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Key d-man leaves Wheat Kings

Two ex-WHLers appear in court
By Gregg Drinnan
September 4, 2015 11:10 P.M.


F Zach Hamill (Everett, 2003-08) signed a two-week contract with Fribourg-Gottéron (Switzerland, NL A). Last season, with HPK Hämeenlinna (Finland, Liiga), he had 16 goals and 19 assists in 58 games.
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The Brandon Wheat Kings opened their main training camp on Friday without D Ryan Pilon, who is to turn 19 on Oct. 10. . . . The Wheat Kings revealed that Pilon, from Duck Lake, Sask., is moved on from hockey rather than prepare for a third WHL season. . . . Pilon’s decision was such a surprise that at one point he was trending on Twitter in Canada. . . . Pilon would have been one of the Wheat Kings’ top two or three defencemen, depending on whether Ivan Provorov returns from the camp of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers. Pilon had 52 points and was a plus-36 last season. . . . “Ryan came to me (on Wednesday) and told me that at this time he has lost his passion to play hockey and will be leaving the team,” Kelly McCrimmon, the Wheat Kings’ general manager and head coach, said in a news release. “We had a number of discussions, but his final decision was that this was what he felt he needed to do.” . . . Pilon, a first-round pick (third overall) by the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the 2011 bantam draft, was selected by the New York Islanders in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2015 draft. . . . Brandon D Macoy Erkamps, who played with Pilon with the Lethbridge Hurricanes and in Brandon, told Perry Bergson of the Brandon Sun: “He’s a huge part of this team but we have to respect his decision. Maybe he needs a little bit of time away from the game. We’re here for his support. If he needs us, we’re here.” . . . In 193 regular-season WHL games, Pilon had 139 points, including 23 goals. . . . BTW, Provorov hasn’t yet arrived in Brandon’s camp from Russia as he is having visa issues. . . . Veteran defencemen in Brandon’s camp now are Kale Clague, 17, Macoy Erkamps, 20, Mark Matsuba, 18, Mark Taraschuk, 18, and Colton Waltz, 20. . . . Meanwhile, Brandon F Quintin Lisoway, whose 2014-15 season was cut short by knee surgery, has received clearance to return to action and scrimmaged yesterday.
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The Lethbridge Hurricanes have released F Brett Kitt, 19. He was acquired from the Brandon Wheat Kings almost a year ago, coming over with F Ryley Lindgren and D Kord Pankewicz for F Reid Duke, D Macoy Erkamps and F Tak Anholt. . . . Last season, Kitt had two assists in 24 games before joining the SJHL’s Flin Flon Bombers in January. He now is expected to return to Flin Flon. He was a fifth-round pick by Brandon in the 2011 bantam draft.
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The Tri-City Americans have signed D Landon Fuller and D Dakota Krebs. . . . Fuller was a fifth-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft. The 6-foot-3, 175-pound Fuller is from Williams Lake, B.C., where he played midget hockey last season. . . . Krebs was listed by the Americans on Sept. 28. The 6-foot-4, 180-pounder is from Okotoks, Alta. He played last season with the midget AAA Rockyview Raiders, putting up 31 points, including four goals, in 29 games.
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The Saskatoon Blades have signed F Matthew Mosher, who was a third-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft. Mosher, 15, is from White Rock, B.C. He played at the Delta Hockey Academy last season, picking up 11 goals and two assists in 18 games with the Wild bantam prep team. . . . It’s interesting to see that Russ Smart has joined the Blades’ scouting staff as their eyes in Arizona. He spent a long time with the Prince George Cougars as director of player personnel/head scout and also has scouted for the Vancouver Giants. . . . His son, Jason, is a former WHLer (Prince Albert, Saskatoon, 1986-90). Jason’s son, Jonathan, was selected by the Kelowna Rockets with the 22nd pick of the 2014 bantam draft.
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The Portland Winterhawks have made official what was on Twitter in recent days — they have signed F Ryan Hughes, F Bronson Sharp, and G Ethan Middendorf, three 16-year-olds. . . . Hughes had 65 points, 34 of them goals, in 35 games with the minor midget AAA Edmonton CAC Canadians last season. . . . Sharp was with the Yale Academy Elite 15s. He had 51 points, 24 of them goals, in 30 games for the Abbotsford, B.C.-based club. . . . Middendorf, from Scottsdale, Ariz., was 2.29, .895 with the U16 Arizona Bobcats.
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"This has been devastating to my family, my friends, everybody associated with me," D Nathan Paetsch of the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins said Friday as he was sentenced for his role in a gambling ring. Paetsch, who is from Humboldt, Sask., and played with the Moose Jaw Warriors (1999-2003), was sentenced to probation, 400 hours of community service and a $265,000 forfeiture. . . .Gary Craig of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle has the story right here.
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Stephen Peat pleaded guilty to a charge of arson by negligence earlier this week when he appeared in provincial court in Surrey, B.C. Peat, 35, had a dispute with his father, Walter, on March 17 that ended with a home being set on fire. . . . Peat, from Princeton, B.C., played in the WHL with the Red Deer Rebels, Tri-City Americans and Calgary Hitmen (1996-2000) before going on to a pro career that included 130 NHL games, all with the Washington Capitals. . . . Jennifer Saltman of the Vancouver Province has more right here.
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Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.

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In Everett, Evan Sarthou (16 saves) and Beck Warm (11) shared the shutout as the Tri-City Americans beat the Seattle Thunderbirds 2-0 on Friday. F Vladislav Lukin’s shorthanded goal, at 17:26 of the third period, stood up as the winner. . . . F Keegan Kolesar was back in Seattle’s lineup after being out with a minor injury; F Ryan Gropp didn’t play. . . . In another game, F Dominic Turgeon scored twice as the Portland Winterhawks beat the Spokane Chiefs, 7-2. The Chiefs’ four 20-year-old players — D Jason Fram, F Adam Helewka, G Garret Hughson and F Riley Whittingham — didn’t make the trip to Everett. . . . In the final game of the day, the Everett Silvertips built a 4-1 lead and went on to beat the Victoria Royals, 5-4. F Dawson Leedahl had a goal and an assist for the winners. D Joe Hicketts drew two assists for the Royals. . . .
In Regina, F Murphy Stratton scored in the fourth round of a shootout to give the Calgary Hitmen a 4-3 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors. Neither team scored in the 3-on-3 OT period. Moose Jaw F Jeff Woo’s second goal of the game, with 9.1 seconds left in the third period, forged a 3-3 tie. The Warriors erased a 3-0 deficit with three goals in 7:17. Calgary G Kyle Dumba went the distance with 32 saves and four more in the shootout. . . . In the day’s other game, F Colton Kroeker scored two first-period goals and F Jake Elmer also scored twice to lead the Pats to a 7-4 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . .
In Lethbridge, veteran F Cole Sanford had a goal and an assist and D Ty Schultz had two assists as the Medicine Hat Tigers beat the Hurricanes, 3-2. The Tigers took a 3-0 lead into the third period. . . . D Calen Addison, the second overall pick in the 2015 bantam draft, had a goal and an assist for Lethbridge. . . .
In Saskatoon, Team White beat Team Blue 3-2 in the Blades’ intrasquad game. . . . The Blades remain without Igor Larionov Jr., who reported to camp with a concussion. . . . The Blades also scratched F Connor Gay, with an undisclosed injury. . . .
G Dylan Tait, 24, returned to game action with the the U of Lethbridge Pronghorns on Friday night for the first time being diagnosed with testicular cancer last season. Tait, who is from Lethbridge, played one season (2010-11) with the Hurricanes and now is preparing for his fifth season with the Pronghorns. . . . The Pronghorns beat Portage, Man., College, 3-1. . . .
In the BCHL, the Wenatchee Wild, which is making the move from the NAHL, now has played two exhibition games and has outscored the opposition, 10-0. The Wild beat the Coquitlam Express 6-0 on Thursday night at the Burnaby Winter Club. Last night, the Wild posted a 4-0 victory over the host Chilliwack Chiefs.

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