Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sunday's Portland Winterhawks' News and Notes: Johansen Fights and Hansen Nets OT Winner!

Hopefully, I will be able to do these a little more consistently in the second half of the year.
DeBrusk was the first domino to fall

Roster Freeze is Over, What Will Happen?
-Red Deer made the first move as we near the January 10th trade deadline today, acquiring Jake DeBrusk from Swift Current for two picks (first rounder in 2017 and third rounder in 2016) along with forward Lane Pederson. One has to think that the package for DeBrusk, a first round Boston Bruins' selection, would have been bigger, had he not battled injuries so much the last two years.
Now that Red Deer picked up DeBrusk, what will Brandon, Lethbridge and Prince Albert do to keep up.

I still have not really seen enough to warrant unloading players like Dominic Turgeon, Adin Hill or Jack Dougherty yet. However, a long losing streak that pouts the playoffs in jeopardy, may be enoguh to convince me otherwise. I think there is too much talent on the current roster for Portland to have a record liek they do currently. It may sound naive of me, but I would not be surprised if Portland makes a run, post-World Juniors like they did last year. There's an argument to be made that some of Portland's most talented players, are new to coach Jamie Kompon's system, as well as, the WHL and there play will improve as they get used to both in the second half of the year.

Winterhawks in the NHL:
-Ryan Johansen has had a frustrating year this year, as he struggles to fit into the John Tortorella mold in Columbus. He let some of his frustrations out last night by fighting Vladislav Namestnikov. He also had an assist for CBJ as they fell to Tampa Bay 5-2. The other night, he made a few more fans as he handed his stick to a young fan.
-Colton Sceviour scored his third goal on the season and the last two have come in consecutive games. Sceviour did not score on his shootout chance though, as Dallas lost to St. Louis 3-2 in the circus.
-Jannik Hansen has had a career year in Vancouver. he is swiftly moving up the ranks as the Canucks' most consistent forward, not named Sedin. First he tied their game last night vs. Edmonton at one off a nice feed from Henrik Sedin. Then, after colliding with the crossbar and getting a nice little golf-ball sized bump on his forehead, he scored the winner in OT on the rush. Hansen now has 12 goals and 10 assists for 22 points. His career best for goals is 16, while his best year for points is 39. He could beat both of them this year.

Winterhawks in the AHL:
-Troy Rutkowski, is getting another shot at the AHL, as he was called up by the Binghamton Senators. He made his debut Friday, firing two shots on net in a 4-2 win over Hartford.

-Brendan Leipsic scored his seventh on the year, as Toronto kept rolling with a 5-2 win over St. John's.
-Oliver Bjorkstrand is getting going for Lake Erie as he netted his third on the year. All of his goals have been scored since he returned from injury, just six games ago.
-Bad news for Taylor Aronson, who was having a career year for Milwaukee, Nashville's AHL affiliate

Winterhawks in the ECHL:
-Cam Reid returned from his second stint this year in the AHL and got an assist in his first game back with Reading. The Royals took down Elmira 4-0 in the game.
-Brett Ponich notched his third assist on the year, as Kalamazoo fell to Fort Wayne 5-2.
-Another solid effort for Mac Carruth, as he got the win over Quad City 4-1, by stopping 20 of 21 shots for Indy.
-Taylor Peters returned to the lineup for Idaho and notched an assist in a 5-2 win over Utah.

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