Blazers release sophomore defenceman

Ingram back in Kamloops after stint with Red Wings
By Gregg Drinnan
September 21, 2015 5:44 P.M.

The Kamloops Blazers got their roster down to 25 players on Monday by releasing D Travis Verveda, an 18-year-old from Alix, Alta.
Verveda had four assists in 28 games with the Blazers last season when he didn’t see a lot of playing time in the latter half. This season, he played in four of the Blazers’ five exhibition games.
The Blazers, who open the regular season against the host Kelowna Rockets on Friday night, are carrying three goaltenders, eight defencemen and 14 forwards.
There are two freshmen among those eight defencemen — Nolan Kneen, a 16-year-old from Duncan, B.C., who was the third overall pick in the 2014 bantam draft, and Conner McDonald, a second-round selection in 2014. McDonald, who is from Delta, B.C., has been out for a couple of weeks with what is believed to be a skate cut. The Blazers list him as being out indefinitely.
Dropping Verveda frees up ice time for the 6-foot-0, 170-pound Kneen, who played last season with the Kelowna-based major midget Okanagan Rockets. He had 10 points, including four goals, in 32 games.
Kneen did play five games with the Blazers last season, picking up one assist.
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound McDonald had 18 points, 11 of them goals, in 25 games with the Prep team at the Delta Hockey Academy.
The Blazers’ roster also includes G Connor Ingram, 18, who has returned from the camp of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings. He was there as a free-agent invitee. Ingram, from Imperial, Sask., took over the starting position with the Blazers in the second half of last season and has maintained that spot through training camp. He almost certainly will be in goal Friday and again Saturday. The Blazers stage their home-opener against the Rockets on Saturday.
Cole Kehler, who paired with Ingram last season, and Dylan Ferguson are competing for the other spot. Kehler, who turns 18 on Dec. 17, is from Altona, Man., and was a sixth-round pick in the 2012 bantam draft. Ferguson, from Lantzville, B.C., was an eighth-round pick in 2013.
Ingram’s return leaves D Ryan Rehill, 20, as the only Kamloops player still in an NHL camp. He is with the New Jersey Devils.
Rehill was picked by the Devils in the sixth round of the 2010 NHL draft, but hasn’t signed with New Jersey. He is in camp hoping to earn a contract and a spot in the Devils’ organization.
JUST NOTES: The Blazers, whose ownership group has chosen to drop the word ‘Kamloops’ from the primary logo, will hold a news conference on Thursday morning to unveil their new sweaters. . . . Kamloops’ injury list also includes F Matt Revel (shoulder, one week) and F Deven Sideroff, who is ill. Revel isn't likely to play in either weekend game, while Sideroff status is listed as to be determined.

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