Latest Headlines

Giants star to miss start of season

Moose Jaw import expected there Friday
By Gregg Drinnan
September 9, 2015 11:15 P.M.


F Luke Walker (Portland, 2007-10) has been released by the Graz 99ers (Austria, Erste Bank Liga) by mutual agreement. Walker signed a one-year extension with Graz in July. Last season, he had 19 goals and 12 assists in 51 games.
———

Russian F Nikita A. Popugaev is expected to join the Moose Jaw Warriors on Friday. The 6-foot-4, 195-pounder is from Moscow and was selected by the Warriors in the CHL’s 2015 import draft. He also is a late-1998 so not eligible for the NHL draft until 2017. . . . Last season, he had 19 goals and 22 assists in 24 games with the U17 CSKA Moscow team. He also had three goals in six games as Russia won the U17 World Hockey Challenge. . . . Interestingly, he had a teammate with CSKA Moscow with pretty much the same name; that teammate goes by Nikita O. Popugaev. . . . According to the Warriors, Popugaev — that would be Nikita A., of course — is to arrive in Moose on Friday. He may make his Warriors debut on Saturday night in an exhibition game against the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Marc Smith of discovermoosejaw.com has more on the Popugaev story right here.
——
The Vancouver Giants expect to be without star F Tyler Benson when the regular season opens. The team announced Wednesday that Benson, who is projected as a first-round selection in the NHL’s 2016 draft, was to “undergo surgery to mend a lower body ailment.” . . . That surgery was to have taken place Wednesday evening. . . . “The timeline for his return to the lineup is undetermined but is not expected to be lengthy,” the news release continued. . . . Benson, who is from Edmonton, had 45 points, including 14 goals, in 62 games as a freshman last season. . . . Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province has more right here.

Meanwhile, there is speculation that the Giants might be without F Thomas Foster, 19, for up to six weeks. Foster left Saturday’s 5-3 exhibition victory over visiting Kamloops after being injured in a collision with Blazers D Nolan Kneen. Since then, Foster has been wearing a shoulder harness. . . . The Giants have released F David Brumm, 18, from their roster. Brumm, from Maple Grove, Minn., had one goal and one assist in 29 games in Vancouver last season.
——
The Seattle Thunderbirds have hired Cal Filson as their new director of player personnel and added Dan McLean as their director of scouting. . . . Filson replaces Colin Alexander, who left the Thunderbirds on Aug. 27 to join the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins as an amateur scout. Filson, from Regina, has been a Thunderbirds scout for the past eight seasons. According to a news release, Filson “will be responsible for maintaining the T-Birds 50-player protected list, scouting and evaluating players in western Canada and the United States and preparing for and running the annual bantam draft for the T-Birds.” . . . McLean, from Sylvan Lake, Alta., has been a Seattle scout for 19 seasons.  According to a news release, McLean “will be responsible for helping plan scouting coverage, research and background preparation for the bantam draft and assisting in player recruitment.”
——
The Everett Silvertips have signed F Devon Skoleski, who was in training camp as a free-agent invitee. Skoleski, 17, had 56 points, 25 of them goals, in 44 games with the Eastman Selects of the Manitoba Midget AAA Hockey League. The 5-foot-9, 150-pounder is from St. Adolphe, Man.
——


The Portland Winterhawks have signed F Tanner Nagel, 17, who is from Mossbank, Sask. The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder played the past two seasons with the midget AAA Tisdale, Sask., Trojans, putting up 42 points, 12 of them goals, in 43 games last season.
——
Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
———

The Medicine Hat Tigers have acquired D Connor Clouston, 19, from the Moose Jaw Warriors for a fifth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. Clouston is the son of Shaun Clouston, the Tigers’ general manager and head coach. . . . Connor, 6-foot-3 and 210-pounds, was a third-round selection by the Kamloops Blazers in the 2011 bantam draft. . . . The Blazers dealt him to the Warriors on Jan. 6, for a fifth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. . . . He had two assists in 26 games with the Blazers and was pointless in 21 games with the Warriors. In 102 regular-season games, he has a goal and four assists.
———
Coaching Game
Brendan Persley has joined the major midget Kelowna-based Okanagan Rockets as an assistant coach. He will work alongside head coach Jason Williamson, who is preparing for this first season with the Rockets. Persley played for the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers when Williamson was the head coach.  Persley, now, 22, is from Kelowna. He played in the WHL  with the Chilliwack Bruins (hey, remember them?) and Victoria Royals.
———

F Hudson Elynuik of the Spokane Chiefs has the distinction of being the first WHL player suspended this season. He has drawn a three-game suspension after taking a kneeing major in a game against the Seattle Thunderbirds at the tournament in Everett on Sunday. He will be eligible to return Sept. 19 when the Chiefs play their final exhibition game against the visiting Tri-City Americans. . . . Seattle F Donovan Neuls, who was on the receiving end of the hit from Elynuik, was seen after the game on crutches with a brace on his left knee. . . .
The Kootenay Ice dropped F Jordan Steenbergen, 19, from their roster on Wednesday. He suffered a knee injury that is likely to keep him out for up to six weeks. When healthy, he is expected to join the AJHL’s Olds Grizzlys. . . .
A tip of the hat to the Spokane Chiefs and their fans after the team turned over $1,300 to a Pacific Northwest wildlife relief fund through Catholic Charties Spokane. The money was raised through donations and a silent auction at the Chiefs’ annual Red-White game on Aug. 30. . . .
The Prince George Cougars have announced the details of a new and intriguing promotion — Walk to School with the Cougars. . . . Starting Monday, players and the team mascot, Rowdy Cat, will be walking with students of St. Mary’s Catholic School. After school, the team bus will pick up students and drive to designated drop-off zones. Additional schools and dates will be announced later. . . .
In Kennewick, Wash., the Portland Winterhawks improved their exhibition record to 3-1 with a 3-2 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Cougars now are 0-3. . . . The Winterhawks scored three times in the second period, with F Austin Gray giving them a 3-1 lead with a PP goal at 9:39. Gray, 18, is from Prince George and played there for the major midget Cariboo Cougars. . . . F Cody Glass, the 19th overall pick in the 2013 bantam draft, had a goal and an assist for Portland. . . . Portland G Adin Hill stopped 32 shots in his final appearance before leaving for the camp of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes. . . . The Winterhawks had F Skyler McKenzie back in their lineup after he sat out last weekend with an undisclosed injury.

———

 

Leave a Reply

Emails will not be published