Thursday, April 14, 2016

Catching up on Winterhawks' News

So, I have taken a bit of a break from the ole' blog the last week or so, but am returning to catch you all up on Winterhawks' related goings on throughout the world of hockey. After all, just because Portland's season is over, does not mean that there are not some interesting news out there that relates to the Hawks.

Two Winterhawks' Prospects Fall Short of Telus Cup:
-Signed Portland Winterhawk, 2000 born forward Ilijah Colina won the BCMML title with the Valley West Hawks, but fell just short of the Telus Cup. His Hawks lost to the Lloyminster Bobcast in the AAA Pacific Regionals 4-1 and 5-3, to lose 2-0, in their best-of-three series. The Bobcats will now represent the Pacific region at Canada's national midget tournament.
-Meanwhile, over in the West region, Manitoba Midget AAA goalie of the year Matt Radomsky had a limited role in the West Regional Final, which has a very different set up than the Pacific does. In the west, four teams get together and play in a round-robin style tournament, narrowing down to a final between two team. Winnipeg made the final and fell in an epic, double overtime game 4-3 to the Saskatoon Contacts.

Caleb Jones and Adin Hill Ink Pro Deals:
-Caleb Jones was signed by the Edmonton Oilers and the turned around and inked an Amateur Try Out (ATO) with their AHL affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors. So far he has gotten into two games with Bakersfield; firing three total shots on net, while posting an overall minus two. It looks like the Condors will finish on the outside of the playoffs, meaning Jones has two games left to impress the Oilers' management. Jones will return for one more season with the Winterhawks, as he is a '97 born player and will be in his 19-year-old season next year.
-Adin Hill, to the surprise of many, signed an Entry Level Contract (ELC) with the Arizona Coyotes. This likely means that he will not return as an NHL signed overage next season. He has played in two games so far with the Coyotes' AHL affiliate; the Springfield Falcons. In his first start on April ninth, he allowed six goals on 28 shots and was handed a 6-2 loss in his pro debut. He then started tonight in Providence and...Look for Hill to start next season in the AHL with Springfield, though it is fairly common for signed goalies to return to their WHL team, as there are not a lot of spots to go around. We will know much more, when Arizona's goalie situation is ironed out around when free agency is going on this summer.

Rihards Bukarts Signs an ATO with Portland (AHL):
-Meanwhile, overage forward Rihards Bukarts is getting what is essentially a tryout with the Portland Pirates of the AHL. He has yet to see any action, but Portland will be in the playoffs, likely against the Hershey Bears, so we will keep an eye on them to see if injuries allow him to show his stuff.

Paul Bittner to See AHL Action:
-Paul Bittner has been activated by Columbus's AHL affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters and could see some action for the first time since December 2nd, when he was injured in a game against Prince George. This is a great sign that his recovery from hip surgery is going well. He made his debut tonight and fired two shots on net in a 3-1 win over Charlotte.

Schoenborn Released by San Jose (AHL), Picked up by Allen (ECHL):
-Alex Schoenborn got into exactly one game with San Jose of the AHL, before he was quickly sent down to Allen of the ECHL. This could have been to get him some playoff action as Allen is playing in the post-season, while San Jose is not. Alex got an assist in his first game with Allen and has one shot and is a minus two, in two games with the Americans. Schoenborn and the Americans are the four seed in the West and are taking on the Idaho Steelheads in round one.


  1. Caleb was drafted before he was a part of the Winterhawks. He is not subject to the rules based on the agreement between the NHL/AHL and the WHL for kids having to be either "20 years old" or "must have played four years" in the WHL before they can play in the AHL. In other words, if they wanted him, he could move to the AHL (or NHL if he made the Oilers next year of course). I think he will probably be back, and I'm hoping so, but it's not guaranteed that he will be back.... unless the rumors I've heard of the ELC he signed stating that he has to come back if he doesn't make the NHL squad....

    As for Bittner, he played in PDX for four years, so he can stay there if they want him to.... I hope he will be back, but I think that's very doubtful.

    And Schoenborn... it's weird but I found a post on the ECHL website under transactions for April 9, that said Schoenborn was deleted from Allen and moved back up to SJ (AHL), but I don't see him on that roster, nor do I see him on the Allen roster (not even the playoff roster)... so I don't know what's going on there...

    1. It was my understanding, (and I took a quick look at CBA Sections 8 and 9) that any North American player drafted before 20, could not play in the professional ranks (while their team is still playing) until their hockey age is 20. Caleb played in the USHL with the USNTDP, so when he was drafted, he was still considered a "Junior" player. Thus the same rules as playing in the WHL apply. College is something altogether different, but does not apply here.

      Bittner is a '96 born player who is signed, so can be assigned (and likely will be) to play in AHL next season.

      The ECHL, AHL thing with Schoenborn has really confused me. I will look more into this and try to contact some sources to see if they know what is going on there. Professional ATOs are something I'm not as familiar with.