Buzzing The Net
- Kelly Friesen at Buzzing The Net18 hrs ago
A familiar name will be on the back of a Portland Winterhawks sweater next season. Caleb Jones is set to play for the WHL franchise just as his brother, Nashville Predators defenceman Seth Jones, did two years ago.
The 6-foot, 194-pound rearguard did inevitably consult his brother when deciding whether to go down the major junior or college route, but he made his own decision. He decided the WHL was the best fit for his development because of the extensive 72-game schedule and the league’s track record at getting players to the next level.
“I talked to him (Seth) about it a little bit to see what he thought,” says Jones, whom the Edmonton Oilers selected 117 th overall in the 2015 NHL draft. “He told me what to expect in the WHL and how everything works. But he was supportive of whatever decision I made and knows both routes (WHL and NCAA) are good routes. I decided the WHL was my best option because of the amount of games in the schedule and how it’s second to none at developing NHL prospects.”
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman at Buzzing The Net7 days ago
Ryan McGill was asked a simple, straight-forward question.
What was enticing about the Owen Sound Attack’s head coaching position?
His answer was right to the point.
“Dale DeGray, the person,” McGill said.
When encouraged to elaborate, McGill, who was officially hired by the OHL’s Attack on Tuesday along with assistant coach Derek King, heaped praise on his new boss.
“The more and more I talked to him, the more and more I just love his integrity for the game, his experience as a player and his experience as one of the top GMs in the Ontario Hockey League,” McGill said. “They’ve got a lot of good young players that, in the next couple of years, will develop into an unbelievable team.
“Having the opportunity to work with a guy like Dale will give me great experience. It’s something that I’m really looking forward to just because of his knowledge of the game. For me it’s just really, really refreshing.”
- Neate Sager at Buzzing The Net7 days ago
The Owen Sound Attack could hardly have done better at adding a coach that can win in one of major junior hockey's markets. With the summertime coaching carousel winding down, the Attack, who recently lost Greg Ireland to Alder Mannheim of Germany, have landed former Memorial Cup-winning coach Ryan McGill, late of the Kootenay Ice.
- Neate Sager at Buzzing The Net16 days ago
The coaching/general manager has made a full revolution in the Ontario Hockey League's Western Conference. Over the weekend, multiple sources reporterd that Greg Ireland, who has graced the Owen Sound Attack behind the bench since 2011-12, will be leaving to coach in the professional ranks with Germany's Alder Mannheim.
The move, for those scoring at home, makes 12 coach or GM changes in the West in as many months, datiing to Kyle Dubas' departure from the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds for the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs in July 2014. For the Attack, the timing isn't the best since a lot of candidates may have already found a post for this season.
From Bill Walker:
- Neate Sager at Buzzing The Net16 days ago
For Sherry Bassin, the rare hockey person who does not act like charisma is a virus, to exit the Ontario Hockey League stage via a letter to the community seems kind of anticlimactic. Nevertheless, the junior hockey solon did ultimately achieve his end result of keeping the Erie Otters from relocating after fending off a lawsuit from Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz.
The machinations involved taking the Otters into bankruptcy, where they were auctioned off to James A. Waters. The sale is final now, but the big takeaway is that Bassin, the only general manager the franchise has had since moving south from Niagara Falls, Ont., in 1996, will not return, with Dave Brown being promoted from assistant GM to general manager.
The 75-year-old Bassin published an open letter saying he would be departing, meaing the post-Connor McDavid Otters' personality will be even more different.
Bassin's letter reads, in part:
One could only imagine it would have been awkward to have the former managing partner working for the new owners during a transition.
- Kelly Friesen at Buzzing The Net20 days ago
The BCHL’s Penticton Vees are poised to be one of the top 2016 NHL draft hotspots. The Junior A club should garner no shortage of draft attention next year with top 1998-born prospects Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro in their lineup.
Albeit a lot can happen between now and June, Jost and Fabbro are expected to don jerseys within the first 30 selections in Buffalo. If that comes true, it would be a memorable moment for the Vees. There have only been two BCHL teams to have multiple first-round selections in the NHL draft since 1979, when the process switched from an amateur draft to an entry draft.
It’s not surprising to see Penticton lead the way among Junior A clubs in draft eligible talent. Evident in how the Vees had 16 players with Division 1 commitments in 2014-15, they have developed an esteemed reputation for attracting high-end players who want to go the NCAA route. The club has seen the likes of Columbus Blue Jackets star Ryan Johansen, Pittsburgh Penguins first-round pick Beau Bennett and Minnesota Wild prospect Mike Reilly wear their colours in recent years.
- Neate Sager at Buzzing The Net24 days ago
The label of rookie head coach is true yet not accurate with Drew Bannister, whom the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds officially hired on Friday.
Bannister having been part of three championship teams in Sault Ste. Marie in the early 1990s (league champions in 1991 and '92 and Memorial Cup champs as a host team in '93) isa ready-made hook as he becomes the successor for OHL coach of the year Sheldon Keefe, who is now in the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. What's more pertinent is how Bannister honed his head-coaching chops while working as an assistant coach with the Owen Sound Attack by coaching under-16 and under-17 teams through Hockey Canada and Team Ontario.
That experience might factor in heavily as the Greyhounds go through some transition this season with the likes of Justin Bailey, Michael Bunting, Anthony DeAngelo, Darnell Nurse, Nick Ritchie and Sergey Tolchinsky all but certainly gone from last season's iteration that had a franchise-record 110 points.
- Neate Sager at Buzzing The Net26 days ago
Moral of this story: Wolverines and a wallaby do not mix, and if you are trying to make a "potential illegal deal" to sell an exotic animal, it is better to use an alias that does not include your real last name.
The Michigan Wolverines' iconic logo might stand for M-barassed after the way that buying and trying to resell a wallaby named Samson boomeranged on 20-year-old defenceman Cutler Martin, a former member of the United States Hockey League's Tri-City Storm. Samson became quite a sensation in late June after photos of Michigan football players holding the marsupial native to Australia appeared on Instagram and Twitter.
- Neate Sager at Buzzing The Net27 days ago
Odds are, the OHL's Flint Firebirds will get someone special in defenceman Vili Saarijarvi, whom they took in the import draft just days after he was drafted in the third round and signed by the nearby Detroit Red Wings.
Just as water finds its own level, an 18-year-old draft pick at his first NHL camp will demonstrate what level he belongs at for his post-draft season. Saarijarvi, though, was a revelation during the Red Wings development camp after being taken No. 73 overall from the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. That pits Saarijarvi, who's under contract to Finnish pro team Oulu Karpat, as one of the OHL's most intriguing newcomers if he joins the Firebirds. As a footnote, the Red Wings never drafted a single player from the franchise during the entire 25 years that it was owned by Peter Karmanos when it was based in Plymouth, Mich.
"At the end of the day, it's going to be Vili's decision where he will play next season," Red Wings director of player development Jiri Fischer says. "A and at the same time, it depends on his contract situation that he has in Finland.
- Kelly Friesen at Buzzing The Net28 days ago
Unlike most prominent minor hockey programs, Athol Murray College of Notre Dame isn’t based in a large city or heavy-traffic area. It’s located in the small village of Wilcox, Sask., the home of roughly 350 people.
Despite its unique location, Notre Dame has developed a reputation as one of the top hockey programs in the world, let alone Western Canada. It seems the school has at least two or three future NHLers in its development program at any given time. They have played a role in helping mold many young stars such as Jaden Schwartz, Morgan Rielly and Sean Couturier as well as retired greats like Wendel Clark, Rod Brind’Amour and Curtis Joseph.
The school is best known as a breeding ground for the Western Hockey League. They have had 22 players selected in the past three WHL bantam drafts, including many first-round selections such as Kelowna Rockets sniper Dillon Dube (21 st overall, 2013), Moose Jaw Warriors prized prospect Josh Brook (fifth overall, 2014) and Tri-City Americans young stud Carson Focht (seventh overall, 2015).