-The Portland Winterhawks begin their 3 games in 3 days set at the annual Tri City preseason tournament tonight at 7:05 pm. Due to NHL preseason rookie camps/tournaments starting this week, a total of 16 players will be missing from tonight's game. Here's who should be out tonight (there's a small chance Adin Hill is available but I would doubt it):
- Jansen Harkins-Winnipeg-2nd round pick-2015-Young Stars Classic.
- Brad Morrison-N.Y. Rangers-4th round pick-2015-Traverse City Tournament.
- Jesse Gabrielle-Boston-4th round pick-2015-Tampa Bay Tournament.
- Sam Ruopp-Columbus-5th round pick-2015-Traverse City Tournament.
- Tate Olson-Vancouver-7th round pick-2015-Young Stars Classic.
- Chase Witala-Dallas-Free Agent Invite-Traverse City Tournament.
- Jared Bethune-Minnesota-Free Agent Invite-Traverse City Tournament.
- Jack Dougherty-Nashville-2nd round pick-2014-Tampa Bay Tournament.
- Dominic Turgeon-Detroit-3rd round pick-2014-Traverse City Tournament.
- Alex Schoenborn-San Jose-3rd round pick-2014-Young Stars Classic.
- Keegan Iverson-N.Y. Rangers-3rd round pick-2014-Traverse City Tournament.
- Paul Bittner-Columbus-2nd round pick-2015-Traverse City Tournament.
- Adin Hill-Arizona-3rd round pick-2015-Rookie Camp starts Saturday.
- Caleb Jones-Edmonton-4th round pick-2015-Young Stars Classic.
- Rodrigo Abols-Vancouver-Free Agent Invite-Young Stars Classic.
- Keoni Texeira-Washington-Free Agent Invite-Tampa Bay Tournament.
-Tanner Nagel was signed today by the Hawks. His signing brings Portland's forward group to 19 and the roster to 32 overall. Nagel is a 1998 born prospect, who hails from Mossbank, Saskatchewan and played the last two years for the Tisdale Trojans of the SMHL. Nagel had 42 points in 43 games last season and had a very strong Neely Cup this preseason.
Breakout Year for Seth Jones?:
-A Good piece on Today's Slapshot that makes the case that year number three in Nashville will be a big one for the former Winterhawks D-man: Seth Jones (2012-13). The 20 year old has made large strides in his game, but has been susceptible to poor giveaways in his own zone. D-men are notorious for taking longer to develop at the NHL level and while Jones has not necessarily broken out yet, he's still been a solid rearguard through his first two seasons. With all of the talent that he has, I would agree with the author that Jones should take the leap to being the elite D-man the Preds expected when they drafted him 4th overall.
Johansen Expected to Make Canada's 2016 World Cup Roster:
-The World cup of Hockey website published a piece looking at the probable roster for Canada at the 2016 World Cup. With the likes of Sidney Crosby, John Tavares, Ryan Getzlaf, Jonathan Toews and Steven Stamkos playing the same position as the former Winterhawk: Johansen (2009-10), I disagree with the writer and think he will need to have a breakout year this season, to make the team. The way that I think he actually makes the roster is if some of these bigger names decide not to play for Canada.
Royals Acquire Wharrie:
-The Everett Silvertips traded 18 year old Defenseman Jordan Wharrie to the Victoria Royals for the WHL rights to 17 year old Defenseman Carter Stephenson. Wharrie played 50 games for the Tips last year and showed some adaptability by playing some forward when there were a lot of injuries at the position. He also had 2 points in 11 playoff games, playing on the last pairing with Lucas Skrumeda. Everett likely felt they needed to make room on their blue line as they return five other D-men from last year's roster and have highly touted 16 year old Jantzen Leslie waiting in the wings along with the 18 year old Mackenzie Dwyer who had three points in two games over the weekend.
Andrew Ference Losing Captainship?:
-Puck Daddy had a good look at the situation the Edmonton Oilers are in this year. Former Winterhawk Andrew Ference (1994-99) is the returning Captain, but due to his age (36) and recent depth at the Defense position for the Oilers, he may not get dressed for every game. Ference is such a great sport though, that I don't think taking away the captaincy will effect the positive impact he will have on the young players. The right choice for former Swift Current Coach: Todd Mclellan is probably to make Taylor Hall the Captain this year.
Vrooman and Bellows on TPS:
-Portland play by play guy: Todd Vrooman previewed the Winterhawks this year on The Pipeline Show last night and Portland prospect: Keiffer Bellows was interviewed as well. Those holding out hope that Bellows will renege on his commitment to Boston University and come to Portland instead, will have their hopes dashed by how strongly Bellows states that this will not happen.