Monday, July 6, 2015

Winterhawks Notes: Monday, July 6th

I am hoping to do these as frequently as I can.

Turgeon Impresses at Red Wings Development Camp:
-Hawks Center: Dominic Turgeon has been attending Detroit Red Wings Development Camp, which goes July 3rd-7th. During the first scrimmage of camp, Turgeon was the top line Center on "Team Howe" and centered a line with top prospects: Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi. In a 6-5 loss to "Team Lindsay," Turgeon potted a goal and an assist. In this piece form the SB Nation blog: "Winging it in Motown," Turgeon apparently has grown leaps and bounds in his play-making ability. This is something, Portland will rely heavily upon next season, as he and Paul Bittner are the only two of Portland's top 7 scorers likely to return. The Wings were impressed with him enough during Portland's playoff run to sign him to an Entry Level Contract and they could keep him in the main training camp long enough to see some preseason action this September/October.

Koules Joins Texeira at Capital's Camp:
-Former Winterhawk Miles Koules was added to the Washington Capital's development camp roster; joining current Hawk's D-man Keoni Texeira. Koules was invited to Washington's main training camp last fall and is hoping to earn himself at least an AHL contract. As an over-age last season, Koules showcased several elite level skills, including his shot and his ability to possess the puck for long periods of time in the other team's zone. Hopefully, Washington likes the California native enough to give him a pro deal. Capital's camp goes July 7th-11th.

Johansen and Dubinsky Bitter:
-Former Winterhawks and current Columbus Blue Jacket's: Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Johansen took to twitter over College Free Agent and current University of Minnesota Golde Gopher D-man Mike Reilly choosing to sign with the Minnesota Wild instead of CBJ. Johansen tweeted that: "we didn't want him anyways," while Dubinsky tweeted using the hashtag: "burnt bridges." To me it's a little refreshing to see two players speak their mind, instead of the robot like answers they give to most questions from the media. It also shows that these two players are really invested in what their team does in the offseason, rather than not caring who they paly with and just cashing a check.

Dan Lambert Leaves Kelowna:
-The first Rocket's Head Coach to actually beat Portland in a playoff series has left to become an assistant coach under Dan Bylsma with the Buffalo Sabres. This means that Kelowna will have their 3rd Head Coach in about 13 months. Ryan Huska had been the Kelowna Head Coach for 7 seasons, before leaving to become the Head Coach of the AHL's Adirondack Flames. Lambert was Huska's assistant for 3 of those 7 seasons and he was the natural fit for the job. His coaching job after Portland took a 2-1 series lead in the WCF was fantastic. He was able to get his team to adjust and come together to overcome the Winterhawks. An interesting note from this is that of the 5 new Western Conference Coaches hired just last year, only Don Hay (Kamloops), Jamie Kompon (Portland) and Mike Williamson (Tri City) are still coaching their teams.

Wheaton Traded to Saskatoon:
-Veteran D-man Mitch Wheaton was traded from Kelowna to Saskatoon for a 4th round, 2017 Bantam Draft pick today. Wheaton had 28 points in 2013/14 and was coming off being drafted in the 5th round by the Detroit Red Wings in 2013, but had injuries derail his 19 year old season, to the extent that he played in only 13 games all of last year. With Goalie Jackson Whistle and Forwards: Tyson Baillie Gage Quinney and Cole Linaker all likely to be back and vying for the 3 over-age spots, Wheaton was the odd man out. If Wheaton recovers nicely, he could very well earn himself a free agent AHL or NHL contract this season, as he's a very good shutdown D-man.

Links to Must Read Pieces:
-If you haven't read it yet, NHL veteran and former CHLer (with the Barrie Colts of the OHL) wrote a fascinating article about his battle with drug addiction. It really opens your eyes to the interpersonal struggles that a lot of hockey players are going through. I second his closing thoughts in regards to getting immediate help if you are struggling with any mental health problems.
-A pretty good argument by "The Hockey Writers," for not rushing 18 year old D-men into the NHL. This piece centers around Brandon Wheat King's D-man Ivan Provorov signing an ELC with the Philadelphia Flyers and comments made by Flyer's management that could mean they are looking at keeping him around for the regular season. While it's mainly about Provorov, this could have applied to Portland's Seth Jones several years ago.

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