament utilizes the USA Hockey Officiating Development Program and Pointstreak provides all game scores and statistics.

Teams not accepted into the tournament will have their application fee refunded.

The Sherbrook/NAHL Showcase Tournament has evolved into one of hockey’s most prestigious and well-attended events of the entire season. For scouting purposes, the Showcase is a can't-miss for every NCAA program and NHL team as they get their first look at some of the best and brightest hockey talent North America has to offer.

More information on the Future Prospects Tournament, including tournament-approved hotels and the schedule, will be released in the coming weeks.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

WHL Announces 2010-11 Pre-Season Schedule and Regular Season Home Openers

Press Release

Calgary, AB -- The 2010 WHL Pre-season schedule opens on Wednesday, September 1 with the Moose Jaw Warriors hosting East Division rivals the Swift Current Broncos, while the Prince Albert Raiders host the Saskatoon Blades at the Art Hauser Centre. The pre-season schedule also features three tournaments with the Edmonton Oil Kings and Everett Silvertips hosting tournaments on the September 3 – 5 weekend and the Tri-City Americans hosting their annual tournament over the September 9 – 12 weekend.

The Everett Silvertips Holiday Inn Pre-season Classic runs September 3 – 5 and will feature the Ontario Hockey League’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, the host Everett Silvertips, Portland Winterhawks, Tri-City Americans, Seattle Thunderbirds and Spokane Chiefs. The three-day tournament will be played at the Comcast Arena and marks the first time that the Everett Silvertips have competed against a team outside of the Western Hockey League.

The Edmonton Oil Kings 4th Annual Pre-Season tournament begins Saturday, September 4 and features four WHL Clubs including the host Oil Kings, Medicine Hat Tigers, Prince George Cougars and Swift Current Broncos.

The Tri-City Americans Red Lion Hotels Pre-Season Tournament features all five U.S. Division Clubs; the host Americans, Everett Silvertips, Portland Winterhawks, Seattle Thunderbirds and the Spokane Chiefs. The tournament will also feature WHL Central Division foes the Kootenay Ice and Lethbridge Hurricanes with games starting on September 9.

The Western Hockey League will officially launch its 45th regular season on Friday, September 24 with seven games on the schedule including the 2010 WHL Champion Calgary Hitmen hosting their Central Division rivals the Lethbridge Hurricanes, for a banner raising evening at the Pengrowth Saddledome. The WHL is also pleased to announce each Clubs opening regular season home game, please see below.

You will also find attached an excel copy of the 2010-11 WHL Pre-Season schedule and WHL Clubs opening regular season home games.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Carpenter Commits to Bowling Green

Press Release

Sioux City Musketeers forward Ryan Carpenter has committed to play collegiate hockey at Bowling Green State University following his USHL career.

Carpenter collected 22 points (10g, 12a) while appearing in all but two of the 60 games for the Musketeers this season. It was the first USHL season for the 19-year-old native of Oviedo, Florida. The 6-1 forward scored his first goal in just his fifth game in the League, a 4-3 win over Team USA on October 23rd.

Four other USHL players from the 2009-10 season are also committed to attend Bowling Green State University; Camden Wojtala (Omaha Lancers), Mike Fink (Des Moines Buccaneers), Brett Mohler (Tri-City Storm), and Michael Montrose (Tri-City Storm).

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

CHL Conducts 2010 Import Draft

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the final results of the 2010 CHL Import Draft.

The two rounds included a total of 71 players selected from 15 different countries with 26 players selected by OHL clubs.

The Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League had the second overall pick and selected 16-year-old Russian forward Nail Yakupov who is eligible for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

The Prince George Cougars of the Western Hockey League used the first overall pick to select 18-year-old Slovakian-born defenceman Martin Marincin, a second round pick of the Edmonton Oilers, 46th overall at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Halifax Mooseheads selected 16-year-old Martin Frk of the Czech Republic with the third overall pick.

The draft also featured two players that competed for Team Russia at the 2009 SUBWAY Super Series including Maxim Kitsyn who was selected by the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors and Igor Bobkov who was selected by the London Knights. Kitsyn scored four goals in six games of the series, while Bobkov was named Player of the Game twice in goal.

Each team in the CHL is permitted to carry two European Import players each season. These players are selected annually at the Import Draft, with the order of selection rotating through each of the three leagues in the CHL using an inverse order of their final regular season standings from the 2009-10 season.

CHL Draft Picks by Country:
Russia – 17
Czech Republic – 12
Slovakia – 11
Sweden – 6
Germany – 5
Switzerland – 5
Finland – 3
Latvia – 3
Belarus – 2
Denmark – 2
Austria - 1
England – 1
Hungary – 1
Norway – 1
Slovenia – 1

CHL Draft Picks by Position:
Forward – 46
Defence – 19
Goaltender – 6

CHL Draft Picks by NHL Status:
2010 Drafted – 7
2011 Eligible – 61
2012 Eligible - 3

Last season, Stanislav Galiev was selected first overall in the 2009 CHL Import Draft by the Saint John Sea Dogs before being chosen with the 86th pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals. The Portland Winterhawks used the second overall pick to select Nino Niederreiter, the first European-born player selected in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and the highest Swiss-born player ever to be drafted when he was chosen fifth overall by the New York Islanders. Alexander Burmistrov of the Barrie Colts was selected by the Atlanta Thrashers eighth overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft after being selected 12th overall in the 2009 CHL Import Draft.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Three Winterhawks Players Invited to NHL Training Camps

Press Release

On the heels of a team record-tying eight players being selected in the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft, three more Winterhawks players have drawn interest from NHL teams and earned invitations to training camps.

Oliver Gabriel will attend the Columbus Blue Jackets' training camp, Tayler Jordan will go to training camp with the Vancouver Canucks, and Taylor Peters has been invited to the Pittsburgh Penguins' training camp.

With three more players set to attend NHL training camps, the Winterhawks will have 13 players affiliated with NHL teams this fall: the eight players who were taken over the weekend, 2009 NHL Draft picks Spencer Bennett (Calgary) and Brett Ponich (St. Louis), and now Gabriel, Jordan and Peters.

"Although Tayler, Oliver, and Taylor weren't drafted, immediately following the draft they received a lot of attention as free agents. After several calls from NHL teams they along with their agents decided which opportunity would be best. I'm confident they will each make a great impression at their training camp," said Portland Winterhawks General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston. "I know all three players will make the most of their opportunities and gain valuable experience."

Gabriel set career-highs last season despite missing two months with a ruptured spleen. He finished with 10 goals and 14 assists for 24 points in 41 games, and added six points in 13 postseason games.

Jordan, who attended a prospects camp with the Columbus Blue Jackets last summer, finished third on the Winterhawks with 131 penalty minutes last season, and added two goals and four assists for six points.

Peters split last season between the Winterhawks and the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League. While with the Winterhawks he posted four goals and three assists for seven points.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Raiders Acquire Import Centre Svendsen from Edmonton

Press Release

Prince Albert, SK – The Prince Albert Raiders have acquired 19 year-old import centre Sebastian Svendsen from the Edmonton Oil Kings along with Edmonton’s 3rd round pick in the 2011 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft in exchange for 20 year-old centre Jordan Hickmott.

Svendsen, from Hvidovre, Denmark, was the Vancouver Giants second round selection, 71st overall, in the 2009 CHL Import draft. He appeared in 64 games for the Giants and Edmonton last season with 12 goals, 8 assists and 46 minutes in penalties. Svendsen has played for Denmark in both the World Under 18 and World Junior Championships (Division 1) the past two seasons.

Prior to coming to North America as a 17 year-old, Svensen played in the top professional league in Sweden (Superelit) with Vastra Frolunda with 6 goals and 6 assists in 37 games.

Hickmott was acquired by the Raiders from the Medicine Hat Tigers prior to the 2008 CHL Import Draft on June 26, 2008. In two seasons with the Raiders, Hickmott appeared in all 144 regular season contests with 31 goals, 40 assists and 72 minutes in penalties.

“We would like to thank Jordan for his 2 years of service to the Raider organization and wish him well,” said General Manager and Head Coach Bruno Campese. “We are excited to acquire Sebastian from Edmonton. He has proven with the opportunity to play he can put up some numbers in the Western Hockey League.”

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Four 2010 Draft Picks Commit to London Knights

Press Release

LONDON, ONTARIO: London Knights General Manager Mark Hunter today announced that the team has signed Center Chris Tierney, Center Ryan Rupert, Left Winger Matt Rupert, and Center Brett Welychka.

Tierney, 16, was selected by the London Knights in the 1st Round ( 19th Overall ) in the 2010 OHL Draft. Tierney stands 6.00 and weighs 165 lbs. Tierney had 35 goals and 55 assists for 90 points in 57 games with the York Simcoe Exprss Minor Midgets. Tierney is the son of Jim and Liz Tierney of Keswick, Ontario.

Ryan Rupert, 16, was selected by the London Knights in the 3rd Round in the 2010 OHL Draft. He stands 5.08 and weighs 165 lbs and scored 36 goals and 48 assists for 84 points in 56 games with the Elgin Middlesex Chiefs Minor Midgets.

Ryan's twin brother Matt Rupert, 16, was selected by the London Knights in the 4th Round in the 2010 OHL Draft. He stands 5.08 and weighs 160 lbs and scored 35 goals and 37 assists for 72 points in 49 games with the Elgin Middlesex Chiefs Minor Midgets. Ryan and Matt are the sons of Ron and Karen Rupert of Grand Bend, Ontario.

Welychka, 16, was selected by the London Knights in the 5th Round in the 2010 OHL Draft. Brett stands 5.10 and weighs 184 lbs. Welychka had 33 goals and 55 assists for 88 points in 77 games with the London Jr. Knights Minor Midgets. Brett is the son of Ed Welychka and Jan Robinson-Welychka of London, Ontario.

All four players competed in the 2010 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament and will each join the London Knights for Training Camp in August 2010.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Monday, June 28, 2010

2010 CHL Import Draft held Tuesday

Press Release

TORONTO, Monday, June 28, 2010 – The Canadian Hockey League Import Draft begins at 9 am (ET) Tuesday. Each CHL club can select two European players.

The Prince George Cougars (WHL) own the first overall pick. The Halifax Mooseheads will select third.

Last season, the Saint John Sea Dogs selected Russian forward Stanislav Galiev first overall. Galiev registered fifteen goals and forty-five assists in sixty-seven games in 2009-10, helping the Sea Dogs capture their first Jean-Rougeau Trophy as regular season champions. He was selected in the third round (86th overall) by the Washington Capitals in last weekend’s NHL Entry Draft.

Fans can follow the 2010 CHL Import Draft live by visiting the CHL website or by clicking on the link below.

2010 CHL Import Draft

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Frontenacs Trade for Goaltender

Press Release

The Kingston Frontenacs announce today that they have acquired import goaltender Philip Grubauer from the Windsor Spitfires in a multiplayer deal. Grubauer backstopped the Windsor Spitfires to their second OHL title and their second consecutive Memorial Cup championship this past May in Brandon, MB.

"We feel we have a very competitive hockey club this year and when the opportunity to add a goaltender of his caliber to our roster, we took the necessary steps to do so," said Larry Mavety, Director of Hockey Operations and General Manager. "With both a League and a Memorial Cup title under his belt, we believe that he will bring that winning attitude to our Club'" he added.

Grubauer was selected this past Saturday at the NHL Entry in Los Angeles by the Washington Capitals in the fourth round 112th overall. Last season in a split between Belleville and Windsor, he had a 23-15-2-5 record with an amazing 13-1-1-1 record after the trade. In the play-offs Grubauer went 16-1-1 with 2 shutouts. The native of Rosenheim Germany also represented Germany at the World U20's this past year.

Along with Grubauer, the Frontenac's receive the Spitfires first round European Selection this year (56th overall), in exchange for Kingston 2nd round pick in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection, Kingston first round European Selection this year (26th), the rights to Nick Czinder and the rights to A.J. Jarosz Grubauer will report to the Club at training camp.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ducks Name Foligno Asst. Coach

Press Release

The Ducks announced on Thursday that they have named Mike Foligno assistant coach.

Foligno, 51 (1/29/59), spent last season as head coach and general manager of the Sudbury Wolves in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Foligno led Sudbury to a 26-35-7 record in 2009-10 and the club’s sixth appearance in the OHL Playoffs since 2003-04. Foligno coached seven seasons with the Wolves, compiling a 189-229-58 record in 476 career games along with a 29-31 mark in the playoffs. Sudbury qualified for the postseason in six of seven seasons under Foligno, including an Eastern Conference championship in 2006-07.

A native of Sudbury, Ontario, Foligno has served two seasons as an NHL assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs (1995-96) and Colorado Avalanche (1997-98). He began his professional coaching career with the St. John’s Maple Leafs of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 1995-96 prior to his time in Toronto and Colorado. In 1998-99, Foligno was named the head coach of Colorado’s AHL affiliate in Hershey, where he led the Bears to a 186-154-60 record in five seasons (1998-03) and five straight appearances in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Originally selected by Detroit in the first round (third overall) of the 1979 NHL Entry Draft, Foligno played 15 NHL seasons with Detroit (1979-81), Buffalo (1981-90), Toronto (1990-93) and Florida (1993-94). In 1,018 career NHL games, Foligno collected 355-372=727 points with 2,049 penalty minutes (PIM). He also added 15-17=32 points with 185 PIM in 57 career playoff games, including an appearance in the 1993 Western Conference Finals against Vancouver. His best NHL season came with Buffalo in 1985-86 when he scored a career-high 41-39=80 points in 79 games.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

12 & Under Nationals decision

Press Release

To coincide with the principles of the American Development Model, which focuses on age-appropriate training based on long-term athlete development, USA Hockey’s Board of Directors voted to discontinue the 12 & Under National Championships at the Tier I and II levels starting with the 2012-13 season.

* USA Hockey promotes a broad base of development – the goal is to support a world-leading, age-specific, long-term athlete development model.
* The current system encourages players and parents to seek out super teams at 11 years old in order to win a national championship – this short-term model causes peaking too early and burnout.
* USA Hockey increased the number of teams from 12 to 48 in the older youth and girls’ national championship categories to provide additional opportunities for players when the event is developmentally appropriate.

“USA Hockey is committed to providing our member players with the very best age-appropriate, competitive developmental situations. While the 12 & Under National Championships have been successful, the process and structure that leads up to the tournaments actually contradicts what is important for the competitive development of our nation’s most promising young players.”
–Ken Martel, Director, American Development Model

“As we continue to learn more and more about the development of our athletes, we find it to be beneficial for kids to wait until they are further matured before delving into a national competition. I’ve spent a lot of time at rinks, talking with and listening to athletes and various coaches and trying to understand all sides of this issue. After all of that, I came to the decision that for our athletes’ development, this is the right thing.”
–Dave Klasnick, USA Hockey Vice President/Youth Council Chairperson

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

MJHL schedule finalized

Press Release

Hey MJHL September 17 on your calendar.

That's when our regular season kicks off. Defending MJHL champion Dauphin Kings begin defence of their title at home against Winnipeg Saints. This will be a rematch of last year's Turnbull Trophy final.

“I know all 11 MJHL teams will be striving for the same goal -- to enjoy a successful season,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said.

“A new season brings a new sense of optimism for all teams, players and fans. It's a very exciting time for all our fans and management teams.”

To see the complete MJHL schedule click here.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bobcats recognized with award from local media

Press Release

A second consecutive division title, a team-record 12 Division I commitments and, of course, a national championship were the hallmarks of the 2009-10 Bismarck Bobcats season - a season that has earned them the title of 2010 Non-School Team of the Year as awarded by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

“There are a lot of great organizations across the state, so it’s certainly wonderful to be named Team of the Year by the NDAPSSA,” said Bobcats owner Thom Brigl. “There couldn’t be a more fitting name than ‘Team of the Year,’ either, because it took a team of players, coaches, staff, volunteers, sponsors and fans to create a championship season that put us in a position to be honored like this.”

The award marks the first time the NDAPSSA has bestowed the honor of Team of the Year on the Bobcats.

The year, of course, didn’t start out so promisingly for the ‘Cats, as they struggled to an 0-5-2 start to the 2009-10 campaign before finally collecting their first win, 6-4, over the Alaska Avalanche, on Oct. 4. Following the first win, the Bobcats rattled off a 38-6-6 mark to finish the season with their second straight Central Division title and a top playoff seed.

In the postseason, the ‘Cats continued their winning ways, sweeping both the Albert Lea Thunder and Alexandria Blizzard, 3-0, to return to the Robertson Cup Championship Tournament. There, the Bobcats made the title game with a 2-2 round-robin record and shut out the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, 3-0, in the final to claim their first-ever Robertson Cup as champions of the NAHL and USA Hockey’s Tier II Junior A national champions.

The Bobcats did just as well off the ice, doubling the team record for Division I scholarships with 12 players committed to D-I programs: Jason Fabian (Air Force), Casey Kleisinger (Air Force), Aaron Quick (Air Force), Ryan Jacobson (Air Force), Dominic Panetta (Ferris State), Gavin Hartzog (Wisconsin), Tom McCarthy (Merrimack), Ryan Faragher (Dartmouth), Sam Rendle (Bemidji State), Ben Danford (Canisius), Tony Turgeon (alumnus, Nebraska-Omaha) and Blake Hietala (alumnus, Michigan Tech). The previous team high for D-I commits was six, set in 2008-09.

In addition to their college commitments, the Bobcats also excelled in the arena of community service, continuing its “Healthy Habits” program in local schools as well as teaming up over the course of the season with the American Cancer Society, St. Baldrick’s, St. Patrick’s Church of Mandan, local youth hockey organizations and dozens of other local and national organizations to give back to the community that has so greatly supported the Bobcats over the years.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

2010 NHL 1st Round

Press Release

1 11 11 DAL JACK CAMPBELL G US 6' 3" 175 USHL USA U-18
1 15 15 LAK DEREK FORBORT D US 6' 5" 198 USHL USA U-18
1 22 22 MTL JARRED TINORDI D US 6' 6" 205 USHL USA U-18

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Friday, June 25, 2010

Geoffrion Heads to Alabama-Huntsville

Press Release

The Metal Jackets are happy to announce that Brice Geoffrion has committed to the University of Alabama-Huntsville for the 2010-11 season.

Playing forward for the Jackets, Geoffrion was a key component to the team's successful run to the playoffs and played an important role at both ends of the ice.

The Brentwood, Tennessee native is one of three Metal Jackets who have committed to a Division I program for the 2010-11 season. We wish Brice all the best as he continues his hockey journey!

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

MJHL's two-ref system hailed

Press Release

The MJHL is adding more consistency to the league by following in the footsteps of other leagues and adopting the four man officiating system.

Director of Officiating, Jody Wielgosh says that the MJHL recognized that this system has been very effective in leagues such as the NHL and more recently, the SJHL.

“It was necessary because the game has changed so much in the past five years,” Wielgosh explains.

“The reality is that there are things being done behind the play that aren’t being this system will eliminate infractions behind the play.”

With more eyes on the ice, it may be easy to assume that an increase in penalties may accompany this new rule change; something that Wielgosh says is not the case.

“Maybe at the start there will be more [as players get used to the changes], but they will quickly learn that they can’t do some things that they’d normally get away with.”

Laury Ryan, President of the SJHL, who implemented the two-ref rule this past season, agrees that players will be quick to catch on.

“The game becomes more disciplined and we catch more stuff that was not caught before” says Ryan.

“The reality is that we have really smart players who learn what they can and can’t do. They’ve adjusted quickly, so there’s been a decrease in fouls.”

While there is not much teams can do to prepare for this rule change, Wielgosh notes that they “should be aware that there’s an extra set of eyes.”

“There will always be people who try and push the envelope,” he says.

“But with the unnecessary behind the play stuff being out now, the biggest changes in the game will be that skilled players can show their abilities on a regular basis.”

“Players are the quickest to adapt,” agrees Ryan.

“They catch on the quickest and make it work the best. We found that the people who had the toughest time changing were the adults...the players will catch on.”

The MJHL will be using this new four man officiating system in only 100 of the 330 league games in the 2010-2011 season, but deciding which games will be affected has been a fairly straight-forward task.

“What we’ve committed to do is that every arena will see it twice,” says Wielgosh.

“Some teams may see it more than others, but it will mainly depend on the availability of the officials.”

As MJHL officials often move between different leagues (CIS, Moose, MMJHL), Wielgosh stresses the importance of not putting a strain on the officials.

He explains that, “really busy times like Friday and Saturday nights are likely not going to be seeing this new’ll mainly be used in games during the week.”

“We have to be careful not to schedule on nights that will leave the other leagues short.”

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Fourth Overall Pick Jarrod Maidens Commits to Attack

Press Release

The Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League is please to announce that they have signed Jarrod “Iron” Maidens, their 1st round selection (4th overall) in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection to a standard Ontario Hockey League Player Agreement.

Maidens, a 6'01, 170lb forward played his Minor Midget Season with the Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs amassing 63 goals, 41 assists for 104 points in only 57 games played. Maidens also competed in the 2010 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament.

The 2010 Owen Sound Attack Ray McKelvie Award Winner is described as a "skilled forward that has all the physical tools to be a dominant player at the next level.” Owen Sound Attack General Manager Dale DeGray says the Ridgeway, ON. native is a pure goal scorer. “When you think pro caliber shot and skating, you think Jarrod Maidens. This kid has all of the tools to be a premier offensive talent in this league and fans in Owen Sound should be very excited about watching this player.”

The Attack welcomes Jarrod and his family to the organization and looks forward to an exciting and successful 2010-2011 season.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Luke Mahura Signs with Prince Albert Raiders

Press Release

Prince Albert, SK – The Prince Albert Raiders are pleased to announce they have signed right winger Luke Mahura to a standard Western Hockey League education contract.

The Raiders selected Mahura in the second round, 28th overall in the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft in Edmonton in April.

Mahura, from St. Albert, Alberta, played this past season with the Gregg Distributors Sabres in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League.

Mahura, 5’9”, 160 pounds finished 7th overall in the Alberta Major Bantam League in scoring with 39 goals and 29 assists for 68 points in 33 games for the Sabres to go along with 56 minutes in penalties.

“We are extremely pleased to have Luke under contract,” said Bruno Campese, Raider Head Coach and General Manager. He is a skilled forward that will compliment
the last two draft seasons extremely well.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Cougars Sign 2010 Bantam Draft Picks Tkatch and Fontaine

Press Release

Prince George, BC – The Prince George Cougars are proud to announce the signings of 2010 WHL Bantam Draft selections Jordan Tkatch and Jarrett Fontaine to standard WHL education contracts. Tkatch and Fontaine, first cousins and both forwards from the Humboldt Bantam Broncos in 2009-10, were the Cougars second and fourth picks in the Bantam draft, respectively.

Tkatch was chosen by the Cougars in the second round, 31st overall, in the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft. Tkatch, a 5’10”, 170 pound product of Prud’Homme, Saskatchewan, collected 57 goals and 100 points for the Broncos in 24 games this past season. Tkatch is expected to play for the Prince Albert Mintos of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League in the 2010-11 season.

“To sign with the Cougars is huge for me,” said Tkatch. “I’m really happy with the result and to be able to sign with the Cougars.”

The Cougars selected Fontaine in the third round, 52nd overall, in the 2010 Bantam Draft. The native of Humboldt, Saskatchewan amassed 61 goals and 102 points in 24 games for the Broncos in 2009-10. The 5’5”, 140 pound centre is expected to play for the SMAAAHL’s Tisdale Trojans in the fall. Fontaine and Tkatch finished first and second, respectively, in Centre Four Bantam League scoring last season.

“It’s great that the Cougars have shown so much interest in me,” said Fontaine. “It feels like they expect me to be a good player for the team in a few years and hopefully that will work out.”

“It’s very exciting to add these two gentlemen to our hockey club,” added Cougars Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Personnel Wade Klippenstein. “We have a mandate to add speed and skill and these two guys are among the most skilled players in the province of Saskatchewan. When you combine them with our first pick in the draft, Alex Forsberg, we think we have three of the best forwards in Saskatchewan among the 1995 birth year.”

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Thursday, June 24, 2010

OHL Announces 2010-11 Exhibition Game Schedule

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the exhibition game schedule for the 2010-11 season.

The schedule includes 49 games beginning on Friday September 3, 2010, and wrapping up on Sunday September 19, 2010.

Highlights of the 2010-11 exhibition game schedule include the Kitchener Rangers and Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors hosting the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. The Huskies visit the Rangers when the schedule opens on September 3rd, with the Majors hosting the Huskies on September 5th in Oakville, ON, which is one of eight exhibition games being played at alternate venues. The Majors will also host the Peterborough Petes on September 10th in Milton, ON, and the Owen Sound Attack September 12th in Streetsville, ON. The Plymouth Whalers have two off-site games including a September 4th matchup against the Windsor Spitfires in Chelsea, Michigan, and on September 11th against the London Knights in St. Thomas, ON. The Oshawa Generals host the Belleville Bulls on September 12th in Port Perry, ON, with the Generals visiting the Brampton Battalion on September 15th in a game to be played in Pickering, ON. The Saginaw Spirit will also host the Sarnia Sting September 18th at the Saginaw Bay Arena.

The 680-game OHL regular season opens with two games on Thursday September 23, 2010.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Spirit Sign First Round Selection Justin Kea

Press Release

(Saginaw, MI) The Saginaw Spirit are pleased to announce the signing of forward Justin Kea, the 13th overall pick in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection. Kea is the first player from Saginaw’s 2010 draft class signed by the team.

Kea native tallied 22 goals and 22 assists in 51 games with the minor midget Central Ontario Wolves this past season. The 6’4”, 194lb center hails from Woodville, Ontario, and will be wearing the number 9 for the Spirit.

“Justin (Kea) is a big, strong, skilled forward that can skate,” said Spirit Director of Scouting Jim Paliafito, “He reminds me of a Joe Thornton type.”

According to OHL Central Scouting, Kea is a forward that has all the tools to develop into a very good player at the next level. He has legitimate size, a very good touch and hands for a bigger man and he has better than average feet. When he is really moving his feet he displays a long, powerful stride that can generate some real speed and quickness. Kea has the potential to really fill out as he matures. He prefers to play more of a finesse game, jumping into holes, always looking for the open ice and circling away from the puck.

The Spirit will be introducing Kea and the other new Spirit players at a special ceremony to be held in the immediate future – stay tuned to for more information!

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Merritt adds Ass't Coach in former BCHL All-Star Chad DeLeeuw

Press Release

The British Columbia Hockey League's Merritt Centennials are pleased to announce the hiring of Chad DeLeeuw as an Assistant Coach for the 2010/11 season.

“We’re very happy Chad has agreed to join us here in Merritt,” said Head Coach/GM Luke Pierce. “I am confident that his knowledge and experience as a dominant defenceman in this league will transfer into his coaching ability. Chad brings added enthusiasm to the staff and he relates very well to players. His tremendous leadership abilities are sure to be an asset to our entire organization.”

DeLeeuw played five seasons in the BCHL from 1995 to 2000. Following the 1995/96 season he was named Nanaimo Clippers' Most Improved Player and he was later the runner-up for the Interior Conference Defenceman of the Year award in the 1999/2000 season with Penticton.

He has coaching experience at the minor hockey league level in addition to serving as an assistant with Summerland of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.

“I'm extremely excited about joining the Centennials organization,” said DeLeeuw. “I'm looking forward to working with Luke, the Board of Directors and all the volunteers that put countless hours into the team. I want to help these young hockey players become strong, confident men who succeed on and off the ice.”

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Alberni Valley introduces Hasselberg as Ass't Coach and Ass't GM

Press Release

The British Columbia Hockey League's Alberni Valley Bulldogs would like to announce the hiring of Kevin Hasselberg as the club's new Assistant General Manager and Assistant Coach.

Hasselberg, 34, joins GM/Head Coach Paul Esdale on the Bulldogs staff. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Bulldogs organization with 10 years of Junior A experience with the Olds Grizzlys of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

The Didsbury, Alberta native has spent the last five seasons as the Head Coach in Olds and the previous five seasons as the Assistant Coach.

"Kevin has had some great experiences with coaching and is a proven winner. His loyalty and commitment are refreshing and made it a natural fit for us," comments GM/Head Coach Paul Esdale. "We are very excited to have Kevin join our staff and know that he will be an asset to our organization," adds Esdale.

Hasselberg, also has been selected to be the Assistant Coach at World Junior A Challenge on the Team Canada West coaching staff.

"It’s an honor to be given the opportunity to work within an organization that values athletic and academic development, community pride and team spirit," states Hasselberg.

"The Bulldogs organization is gaining momentum and through the joint efforts of all involved we will look to build on last season’s success. My wife and I are excited to raise our children in Port Alberni and we are all proud to call Port Alberni home," he adds.

Hasselberg will come to Port Alberni with his wife Leah, daughter Shauni, and son Dyllan.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wenatchee's McKellar decides on Canisius

Press Release

The Wenatchee Wild has announced that forward Duncan McKellar has committed to Canisius College (Atlantic Hockey) for the coming fall.

He's the 17th player who competed in January's NAHL Top Prospects Tournament to commit to a Division I school after the event.

“It's great to see Duncan get the opportunity to play Division I hockey next season,” said Wild associate head coach Ryan McKelvie. “Canisius is getting a highly-skilled forward who has tremendous upside.”

This past season, McKellar, a 20-year-old from Phoenix, totaled 14 goals for 32 points in 49 games for the regular-season champion Wild. He was also a plus-19.

“More importantly, Canisius is getting a quality individual who will add character to their team,” said McKelvie. “Duncan's got all the ability to be a big-time college hockey player. I'm excited to see how he does.”

McKellar is the 13th current or former Wild player to hold a commitment to a Division I program for 2010-11 or 2011-12 season.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Vees ink Coach/GM Fred Harbinson to contract extension

Press Release

The British Columbia Hockey League's Penticton Vees are excited to announce a four-year contract extension of Head Coach and General Manager Fred Harbinson. The new deal effective this upcoming season will see Harbinson remain with the the Vees through the 2013/14 season.

Coach Harbinson has built a rich history of success over his three years as the coach of the program. Last season the Vees set a franchise record by earning 100 points in the regular season posting a record of (48-8-0-4), while also leading the league in NCAA commitments and NHL draft prospects.

Previously, in his first season with the club, Harbinson guided Penticton to the '07/'08 BCHL Championship for the first Penticton Championship in 22 years. The Calgary native has also been named to the All-Star Game as a coach in two of his three seasons in the BCHL.

Vees Managing Partner Ron Vincent is thrilled to have Fred locked up long-term: "The Penticton Vees are very happy to secure Coach Harbinson's leadership for the next four years. We are building the finest Junior hockey program in North America and to do so we have to start with a strong base; that base is our Head Coach and his staff. We like the direction that the program has taken and are confident that Fred will deliver the National Championship to the Penticton Community"

In his tenure as Head Coach and GM in Penticton, Harbinson has used his extensive network of hockey people to secure more college scholarships than any other program in Canada, while cementing Penticton as a top destination for junior hockey of any level for players from all over the continent.

Vincent adds: "The partnership between the Vees and the community is a great tradition, one that is the envy of many hockey franchises. The community has provided us with a tremendous facility, and our ownership is committed to delivering a championship caliber team. The word throughout North America is that the Penticton Vees are a storied team and players are flocking to be a part of something great, for this we thank Fred and his staff."

Coach Harbinson is excited to be a with the Vees organization for the next four years: "I want to thank Vees Ownership, especially Managing Partner Ron Vincent for the confidence in me to continue as Head Coach and General Manager of this great club for the next four years. I have a passion for this job, and am focused on the continued success of the Vees organization both on and off the ice. The development of the young men that pass through our program as better players as well as better people remains a top priority."

"Over the past three years my family and I have enjoyed becoming a part of such a great community, it is my goal to bring another Championship to the great hockey fans of Penticton."

The Vees have an regular season record of (125-40-2-13) over Fred's tenure as Head Coach, and the organization is looking forward to many more wins over the next four years with Fred Harbinson as Head Coach and General Manager.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Mustangs unveil logo

Press Release

The New Mexico Mustangs, who will begin play in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) this fall, have announced the unveiling of their logo.

Local artists at the firm DW Turner in Albuquerque designed the logo.

“We’re excited with the arrival of our logo,” said Mustangs president Ken Dennis. “We’re pleased to have the creative talent of New Mexico as part of the team.”

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Four Draft Picks Commit to Belleville Bulls

Press Release

The Belleville Bulls are pleased to announce the signing of four picks from the 2010 OHL Priority Selection. Forwards Brendan Gaunce and Dylan Corson along with defencemen Adam Bignell and Darryl Snelling have all signed Ontario Hockey League contracts with the Bulls.

“We are thrilled that Brendan, Adam, Darryl, Dylan and their families have made the decision to become part of the Bulls future” commented General Manager and Head Coach George Burnett. “All four players are working diligently in preparation for training camp in August and will be valuable additions to our organization. I expect this group to add to the strong core of young players already on our roster and make significant contributions in the near future.”

Gaunce was selected second overall by the Bulls after recording 55 goals and 93 assists in 86 games played last season with the Markham Waxers Minor Midget. He was also named to the Toronto Star High School Hockey All-Star First Team after scoring four goals and 21 points in 17 games for Markham
District High School. Gaunce also competed at the 2010 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament.

Snelling spent last season with the Mississauga Reps Minor Midget where he scored twice while adding 13 assists in 64 games played. He was taken by Belleville in the third round of the OHL Priority Selection. Snelling and the Reps also competed at the 2010 OHL Cup.

Bignell was Belleville’s fifth round selection following his season with the Culver Military Academy U16’s. In 38 games played with the Culver U16’s, Bignell recorded four goals and 16 points.

Corson was selected by the Bulls in the sixth round after playing last season with the Toronto Marlboros Minor Midget. Corson recorded 13 goals and 60 points in 78 games played with the Marlboros. Corson and the Marlboros finished second place in the 2010 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Petaccio and Payne Commit to Oshawa Generals

Press Release

Oshawa Generals Head Coach & General Manager Chris DePiero announced today that the team has signed 2010 OHL Priority Selection 2nd round pick Mark Petaccio and 3rd round pick Cody Payne to standard OHL agreements with the Generals.

Petaccio, a 16 year old Forward was selected in the 2nd round, 24th overall in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection this past May. He spent last season with the Team Comcast National Team where he scored 23 Goals and 37 Points while adding 139 Penalty Minutes in 33 games. Petaccio also competed in the 2010 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament with the TPH Thunder where he led the club to the semi-finals after scoring the game-winning goal in the fourth overtime period of the quarter-finals against the London Jr. Knights.

“Mark is a big bodied player who works tremendously hard along the boards,” said DePiero. “He has incredible determination to score goals and we feel he has a very bright future here with the Generals.”

Payne, was selected in the 3rd round, 58th overall in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection and was Captain of the Mississauga Reps Minor Midget Team this past season. The 16 year old Centre, scored 39 goals and 65 points in 64 games last season. Payne and the Reps also competed in the 2010 OHL Cup.

“Cody is a very good all-around player. He is another big body presence who can play all three forward positions,” said DePiero. “Cody also had the option to play for the U.S Under 17 Team and the fact that he chose the Generals as the best decision for his hockey development and education, we are thrilled to have him.”

The Generals have now signed three of their top four picks from the 2010 OHL Priority Selection after signing 1st round pick Scott Laughton last week.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Blades Sign 2nd Round Bantam Pick Ayrton Nikkel

Press Release

Saskatoon, SK -- Saskatoon Blades’ Alternate Governor, General Manager and Head Coach Lorne Molleken is very happy to announce the signing of one of the hockey club’s top, young prospects in defenceman Ayrton Nikkel to a Western Hockey League Education Contract.

A Kelowna product, Nikkel was the Blades’ 2nd round selection, 42nd overall, in the 2010 W.H.L. Bantam Draft.

“It meant a lot to our family to get this done,” explained Ayrton’s father, Brad Nikkel. “It was always about the two routes that everyone thinks about in college or W.H.L. We did a lot of homework on it and, really, the Education Contract the W.H.L. and the Blades provided was very good.

“Let’s face it, with Ayrton, he always wanted to play in the W.H.L….always has and has always liked the Blades. So, it was great to get that contract signed and the education part of it signed so we can back him in the direction he wants to take.”

“We’re extremely pleased to have Ayrton join the Blades’ organization,” said Molleken. “During our orientation weekend was my first opportunity to see him and I was impressed with the way he got involved in different situations on the ice. Anytime that you can get these guys under that contract, it’s a real bonus…not only for our own team but for the league.”

Nikkel is a 6’0”, 163 lb. left-handed shooting defenceman who played “AAA” Bantam this past season with the Kelowna Rockets. In 25 games, the 14-year-old (he’ll turn 15 on August 30) scored 6 goals and 10 assists for 16 points with 64 penalty minutes.

The signing of Ayrton Nikkel means the Blades have received commitments from their first two 2010 Bantam draft choices…Nikkel and first rounder Tim McGauley…plus from 2009 fourth round selection Adam Todd. McGauley is a centre, Todd a goaltender.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Phillips Commits to UMass

Press Release

Indiana Ice defenseman Adam Phillips has committed to the University of Massachusetts and will attend the school beginning this fall.

One of the tallest players in the League, the 6-6 blueliner collected 12 points (1g, 11a) in 47 games during his first USHL season in 2009-10. Phillips recorded his first point, an assist on the game-winning goal, in just his third USHL game, a 7-0 victory vs. Waterloo on October 31st. He followed that up with a two-assist performance in his next game, a 4-2 win over Sioux City. The 19-year-old from Farmington Hills, Michigan also appeared in nine playoff games for the Ice.

Five other USHL players from the 2009-10 season are also committed to UMass; Troy Power (Omaha Lancers), Jeff Teglia (Omaha Lancers), John Parker (Indiana Ice), Sioux Falls Stampede Conor Allen (Sioux Falls Stampede), and Chris DelMauro (Lincoln Stars).

The UMass Minutemen are members of Hockey East and had 11 former USHL players on the roster this past season; Justin Braun (Green Bay Gamblers), Rocco Carzo (Des Moines Buccaneers), Danny Hobbs (Ohio Jr. Blue Jackets), Brian Keane (Chicago Steel), James Marcou (Waterloo Black Hawks), Michael Marcou (Waterloo Black Hawks), Eddie Olczyk (Waterloo Black Hawks), Darren Rowe (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), T.J. Snyder (Indiana Ice), Brett Watson (Tri-City Storm), and Casey Wellman (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders).

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Monday, June 21, 2010


Press Release

CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced on Monday the four goaltenders who will attend Canada’s National Junior Team development camp in St. John’s, N.L., as well as the four goaltenders invited to Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team selection camp, July 30-August 3 in Calgary.

The goaltenders named Monday are:

Jean-François Bérubé | Boisbriand, Que. | Montreal (QMJHL)
Calvin Pickard | Winnipeg, Man. | Seattle (WHL)
Olivier Roy | Causapscal, Que. | Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)
Mark Visentin | Waterdown, Ont. | Niagara (OHL)

Robin Gusse | Terrebonne, Que. | Chicoutimi (QMJHL)
Liam Liston | St. Albert, Alta. | St. Albert (AMHL)
Jeffrey Noonan | Laval, Que. | Laval-Montreal (LHMAAAQ)
Tyson Teichmann | Belleville, Ont. | Belleville (OHL)

The goaltenders were invited to their respective camps following last weekend’s Program of Excellence goaltending camp in Calgary. Fifteen goaltenders – 10 eligible for the National Junior Team and five eligible for the National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team – attended the four-day camp.

The selection of the goaltenders completes the rosters for the National Junior Team development camp and National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team selection camp.

Full details for both camps, including schedules, Red-White rosters and dates for the National Junior Team development camp, will be announced in the coming weeks.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Comley Expands Role With USHL Player Development

Press Release

The United States Hockey League today announced that Rick Comley, Jr. has joined USHL Player Development in a full-time capacity in the role of Director of Scouting. He was USHL Player Development Coordinator during the 2009-10 season, while also continuing to serve as assistant coach for the Sioux City Musketeers.

"Rick is a true professional in every sense of the word," said USHL Commissioner Skip Prince. "It's been my pleasure to get to know him as we reorganized our player development and scouting efforts under the USHL Player Development umbrella this past year. We're lucky to have someone with his combination of talent and hard work – and scouting at this level takes both. Our thanks as well to the Sioux City Musketeers organization for their graciousness and assistance, both last year and during Rick's transition to this crucial new role for the USHL."

Comley was instrumental in launching last season's USHL Player Development initiative to help identify and evaluate prospects of the USHL. As the League's top scout, he attended tournaments and events to evaluate young talent throughout the U.S., while also educating both players and parents about the opportunities available in the USHL. Comley also helped conduct the USHL Prospect Combines this spring, a first of its kind player showcase of on-ice competition and off-ice testing for the League's future stars.

Comley also served as Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator for the Musketeers in each of the past two seasons (2008-09 and 2009-10). His USHL experience began in 2004-05 as a scout for the Waterloo Black Hawks. Comley scouted for the Des Moines Buccaneers the following season (2005-06), when the Bucs won the Clark Cup title. He then moved behind the bench in Des Moines to become an assistant coach for two seasons (2006-07 and 2007-08).

"Rick has been a tremendous asset to the Musketeers' organization both as a person and professional," said Luke Strand, Sioux City Musketeers Head Coach and General Manager "Rick's passion and abilities for scouting and recruiting has afforded him this position with the USHL. We are very blessed to have had Rick on board with us and we wish him nothing but the best for his bright future."

Comley is a graduate of Michigan State University where he holds a bachelor's degree in history and earned a master's degree in sports administration. The native of Marquette, Michigan is a part of strong hockey bloodlines, as he is the son of Michigan State University men's hockey coach Rick Comley, Sr.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Danton Cole named NTDP head coach

Press Release

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Danton Cole, who most recently served as the head coach at the University of Alabama Huntsville, was today named a head coach at USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program. As one of two head coaches at the NTDP, Cole will guide the U.S. National Under-17 Team during the upcoming 2010-11 season.

“We’re excited to bring someone with Danton’s qualifications to our National Team Development Program,” said Jim Johannson, USA Hockey assistant executive director of hockey operations. “He will be a great contributor in the overall development of our elite American players.”

Danton Cole inside cov“Danton has a wealth of experience at the professional, collegiate and international levels,” said Scott Monaghan, director of operations for the NTDP. “He’ll be a great asset in preparing our players to compete on all stages.”

Last summer, Cole served as the assistant coach for the U.S. Under-18 Select Team at the 2009 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament in Slovakia. In addition, his international résumé goes beyond coaching, as he played for Team USA at three International Ice Hockey Federation World Men’s Championships (1990-91, 1994).

Cole spent the past three seasons as the head coach and associate athletic director at UAH, where he guided the Chargers to their second-ever College Hockey America championship in 2010, as well as the second NCAA Division I tournament berth in program history.

Cole also brings experience coaching at the professional level, having previously served as the head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, from 2002-05. During that span, he became the winningest coach in team history with a 116-72-17-3 record, while guiding the Griffins to the Calder Cup Playoffs in both 2002-03 and 2003-04.

Cole then spent part of 2004-05 and all of the 2005-06 season as the head coach of the United Hockey League’s Motor City Mechanics, before joining the college realm as an assistant coach at Bowling Green State University in 2006-07.

The Pontiac, Mich., native’s coaching career began in the 1999-2000 season when he was named an assistant coach for Grand Rapids, then of the International Hockey League. He spent one more season with the Griffins before earning his first job as a head coach with the Muskegon Fury of the United Hockey League in 2001.

During the 2001-02 season, he guided the Fury to a 48-22-0 record and the Colonial Cup Championship.

As a player, Cole appeared in 318 games in the National Hockey League from 1989-96, including stints with the Winnipeg Jets, Tampa Bay Lightning, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders and Chicago Blackhawks. Cole was part of the Devils squad that earned its first Stanley Cup in 1995.

Prior to embarking on his pro career, Cole was a four-year letter winner at Michigan State University from 1985-89. While a Spartan, Cole appeared in 180 games and compiled 163 points (69-94). He was part of the Ron Mason-led Michigan State squad that captured the 1986 NCAA National Championship. In 1989, he received the Big Ten Medal of Honor as MSU’s top student-athlete in both scholarship and achievement.

NOTES: The U.S. National Under-17 Team will be made up of the top American players born in 1994 and will compete in the United States Hockey League, as well as three international tournaments over the course of the 2010-11 season … Danton Cole replaces Kurt Kleinendorst, who spent one season at the National Team Development Program, leading the U.S. National Under-18 Team to the gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Men’s Under-18 Championship.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Calgary Royals Become Calgary Mustangs

Press Release

The Calgary Royals, a mainstay franchise of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) for almost twenty years, announced today that effective immediately the club has changed its name to the Calgary Mustangs. At a news conference and reception, the team also unveiled a new logo and announced its partnership with Maclin Ford.

“This is a new start for our hockey club,” says Ken Morris, Mustangs President. “We are committed to setting and reaching higher goals for our club; on the ice, at the gate and in the community. We want Calgary’s elite hockey players to know that the Mustangs provide them one of the best opportunities to realize their hockey dreams at home and that our commitment to providing both hockey and academic opportunities for local kids remains as strong as ever.”

The club’s official name is the Calgary Mustangs, but at its home rink and throughout Calgary the team will be known as the Maclin Ford Mustangs. Maclin Ford has just signed a three year sponsorship agreement with the club.

“We’re excited,” says Kamsen Iyer, Maclin Ford General Manager. “We’re bringing together Calgary’s most established Ford dealership with one of Calgary’s historic junior hockey franchises. Working closely with the club, we have plans for more game-day special events and outreach to the local community. Our aim is to make the Maclin Ford Mustangs the hottest hockey ticket in town.”

At every home game, one lucky fan will get the chance to unlock a safe and find the key to their very own 2011 Ford Mustang convertible valued at $40,000. Every contestant will also receive a free oil change and 50 Air Miles® Reward Miles, courtesy of Maclin Ford, Calgary’s exclusive Air Miles Reward Program Ford partner. Maclin Ford will also host a Drive One 4 UR Team promotion donating $20 to the club for everyone who test drives a new Ford vehicle.

The Mustangs training camp begins on Friday August 20, when the club will hold a special ceremony to unveil its new team jersey. The AJHL regular seasons begins on Friday September 10, 2010.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Vancouver Giants Acquire Matt MacKay from Tigers

Press Release

Vancouver, B.C. – Vancouver Giants Executive Vice President and General Manager, Scott Bonner, announced today that the Giants have acquired 19 year old (November 27, 1990) centerman, Matt MacKay from the Medicine Hat Tigers in exchange for a 4th round draft pick in the 2011 Bantam Draft.

MacKay, a native of Calgary, Alberta played 68 games for the Tigers after being acquired in an early season trade with the Moose Jaw Warriors. MacKay is 5’11” and 190 pounds, recorded 23 goals and 29 assists during the regular season, and 3 goals and 2 assists in the 2009/10 playoffs for Medicine Hat. He was a plus 16 with 44 penalty minutes during the 2009/10 campaign.

Scott Bonner said “I am very excited to get Matt. He will add a lot of offense and leadership to our squad. He played for one of the top coaches in the country last season and I know we will be acquiring a player with good habits.”

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Corpus Christi announces name, unveils logo

Press Release

The Corpus Christi, Texas, team that will begin play in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) this fall has announced its name and the unveiling of its logo.

The team will be called Corpus Christi Ice Rays.

For more information on the Ice Rays, visit

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

21 Canes Prospects Invited to Provincial Camps

Press Release

Lethbridge, AB - The Lethbridge Hurricanes would like to congratulate all 21 of their draft picks and prospects who have gained invite to their prospective provincial team camps at the Under-16 and Under-17 level. Among them, all four of the Hurricanes blue chip 2010 Bantam Draft picks from the 1st and second round. 2010 first round pick (3rd overall) - Jay (Johnathon) Merkley and second round picks Craig Leverton (25th overall), Macoy Erkamps (27th overall) and Joel Topping (41st overall). Just a few of the other notables include the Canes first two selections in the 2009 WHL Bantam draft - Ryley Bennefield and Sam McKechnie as well as local products Mark Eremenko and Russell Maxwell.

Merkley, is a 5'10, 160 pound center who tallied 30 goals and 41 assists for 71 points and 32 PIMs in 33 games for the Bisons; good enough for fifth in scoring Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League in 09-10. Merkley was integral in the Bisons capturing of the 2010 Provincial and League Championships, while collecting individual accolades as the winner of the AMBHL South Division Scoring title, South Division Forward Award and the South Division Most Valuable Player Award. He then followed that up with an impressive weekend at the Alberta Cup in leading all forwards in scoring.

Leverton is a 5'10, 170 pound power forward from Warman, SK who tallied and impressive 47 goals, 43 assists for 90 points and 140 PIMs in just 22 games with Warman of the Centre Four Hockey League. Erkamps is a 5'10, 175 pound right handed defenseman from Ladner, BC who was a standout for the South Delta AAA Bantams with 10 goals, 26 assists and 54 PIMs in 63 games. Topping is a 6'1, 175 pound offensive d-man from Red Deer, AB who scored 47 points (15 goals, 32 assists) and 90 PIMs in 33 games with the Red Deer Rebels (Black) of the AMBHL. Topping already has ties to the WHL as his older brother Mitch is currently on the roster of the Chilliwack Bruins.

The Lethbridge Hurricanes would like congratulate all of their prospects on taking this next step in their development and wish them all the best of luck at their respective selection camps.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Bulls stampede into Amarillo

Press Release

The Amarillo, Texas, team that will begin play in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) this fall has announced its name and the unveiling of its logo.

After the completion of its “Name the Team” contest, the team will be named the Amarillo Bulls.

“The number of entries for the ‘Name the Team’ contest was tremendous given the short timeframe we had to put it together,” said Gary Gelinas, executive vice president of Consolidated Sports, owners of the Bulls. “The top three choices were popular among the voters and we’re thrilled with the name, logo and colors.

“Bulls are a part of the makeup of Amarillo and the region, are strong and powerful animals, and represent the strength, aggression and meanness we hope our team will display.”

The color scheme focused on “Amarillo” is that of the state of Texas. The primary color is scarlet red - a color affiliated with Bulls and one that represents a strong base. Navy blue is the secondary color and represents Texas’ state flag. The color yellow represents the history and heritage of the name “Amarillo,” which means “yellow” in Spanish.

“We feel the logo is strong and powerful by creating a bull that’s staring at the opponent and is in motion,” Gelinas added. “We wanted a powerful look and we believe the name and logo will catch on with our merchandise sales and with the crowds as they chant, ‘Go Bulls go!’ in the Civic Center.

“We want to thank all our media partners for their support of the contest, Kris Miller for taking the lead for us locally, the Civic Center and all the fans who voted for their favorite name and had a say in naming the NAHL team.”

Keith Flynn, of Flynnagain Productions, who has produced many team and league logos, designed the Bulls logo.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Petes Name Director of Player Personnel

Press Release

Mike joins the Petes on a full-time basis after spending the past three months as the Manager of Player Personnel on an interim basis while the Petes went through a management change and hired General Manager Dave Reid.

Prior to his role with the Petes Mike worked with International Scouting Services (ISS) as Chief Scout and was promoted to the position of General Manager/Chief Scout in September of 2008. Among his many duties, Oke was responsible for overseeing the day to day operations of ISS as well as the scouting staffs responsible for producing reports on players eligible for the NHL Draft, as well as the WHL, QMJHL, OHL and CHL Import Drafts.

Mike was an Assistant Coach in charge of video with Team Pacific at the 2008 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge, worked as the Director of Player Personnel and Assistant Coach with the Oshawa Generals from 2004-2006 and spent four years as Assistant Coach at Wilfrid Laurier University of the Ontario University Athletic Association, where he played a role in the Hawks trip to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) National Hockey Championships in 2001 as well as four years as Full-Time Head Coach/Manager with the Trenton Sting of the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League, winning the OPJHL Eastern Conference Championship in 1998. He is a graduate of the Sports Administration program at Durham College.

“Mike’s scouting background along with his strong work ethic and knowledge of the OHL will continue to be a valuable asset to the Peterborough Petes. I am very pleased that Mike has agreed to join our team as Director of Player Personnel on a full time basis” says General Manager Dave Reid.

Mike’s duties will include being the Head Scout of the Peterborough Petes working with our scouting staff of Chris McNamara, Ron Ringler, Mike MacPherson, Cory Snoddon, Sandy Gemmitti, and Randy Walker as well as overseeing the development of all non-rostered players on the Peterborough Petes protected list.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Simonson Commits to Nebraska Omaha

Press Release

Chicago Steel forward Alex Simonson has committed to the University of Nebraska at Omaha and will be a member of the Mavericks hockey program when the school joins the WCHA next season.

Despite being limited to 35 games during the 2009-10 season after sitting out with injury until December, Simonson led the USHL with 179 penalty minutes. The rugged 6-3, 185-pound winger from Grand Forks, North Dakota also collected six points (2g, 4a), including one game-winning goal, while serving as alternate captain for the Steel. The 20-year-old has played 90 games over three seasons in the USHL and has tallied 15 points (7g, 8a) to go along with 333 penalty minutes.

Ten other USHL players from the 2009-10 season are committed to attend the University of Nebraska at Omaha; Bryce Aneloski (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), Brock Montpetit (Waterloo Black Hawks), Ryan Walters (Des Moines Buccaneers), Johnnie Searfoss (Fargo Force) Brian O'Rourke (Green Bay Gamblers), Nick Oddo (Omaha Lancers), Matt White (Omaha Lancers), Andrej Sustr (Youngstown Phantoms), Dominic Zombo (Sioux Falls Stampede), and Patrick Borer (Sioux City Musketeers).

The University of Nebraska at Omaha Mavericks had an impressive 19 former USHL players on their roster for the 2009-10 season; Matt Smith (Indiana Ice), Kyle Ensign (Tri-City Storm), Pasko Skarica (Waterloo Black Hawks), Eddie DeGrosso (Indiana Ice), Jake Skjodt (Indiana Ice), Rich Purslow (Des Moines Buccaneers), Mike Phillippi (Indiana Ice), J.J. Koehler (Lincoln Stars), Jordan Willert (Tri-City Storm), Terry Broadhurst (Sioux Falls Stampede), Nick Fanto (Omaha Lancers), Ryan Kretzer (Lincoln Stars), Brandon Richardson (Indiana Ice), Mark Bernier (Tri-City Storm), Eric Olimb (Indiana Ice), John Kemp (Indiana Ice), Brent Gwidt (Indiana Ice), Alex Hudson (Tri-City Storm), and Matt Ambroz (Tri-City Storm).

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Edmonton Oil Kings Announce Derek Laxdal As New Head Coach

Press Release

Edmonton, Ab- Edmonton Oil Kings General Manager Bob Green announced today that Derek Laxdal will be the new Head Coach of the Oil Kings.

Laxdal comes to the Oil Kings after serving five seasons as Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations for the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL, and says the decision to make the move to the Western Hockey League was about opportunity.

"I've always had an inclination to coach in the Western Hockey League and develop young players and develop kids. The opportunity presented itself, and I felt at this point in time for my development as a coach I have a lot to give back to the Oil Kings organization."

After months of searching for the perfect fit, General Manager Bob Green knows he got the right guy for the job.

"I just had a real good feeling, he's a guy that can take this group of young guys, and develop them and teach them the game and take them to the next level and make us successful," said Green.

In 2002 Laxdal began his coaching career with the Wichita Thunder of the Central Hockey League, taking them to a 87-58-5 record. In 2005 he made the jump to the ECHL, taking the reigns as head coach and director of hockey operations of the Steelheads. In his first ECHL campaign, he guided the Steelheads to an impressive 43-21-8 record and set a new club record for wins in the process. In the five seasons with the Steelheads Laxdal compiled a record of 217-108-35, including a Kelly Cup championship in 2007.

Laxdal realizes that his new role as Head Coach comes with high expectations going into the Oil Kings fourth season.

"We are going to compete for a division and conference title and put a product on the ice that our fans are going to want to support," says Laxdal. "The foundation is in place here, and we're looking to build on that we've got a great group of kids here, and kids coming in and we're looking forward to training camp."

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Friday, June 18, 2010

Oil Kings Prospects Lazar Snags Top Honour

Press Release

Edmonton, AB - Edmonton Oil King first round draft pick Curtis Lazar has been named the recipient of the 2010 Hockey Now/BC Hockey Hall of Fame Minor Hockey Player Achievement Award.

The 15 year old Vernon, B.C. native spent last season as captain of Kelowna's Pursuit Bantam AAA team. While there he collected an impressive 115 points in 51 games, and was also named MVP at two Bantam tournaments in Canada.

The award is handed out annually to a B.C. player who best exemplifies sportsmanship, leadership, and hockey skill.

Lazar is the second Oil King prospect to receive the award, 2009 first round Bantam Draft pick Griffin Reinhart took home the honour last year. Reinhart went on to have a successful 2009-10 midget season and was named to the 2009-10 BC Major Midget All-Star Team.

Other past winners of this award include: Chicago Blackhawk Colin Fraser, Washington Capital Karl Alzner, and Edmonton Oiler Gilbert Brule.

Lazar will receive his award on July 23 at the BC Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Celebration in Penticton.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Warriors to be anchor tenant at Perani Arena

Press Release

The Michigan Warriors, who will begin play in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) this fall, and Firland Management, which operates Flint’s Perani Arena, announced they have agreed to terms on a five-year lease.

Under the lease terms, the Warriors will play NAHL home games at Perani Arena as the facility’s anchor tenant through the 2014-15 season.

“For at least the next five years, Mid-Michigan will have the opportunity to cheer for a Flint-based team of talented young men, including many hometown products, as they work toward collegiate and NHL opportunities,” said Pat McEachern, a member of the Warriors’ ownership group. “Today, we committed to building a team for a community that appreciates hard work and skilled play at an arena in the process of returning to its heyday.

“Continuing the hockey tradition here in Flint means new opportunities for many young men from the heart of this state to continue their careers.”

Michigan-born players who developed their skills in the NAHL on the road to the highest level of professional hockey include Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller of East Lansing and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski of Dearborn.

The task of developing the talent of Warriors players looking to follow in the footsteps of NAHL alumni like Miller and Rafalski belongs to general manager and former NHL player Moe Mantha.

Mantha brings to the Warriors a wealth of experience in developing young hockey talent. He has coached and managed at the junior and professional levels for 15 years, including coaching the USA Hockey National Team Development Program, and is active in the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association. Many of Mantha’s players have graduated to NHL and other professional hockey opportunities.

A player as well as a coach, Mantha patrolled the blue line for five teams over 12 NHL seasons and was the assistant captain of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team.

“Moe is here to create an exciting brand of hockey while helping a talented group of Michigan Warriors players continue developing their abilities as they work to advance to the next level,” McEachern said. “He has been part of the game at all levels for a long time and will use that experience to help our players realize their potential right before the eyes of our fans.”

Perani Arena, which opened in 1969, has a long and storied history of hosting professional hockey. Under Firland Management, which assumed operations at Perani Arena earlier this year, the facility already has seen initial improvements, including enhanced lighting, as investments in the fan experience. Additional upgrades to the 4,000-seat facility are planned.

“Over the past 40 years, Perani Arena has been home to some of Mid-Michigan’s most exciting hockey moments,” said Firland Management chief executive officer Jim Cain, who oversees operations at the facility. “The addition of the Warriors to this venue is another important step toward our goal of providing this community the arena experience it expects and deserves.”

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Richard Trottier named Director of Officiating

Press Release

BOUCHERVILLE, Thursday, June 17, 2010 – The Commissioner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Gilles Courteau, announced today the hiring of Richard Trottier as Director of Officiating.

"I am thrilled that Richard Trottier has accepted to join our organization. He will be an important asset to the QMJHL due to his extensive knowledge and experience," commented the Commissioner.

Richard Trottier worked 380 games over twelve seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, including 86 games in the playoffs and 9 in the President Cup final. He has three Memorial Cup tournaments to his credit: 1979 in Trois-Rivières as a linesman, 1985 in Drummondville as a referee and 1988 in Chicoutimi also as a referee.

Following his major junior career, he spent 13 seasons in the NHL, refereeing 550 regular season games as well as 10 playoff contests. Furthermore, he worked the 2001 NHL All-Star game in Denver, Colorado.

"I am extremely happy to be back in the field of officiating," commented Richard Trottier. "It is an important challenge which I am ready to undertake. I would like to thank the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for the confidence it is showing me."

Of note, on April 1st, 2009, Richard Trottier was inducted into the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Hall of Fame alongside Lucien Deblois, Marc Fortier and Jean Gagnon.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Garrett Hooey Commits to Sarnia Sting

Press Release

Sarnia, ON – Sarnia Sting Head Coach and General Manager Dave MacQueen announced today that the hockey club has signed Forward Garret Hooey to an OHL Contract and Education Package.

A 2nd round selection in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection Hooey, the Captain of the OMHA's Clarington Toros that competed in the 2010 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament, scored 41 goals to go along with 54 assists for 95 points last season.

MacQueen is pleased with Hooey’s decision to join the organization.

“Garrett is a player we were thrilled was still available for our pick in the second round. Garrett is the type of player that you win with, high character, passion and will do what it takes to win.”

Ontario Hockey League Central Scouting gives the following report on Hooey:

“Hooey is a smart, two-way forward that plays a prominent role in his teams success. While displaying the ability to produce offensively, he plays an overall responsible game.”

MacQueen is especially excited to get Hooey signed considering the options he had available to him.

“Not only is Garrett a tremendous hockey player but he is also a very good student. Garrett and his family were doing their due diligence in exploring every option he had available to him. At the end of the day they decided that with the OHL Scholarship package this was the ideal situation for him both on the ice and in the classroom. We are thrilled to welcome Garrett and his family into our organization.”

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Third Overall Pick Scott Laughton Commits to Generals

Press Release

Oshawa Generals Head Coach & General Manager Chris DePiero announced today that the team has signed 1st round pick, 3rd overall selection Scott Laughton to a standard OHL agreement with the Generals.

Laughton, a 16 year old native of Oakville, served as Captain of the Toronto Marlboros Minor Midget Team last season where he registered 55 Goals, 95 Points and added 109 Penalty Minutes in 76 games. He also added 3 Goals and 5 Points in 7 games while leading the Marlboros to the finals of the 2010 OHL Showcase Cup Tournament this past March.

“We are thrilled to have Scott join the Generals organization. He is a fierce competitor with tremendous skills and is a quality young man,” said Chris DePiero. “With Scott’s hockey sense and leadership abilities he will be a key piece of this franchise that our fans are going to get to watch develop over the next few years.”

Laughton will wear number 21 once the season starts in September.

“It’s incredible, being at Rookie Camp was great. It’s an honour to be able to sign with the Generals and I can’t wait to get the season started.” said Laughton. “Coming from a tremendous organization like the Marlboros with lots of tradition and then to be able to join the Generals with all their tradition means a lot to me.”

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

WHL hosts Alumni Golf Tournament and Annual General Meeting; Hamilton remains Chairman of the Board

Press Release

Calgary, AB – The WHL hosted its 2nd annual Alumni Association golf tournament and Annual General Meeting this week in Calgary. On Monday, June 14th, The Links of Glen Eagles in Cochrane, Alberta, played host to the Alumni golf tournament which featured former players from the past three decades including Jordan Eberle, Cody Franson, Brandon Kozun, Jason Labarbera, Lanny McDonald, Brad Moran, Brantt Myhres, Tyler Myers, Chris Nielsen and JD Watt to name a few.

The WHL Alumni Golf tournament provided the group of past players the opportunity to re-connect with former teammates and fellow alumni members, as well as current owners, Governors, General Managers and corporate sponsors of WHL Clubs. All proceeds from the WHL Alumni Golf Tournament will be directed to new WHL Education Program initiatives.

The WHL Annual General Meeting was held on June 15th and 16th at the Calgary Marriott Hotel. The WHL Board of Governors consists of the owner/representative of the 22 WHL Member franchises. Governor and General Manager of the Kelowna Rockets Bruce Hamilton, was re-elected as the WHL Chairman of the Board for another two year period.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Junior Evaluation Camp roster named

Press Release


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Hockey today announced the 44 players invited to take part in the 2010 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp this summer in Lake Placid, N.Y. The players will be auditioning for a spot on the U.S. National Junior Team that will take part in the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, Dec. 26, 2010-Jan. 5, 2011, in Buffalo, N.Y.

Among the invitees are nine returnees from the gold medal-winning 2010 U.S. National Junior Team, including goaltenderJack Campbell (Port Huron, Mich.); defensemen Cam Fowler (Farmington Hills, Mich.) and John Ramage (St. Louis, Mo.); and forwards Ryan Bourque (Boxford, Mass.), Jerry D'Amigo (Binghamton, N.Y.), Chris Kreider (Boxford, Mass.), Jeremy Morin (Auburn, N.Y.), Kyle Palmieri (Montvale, N.J.) and Jason Zucker (Las Vegas, Nev.).

Also attending the camp will be 14 members of the U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team that captured gold last April at the 2010 IIHF World Men's U18 Championship in Minsk and Bobruisk, Belarus, including goalie Campbell; defensemen Adam Clendening (Niagara Falls, N.Y.), Justin Faulk (South St. Paul, Minn.), Derek Forbort (Duluth, Minn.), Stephen Johns (Wampum, Pa.), Jon Merrill (Brighton, Mich.), and Jarred Tinordi (Millersville, Md.); and forwards Connor Brickley (Everett, Mass.), Matt Nieto (Long Beach, Calif.), Bryan Rust (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Brandon Saad (Gibsonia, Pa.), Nick Shore (Denver, Colo.), Austin Watson (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Zucker.

"It will be a very competitive camp and give our staff a good opportunity to evaluate players as we start our preparations to defend the gold medal in Buffalo," said Jim Johannson, USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations and general manager of the 2011 U.S. National Junior Team. "We look forward to our return to Lake Placid and utilizing the Olympic Training Center and the Olympic Regional Development Authority facilities that do a great job in hosting our camp.”

For the full list of players invited to the 2010 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, click here.

The camp, which will take place at Lake Placid's Olympic Center from July 30-Aug. 7, will feature practices, intra-squad scrimmages and international games featuring Finland, Sweden and the United States.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

Saginaw Spirit Sign Top Prospect Brandon Saad

Press Release

(Saginaw, MI) The Saginaw Spirit are pleased to announce the signing of top NHL prospect Brandon Saad. Saad, a forward who was selected tenth overall in the 2008 OHL Priority Selection, is tabbed as a top five pick for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by two independent hockey scouting services in their preliminary rankings.

"He's an all around player, he brings a lot to the table," Spirit General Manager and Head Coach Todd Watson said. "He can play in all situations. He can score, he’s a power forward. He has good hands, he can play physical, and will be a great asset to our program."

The Gibsonia, Pennsylvania native played with the US Under-18 team last season, posting 29 goals and 29 assists for 58 points. Prior to playing in the US develop program Saad played with the Mahoning Valley Phantoms of the NAHL, earning the league’s rookie of the year honors with 47 points in 47 games.

"Today is a great day for the Saginaw Spirit Franchise and our fans,” stated Spirit President and Partner Craig Goslin, “Todd Watson, John Kisil and Jim Paliafito have built the foundation of what will be a very strong championship contending team this season in the OHL. Brandon Saad is another strong ingredient to this team and one of the most significant signings in our franchise history. Fans are going to want to come to the Dow to personally witness the NHL caliber talents of Brandon Saad and others on this exciting team. Today is an exciting time to be a Spirit fan. The Season starts in 98 days and fans will want to be at the Dow on Thursday, September 30th for our home opener to see Brandon and Spirit begin their journey into what will be a very entertaining season for Spirit fans."

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at