Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tuesday's Portland Winterhawks News and Notes: De Jong on NHL CSS' Futures List

De Jong
NHL Central Scouting's "Players to Watch" List:
-The CSS released their annual "players to watch" list and there were some recognizable names for Winterhawks fans.
-17 year old D-man Brendan De Jong was the sole current Portland player listed as he was graded a "C" skater. Players are given an "A", "B" or "C" ranking in this initial list. De Jong, at 6'5" has the size for a D-man that a lot of scouts love, but probably needs to show more in regards to his play along the boards, for him to gain more notice from scouts.
-Winterhawks prospects: Taden Rattie (Forward, C rating, committed to play at Western Michigan), Kieffer Bellows (Forward, A rating, committed to Boston University) and Sam Rossini (Defense, B rating, committed University of Minnesota) are also listed among the players to watch.
-Former Hawks D-man Anton Cederholm's younger brother: Jacob Cederholm, who plays in Sweden was given a B rating.
-The U.S. Division had some other players to watch listed: Patrick Bajkov, Carter Hart and Tristen Pfeifer from Everett, Scott Eansor and Nolan Volcan for Seattle and Dylan Coghlan and Evan Sarthou for Tri City. Spokane had no players listed.
-Rodrigo Abols and Keoni Texeira were somehow not listed yet, despite getting significant interest from NHL teams and attending at least part of some camps. I would expect them to be included on the next list put out by CSS.

No News Revealed Regarding Hill's Injury:
-During "Hawkey Talk" last night there wasn't really anything new revealed in regards to Adin Hill's injury. Head Coach/GM Jamie Kompon did say that he hopes Hill is available to play "this weekend." To me this just means that they are taking the injury day by day and he will likely be a game day decision.
-No mention of Evan Weinger's shoulder surgery recovery. He was not listed in the WHL weekly report last week but is now listed as out indefinitely this week.

Which WHL Eligible Players are still at NHL Camps?:
-With the news yesterday that the Winnipeg Jets have returned D-man Nelson Nogier, back to the Red Deer Rebels, that means that there are 6 potential WHL players still at NHL camps:

  • Jake Virtanen- Calgary Hitmen (Vancouver): He could be headed back soon as he skated just 12:24 last night and fellow 19 year old in camp: Jared McCann has been more impressive, scoring the only goal in the Canucks 1-0 win. 
  • Brayden Point-Moose Jaw (Tampa Bay): The 5'10" Point has not let his size hold him back in making an impact at Lighting camp. Head Coach: Jon Cooper even went out of his way to state that the league is trending more towards players like Point with speed, rather then the old days of the bigger, slower players. Point also should be returned by the end of the week.
  •  Brendan Guhle- Prince Albert (Buffalo): The fact that the Sabres' 2nd round pick from this last June is still in camp is surprising. Apparently, he has impressed while paired with former Edmonton Oil King D-man Mark Pysyk. The 18 year old should be returned to the Raiders soon.
  • Conner Bleackley- Red Deer (Colorado): He will get the chance to play in his home area of  Calgary tonight against the Flames and I would expect him to be sent down soon after.
  • Haydn Fleury- Red Deer (Carolina): While the Hurricanes Defense is weak enough that there might be room for both Noah Hanifin (first round pick this year) and Fleury (first round pick last year), I don't know if they will be able to pass up having Fleury play in the Memorial cup. If anything, maybe Fleury gets 9 games of regular season action to give him a taste of the big time.
  • Mathew Barzal- Seattle (N.Y. Islanders): He was kept today, even though it meant that the Islanders had to send their top overall pick from 2014 back to Junior. This may be a situation, where the Isles want to see the 9 games out of him and if he impresses enough, keep him around. Isles GM Garth Snow, did a similar thing with Portland's Nino Niederreiter and it backfired on him.
-Of those 6, I'd probably be least surprised with Fleury and Barzal not making it back to the Junior ranks.

Former T-bird: Connor Honey Suing City of Vancouver:
-Connor Honey, who played for the Seattle Thunderbirds, is suing the city of Vancouver over hitting his head on an over hang  at the Pacific Coliseum that he claims was not properly marked. The incident happened on 9/25/2013 and Honey, who battled through two injury plagued seasons prior to the incident, effectively had his hockey career ended. He tried to play the next season, but only was able to get into 7 games in 2013/14. He is suing for damages in regards to the incident.


Troy Rutkowski Sent back to Binghamton:
-The former Winterhawks Captain was recently sent down from Ottawa Senators training camp to the AHL, to attend the Binghamton Senators training camp. This is a pivotal year for Rutkowski, as it is the final year of his Entry Level Contract. He got into 15 games in the AHL for the Baby Sens last year, after starting the year with Evansville of the ECHL.

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