Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thursday, July 23rd: Winterhawks News and Notes

Price Listed on Lincoln's Preseason Roster:
-Portland Winterhawks forward Ethan Price is listed on the USHL's Lincoln Star's preseason roster that was released this week. Where Price will report this season is a big question as we get closer to Portland's training camp and the Neely Cup. Price is a 1997 born player and would provide one of the few right handed shots returning to this year's team. In 38 games last year, Price notched 4 goals and 5 assists for 9 points, while playing mostly on the 3rd and 4th lines. Due to some family issues, Price was sent home to Lincoln, where midway through last season and he played in 30 games for the Lincoln Stars, scoring 3 goals and adding 6 assists. Price played mostly on the Hawk's 4th line last season but could see a lot more playing time due to the loss of RWs Oliver Bjorkstrand and Miles Koules, who were above Price on the depth chart. Him being on the Star's preseason roster, doesn't necessarily mean that he's for sure not coming back to the Hawks but if he's not around for the Neely Cup in August, then we can assume he will be staying in the USHL. A lot of players go the USHL route in order to play in the NCAA when they turn 18. This is not an option for Price as he played in the WHL and thus is ineligible to ever play in the NCAA.

Taking a look at Portland's returning Wingers that scored points for them last season, shows how much they could use him this coming season.

In the table below are the returning point getters that played games at either RW or LW last season for Portland.
Of note is the fact that RW Mitchell Walter played 19 regular season games and 16 playoff games without scoring a point last year. 1998 born Forward: Brett Clayton is another player who could play wing for the Hawks this coming season. Overall, in looking at the table, you can see that Portland could use as many proven WHL scorers as they can in their lineup this year.

Player (Position)G PGoalsAssistsPointsBirth Year
Paul Bittner (LW)663437711996
Keegan Iverson (RW)681524391996
Alex Schoenborn (RW)491518331995
Evan Weinger (RW)*61719261997
Skyler McKenzie (C/LW)*65412161998
Ethan Price (RW)384591997
Colton Veloso (RW)*81011997
Austin Gray (RW)*50111997
Jack Flaman (C/LW)*340111997

*=Rookie in 2014/15

Pearce Eviston Re-signed by Quad City:
-Former Winterhawk: Pierce Eviston(2010-12) was re-signed by the ECHL's Quad City Mallards after scoring 27 points in 60 games for them last year. Eviston only played 20 games for Portland over 2 years and had a tough time getting into the lineup for teams that were loaded with talent at his position. He ended up going back to the BCHL and seems to have found a way to get a nice pro career going, despite not being successful in the WHL.


Lofthouse Going to University of Regina:
-Former WHLer: Trent Lofthouse who suited up for Portland in the preseason last year before being released prior to opening night, has committed to the University of Regina. Last year he ended up playing for Fort McMurray of the AJHL, where he scored 39 points in 43 games. From 2011-14, he played for Everett, Victoria and Vancouver and scored 38 points in those 4 years. He will now be using the 4 years of college that he earned and also play for the University of Regina.

Saad and Johnansen Could be a Dynamic Duo:
-One of the most interesting things to watch during the 2015/16 NHL season will be how much better former Winterhawk Ryan Johansen will be with a prolific winger in Brandon Saad playing with him. Both Saad and Johansen have shown glimpses of greatness and are both only 22 years of age. This piece by Adam Gretz of CBS Sports looks into how good Saad and Johnansen could be together.

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