Saturday, August 31, 2013

Greyhounds roster reduced following Red/White contest

Press Release

With their 42nd Ontario Hockey League season right around the corner, the Soo Greyhounds closed out Training Camp 2013 earlier tonight with the team’s Annual Luke Williams Memorial Red & White game.  Team Red defeated Team White by a score of 6-3. 

(To view the scoring summary CLICK HERE)

Following the game, General Manager Kyle Dubas, Head Coach Sheldon Keefe and their accompanying staff reduced the team’s active roster down to 27 players.

Presently remaining with the club are:
Matt Murray, Justin Nichols, Brandon Halverson

Kyle Jenkins, Medric Mercier, Kevin Spinozzi, Colton White, Mac Clutsam, Tyler Ganly, Darnell Nurse, Alex Gudbranson

Mitchell Dempsey, Tyler Gaudet, Brandon Hughes, Trent Mallette, Jared McCann, Blake Speers, Patrick Watling, Michael Bunting, Andrew Fritsch, Jorgen Karterud, Ryan Kirkup, David Miller, Nick Pastorious, Landon Schiller, Sergey Tolchinsky, Dylan Staples

Seven (7) players were subsequently released from the club, or re-assigned to various programs.  Those players are: Matt Blattenberger, Callum Fryer, Jack VanBoekel, Grant Syrette, Chris Brill-Morgan, Patrick McAuliffe and Jaren Bellini

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Schmidt commits to Rangers

Press Release

Kitchener Rangers General Manager Murray Hiebert announced Saturday that defenceman Logan Schmidt has committed to the team and has entered into an Ontario Hockey League agreement. A native of Kitchener, Schmidt joins the Rangers after attending training camp as a free agent. 

Logan is described by Rangers’ scouts as a smooth skater who demonstrates a high hockey IQ and whose high-end skill and good hands allow him to contribute on offense. He played 30 regular season games with the Kitchener Dutchmen in 2012-13, recording 10 points and added three assists in 13 playoff games.

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Bulls announce signings of Laishram and Ming

Press Release

BELLEVILLE, ON - Belleville Bulls Head Coach and General Manager George Burnett announced Saturday that the club has signed 2013 fourth round selection Adam Laishram and 2012 seventh round pick Andrew Ming to OHL Standard Players Agreements.

Laishram was the 78th player chosen in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection and spent last season with the Whitby Wildcats Minor Midgets, playing alongside Bulls first round pick Justin Lemcke. The native of Ashburn had 14 goals and 19 assists in 35 games last season.

Laishram also competed in the 2013 OHL Gold Cup at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. He was third in scoring for OMHA Team White, tallying a goal and five assists in six games. Laishram also participated in the final Ontario Under 17 Program Evaluation Camp in Oshawa from August 14-18th alongside five other Bulls prospects.

"Adam has impressed us with his speed, skill and vision," said Burnett. "He competes hard out there every single shift and knows how to use his creativity to his advantage."

Joining Laishram in signing on the dotted line out of Training Camp this weekend is Williamstown native Andrew Ming. The younger brother of Kitchener Rangers forward Eric Ming, Andrew's hard nosed game impressed Bulls scouts and coaching staff throughout this past season and into Training Camp.

Ming comes off a year of seasoning with the Cornwall Colts Jr. A program where he put up 4 goals and 21 assists in 55 games as a 16 year-old.

"There has been a lot of improvement in Andrew's game over the last season," said Burnett. "After a year in Tier II he has come back to our camp bigger, stronger and has made improvements to his skating. We're looking forward to seeing both of these young men out on the ice in our preseason games."

The preseason roster was trimmed down to 28 on Saturday afternoon as defencemen Daniel Barnes and Jacob Panetta were reassigned to their respective clubs. The Bulls carry 17 forwards, 9 defencemen and 2 goaltenders into preseason play.

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Petes reassign nine more players

Press Release

Peterborough Petes General Manager Michael Oke announced on Saturday morning that the following players have been reassigned:

Josh Coyle
Tanner Lafrance
Jared Marino
Brandon Savoy
Austin Ulett
Jack Webb
Ethan Wensink
Ethan Cragg
Samuel Hunter

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Game for the Lac-Mégantic Future Fund

Press Release

The Phoenix Sherbrooke Hockey Club in association with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) is organizing a special pre-season game on Friday September 6, at the Palais des sports Léopold-Drolet to help victims of the Lac-Mégantic tragedy. The Sherbrooke Phoenix will give all generated revenue during this pre-season game against the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada to the Lac-Mégantic Future Fund. Moreover, the 17 other teams along with the QMJHL will contribute another $ 18 000 to this initiative
The game day staff as well as QMJHL officials will be volunteering their services for this game. « Our entire League has really come together for the future well-being of the people of Lac-Mégantic, who were affected by the tragic events which unfolded during the summer, » explained QMJHL commissionaire Gilles Courteau.
The game dedicated to those individuals will be held at 7pm on Friday September 6 at the Palais des sports Léopold-Drolet. Fans can purchase tickets by calling the Sherbrooke Phoenix administration directly and prices vary from $ 10 to $ 20. 100% of the revenue will be given to the Lac-Mégantic Future Fund.

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Hounds trim training camp roster

Press Release

After two days of on-ice scrimmages, as part of Training Camp 2013, the Soo Greyhounds have trimmed their roster heading into Saturday’s Red & White contest.

Thirty-two players remain in camp including four (4) goalies, ten (10) defencemen and eighteen (18) forwards.

GOALIES (4) – Matt Murray, Justin Nichols, Brandon Halverson and Matt Blattenberger

DEFENCEMAN (11) – Kyle Jenkins, Medric Mercier, Kevin Spinozzi, Jack VanBoekel, Colton White, Mac Clutsam, Tyler Ganly, Callum Fryer, Patrick McAullife, Darnell Nurse, Alex Gudbranson

FORWARDS (19) – Jaren Bellini, Mitchell Dempsey, Tyler Gaudet, Brandon Hughes, Trent Mallette, Jared McCann, Blake Speers, Grant Syrette, Patrick Watling, Chris Brill-Morgan, Michael Bunting, Andrew Fritsch, Jorgen Karterud, Ryan Kirkup, David Miller, Nick Pastorious, Landon Schiller, Sergey Tolchinsky, Dylan Staples

As a result of Friday’s cut-down, released from camp were:
Adrian Clark, James Thomson, Austin Cho, Jake Behse, Daniel Jelic, Chris Klack, Riley O’Connell, Dalton Barnes, Travis Campbell, Darren Brady.

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Otters make second round of cuts

Press Release

Erie, Pa. – The Erie Otters Hockey Club of the Ontario Hockey League have announced their second round of cuts to their preseason roster. Another seven players have been released or reassigned by the team.

Three of the seven players are original Otters draft picks. Cosimo Lazzarino (2013), Gregory Allen (2011), and Jordan Dunin (2011) were all reassigned to their individual teams, with Dunin returned to his university.

The remaining four players were free agents invited to training camp. Khadyn Butterfly, Nolan Dunn, Cameron Etherington, and Jeff St. Pierre were all released by the team.

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Fighting Saints win Bronze at JCWC

Press Release

 OMSK, Russia - The Dubuque Fighting Saints are bringing some hardware back to the United States. Alexx Privitera was credited with a hat trick, and Brett Boeing had three assists, as Dubuque captured the bronze medal thanks to a 4-1 win over Belarus’ Dynamo-Shinnik Saturday in their final game at the 2013 Junior Club World Cup. The Fighting Saints represented the United States, the City of Dubuque, and the United States Hockey League at the international event, and the club finished the tournament with a 3-2-0 record.

Alexx Privitera continued his stellar tournament for the Fighting Saints and opened the game’s scoring. With Dubuque cycling the puck in the offense zone, Brett Boeing wrapped the puck around the goal and dished it back to Privitera at the right point. Alexx let a slapshot go that found its way through the body of goalie Glen Ageyev at 5:45 to make it 1-0 Dubuque.

The second period saw Dubuque dominate the play and add a pair of goals to extend its lead. Dubuque outshot Dynamo-Shinnik 15-3 in the game’s second period, and got goals from Andrew Gaus and Alexx Privitera. Gaus scored first for Dubuque at 6:25, converting on a two-on-one rush. Boeing brought the puck down the left wing side, and flipped a pass across to Gaus who lifted a wrist shot up and over Ageyev’s glove to make it 2-0.

The elder Privitera would convert for his second goal of the game at the 9:50 mark of the second period. The puck was cycled back to the blueline by Boeing, and Privitera let a wrist shot go that appeared to be deflected, and went right through Ageyev’s legs to make it 3-0. Privitera said after the game that Dylan Gambrell deflected the shot, but the goal stood as Privitera’s on the scoresheet.

In the third period, Dynamo-Shinnik would have their best chances of the game, outshooting Dubuque 12-6. Arthur Brey stood tall in net, allowing only a late Denis Dranko goal, and made several key saves in the final period, including a fantastic lunging blocker save on a penalty shot. The Fighting Saints got their lone goal of the third period as Privitera completed the hat-trick, scoring on the powerplay 8:06 into the frame on a slapshot from the blueline.

Dubuque outshot Dynamo-Shinnik 36-22 in the game to claim the bronze medal. In the three-year history of the Junior Club World Cup, the United States is the only country to claim a medal twice. Last year the Waterloo Black Hawks represented the USHL and took home silver, while this year Dubuque claimed bronze.

The Fighting Saints will now travel back to the United States tomorrow. Sunday will be a long day of travel for the Fighting Saints, as the team will travel by plane from Omsk to Moscow, Moscow to Munich, Germany, and Munich to Chicago. The team will then bus back to the Mystique Community Ice Center and arrives home just before midnight.

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2013 Nipawin Training Camp

Press Release

The Nipawin Hawks' Training Camp Schedule is as follows:
Saturday, August 31
Ice Sessions:
12:15 pm
2:00 pm
6:30 pm
8:15 pm
Sunday, September 1
Ice Sessions:
10:00 am
11:45 am
5:30 pm
7:15 pm
Monday, September 2
Ice Session - 10:45 am
Exhibition Game vs. Flin Flon - 7:30 pm

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Wolves main camp begins Sunday

Press Release

The Sudbury Wolves will host their 2013 OHL MAIN CAMP this weekend beginning on Sunday, September 1st at the Sudbury Arena.  Wolves' Director of Player Personnel BRYAN VERREAULT and Wolves' Skills Coach MIKE KING, will put 25 hopefuls through their paces with off-ice testing and a one hour practice.

On Monday, the Wolves will host two scrimmage sessions with the first session taking place at 10 a.m at the Sudbury Arena. Teams will reconvene at 3:00 pm for another scrimmage session at the Sudbury Arena. Players returning from the World Jr. Cup Tournament in Russia will join-in to give the Wolves a full complement of 44 players attending camp.

A number of Wolves' players will miss the training camp as they make their way to NHL PRO CAMPS including: NICK BAPTISTE, DOMINIK KUBALIK, MATHEW CAMPAGNA, KEVIN RAINE and BRODY SILK. Silk, 18, is doubtful to attend pro camp due to a shoulder injury sustained at the tournament in Russia.

On Tuesday, the Wolves will host their annual Blue & White scrimmage game at 10 a.m. at the Sudbury Arena and management will announce decisions on players that will be remaining to participate in practices and the Wolves' first pre-season OHL game on Friday, Sept. 6th versus the Kitchener Rangers at the Sudbury arena.  Game time is 7:30 pm.

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Warriors sophomore forward commits to Nanooks

Press Release

Less than a week into training camp, the Warriors are laying the groundwork for the future.

The first NCAA commitment of the 2013-14 season came on Monday, when Ambrose Firkus announced his intention to play for the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The second-year forward turned heads last year, when he put up 20 points in 31 games as a rookie, adding another nine points and providing a dangerous offensive threat in the post-season.

The native of Irma, Alta. will join the Nanooks for the 2014-15 season.

“I’ve been talking to (UAF head coach) Dallas [Ferguson] for a few years now – he knows my strengths and he knows my weaknesses” Firkus says.  “He’s just going to put me in there and let me do my thing.  He’s not going to try and change me too much.”

Firkus also says he’s been hearing positive things from former West Kelowna teammates Shawn Hochhausen and Marcus Basara, both of whom have just arrived in Fairbanks for their freshman season of Div. I hockey.

“We’d like congratulate Ambrose and his family on this accomplishment” says Warriors head Coach /GM Rylan Ferster, adding “He’s an outstanding young player.”

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Jets goaltender Priebe makes NCAA DI commitment

Press Release

The Janesville Jets, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that goaltender Austin Priebe has made a commitment to play NCAA Division I hockey for the United States Air Force Academy of the Atlantic Hockey League 
Priebe (6’4/209), is 19-years-old and calls Wausau, Wisconsin home.  Last season, he appeared in 25 games and posted a 2.93 goals against average and a 91.3% save percentage for the Jets.
“We are very proud of Austin because this commitment is a result of all the hard work he put in on and off of the ice. Austin pushes himself to become a better goaltender everyday,” said Janesville head coach Joe Dibble.
“Austin is the first goaltender to commit to a Division I school in the history of the Jets. The way Austin competes in practice, in the gym and in games pushes the rest of the team to compete and battle as hard as he does, which makes us a better hockey team everyday. He is a natural lead by example type of player.”
Air Force, led by head coach Frank Serratore, had more NAHL alums on the roster last season than any other NCAA Division I team.
Priebe is the fourth player on the current 2013-14 Jets roster to have secured an NCAA Division I commitment, joining Kyle Patava (Army), Nick Petrella (Holy Cross) and Jesse Junttila (Northern Michigan). 

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Bombers acquire player from Stampeders

Press Release

For the second time in just under a week the Flin Flon Bombers have added a key piece to their roster via a trade just before the opening of main camp starting tomorrow.

The Bombers have acquired 1993 born Jean-Kristoff Grenier from the Swan Valley Stampeders of the MJHL in exchange for future considerations.

The 6’5, 220 pound product from Brossard, QC was previously acquired by the Stampeders from the Lachine Maroons of the QJAAAHL.  Last year in the QJAAAHL Grenier totaled 66 points (28g, 38a) in 48 games to go along with 63 penalty minutes between the Vandreuil-Dorion Mustangs and the Maroons.

Grenier in total has 100 points (41g, 59a) and 197 penalty minutes in 96 career QJAAAHL games.  He also saw some time in the QMJHL playing in 50 games with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in  2010-11 and a one game call up last season with the Quebec Remparts.

“We are really excited to acquire this player,” said Head Coach and General Manager Mike Reagan.  “He’s a big body that will make some room for our top end guys, but also contribute out there as well.  He’s a guy that has had success at this level.”

The team opens up training camp tomorrow starting with the first ice session going at 1:30 at the Whitney Forum.
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Lumberjacks makemoves, cut down roster number

Press Release

 MUSKEGON, Michigan (August 30th) – The Muskegon Lumberjacks have announced that they have released three players from training camp as they get set to travel to the East Coast for the USHL Atlantic Challenge next weekend to begin their preseason slate.

The team has released three forwards in Cody Kuster, Grant Jozefek, and Collin Peters from the active roster.  Both Jozefek and Peters will be protected and remain on the organization’s affiliate list this season.

Kuster, the Ludington, Michigan native, was a free agent acquisition and attended the Lumberjacks’ Tryout Camp in June.  He will be playing in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) for the Michigan Warriors in the upcoming season.

Jozefek, the Chester, New Jersey native, was the team’s first pick at the 7th overall in the 2013 USHL Phase One Draft.  He will be suiting it up in the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) for the New Jersey Hitmen this season.

Peters, the Sheboygan, Wisconsin native, was the team’s 7th round pick (98th overall) in the 2013 USHL Phase One Draft.  He will be lacing it up for the Milwaukee Admirals AAA hockey team out of the Tier I Elite Hockey League (TOEHL) this season.

The deadline to have a final roster set for the beginning of the 2013-14 regular season is Sunday, September 15th.

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Oil Kings sign six players

Press Release

Edmonton, AB — The Edmonton Oil Kings announced the signing Friday of six players to WHL Standard Player Agreements.

The Oil Kings inked listed players Lane Bauer, 17, Brayden Brown, 16, and Garan Magnes, 16, as well as 2012 draft pick Jesse Mills, 16 and 2013 picks Jordan Dawson, 15, and Kyle Yewchuk, 15.

Bauer was listed by the Oil Kings after an impressive showing at training camp in 2011. The forward from Anchorage, AK possesses a strong two-way game and a lot of skill.

“Lane’s player on our list for a couple years, and we’re very happy that he decided to come to the Oil Kings,” said General Manager Randy Hansch. “Lane’s a honest, hard-working two-way player that can produce some offensive numbers and competes any time he’s on the ice.”

Brown, a centre out of Calgary, impressed the Edmonton brass with a strong showing in back-to-back training camps to earn an invite.

“It’s a good story: he came to camp last year, went back to his club team in Calgary and just progressed throughout the year,” Hansch said. “He earned it honestly. He came to camp this year and made us make a decision.”

Magnes put up 35 points in 32 games as a forward for the South Side Athletic Club last season in midget, and was another player who impressed as training camp.

“He had stages in his year last year where he just kept on improving and improving, and even from the summer time he took another step,” Hansch said.

All defencemen, Mills, Yewchuk and Dawson give the Oil Kings a trio of young blueliners with size and a variety of skills, Hansch explained.

“We’re fortunate all three kids have got size, and they all have a different element, which is a good mixture to have,” he said.

Mills was the Oil Kings’ fourth round pick (88th overall) in the 2012 Bantam Draft. The 6’5” defenceman played for the Okanagan Rockets last season.

Yewchuk (third round, 64th overall) and Dawson (fourth round, 86th overall) were back-to-back selections in the 2013 draft. Yewchuk checks in at 6’3”, 179 pounds and Dawson at 6’1”, 164.

“We like their growth potential, and we’re just very happy they’re part of the Oil Kings,” said Hansch.

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Winterhawks sign Bullion, Czaikowski and McKenzie

Press Release

The Portland Winterhawks have announced the signings of goaltender Michael Bullion, defenseman Carter Czaikowski and forward Skyler McKenzie.

Bullion is 16 and eligible to play in the WHL this season, while Czaikowski and McKenzie are 15 and a year away from being eligible to play for the Hawks.

Bullion was selected by the Hawks in the ninth round, 196th overall, of the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft. Bullion, from Anchorage, Alaska, played last season with the Vaughan Kings of the Greater Toronto Hockey League Minor Midget AAA, where he posted a goals against average of 1.27 and 93.0% save percentage.

Czaikowski was drafted in the sixth round, 121st overall, of the 2013 Bantam Draft. He played last season for the Calgary Flames Bantam AAA team, where he led his team’s defensemen with 11 goals and 28 assists for 39 points in 32 games.

McKenzie was an eighth round pick, 176th overall of the 2013 Bantam Draft. Last season he totaled 18 goals and 22 assists for 40 points in 19 games for the Sherwood Park Flyers of the AMBHL AAA Bantam League.

“Michael Bullion had an outstanding training camp and I look forward to seeing him play exhibition games, while Carter Czaikowski is a very skilled puck-moving defenseman who fits in perfectly with our style,” said Portland Winterhawks General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston. “In addition, Skyler McKenzie caught the attention of our scouts with his energy and compete in training camp. We believe Skyler will be able to step in at center for Nic Petan and Chase De Leo when they graduate.”

Both Czaikowski and McKenzie have made the short list for Hockey Alberta’s U16 Male Team Provincial Camp for evaluation in preparation for the 2013 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup being held in Calgary, Alberta, October 31st to November 3rd.

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Spitfires sign Foss

Press Release

General Manager Warren Rychel announced today the club has signed undrafted forward Ryan Foss to a standard OHL player's agreement and education package.

Foss earned his way onto the club with outstanding play during this week's training camp; scoring six goals in two days of scrimmages and last night's annual Blue-White game.

“We're extremely pleased to add Ryan to our lineup,” Rychel said. “He will have an immediate impact. He's a player with very good size and hands. A very skilled player. I give a lot of credit our scouting staff, for finding a player like Ryan, who was passed over in the draft.”

The 17-year-old Foss is a 6'2 170-pound winger that had a monster season at Blythe Academy in 2012- 13, putting up 39 goals and adding 63 assists for 102 points in 68 games.

Foss will be in the lineup on Saturday night, as we open our exhibition schedule against the Plymouth Whalers in Livonia, Michigan.

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Hurricanes announce new Liaison Officer

Press Release

Lethbridge, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes are proud to announce a new team liaison officer, Constable James Demone.

Demone joins the team for the 2013-2014 season to advise the players on such things as drugs, alcohol, gambling, hazing, social media use and other community issues that affect the players.

A former WHL’er, Demone spent four seasons split between the Portland Winter Hawks (1988-2001) and his home-town team, Prince Albert Raiders (2000-02.) The defenceman played a combined 262 games with 43 points (7G, 36A) and 590 PIM.

He also has experience playing at the University level with the Lethbridge Pronghorns and the minor professional level with the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies of the ECHL.

After completing his hockey career, the University of Lethbridge alum decided to pursue a career in policing. He is a five year veteran of the Lethbridge Regional Police Service and is currently serving in the Canine Unit.

“Cst. Demone is a valuable addition to the team,” said Hurricanes General Manager Brad Robson. With his experience policing, as well as playing in the WHL and pro, he will be able to give players guidance on the pressures that come with playing hockey at this level.” 

Cst. Demone will be attending games and practices with the team throughout the season.

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Rangers reassign 15 players

Press Release

Kitchener Rangers General Manager Murray Hiebert announced this afternoon that the team has reassigned the following players as of Friday, August 30, 2013.

Eric Bogart
Izzy Benigno

Connor Patton
Keigan Goetz
Alex Gilmour
Chris Poletek
Jordan Delaurier
Adam Abu-Ali
Jacob Cascagnette
Mark Bzowey
Tommy Abrams

Sam Harris
Trevor McEneny
Scott Pedersen
Danylo Znaczko

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Royals ink trio of players

Press Release

Victoria, BC – The Victoria Royals Hockey Club is proud to announce that the club has signed forwards Landon Welykholowa (WELL-uh-call-oh-ah), Matt Dykstra (DYKE-struh) and Jared Dmytriw (duh-MEE-true) to Western Hockey League (WHL) Standard Players’ Agreements.

Landon Welykholowa

The Calgary, AB native signs with Victoria after being invited to participate in the Royals’ 2013 Training Camp. Welykholowa was originally selected by the Prince Albert Raiders in the third round, 58th overall, of the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft.

Welykholowa spent the 2012-13 hockey season as a member of the Calgary Buffaloes of the Alberta Midget Hockey League. With the Buffaloes, the 5-11, 165 lb winger appeared in 34 games and registered 26 points (12g-14a) along with 78 minutes in penalties. Welykholowa also skated in three games for the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Brooks Bandits.

“Landon had a very good camp this week,” Royals’ General Manager Cameron Hope said. “He has earned this contract and we look forward to seeing Landon in a Royals’ uniform.”

Matt Dykstra

Dykstra, a resident of Edmonton, AB was selected by the Royals in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft with the 71st overall pick in the fourth round.

Last year, the 6-2, 180 lb centre played with the Canadian Athletic Club (CAC) United Cycle of the Alberta Minor Midget AAA Hockey League. Dykstra scored 47 points (25g-22a) along with 22 penalty minutes in 27 games played. With CAC’s Bantam AAA team in 2011-12 season, he collected 34 points (16g-18a) and 86 penalty minutes over 33 contests in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League.

“Matt developed well over the course of last season,” Hope said. “He has worked hard to improve his strength and abilities and we are excited to have Matt as a part of our future.”

Jared Dmytriw

The Royals selected Jared Dmytriw in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft with the 83rd overall pick in the fourth round. The 5-8, 150 lb right winger is scheduled to play the 2013-14 season with the Moose Jaw Generals of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League.

The Craven, SK native suited up for the Prairie Storm of the Saskatchewan Bantam AA League last year where he served as the team’s captain. In 27 appearances, Dmytriw scored 49 points (29g-20a) and logged 44 penalty minutes.

“We were very happy that Jared was available to us at the draft last May,” Hope said. “Jared plays a 200-foot game and can contribute offensively with his speed and skill.”

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Rebels shrink roster by five

Press Release

RED DEER, AB – Brent Sutter, General Manager/Head Coach of the Red Deer Rebels Hockey Club, announced today the reassignment of 5 players after the Black & White Game.   

Name                                Position              Hometown                 Year of birth 
Duncan Campbell        Forward           Brandon, MB               96
Wyatt Kalynuk             Defence          Virden, MB                  97
Ian Parker                  Forward           Saskatoon, SK             96
Lynnden Pastachak      Forward           Bienfait, SK                 96
Shane Sherban            Forward           Lanigan, SK                 98

The Rebels start the pre-season in St. Albert Saturday as they take on the Prince George Cougars.

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Alaska Calling: Mantha commits to Anchorage

Press Release sent to the World of Junior Hockey

 PENTICTON, BC –The Penticton Vees are pleased to announce goaltender Olivier Mantha (93) has committed to the University of Alaska-Anchorage for the 2014-2015 season.

 Mantha, 20, came to Penticton after spending the past three seasons in his home province of Quebec playing at Laflèche College in Trois-Rivières. Mantha appeared in 75 games for the Dragons and was named a RSEQ league All-Star in the past two seasons. The La Tuque, Quebec product was second in the Quebec college hockey circuit in save-percentage this past season, and also received a student-excellence award in 2012.

 The Vees goaltender says he’s excited to secure a scholarship this early and looks forward to the challenges ahead, “I’m surprised but very happy to have this happen so soon, as this the reason I made the move to play in BC. My main goal now is to win as many games I can for this team and win a championship.”
 Mantha says what drew him to Anchorage was the ability to make an immediate impact next fall, “The coaching staff told me I will have an opportunity as a freshman to earn the starting job there next season and that will only help me better myself while I’m here in Penticton.”

 The Alaska-Anchorage hockey program was founded in 1979 and the Seawolves have been a part of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association since 1993. Vees alumni that have played at Alaska-Anchorage include Matt Hanson, Nick Lowe, Spencer Carberry and most recently Andrew Pickering. Mantha is now the eighth players on the Vees roster with an NCAA scholarship.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Rivermen captain commits to college for next year

Press Release

The Langley Rivermen announced today that newly named captain Mitch McLain has committed to play with the Bowling Green Falcons, in Bowling Green, Ohio starting next season.

McLain is a native of Baxter, Minnesota so this decision means he will be playing a little closer to home when he suites up for the Falcons in the fall of 2014.

“I am super excited,” McLain said about the opportunity to play closer to home. "There’s a couple teams in the league that are in Minnesota. My family will be able to come watch, and I think that’s going to be really important for me.”

McLain is coming off a strong rookie season with the Rivermen as he took on an alternate captain role later in the season and was in April named captain for the 2013-2014 season. The 19-year-old collected 15 goals and 18 assists with the Rivermen during the 2012-13 campaign. He also helped lead the Rivermen to a playoff berth where they fell in four games to the rival South Surrey Eagles.

The focus at this time is the coming BCHL season, and it’s clear what Mclain wants for his team,

“We expect to win. We’re going to play hard every game and were going to be the toughest team to play against every night.”

McLain has seen his team off to a sound start to the upcoming campaign as the Rivermen have won both their exhibition games with two remaining.  

The captain has one more season with the Rivermen to prepare for his jump to post-secondary hockey as he’s hoping the progression continues.

“Hopefully I make the jump to college, adapt well and hopefully find a career playing pro hockey.” 

 (Nathan can be reached at

CCHL regular season opens with annual Fall Showcase

Press Release

The CCHL (Central Canada Hockey League) is proud to be hosting their annual Fall Showcase at the Bell Sensplex this Labour Day week-end (August 30th - September 2nd). All 12 teams will be under one roof playing three regular season games to kick-off the 2013-14 campaign. The league will build on the success of last season where the Cornwall Colts won the league championship after the league enjoyed its best parity in years.
Kevin Abrams, CCHL Commissioner is excited about the upcoming year, “we hope to continue to be one of the premier Jr. A leagues in the country and believe the overall depth is even deeper this coming year.” The CCHL regularly boasts 3-4 teams in the weekly Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) Top 20 and former Cornwall Colt Michael Pontarelli earned CJHL Top Player in the inaugural National awards presented last season. It’s these successes that further illustrate the high caliber of play while also focusing on player development. The league boasts impressive results with 18 alumni currently playing in the NHL, 189 competing in the NCAA and 62 in the CIS.
This week-end is a popular one, the Sensplex will be busy as scouts and recruiters will take in the 18 games to initially identify future talent. Abrams likes the showcase concept, “it’s very important as everyone can come together in a single venue and get to evaluate our players, many will get on the radar of NHL, NCAA, CIS and major junior programs.”  The CCHL will also host a subsequent “Hockey Day in Canada” in Carleton Place (Saturday, February 8th, 2014) when all 12 teams will play one game.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Omaha's Price to play in WHL this season

Press Release

The Omaha AAA Hockey Club, proud members of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL), are pleased to announce that 16U forward Ethan Price (2010-13) has signed a Western Hockey League education agreement with the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL.
Price, a 16-year-old from Lincoln, Nebraska played the last three seasons for the Omaha AAA Hockey Club 16U team and had a fantastic NAPHL career.
Price amassed 84 goals, 90 assists and 174 pts in 195 career games played. Last season was Price's best season in Omaha scoring 41 goals and 61 assists for 102 points in 77 games.
In addition, Price was invited to participate in the USNTDP Final 50 Camp and was a 3rd round pick in the USHL Phase 1 Draft to the Youngstown Phantoms.
This past season, Price led Omaha in scoring during NAPHL games with 38 points (15 goals, 23 assists) in 22 games played. He also had eight points in five playoff games as the Omaha AAA 16U Hockey Club won the NAPHL Championship.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Americans add prospect Jordan Topping

Press Release

Kennewick, WA – Tri-City Americans Governor/General Manager Bob Tory announced today that the team has signed 16-year-old prospect Jordan Topping to a standard WHL Players Contract.

Topping, a 5’11 170-pound left wing from Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, spent last season with North Island Silvertips of the British Columbia Major Midget League, appearing in 40 games and registering 8 goals, 17 points and 26 penalty minutes.  Originally drafted by Tri-City in the 8th round (175th overall) of the 2012 Bantam Draft, Topping becomes the 7th member of the Americans’ 2012 Draft class to sign with the club.  Jordan has no relation to current Americans’ captain, Mitch Topping.

“Jordan had had a tremendous training camp after a strong Midget season last year,” explained Tory.  “We are excited about his future with our hockey club.”

 (Nathan can be reached at

Americans sign prospect Dylan Coghlan

Press Release

Kennewick, WA – Tri-City Americans Governor/General Manager Bob Tory announced today that the team has signed 15-year-old prospect Dylan Coghlan to a standard WHL Players Contract.

Coghlan, a 6’1 170-pound defenseman from Nanaimo, British Columbia, recently concluded his first season with the Nanaimo Clippers Bantam AAA.  In 34 games this season, Coghlan compiled 18 goals, 40 points and 72 penalty minutes.  Coghlan, who attended British Columbia’s U-16 Provincial Camp this past July, was originally drafted by Tri-City in the 3rd round (63rd overall) in the 2013 Bantam Draft.  Coghlan joins Parker AuCoin and Nolan Yaremko as signees from the 2013 Draft class, with the Americans now having signed three of their top four picks.

“Dylan is a poised, focused hockey player on and off the ice,” explained Barclay Parneta, Americans’ Prospect Development Coach/Head Scout.  “Our scouting staff did a terrific job of identifying these characteristics within Dylan and we are excited to watch him develop and grow towards achieving his hockey goals.”

 (Nathan can be reached at

Nathan Looysen signed by Blazers

Press Release

Kamloops, BC – Kamloops Blazers General Manager Craig Bonner announced this morning that the Blazers have signed 17-year-old forward Nathan Looysen to a standard WHL contract.

Looysen, who is from Saanichton, BC, was listed by the Blazers in November 2012 after spending last season with the Peninsula Panthers of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League. Looysen had 10 goals, 13 assists and 23 points in 27 games last season. He also chipped in with four points in five playoff games.

 “Nathan came in under the radar but had a great camp,” said Bonner. “He has earned the opportunity here and we will continue to watch his progress throughout the WHL preseason.”

Looysen is expected to play this weekend as the Blazers open the WHL preseason Friday, August 30th in Kelowna. The Blazers will play their first home WHL preseason this Sunday, September 1st starting at 6:00pm at the Interior Savings Centre.
(Nathan can be reached at

Troops sign Butler for five years

Press Release

NORTH BAY, Ont. – Stan Butler has signed a five-year contract extension as director of hockey operations and head coach of the North Bay Battalion, the Ontario Hockey League club announced Wednesday.

Butler, a 57-year-old Toronto native, is the only person to hold those positions in the history of the organization, embarking on its first season in North Bay after 15 years in Brampton.

“Five years is a long time, but (owner) Scott Abbott and I have developed a good longterm relationship,” Butler said after overseeing fitness testing on the opening day of training camp.

“It was a big decision for me to come to North Bay, and to his credit Scott gave me the security you need when you’re making those kinds of commitments in your life.”

Abbott said he’s pleased to have Butler guiding the organization’s hockey department as it makes the move to Northern Ontario.

“No one in the Canadian Hockey League has a greater mind for the game or consideration for the young men playing it at our level than does Stan,” said Abbott.

“We’re extremely fortunate that he has signed on to carry the Battalion tradition to North Bay. This is an exciting time for the franchise and one that holds great promise for the future, both on the ice and off.

“Stan and I have a strong relationship, and I’m very happy that he has the helm of hockey operations, reporting directly to me.”

Butler oversees a coaching staff that includes assistants Ryan Oulahen and John Goodwin and goaltending coach Rob Beatty.

“We have good stability here,” noted Butler. “We hope to put a competitive product on the ice on a yearly basis. I’m excited about this situation here in North Bay. The people here have responded really well to our team.”

Butler, who previously has worked under a series of four four-year contracts, joined the Battalion a year before the club’s inaugural season of 1998-99, scouting for the both the Expansion Draft and 1998 OHL Priority Selection. He has guided the Troops to a won-lost-tied record of 468-500-52.

Since joining the Central Division for the 2002-03 season, the Battalion has won the division title four times, in 2002-03, 2005-06, 2007-08 and 2008-09. In that season, the Troops captured their first Eastern Conference crown and advanced to the OHL Championship Series, in which they lost to the Windsor Spitfires in five games.

Butler is credited with 125 playoff games, third among active coaches, and has compiled a postseason won-lost mark of 51-74.

The OHL’s longest-tenured coach, Butler started his major junior career with two seasons behind the bench of the Oshawa Generals in 1994-95 and 1995-96 before spending one season as head coach of the Prince George Cougars of the Western Hockey League.

He is credited with 1,152 OHL games coached, fourth on the all-time list behind Brian Kilrea, Bert Templeton and Larry Mavety. Butler has an all-time OHL won-lost-tied record of 538-549-65 and is seventh on the career wins list, one behind Peter DeBoer.

“I love the OHL; it’s a great league,” said Butler. “I think I contribute a lot at the league level. I’m on the competition committee and I’ve been involved with the Canada-Russia series for a number of years.

“I enjoy my job. My mother told me when I was young that it didn’t matter what you did in life as long as you did something you enjoy. Hockey is a tough business, and I’m thankful I’ve been able to keep my head above water for a long time.”

 (Nathan can be reached at

Winkler alum Nick Fuher steps behind the bench

Press Release

The Winkler Flyers will have another familiar face behind the bench this season as former Flyer defenseman Nick Fuher has been hired as an Assistant Coach.  Fuher will join Ken Pearson (Head Coach) and fellow Assistant Coach Ernie Sutherland as the teams coaches.

Fuher played one season in Winkler during the 1998-1999 season before moving on to the Lincoln Stars (USHL) the following year.  The Grand Forks, North Dakota native then went on to play four years for the North Dakota Fighting Sioux (NCAA Div I). Fuher played three games with the Utah Grizzlies of the American Hockey League before his pro career was shortened due to injury.

He began his coaching career with the Lincoln Stars in the 2007-2008 season as an assistant. Fuher will replace Steve Mullin who stepped down in order to spend more time with his family.

With the Flyers, Fuher recorded 10 goals and 45 assists for 55 points, received All-Rookie team and second team All-Star honors, was the runner-up for Rookie of the Year and Defenseman of the Year.

The Flyers would like to welcome Nick back into the Flyers Organization and would like to thank Steve and his family for their commitment to the club over the past year.

 (Nathan can be reached at

T-Birds sign Elder and Volcan

Press Release

KENT, August 29, 2013 — Seattle Thunderbirds general manager Russ Farwell today announced center Kaden Elder and left wing Nolan Volcan have both signed a WHL Standard Player Agreement.
“We are very happy to be adding these two players to the Thunderbirds,” said Farwell. “Both players bring high end skill, proven scoring, and leadership and this is a great day for our team. We are excited to have them on board.”

Both Elder and Volcan will play in the Everett Silvertips Preseason Tournament this coming weekend at Comcast Arena.

Elder, from Saskatoon, was the T-Birds second first round pick, 22nd overall, in the 2013 Bantam Draft. He played for the Notre Dame Hounds last season and had 64 points on 27 goals and 37 assists for 64 points.
“It is a huge honor to sign with the T-Birds,” said Elder. “Signing is just the beginning and this is a big first step in my hockey career. I feel I worked hard in rookie and main camp and this is something I know I will have to do to earn a spot on the team next season. I am looking forward to playing in the Everett tournament this weekend.”

Volcan, from Edmonton, was the T-Birds second round pick, 27th overall, in the 2013 Bantam Draft. He played for Edmonton MLAC Bantam AAA team last year and had 40 goals and 36 assists for 76 points in 32 games. Volcan is the son of former Seattle Breaker Marty Volcan.

“I think signing with the T-Birds a big step in my career,” said Volcan. “I thought rookie camp went well for me and I really like the facilities here. Playing at main camp against the size and speed of the returning veterans will really help me in my midget season this year. I am pretty happy to join an organization that my dad played for.”

 (Nathan can be reached at

Four AJHL Teams Listed in CJHL Top 20 Pre-Season Rankings

Press Release

The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting, announced today its Pre-Season Top 20 Rankings for the 2013-2014 season. The leagues in which the teams belong to are in parenthesis.

The CJHL Pre-Season 2013-2014 Top 20:

1. Brooks Bandits (AJHL)
2. Penticton Vees (BCHL)
3. Georgetown Raiders (OJHL)
4. Dauphin Kings (MJHL)
5. Vernon Vipers (BCHL)
6. Yorkton Terriers (SJHL)
7. Pembroke Lumber Kings (CCHL)
8. Summerside Western Capitals (MHL)
9. Humboldt Broncos (SJHL)
10. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL)
11. Newmarket Hurricanes (OJHL)
12. Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL)
13. Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL)
14. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL)
15. Langley Rivermen (BCHL)
16. Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL)
17. Truro Bearcats (MHL)
18. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL)
19. Okotoks Oilers (AJHL)
20. Les Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJAAAQ)

Honourable mention goes to the Melville Millionaires (SJHL), Winnipeg Blues (MJHL), Buffalo Jr. Sabres (OJHL), Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators (CCHL), and College Francais de Longeueil (LHJAAAQ).

The pre-season rankings are based upon a variety of factors which includes the league in which the teams belong to, last season’s results in regular season and playoffs, as well as initial recruiting efforts for the upcoming season. Best wishes to all as the quest begins for the RBC Cup Vernon, BC in May 2014.

The CJHL is an amalgamation of ten Junior A hockey leagues from across Canada. More information on the CJHL can be found by visiting the league website
 (Nathan can be reached at

Nova Scotia to Host CJHL Prospects Games in November

Press Release

 he communities of Digby and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia will host the CJHL Prospects Games for a second straight year on November 8th & 9th, 2013.  The 2013 CJHL Prospects Games will be held in conjunction with the 2013 World Junior A Challenge in Yarmouth, NS.

The CJHL Prospects Game was created to showcase 40 of the top NHL prospects in the CJHL. The CJHL Prospects Games feature players from the CJHL's five western leagues competing against the CJHL's five eastern leagues. The event includes a two-game total goal series between Team East and Team West in a battle for the President's Cup, which is awarded annually to the winning team.  Player selection for the annual CJHL Prospects Games is a joint initiative of the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting.

"For a second year the CJHL prospects will compete in front of an impressive audience of NHL scouts in Yarmouth and Digby," said Canadian Junior Hockey League President Kirk Lamb. "The CJHL Prospects Games continue to be a highlight of the CJHL schedule for our players and is heavily attended by NHL teams, major junior scouts and coaches from Canadian and American universities and colleges."

Coaching Staffs for the CJHL Prospects Teams will be announced in September.  Rosters for the 2013 CJHL Prospects teams will be determined following the World Junior A Challenge Selection Camps at the end of October.

CJHL Prospects Game #1 will be played on Friday, November 8th at the Digby Arena in Digby, NS at 7:00PM. On Saturday, November 9th, Game #2 will take place at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, NS at 4:00PM.

Tickets to the CJHL Prospects Game in Digby, N.S., will be on sale at Digby Arena and at beginning Monday, September 14th.  Tickets to the CJHL Prospects Game in Yarmouth, N.S., will be on sale at a later date.

(Nathan can be reached at

Otters make first camp cuts

Press Release

Erie, Pa. – The Erie Otters Hockey Club of the Ontario Hockey League have made their first cuts to their training camp roster. In total, 14 players were trimmed from the original training camp roster.

Of the players cut, seven came from the Otters 2013 Priority Selection, including: Patrick Fellows, TJ Fergus, Owen Headrick, Trayvon Henry, Sean Kohler, Frank Pucci, and Jack Scanlan. These players were reassigned back to their individual teams.

The other seven players cut were invited free agents and have been released outright. This group includes: Brady Allen, Mathew Bell, Anton Bura, Teilen Celentano, Brett Dykstra, Arun Kumar, and Alex Row.

The remaining players will continue with the training camp schedule after being divided into two teams

 (Nathan can be reached at

Rangers announce hiring of Kain Tisi

Press Release

Kitchener Rangers General Manager Murray Hiebert officially announced the hiring of Goaltending Coach Kain Tisi on Wednesday afternoon.

Tisi played five seasons in the Ontario Junior Hockey League with the Mississauga Chargers, Milton IceHawks and St. Michael’s Buzzers. As an OJHL goaltender, he won a staggering 14 out of 15 playoff rounds.

After a successful junior career, Tisi spent four seasons playing NCAA hockey with the St. Lawrence University Saints, where he played with Rangers’ Assistant Coach Mike McKenzie. During his time with the Saints, he was thrice named the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Goaltender of the Week.

He went on to play professional hockey in the East Coast Hockey League with the Reading Royals. In 2012-13, he returned to the OJHL Buzzers and was the goaltending coach for their league championship team.

“We are extremely pleased that Kain will be joining the Kitchener Rangers this season,” said Hiebert.

“He will bring his tremendous work ethic to our coaching staff and we anticipate him being a great fit with our team. He brings experience at a number of different levels and as a young coach we look forward to having him work with our goaltenders.” 

 (Nathan can be reached at

Dubuque Falls to Finland, Will Play for Bronze at JCWC

Press Release
  OMSK, Russia – A night after earning a victory over the hometown Omsk Hawks, the Dubuque Fighting Saints came up just short of advancing to gold medal game of the 2013 Junior Club World Cup.

Dubuque fell by a score of 3-2 to Finland’s HPK Hameenlinna in the tournament’s Semifinals at the Omsk Arena on Thursday, meaning the team will now play Belarus’ Dynamo-Shinnik on Saturday for the bronze medal, while HPK will play the Omsk Hawks for a chance at the gold medal later that night.

Dubuque’s first period was filled with minor penalties and the frame’s lone goal came from HPK on the man advantage. HPK’s Santeri Vuoti walked off the left side half-boards and wristed a shot under goaltender Christian Frey’s blocker to make it 1-0 at 9:09.

The second period had much more of a flow to it as no penalties were assessed.  Dubuque found themselves down by a pair of goals when HPK got a tally from Eetu Ville Arkiomaa at 3:20 to make it 2-0. The Fighting Saints had several chances to cut the lead to one, including a wrister from the blueline from Blake Hillman that rang the right post.

HPK would add to its lead with a goal on a goal from Patrik Virta at 16:32 of the second period. A miscommunication resulted in the puck deflecting off a stick towards Frey, but before the Dubuque goaltender could reach the puck, Vitra swept in underneath him to make it 3-0 HPK.

The Fighting Saints were determined to not take a three-goal deficit into the game’s final frame. Dubuque finally connected on the scoreboard thanks to a beautiful passing play from Andrew Gaus. The Dubuque forward fought through a hook from a HPK defender, and eluded another, before sliding a pass across to Dylan Gambrell on the right side of the crease. Gambrell fired the puck into the open goal to cut the lead to 3-1 at 17:35.

Dubuque carried over the momentum from the late period tally into the game’s third frame and pushed HPK with a valiant comeback attempt. Dubuque struck again, and this time it was Gaus who the recipient of a fantastic setup. Shane Eiserman used his large frame to push into the zone down the left wing side. Eiserman took the puck wide, before cutting back to the middle of the ice and sliding the puck past a defender over to Gaus who fired a one-timer past HPK netminder Joonas Toivonen to make the game 3-2 HPK just under three minutes into the period.

Dubuque would outshoot HPK 12-6 in the third period, and the Fighting Saints were awarded a late powerplay with three minutes remaining, but were unable to convert. Dubuque took its timeout with 44 seconds left and pulled goaltender Frey, and had several chances late, but ultimately HPK held on for the win. Dubuque outshot HPK 24-20.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Ice Dogs netminder Aldridge makes NCAA DI commitment

Press Release

The Fairbanks Ice Dogs, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that goaltender Kevin Aldridge has made a commitment to play NCAA Division I hockey for Lake Superior State of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA).
Aldridge, 19, is coming off his first season playing in the NAHL. Prior to coming to Fairbanks, the native of Beverly Hills, Michigan played two seasons for the Little Caesars 16U team.
Aldridge (5’8/150) had a solid first season, posting a 19-9-1 record during the regular season with one shutout.  At one point during the season in November and December, Aldridge made 12 straight starts because of an injury to the other Fairbanks goalie, Steve Perry. Aldridge posted a 2.33 goals against average and a 91.5% save percentage.
On November 19th he was honored as the West Division Star of the Week as he started and won both games of a weekend road sweep in Corpus Christi. His first career NAHL shutout came back on January 11th in a 4-0 win over the Janesville Jets.
“We are very proud of Kevin because this commitment is a result of a lot of hard work that he has put into becoming a better goaltender,” said Fairbanks head coach Trevor Stewart. “We are excited that he is continuing in the long line of Fairbanks goaltenders that have made an NCAA Division I commitment and hopefully will make an impact at the next level. With each passing game last season, Kevin got better and his teammates developed more and more confidence playing in front of him.”
Aldridge is the fourth player on the current 2013-14 Ice Dogs roster to have secured an NCAA Division I commitment, joining Duggie Lagrone (Colorado College), Tayler Munson (Alaska-Fairbanks) and Ethan Somoza (Bemidji State).

 (Nathan can be reached at

EHL Schedule Re-Worked After New Hampshire Lakers Go Dormant

Press Release

BOSTON, Mass. -- The Eastern Hockey Leauge has re-worked its 2013-14 regular season schedule to accomnmodate the revocation of the New Hampshire Lakers franchise for one season.  

Per EHL Bylaws, the Lakers requested the revocation for the 2013-14 season two weeks ago and the EHL quickly adopted the schedule that has been released today.

The 17 active EHL teams will still play a 44-game regular season schedule.

To view the updated schedule please click the "Schedule" button at the top of the EHL web site.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Saints advance to JCWC Semifinals after win over Omsk

Press Release

OMSK, Russia – The Dubuque Fighting Saints knew what result needed to be Wednesday night in order to advance to the Junior Club World Cup Semifinals and the club executed to perfection. The Fighting Saints used a pair of goals from Alexx Privitera and Max McHugh to earn a 6-4 victory over the hometown Omsk Hawks at the Omsk Arena, stunning the near capacity crowd that had watched the Hawks outscore opponents 11-4 in their first two games. With Dubuque’s victory, the club advances to the Semifinals as the top seed from Group A, and will play Finland’s HPK Thursday at 7:00 AM Central Time. The winner advances to the Gold Medal game Saturday.

Earlier in the day, the Vitkovice Steel rallied to score a late goal to force overtime with Latvia’s HC Riga. The game ended up with HC Riga winning in a shootout, but they only received two points in the standings, meaning the only way Dubuque could advance to the semifinals was with a regulation win to earn three points, and pass HC Riga in the standings.

The Fighting Saints did just that. The team came out quick and jumped out to a 3-0 in the first period. Alexx Privitera opened the scoring on the powerplay only 5:25 into the game. Dubuque gained the zone and worked the puck back to the point. A jam play in front of the goal resulted in the puck popping high into the air and hitting a combination of Privitera’s stick and body before rolling into the net to make it 1-0.

Just over 10 minutes later, Dubuque doubled its lead. Max McHugh struck on the powerplay for the Fighting Saints. After a strong shift and sustained pressure, Dubuque’s second powerplay unit struck. A near miss sent the puck to the nearside half-boards.  Jordan Klimek collected the puck and fired a cross-ice pass to McHugh who wristed a shot a shot over the glove of Omsk goalie Denis Kostin at 16:24.

Two minutes later the Fighting Saints struck again when Jacob Benson scored off a faceoff. Shane Eiserman won the draw and flipped it to Benson on the left wing. He fired a snapshot along the ice that snuck underneath Kostin and was in the back of the net in the blink of an eye. The goal game at 18:57 and ended Kostin’s night as he was removed for Denis Khramtsov with Dubuque up 3-0.

Omsk battled in the second period, getting a goal from Valery Gorshkov only :34 seconds into the middle frame to make it 3-1. However, Dubuque would bounce right back. Seamus Malone scored his second goal of the tournament on a two-on-none breakaway at 7:37 to give Dubuque its three goal lead back. Robby Darrar picked off a pass at center ice and rushed in alone on the goaltender. Malone joined down the left side, and Darrar flipped a pass over to his teammate who slid it into the open goal to make it 4-1 Dubuque.

The third period saw the Hawks scratch and claw their way back into the game. Egor Yakovlev scored to make it 4-2 only 3:28 into the third period. Again, Dubuque came right back. Andrew Gaus was credited with the goal for Dubuque, but it appeared Alexx Privitera notched his second tally of the game to make it 5-2. The veteran blueliner got the puck in the slot and outwaited Khramtsov, slipping a backhander under the sprawled goaltender at 4:59.

With a near capacity crowd in an arena that seats 10,318, the hometown Hawks were not going to go down without a fight. Valery Gorshkov scored on the powerplay for Omsk at the 12:33 make to make it 5-3. The Hawks would strike again on a tic-tac-toe passing play that was finished off by Vladimir Korolev on the backdoor to make it 5-4 at 16:30.

Dubuque’s Keegan Ford took a penalty with three minutes remaining, giving Omsk a key late powerplay with a chance to tie the game. Dubuque’s penalty kill stood tall, and McHugh iced the game with an empty net goal with only 35 second remaining to give Dubuque the 6-4 win.

Christian Frey got the win in goal for the Fighting Saints for the second straight game. He made several key stops in the third period, and finished the game with 27 saves. Omsk outshot Dubuque 31-30 in the game.

The Fighting Saints will continue play in the 2013 Junior Club World Cup Thursday when they battle HPK from Finland. The game will determine if the Fighting Saints play Saturday in the Bronze or Gold Medal game. Puck drop for tomorrow’s contest is slated for 7:00 AM Central Time and will be broadcasted live on Super Hits 106.1 FM and

 (Nathan can be reached at

Americans sign U.S. Prospect Brendan O’Reilly

Press Release

Kennewick, WA – Tri-City Americans Governor/General Manager Bob Tory announced today that the team has signed 16-year-old prospect Brendan O’Reilly to a standard WHL Players Contract.

O’Reilly, a 6’2 180-pound defenseman from Southlake, Texas, spent last season with the Victory Honda U-16 of the Tier 1 Elite League.  In 47 total games last year, O’Reilly collected 4 goals, 20 points and 25 penalty minutes.  An unlisted camp invite this year, O’Reilly, who was part of a team-record 14 U.S. prospects to attend this year’s main camp, becomes the third U.S. player to join Tri-City since last Friday, following the team’s acquisition of Kennewick-native Taylor Vickerman in a trade with Vancouver and signed Arizona-prospect Austyn Playfair on Monday.

“Brendan came into camp and impressed us with his skating and poise,” explained Tory.  “We are happy that Brendan and his family have chosen the WHL and our hockey club to pursue his professional goals and aspirations.”

(Nathan can be reached at

Pats sign prospect Sam Steel

Press Release

Regina, Saskatchewan – Regina Pats Senior VP and General Manager Chad Lang announced today the hockey club signed their 2nd Overall pick from the 2013 Bantam Draft, Sam Steel, to a Standard WHL Player Agreement.
Steel captained the Sherwood Park Bantam AAA Flyers in the 2012-13 season.  He led the team in scoring totaling 104 points (52G, 52A) in 31 games through the AMBHL season.  The 5’10”, 157 lbs forward took home some hardware as well this year being named the AMBHL North’s Top Forward and Most Sportsmanlike Player.  Steel rounded out his season by winning the Alberta Cup in Camrose while leading the tournament in scoring with 15 points (tied for 3rd all-time).

“Sam may be the most dynamic player to come out of the 2013 Bantam Draft,” commented Chad Lang.  “His skill-set and vision on the ice translate into Sam being a tremendous all-around player who makes those around him better.  In a short time, Sam has already proven his determination to compete at the highest level and find success.  We are excited to add him as an important part of our organization going forward.”

The 2013 off-season was a busy one for the skilled centre.  After the May 2nd WHL Bantam Draft, Steel attended the Pats Spring Development Camp at the end of May.  He was selected as one of three Canadian players to attend the 2013 IIHF Development Camp in Vierumaki, Finland in July.  Steel finished the summer by joining 41 of the top bantam players in Canada at the Allstate All-Canadians Mentorship Camp in Toronto and being named to Team Alberta’s short-list for the 2013 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup.
“It’s amazing, I’m really looking forward to this,” said Sam Steel.  “I’m going to work my hardest to help this team and prove what I can do.”

Pats fans can get a look at Sam Steel and his fellow prospects in action this evening as Regina Pats Training Camp gets underway at the Cooperators Centre with the first on-ice session at 7:00 p.m.  The annual Blue and White Game wraps up Camp Sunday, September 1st at 11 a.m.  Entry is just $2 at the door with the proceeds going towards the Pats Education Fund.

 (Nathan can be reached at

IceDogs Score Trio of Commitments

Press Release

Niagara IceDogs Head Coach and General Manager Marty Williamson announced today that Graham Knott, Cody Caron, and Sam Berg have all committed to the IceDogs, entering into OHL Standard Player Agreements with the club.

Knott was the first of two IceDog third round picks in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection and his commitment gives the IceDogs commitments from their top five selections in the 2013 Priority Selection, with Knott joining Hayden McCool, Zach Wilkie, Ryan Sarris and Johnny Corneil.  The 6'0", 160lbs. left winger picked up 8 goals and 8 assists for 16 points in 25 games with the York Simcoe Express last season.

The IceDogs have also added a sixth player from their 2013 Priority Selection with the commitment of seventh round pick Cody Caron.  A 17 year old centre, Caron was drafted from the Sault Ste. Marie North Stars where he put up 22 goals and 23 assists for 45 points in 31 games last season.

Finally, Sam Berg commits to the IceDogs after having been selected by the IceDogs in the 14th round of the 2012 OHL Priority Selection.  Berg split last season between the Buffalo Jr. Sabres and Hamilton Jr. Red Wings of the OJHL where he accumulated 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 points, as well as 215 penalty minutes in 52 games.

 (Nathan can be reached at

Sea Dogs roster stands at twenty-five

Press Release

SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs have announced twenty-five players remain in training camp ahead of the start of the 2013-14 season.

Four players have been reassigned. They are forwards Mathieu Joseph, Brett Malone and Riley Craft and defenceman Bailey Webster.

There are now 13 forwards, nine defencemen and three goalies remaining in camp.

The players will return to Saint John after the Labour Day long weekend to prepare for the team’s next exhibition game Friday, September 6th at Moncton to take on the Wildcats.
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Phantoms Partner With 21 WFMJ to Unveil New Jerseys Thursday at Canfield Fair

Press Release

 YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Phantoms invite fans to the Canfield Fair this Thursday, Aug. 29 for the official unveiling of the team’s new uniforms for the 2013-14 season. This special event, which is sponsored by 21 WFMJ, will be held at the station’s tent near the Canfield Fair Grandstand and “WFMJ Today” morning anchor Mike Case will be hosting the festivities, which begin at 5 p.m. EST.

The event marks a new milestone for the Phantoms franchise, which is updating its jersey design for the first time since entering the United States Hockey League in 2009-10.

“I cannot think of a more fitting way to celebrate our fifth season in the USHL and begin of a chapter in our franchise’s history. We could not be more excited for our fans and the entire community,” Phantoms vice president and chief operating officer Brian Wojtowicz said. “We want to thank 21 WFMJ for their generous support and this unique opportunity.”

Fans can follow the Phantoms and WFMJ 21 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for exclusive glimpses of the new jerseys leading up to full unveiling Thursday evening.

Additionally, the Phantoms season ticket holders who have purchased four or more tickets, or a club tickets for the 2013-14 season will be able to pick up their free jersey following the unveiling event, before the jerseys go on sale to the general public. Phantoms staff will be available in the 21 WFMJ tent from 5-7 p.m.

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Jets agree to terms with Brenden Kichton

Press Release

The Winnipeg Jets are pleased to announce they have agreed to terms with defenceman Brenden Kichton on a three-year, two-way, entry level contract with an average annual value of $620,000.

Kichton, 21, played in 71 games with the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL last season. In that time, the left-handed defenceman recorded 85 points (22G, 62A) and 30 penalty minutes. At the end of the 2012-13 season, he was named the WHL’S Top Defenceman and awarded the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy.
The Spruce Grove, AB native played five seasons with the Chiefs for 333 career games, 268 career points (67G, 201A) and 143 career penalty minutes. Kichton has also suited up for 42 playoff games with Spokane for 19 career playoff points (3G, 16A) and 12 playoff penalty minutes.

Kitchton was originally drafted by the New York Islanders in the fifth round, 127th overall, in the 2011 NHL Draft. He was then drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the seventh round, 190th overall, in the 2013 NHL Draft.

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Rockets, Huska agree to three year contract extension

Press Release

Kelowna Rockets President/GM Bruce Hamilton announced on Wednesday that the Rockets have agreed to terms with head coach Ryan Huska on a three year contract extension.

The extension will begin following the 2013-14 Western Hockey League season and will keep Huska under contract with the Rockets through the 2016-17 season.

"We're thrilled to have Ryan signed long-term," said Hamilton. "We understand and we encourage his goals to move along and advance his career. This ensures that he's going to be in Kelowna as long as he's coaching in the WHL."

Huska is entering his seventh season as the Rockets head coach and 12th year as a member of the Rockets' coaching staff. This summer he added to an already impressive resume, which includes four Memorial Cup championships, by being inducted into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame as a player with the Kamloops Blazers.

Last year Huska led the Rockets to the WHL BC Division title, a franchise record 52 win season and a Kelowna-record 23 game home winning streak. His teams in Kelowna have never finished below .500."I'm very thankful for the opportunity to have the contract extended," said Huska. "I appreciate the opportunity to work with this organization and to work with the people I have over the years. I'm really excited for the opportunity we have here in the next couple of years. I'd like to thank the Hamilton family for their faith in me and our coaching staff."

Huska won three Memorial Cups as a player and then in 2004 was on the Rockets' bench as an assistant coach, winning his fourth championship. In 2008-09 he guided the Rockets to a WHL championship and a second place finish at the Memorial Cup. Huska also won a silver and bronze medal as an assistant coach with Team Canada's World Junior Hockey team.

"What Ryan brings is more than just coaching," said Hamilton. "He's a quality person and he has surrounded himself with a quality coaching staff that are working their way to being in position to move up as coaches."

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Saskatoon Blades sign trio of prospects

Press Release

SASKATOON, SK - The Saskatoon Blades are extremely pleased to announce that they have signed their top three picks from the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.

All three of defenceman Nolan Reid, left-winger Parker Smyth and center Luke Gingras have been signed to standard WHL player contracts.

"All three players were standouts at training camp this past weekend," said Blades general manager Lorne Molleken.   "We drafted them for a reason, all three are good young players with unique skillsets and we are glad to have them under contract as part of our future."

Reid was the Blades first selection in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, being chosen in the second round, 41st overall.  The right-handed blueliner from Deer Valley, Saskatchewan played bantam for Notre Dame this past season, registering 10 goals and 27 points in 30 games to go along with 30 PIMs.

"We feel that Nolan is an extremely skilled defenceman," said Blades assistant general manager Jarrod Brodsky.  "We felt that he was one of the better puck movers.  He's really a solid all-round player with a lot of offensive upside."

Smyth was the Blades second selection in the draft.  Like Reid, he was taken in the second round, 44th overall.  He spent last year with his hometown Red Deer Rebels Black bantam-AAA team.  In 31 games, he scored 16 goals to go along with 16 assists and 90 PIMs.

"Parker is our type of player," said Brodsky.  "He's a big winger who skates well, plays a solid two-way game and has a great work ethic. "

Gingras, of Langley, BC was the Blades third selection of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft when they grabbed him with the 67th overall pick.  The Blades were extremely pleased to get the big left-handed centerman when they did in the draft.

"We were really happy Luke was still there in the 4th round," said Brodsky at the time of the draft.  "Luke is a physical player who always finishes his checks.  He's an extremely physical forward and he has skill to compliment that part of his game."

The Saskatoon Blades would like to welcome all three players and their families to the organization and would like to congratulate them on reaching this exciting milestone.

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Brandon plans for mobile app unveiled

Press Release

Brandon, MB. – The Brandon Wheat Kings, in association with Frank’s Computer are pleased to announce plans to launch an official mobile application for Apple, Android and BlackBerry devices.

The free mobile app will be available later this week by searching ‘Wheat Kings’ in iTunes, Google Play or BlackBerry App World.

“Franks Computer / myITsource are proud local partners and are extremely excited about the new mobile app,” says Frank Arndt, President. “This application will allow Wheat King fans to stay in touch with their favorite team using technology that we sell and support locally in Brandon, which makes it a great fit for both organizations.

The official mobile app of the WHL’s Wheat Kings will feature real-time scoring data direct from wherever the Wheat Kings may be playing this upcoming season. Follow each and every game in real-time with complete boxscores, game summaries and up to the minute stats.

Other features include Push Notification alerts, the ability to purchase tickets online, breaking news and headlines, special events, access to Pointstreak 50/50 updates during all home games at Westman Place as well as up to date stats and standings from across the WHL.

As the 2013-14 season begins next month, more great features will be incorporated into the Wheat Kings App including game and scoring notifications, player tracking and much more including Fan Voting / Surveys, a Live radio link to 880 CKLQ’s play by play broadcasts with Bruce Luebke, Game Check-in at Westman Place as well as a link to the Wheat Kings’ online store.

The Wheat Kings mobile app was developed by Buzzer Apps, who have been building mobile apps for Canadian Hockey League teams for years. Buzzer Apps provides turnkey mobile solutions for businesses, venues, organizations, sports teams and leagues.

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OHL Introduces Ken Bodendistel Character Award for Officials

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League Board of Governors at its recent Annual Meeting established a new award for league on-ice officials and in so doing chose to recognize OHL Senior Officiating Manager, Ken Bodendistel.

“The Bodie” is presented annually to the OHL official who demonstrates a passion and dedication to officiating and the game of hockey, who best exemplifies leadership on and off the ice, professionalism, and is respected by OHL member teams, players, and fellow officials alike. 

The new award was introduced at the annual pre-season OHL Officiating Camp held this past weekend, August 23-24, 2013, at the University of Guelph.

In making the announcement, OHL Commissioner David Branch stated, “Ken Bodendistel has been a builder of the Ontario Hockey League and his contributions in the area of the development of our league, particularly in the area of his leadership, management and growth of our on-ice officials cannot be overstated and is unmatched.  It is fitting that such an award be named in Ken’s honour.”

The 2012-13 season marked Bodendistel’s 39th straight year of OHL service off the ice in an administrative role.  Beginning as a Supervisor in 1974-75, Bodendistel’s career also included a 12-year term as the league’s Director of Officiating from 1982-94 and most recently serving as Senior Officiating Manager for the past five seasons.  He began his officiating career in the 1960’s skating in the OHA and OHA Jr. A through 1968-69 before he was signed by the NHL.  Bodendistel worked professionally for two seasons in the NHL, WHL, and CHL before returning to referee OHA Jr. A for his final three seasons from 1971-72 to 1973-74.

Also announced at the OHL Officiating Camp was the inaugural recipient of “The Bodie”, presented to referee Scott Oakman.  Oakman, from Mount Albert, ON, is entering his 15th season as a member of the OHL’s Officiating Staff.  Last season he was assigned to the Rogers OHL Championship Series for the first time in his career.

Nominations for “The Bodie” will be made by OHL officials and reviewed by a Selection Committee comprised of the league’s Supervisory staff and Director of Officiating.  The award will be presented annually in August at the Officiating Camp.

A total of 90 officials attended the OHL’s pre-season Officiating Camp at the University of Guelph including 18 prospective OHL officials with a total of 37 referees and 53 linesmen.  The camp included fitness evaluations, skating sessions, rule and video seminars, and team building activities.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

WHL Schedules Special Meeting to Review Application To Transfer Ownership of Saskatoon Blades

Press Release

Calgary, AB -- The WHL announced today a special meeting of the WHL Board of Governors has been scheduled for Wednesday September 4 to review an application to transfer the ownership of the Saskatoon Blades WHL franchise. The meeting will take place at the Delta Airport Hotel in Calgary.

The co-owners of the Saskatoon Blades, Jack Brodsky, together with his brother Bob and sister Debbie, have entered into an agreement with Mr. Mike Priestner to purchase the franchise. Mr. Priestner is the owner of Go Auto, an Edmonton based automotive company, which owns over 30 dealerships throughout Western Canada.

The sale of the franchise and the transfer of ownership from the Brodsky family to Mr. Priestner requires the approval of the WHL Board of Governors. A special resolution vote of two-thirds majority from the Board of Governors is required in order to grant approval for the sale. If approval is granted at the September 4 meeting, Mr. Priestner will assume control of the Saskatoon Blades franchise prior to the start of the 2013-14 WHL season.

The WHL, the Brodsky family and Mr. Priestner will not be making any further comments on this matter until following the WHL Board of Governors Meeting on September 4.

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Americans Sign 2012 Draft Prospect Maxwell James

Press Release

Kennewick, WA – Tri-City Americans Governor/General Manager Bob Tory announced today that the team has signed 16-year-old prospect Maxwell James to a standard WHL Players Contract.

James, a 6’3 215-pound forward from Kamloops, British Columbia, recently concluded his first season with the Thompson Blazers Midget AAA of the British Columbia Major Midget League.  In 40 games this season, James collected 4 goals, 12 points and 69 penalty minutes.  James was originally drafted by Tri-City in the 6th round (131st overall) in the 2012 Bantam Draft.  With James’ signing today, the Americans have now inked their top-six picks from the 2012 Bantam Draft, joining Parker Wotherspoon, Braden Purtill, Tyler Fraser, Ty Comrie and Evan Sarthou.

“Max has shown tremendous commitment and dedication since last year’s camp,” stated Americans’ Prospect Development Coach/Head Scout Barclay Parneta.  “This has resulted in maturation on the ice that is evident in his goal to become a WHL player.”

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Royals Sign Draft Picks Phillips and Jarratt

Press Release

Victoria, BC –The Victoria Royals Hockey Club is proud to announce that the club has signed forward Matthew Phillips and defenceman Ralph Jarratt to Western Hockey League (WHL) Standard Players’ Agreements.

“We are very happy to announce the signings of Matthew Phillips and Ralph Jarratt,” Royals’ General Manager Cameron Hope said. “They are two very special players and we welcome them to the Western Hockey League and the Victoria Royals.”

Matthew Phillips

The Royals selected Calgary’s Matthew Phillips with their second round, 33rd overall, pick of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. Phillips was recently shortlisted for his province’s Under-16 squad as he made Team Alberta’s list in preparation for the 2013 Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup.

During the 2012-13 season, Phillips played with the Calgary Bisons of the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League (AMBHL). The 5-6, 130 lb winger appeared in 37 games for the Bisons and scored 77 points (40g-37a) to go along with eight minutes in penalties.

“We were excited to be able to draft Matthew to the Victoria Royals in May,” Hope said. “Matthew has an abundance of speed and skill that generates excitement whenever he’s on the ice. He has great potential and a bright future in the Western Hockey League.”

Ralph Jarratt

Victoria used their second pick of round two in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft to take Ralph Jarratt 37th overall. Hailing from Fort St. John, BC, Jarratt spent the 2012-13 hockey season in BC with the Pursuit of Excellence (POE) Bantam AAA program. The 6-1, 170 lb defenceman tallied 29 points (3g-26a) and 66 penalty minutes in 28 games with POE last year.

“Ralph was the first defenceman we chose in this year’s draft,” Hope said. “In camp, he exceeded our expectations at both ends of the ice and we are excited to have Ralph in Royals’ colours for the years to come.”

Phillips and Jarratt will each suit up for Team Renyard in the final game of the Royals’ 2013 Main Camp this evening. Puck drop is set for 5:00 p.m. at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

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Ice add to coaching staff

Press Release

Cranbrook, BC – Jeff Chynoweth, General Manager of the Kootenay ICE Hockey Club, today announced the Club will be adding Mike Dyck to the Coaching Staff when Ryan McGill leaves in December to be an Assistant Coach with Team Canada at the 2014 World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden. Mike will attend Training Camp to get to know the players and staff and will be in Cranbrook once a month leading up to Ryan McGill’s departure on December 12.

“With Ryan going to the World Juniors and this being Jay’s first year coaching in the WHL we felt another coach was needed during this time frame. We feel very fortunate to be able to add a coach with the experience that Mike has in the WHL. Like Jay he also played in the League and can relate to the players of today having coached Team Pacific (Sam Reinhart, Jaedon Descheneau) at the 2012 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge,” continued Chynoweth

“I have known Mike since he played in the WHL (1985-1989) and with his coaching experience it was a natural choice. With me being gone for a month it was very important to have someone that both Jay and the players felt comfortable with. I am confident with the  group of players we have returning that it will be a seamless transition with Jay and Mike running the bench,” commented Head Coach Ryan McGill.

Mike Dyck was Head Coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes for five years from 2005 through 2009 and compiled a 132-120-16 win-loss record, including a trip to the 2008 WHL Finals. Prior to that he was also an Assistant Coach with the Hurricanes and Vancouver Giants.

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