Thursday, October 15, 2015

Thursday's Portland Winterhawks News and Notes: Portland Sits Tight on Two 20 year olds...For Now

Hawks pass on Harrison, Brandon's Lisoway
Portland Only Team in WHL with Only Two 20s:
McGauley is out with an injury
-While teams like Medicine Hat and Spokane took advantage of the WHL Waiver Draft today in adding players, Portland decided to pass on those available and instead leave themselves trading options at this January's trade deadline. Portland did this last season and added Adam Henry, who provide them offensive burst from the blue line, something they really needed. While Portland looks like they could use someone right now who has some finish, they did not like any of the options currently available and decided to stay with the roster they have. When players like Brandon's Tim McGauley , Medicine Hat's Trevor Cox and Kootenay's Jaedon Descheneau return from injury it will force their team into having 4 over-agers active and needing to part with some highly skilled '95 born players immediately. These three probably won't be the ones available, but Portland might like whomever is and will be able to claim them for free.

Tips Claimed Winkler:
-Everett claimed Brandon's extra import player: Austrian 18 year old: Dario Winkler off of waivers. The Tips had an available import spot as D-man Alexander Scherbakov is out with a long term injury. I believe since Portland has Carl Ericson on injured reserve, they could have had some interest in claiming Winkler as well.

Chiefs Add Harrison:
-One day after Kamloops released Luke Harrison, he was gobbled up by the Spokane Chiefs in the Waiver Draft. Harrison is a big bodied Right Wing (6'1" 205 lbs) and was pointless in 4 games with the Blazers so far this year. Last season though, Harrison had 12 goals and 11 assists for 23 points in 69 games. He gives the Chiefs a hard to move forward who has some touch around the net. Adam Helewka, apparently, has not been signed by San Jose's AHL team though and I would think that if he made his way back to the WHL, Harrison would be the first to go.

Tigers Claim Lotz:
-Medicine Hat claimed Everett Goalie Austin Lotz in the draft as the Tips failed to get anything for him and were forced to release him. Goalie was a necessity for the Tigers as 18 year old: Nick Schneider has a 4.45 GAA and a 0.852 Save % and 19 year old (former Winterhawk) Evan Johnson has a 5.87 GAA and 0.814 Save %. Lotz will likely be given the chance to win the starting job and make one of those expendable. If Lotz does not, he has a narrowing window to stay on their roster as Med Hat will be at four 20 year olds (one over the limit) whenever Trevor Cox returns from the injury list.

McNulty Traded for Valentine:
-Kamloops dealt their other extra 20 year old: Marc McNulty to the Moose Jaw Warriors for 19 year old Dallas Valentine. McNulty is 6'6" and 210 lbs and was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the 6th round of the 2013 NHL draft, while with Prince George. He was not signed by Detroit and has a lot to play for this year as a free agent that can be claimed by another NHL team. The 19 year old Valentine is more of a point producer then McNulty as he had 19 points in 69 games for the Warriors last season and has 2 through 6 games this year.

Hopkins Trade for Dosanjh:
-Hopkins, who is a 4th line energy guy, was traded from Prince George to Vancouver for Vancouver D-man Shaun Dosanjh. Hopkins was originally drafted by Giants head coach Lorne Molleken while he was in Saskatoon. Meanwhile, Dosanjh, who had shown some potential in Vancouver, wasn't even playing in the WHL and was instead playing down in the AJHL for Spruce Grove.

Voting for Top 50 Starts:
-The fan voting for the WHL's top 50 players of all time has started and the format is interesting. The WHL has broken the voting up into 5 different eras and then gives you an option to vote for 5 "wild card" players from any era. If you register, you will receive an email to vote next month. 14 Winterhawks were on the original top 125. It will be interesting to see how many make the cut.

Notable WHL Scores:
Point averaging over a point a game
-Brendan Burke's injury(out since October 2nd) continued to impact the Calgary Hitmen as 16 year old Kyle Dumba was pulled in the 2nd period against Moose Jaw tonight,  after giving up 5 goals on only 19 shots. Moose Jaw got two more goals from Brayden Point (8 goals in only 6 games this year) and beat Calgary by a very lopsided 10-2 score. Before the season started, a lot of people believed Moose Jaw would be sellers at the trade deadline and look to get a payout for Point. They certainly do not look like sellers so far with a 4-1-1-1 record and tonight's blowout win.

Hawks in the NHL:
-Sceviour had an assist for his first point of the season as his Dallas Stars beat Braydon Coburn and Tampa Bay 5-3. Sceviour was a healthy scratch for the first two games of the year, but he is now making his bid to stay at the NHL level.

Hawks in the AHL:
-Chase De Leo had another assist as Manitoba fell to Ontario 4-1 tonight. De Leo has 2 points in his first 3 professional games.
De Leo
-Not a Hawk; but Adam Helewka had an assist for San Jose as they beat Tyler Wotherspoon's Stockton squad: 4-1.

Former Hawks News:
-Jason Labarbera was sent back down to Lehigh Valley of the AHL as Steve Mason completed his family related issue and was able to return to the team. While Mason was gone, his back up, Michael Neuvirth had two straight shut outs.
-Seth Jones is reportedly okay after receiving a dangerous slew foot trip at the hands of New Jersey's Jordin Tootoo Tuesday night. Tootoo received the maximum fine (for him) of  $2,217.74 for the slew foot.
-William Wrenn, who is from Anchorage is the Alaska Ace's (ECHL) Captain this year. Wrenn was Captain of the Winterhawks in the 2011/12 season.

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