Thursday, July 2, 2015

Winterhawks Notes: Thursday, July 2nd

A lot of noteworthy Winterhawks related items today.

Three Winterhawks Prospects Named to USA U-18 Team:
-Forwards Garrett Wait (2013 draft:8th round pick) and Henry Crone (Protected List Addition) and D-man Sam Rossini (Protected List Addition) were all named to the U-18 USA roster for the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup. This is the premier tournament for the U-18s and all three 1998 born players will be representing the U.S. in an attempt to get the States their first Gold Medal since 2003. Wait and Rossini are both committed to the University of Minnesota and will play together for the Waterloo Blackhawks in 2015/16. Crone is committed to Boston University and will also play in the USHL in 15/16 for the Omaha Lancers.

The Ivan Hlinka Cup usually takes place in mid-August and is considered the first premier scouting opportunity for the 2016 NHL draft. Spokane's Kailer Yamamoto was also named to the U.S. roster.

Texeira Invited to Capital's Development Camp:
-D-man Keoni Texeira was passed over in last week's NHL draft, which was a little surprising, but he's been handed an invited to Washington Capital's Development Camp and will try to put himself on the Cap's radar for next year's draft or maybe even their rookie camp this fall. Washington has had an interesting history with Portland D-men recently. They drafted Garrett Haar in the 7th round of the NHL draft, then decided to not sign him to an NHL contract, but rather to an AHL one for the Hershey Bears in 2014. In an awkward turn, Haar ended up playing last year in the ECHL for the South Carolina Stingrays and notching 16 points in 35 games.

Then in 2013 Washington drafted Blake Heinrich, who also ended up later playing for Portland. Heinrich was not signed by the Caps and is officially a  free agent. As of the writing of this piece, he has not been invited to any development camps and is slated to return to the Hawks for his over-age season in 15/16.

Texeira has shown flashes of talent in his two years and rebounded after a rocky start, when Heinrich returned from a concussion related absence. Capitals camp is July 7th-11th.

-Hawks prospect Nic Nonis(Protected List Addition) was invited to Anaheim Ducks development camp.

-Other Hawks who were drafted recently (Paul Bittner, Adin Hill, Caleb Jones, Dominic Turgeon, Alex Scheonborn, Chase De Leo, Nic Petan, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Keegan Iverson and Anton Cederholm) will assuredly be at their team's development camps.

Open Door for Rattie:
-Mount Vernon, Washington native T.J. Oshie was traded from the St. Louis Blues to the Washington Capitals today. This is huge for former Winterhawk Ty Rattie who looks to have a chance to nab a possible top 6 winger role with the Blues. Rattie has yet to score an NHL goal for St. Louis, despite scoring 52 over most of 2 seasons in the AHL. St. Louis reportedly wants to get younger and faster and moving Rattie up the depth short will certainly help that.

LaBarbera's Career Still Going:
-Former Winterhawk Jason LaBarbera has signed a 1 year, 2 way contract at the age of 35 with Philadelphia, meaning he will be battling for a backup Goalie spot in training camp. He has spent parts of 14 seasons in the NHL for 6 NHL clubs, Philly being his 7th.
-Former Winterhawk Center Cam Reid also signed a contract extension with the ECHL's Reading Royals. Reid scored 59 points in 59 games last year for the Royals.

Dates for Blue Jackets Rookie Camp:
-Portland got a good idea of how long they might be without new Columbus Blue Jacket: Paul Bittner when they released their Traverse City Schedule. It's looking like it will go from 9/11 to 9/15, with main camp starting the 18th and the first preseason game being the 20th of September. Bittner would likely miss the last 4 preseason and probably at most the first two regular season games (9/25 and 9/26 @Victoria).

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