Saturday, September 27, 2008

CHL Players in NHL Training Camps--NHL Teams Update

Calgary and Carolina made more cuts yesterday. However, Calgary has still kept John Negrin (Kootenay Ice, WHL) in camp, and Carolina has retained Brett Bellmore (Plymouth Whalers, OHL), Brandon Sutter (Red Deer Rebels, WHL), Zach Boychuk (Lethbridge Hurricanes, WHL), and Drayson Bowman (Spokane Chiefs, WHL).

As expected, Jamie Benn (Kelowna Rockets, WHL) was returned to juniors by Dallas yesterday. The Stars no longer have any junior players in training camp.

Now lets move on to move NHL teams:

Edmonton--Have returned Phillipe Cornet (Rimouski Oceanic, QMJHL), Milan Kytnar (Saskatoon Blades, WHL), Dalton Prout (Barrie Colts, OHL), and Jordan Eberle (Regina Pata, WHL). Potential overager Andrew Perugini (Sarnia Sting, OHL) was assigned to Springfield of the AHL. Although Perugini is still listed on Sarnia's roster, he did sign an AHL contract earlier this week, and it looks like he is gone permanently. The only CHL player in camp with the Oilers as of yesterday was Alex Plante (Calgary Hitmen, WHL), whose saga with the Hitmen goes on. We shall see how it turns out, but this should all be resolved within the next two weeks. The problem is, of course, that Plante had a terrible season last year. He was injured, but his lack of production is limiting what the Hitmen can get for him. More is going on here than we know, so, while opinions abound, it is not clear where the best place for Plante to play. The NHL team has gotten involved (they have invested a huge amount of money in the player and want him to develop as best he can), so hopefully it will be resolved soon. In any case, Plante will play with the Hitmen tonight.

Florida--Earlier this week the Panthers returned Adam Comrie (Saginaw Spirit, OHL), AJ Jenks (Plymouth Whalers, OHL), Colby Robak (Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL), and Corey Syvret (Guelph Storm, OHL). While there are still potential overagers with the NHL team, it is not likely that they will return to CHL play.

More later.

Friday, September 26, 2008

CHL Players in NHL Training Camps--NHL Teams A-D

By the time this post is up, there probably will be more changes, but here is the situation as of late last night.

Anaheim--Maxime Macenauer (Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL) signed an ELC contract Wednesday, however, as a 1989, he will return to junior hockey unless he secures an NHL roster spot. OHL Oshawa Generals' overage defenseman Eric Regan will not be playing junior hockey this year, as he also signed an ELC yesterday and is an 1988. Eric Tangradi (Belleville Bulls, OHL) and Stefan Warg (Seattle Thunderbirds). Sure to return to junior play over the next week are Logan McMillan (Halifax, QMJHL) and Marco Cousineau (Baie-Comeau Drakkar, QMJHL).

Atlanta--Wednesday, the Thrashers sent netminder Chris Carozzi (Mississauga St. Mikes Majors, OHL), winger Danick Paquette (Lewiston MAINEiacs, QMJHL), and blueliner Paul Postma (Calgary Hitmen, WHL) back to their junior teams. Postma already played and is expected to have a big effect on the team's production from the blueline this season. Atlanta still has Angelo Esposito (Montreal Junior, QMJHL) and Zach Bogosian (Peterborough Petes, OHL) with the team. It is doubtful that either will return to their junior teams anytime soon. An NHL team can play these highly touted prospects for nine NHL regular season games before its counts as a year on their ELCs, so it might be another month before either player sees CHL action. Actually, I don't expect either player back in the junior ranks, but Don Waddell could surprise and send either or both back to junior hockey.

Boston--Has already sent back Jamie Arniel (Sarnia Sting, OHL), Michael Hutchinson (Barrie Colts, OHL), Denis Ruel (Lewiston MAINEiacs, QMJHL), and Maxime Sauve (Val-d'Or Foreurs, QMJHL). Not yet returned is overager Jordan Knackstadt (Moose Jaw, WHL) , who is likely to get a professional contract.

Buffalo--sent back Luke Adam and TJ Brennan both of the Montreal Junior (QMJHL). If Angelo Esposito is returned from Atlanta and Adam and Brennan are playing, Montreal will be an entirely different team. Look for much more offense now, as the two Sabres' prospects take the ice for the Junior. Buffalo also sent back Paul Byron (Gatineau Olympiques, QMJHL), Tyler Ennis (Medicine Hat Tigers, WHL), Jacob Lagace (Chicoutimi Sagueneens, QMJHL), Nick Crawford (Saginaw Spirit, OHL), Drew Scheistel (Niagara Ice Dogs), and Jordan Southorn (PEI Rocket). Remaining in training camp is Tyler Myers (Kelowna Rockets, WHL), who is not expected back to Kelowna for the time being.

Calgary--With Keith Aulie (Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL), Lance Bouma (Vancouver Giants, WHL), TJ Brodie (Saginaw Spirit, OHL), Ryley Grantham (Moose Jaw Warriors, WHL) Greg Nemisz (Windsor Spits, OHL) and Mitch Wahl (Spokane Chiefs, WHL) already returned more than a week ago, these players have contributed to their respective junior teams. Remaining in camp is John Negrin (Kootneay Ice, WHL). Negrin could make a big difference for the Ice, and when he returns, expect the close games to go more of Kootenay's way.

Carolina--Made their cuts Wednesday, reassigning five junior players and releasing two others from their ATOs. Reassigned were overager Justin McRae (Spokane Chiefs, WHL), Chris Terry (Plymouth Whalers, OHL), Samuel Morneau (Val-d'Or Foreurs, QMJHL), Mike Murphy (Belleville Bulls, OHL), and Michal Jordan (Plymouth Whalers, OHL). Free agent tryouts Robert Slaney (Cape Breton Screaming Eagle, QMJHL) and Brett Theberge (Peterborough Petes, OHL) were released. Potential overager Brett Bellmore (Plymouth Whalers, OHL) , as well as Brandon Sutter (Red Deer Rebels, WHL), Zach Boychuk (Lethbridge Hurricanes, WHL), and Drayson Bowman (Spokane Chiefs, WHL) all remain in camp.

Chicago--Returned five CHLers to their junior teams. Those include Richard Greenop (Windsor Spits, OHL), Maxime Tanguay (Victoriaville Tigres, QMJHL), Shawn Lalonde (Belleville Bulls, OHL), Teighan Zahn (Saskatoon Blades, WHL), and Josh Unice (Kitchener Rangers, OHL). Still with the team are Akim Aliu (London Knights, OHL) and Kyle Beach (Everett Silvertips, WHL).

Colorado--Concluded its camp on Tuesday and sent the following players back to the CHL: Trevor Cann (Peterborough Petes, OHL), Joel Chouinard (Victoriaville Tigres, QMJHL), Peter Delmas (Lewsiton MAINEiacs, QMJHL), Cameron Gaunce (Mississauga St. Mike's Majors, OHL), Kelsey Tessier (Quebec Remparts, QMJHL).

Columbus--Has made several sets of moves, and sent Matt Calvert (Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL), John Hughes (Brampton Battalion, OHL), Steven Delisle (Gatineau Olympiques, QMJHL), Brandon Mashinter (Kitchener Rangers, OHL), Antoine Roussel (Chicoutimi Sagueneens, QMJHL), Keegan Dansereau (Swift Current Broncos, WHL), Andrew Merrett (Niagara Ice Dogs, OHL), Neal Prokop (Moose Jaw Warriors, WHL), and Brent Regner (Vancouver Giants, WHL) back to their junior teams over the last week. The Blue Jackets still have quite a few CHL players in camp, including potential overager Devin Didiomete (Sarnia Sting, OHL), as well as Pascal Amyot (Saint John Seadogs, QMJHL), Nikita Filatov (Sudbury Wolves, OHL), Maksim Mayorov (Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL), and Jakub Voracek (Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL). Of those, Voracek will not return, but the Mayorov and Filatov (who is injured) will have substantial impacts on their junior teams, when they get to the CHL.

Dallas--Sent five players back to junior on Wednesday. For one player, Sergei Korostin (London Knights, OHL), CHL play wa snot a sure thing, but it looks like all the kinks with his Russian team has been worked out, and Korostin will appear in his first OHL game tonight against the Windsor Spitfires tonight. It should be an excellent game, and can be watched by Livestream at the OHL site. Another player that was reassigned by the Stars was Guillaume Monast (Quebec Remparts, QMJHL), however, he was signed yesterday to an ELC by the Stars. He is expected to remain with the Remparts for the season. The other returnees are Tyler Beskorowany (Owen Sound, OHL), Luke Gazdic (Erie Otters, OHL), and Colton Sceviour (Lethbridge Hurricanes, WHL). Still in camp is Jamie Benn (Kelowna Rockets, WHL), who is expected to return shortly.

Detroit--Trimmed several junior players from their roster early this week. Included among them are Randy Cameron (Moncton Wildcats, QMJHL), Zach Torquato (Erie Otters, OHL), Stephen Johnston (Belleville Bulls, OHL), Travis Ehrhardt (Portland Winter Hawks, WHL), Thomas McCollum (Guelph Storm, OHL), and Cameron Cepek (Prince George Cougars, WHL). Still in camp is defenceman Brian Lashoff (Barrie Colts, OHL).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Back from Traverse City and NY Rangers Training Camp

After spending time at the Traverse City Rookie Tournament and then the New York Rangers main training camp, I finally have some time to get back to junior hockey.

Week two of the CHL team rankings are out, and while the list is interesting, it does not account for what will happen when the CHLers currently in NHL camps return. Frankly, one of the teams most affected by this is the Montreal Junior, which while unlikely to get everyone back, should improve enormously. I also think that the London Knights have the potential to be number one overall (particularly since the arrival of Sergei Korostin is imminent), but here is the list as it was published on Wednesday.

1. Windsor Spitfires

2. Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
3. Brandon Wheat Kings

4. Belleville Bulls

5. London Knights

6. Moncton Wildcats

7. Swift Current Broncos

8. Prince George Cougars

9. Spokane Chiefs

10. Drummondville Voltigeurs