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Buzzing The Net
  • Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...

    WHL

    Toronto Maple Leafs first-rounder Morgan Rielly was shaken up late in Moose Jaw's game, but all indications are that he will be fine. (Moose Jaw Times-Herald)

    As the nephew of Hockey Hall of Famer Lanny McDonald, the Calgary Hitmen's Zane Jones risks great shame if he does not win his team's mustache contest. (Calgary Sun)

    Jordan Eberle's No. 7 will never be worn again at Regina's Brandt Centre. Well, except by non-Pats players. (Regina Leader-Post)

    You might have known that 16-year-old Jake Virtanen scored the last-minute game-winner for Calgary, but did you know he got hit face-first into the boards earlier in the game? (Calgary Sun)

    Veteran Mike Aviani has matured into a leader for the Spokane Chiefs. (Spokane Spokesman-Review)

    The MasterCard Memorial Cup-host Saskatoon Blades have a whole whack of injuries, including a concussion to New York Rangers-drafted right wing Shane McColgan. (Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Taking Note)

    OHL

    Team Canada coach Steve Spott now has "three ghost rosters" to cover all contingencies in the event the NHL resumes playing before the world junior championship. (Waterloo Record, Toronto Star)

    Scott Harrington trying to neutralize Alex Galchenyuk? That is the game within Thursday's London-Sarnia game. (London Free Press)

    Detroit Red Wings prospect Ryan Sproul was "fatigued" in his first game back from a broken arm, which helped Saginaw get an opening to beat Sault Ste. Marie in overtime. (Sault Star)

    Read More »from Morgan Rielly shakes off nasty tumble: Thursday’s coast-to-coast
  • Jordan Binnington had 3 consecutive shutouts (OHL Images)

    No. 1 star: Jordan Binnington, Owen Sound Attack (OHL)

    Normally, what happens when a player is honoured before the game is that he completely geeks it during the game. That was not that case as Binnington, whom the Attack honoured before the game for setting the club record for career wins, made 36 saves for his third consecutive shutout to stymie the rival Barrie Colts 1-0.

    The Colts, who came in boasting six point-a-game scorers, usually don't have that much trouble getting on the scoreboard. However, the 19-year-old Binnington, who's in the running to make Canada's national junior team, made Cameron Brace's last-minute-of-the-first period goal stand up for the entire tonight. The Gravenhurst, Ont., native made 14 saves in the final period and weathered a video review that disallowed a Colts goal. Binnington, who has not been scored on in 186 minutes and two seconds, now leads the OHL with both a 2.07 average and .936 save percentage.

    Read More »from Jordan Binnington extends shutout skein to 186 minutes: Wednesday’s 3 Stars
  • Russian import Nikita Kucherov

    The Québec Remparts dealt away one of their promising young rookies Wednesday afternoon. Nikita Kucherov, the young Russian sniper selected in the 2nd round by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2011 draft, was moved to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in a trade that clears up Québec's import situation.

    Officially, the trade was announced by the Remparts as Kucherov going to Rouyn-Noranda for another Russian, Denis Kamaev and Chicoutimi's 2nd round QMJHL draft selection in 2013. The Remparts then dealt Kamaev to the Sherbrooke Phoenix in exchange for a first round choice in the 2014 CHL Import draft, and a 5th round pick in this year's QMJHL draft. Kamaev, a right winger, has 15 points and three goals in 23 games this season.

    Struggling to juggle ice-time with the veteran two-way centre Mikhail Grigorenko and the Danish import Nick Sorensen, Kucherov was often on the outside looking in, held out of the lineup by Remparts coach and general manager Patrick Roy. In an interview yesterday with Le

    Read More »from Remparts trade Russian import Kucherov to Huskies
  • Ottawa rookie Taylor Davis (OHL Images)Taylor Davis, the revelation amid the Ottawa 67's rebuilding, has been about doing the unexpected from an early age.

    The 67's have had a few curves thrown at them, what with their move to Scotiabank Place and injuries up front. But the most pleasant one is how a free-agent signing from New Jersey (by way of a Junior B team in Buffalo) has become a robust rookie rearguard. Then again, that's not exactly what Davis' loving family would have expected when he came into the world 17 years old. No one from the defenceman's family had ever played hockey.

    "I actually was three years old and saw it on TV and said, 'Mommy, I want to do that,' " recalls Davis, who is listed at a sturdy 6-foot-2 and 208 pounds. "She [Deborah Davis, his mother] said, 'All right, next year I'll take you to the rink.

    "No one in my family played. My mom's brother was drafted to the Atlanta Braves. He went on to be a doctor. We were always an athletic family more into football, basketball, baseball.

    "I tried so many sports. My uncle wanted me to try baseball. I tried baseball. It was just like watching paint dry, being in the dugout so long. I tried football, didn't really like it, so hot outside. I liked basketball, but came in conflict with hockey, so I picked hockey."

    Read More »from Ottawa 67′s Taylor Davis proving to be a free-agent find
  • Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...

    WHL

    Carolina Hurricanes prospect Victor Rask faces an adjustment from playing in the AHL to playing for the Calgary Hitmen. Coach Mike Williamson: "The only thing is we just have to keep reminding him to keep things simple and that he doesn't have to do too much." (Calgary Herald)

    Renovations to Portland's Veterans Memorial Coliseum might finally be finalized. It also means the Winterhawks have a nest to land if a NHL team ever landed in the Rose City. (Oregon Live)

    Edmonton Oil Kings veteran Stephane Legault scored two goals in his return from a broken foot. (Edmonton Sun)

    You better believe Victoria's Jamie Crooks enjoyed sinking Saskatoon, his original WHL team. (Victoria Times-Colonist)

    There is reason to think much-travelled overage forward Charles Inglis is with Kamloops on a trial basis. (Vancouver Province, Coming Down The Pipe!)

    What does new Red Deer Rebels assistant coach Jeff Truitt, former bench boss in Kelowna, expect in his new duties? (The Red Deer Scene)

    OHL

    Detroit Red Wings prospect Ryan Sproul, who broke his arm on the (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend, is back in the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds lineup. (Sault Star)

    Winnipeg Jets first-rounder Mark Scheifele is learning to handle being a marked man with the Barrie Colts. (Winnipeg Free Press)

    Read More »from ‘Hounds give thanks for Ryan Sproul’s return: Wednesday’s coast-to-coast
  • Ryan Murray has a torn labrum (Getty Images)

    Those among us who play doctors on the Internet presumed the worst last weekend when Ryan Murray suffered a bad shoulder injury playing for the WHL's Everett Silvertips. Now the NHL's No. 2 overall pick can be safely ruled out as part of Team Canada for next month's world junior championship.

    There is some sliver of possibility that the 19-year-old defenceman, who was one of three potential returning rearguards for Hockey Canada, will not need surgery. Even if that was the case, the recovery time would probably proscribe playing overseas in the world junior, which begins five weeks from today.

    That will make Canada more reliant on returnees Dougie Hamilton and Scott Harrington, along with Murray's fellow top-5 pick Morgan Rielly.

    Read More »from Ryan Murray can be all but ruled out for Team Canada
  • Nathan MacKinnon's hat trick paced Halifax's 11-2 rout of Saint John (The Canadian Press)NHL's Central Scouting Service took their first step in breaking down the top talents of the 2013 draft class by releasing their preliminary rankings.

    To the surprise of no one, Halifax Mooseheads centre Nathan MacKinnon topped the QMJHL, Ottawa 67's centre Sean Monahan lead the OHL, and Portland Winterhawks defenceman Seth Jones stood out in front in the WHL.

    As it stands, MacKinnon is believed to be the front-runner as the top prospect of the draft. The 5-foot-11, 179-pound centre has been dynamite for Mooseheads, scoring 19 goals and 37 points in 22 games thus far.

    "Nathan is a great skater with overall exceptional skills (good playmaking ability and hands, good vision and a great shot)," says Michael Charron of Central Scouting Service. "He is very competitive, can play physical when he needs to be, and will skate into traffic to jump on a loose puck or to find his way to the net for a scoring chance."

    Monahan separated himself from the majority of the pack last year in his

    Read More »from MacKinnon, Monahan, Jones lead the way in NHL’s Central Scouting Service’s preliminary rankings
  • Kamloops picked up Charles Inglis on Monday (Getty Images)

    There has been a change at the top.

    The Kamloops Blazers beat the Portland Winterhawks last week, but that was not enough to maintain a tissue-thin lead in the Buzzing The Net Dynamic Dozen. The Winterhawks are a WHL-best 9-1 across their past 10 games compared to the Blazers' 5-5 in the same span, which tilts the scales just enough.

    It proved to be a volatile week in the CHL's top quintile, with Quebec and Sarnia (9-1 losers in Sault Ste. Marie last Sunday) dropping out of the DynDoz. Say hello to Barrie and Tri-City.

    The week ahead could have a shakeup in the QMJHL pecking order, since its two best teams, Baie-Comeau and Halifax, face off on Wednesday. Was it not the Drakkar who drafted Nathan MacKinnon in 2011?

    Read More »from Portland Winterhawks, despite loss, dislodge Kamloops atop BTN Dynamic
  • Scott Abbott (second from left) after the Battalion move received league approval (OHL Images)Scott Abbott cleared the major hurdle to move his Battalion to North Bay, but not without a look back and who his team is leaving in Brampton.

    Abbott and Battalion president Mike Griffin, who received unanimous approval Monday from the OHL to move north next season, could not have asked for a tighter turnaround. The time lapse between North Bay city council approving a $12-million upgrade to the city's Memorial Gardens and the league signing off was only two weeks. It makes it easier to move ahead making sure the OHL's reboot in North Bay goes smoothly. A local campaign that resulted in nearly 2,150 three-year season-ticket commitments was a big part of welcoming back a city that lost its Centennials in 2002.

    "I was confident that we could get to the 2,000 by December 31st, which was the challenge," Abbott said Monday night. "But to have it done in six days from the launch of the campaign was unbelievable.

    "This is a milestone, certainly, but there's a lot of work to be done," he added. "Bringing the Memorial Gardens up to contemporary OHL standards. The building is in good shape. It was probably overbuilt for the mid-'50s when it went up, which is keeping us in good stead right now ... there is plenty of work to be done to be ready for the fall of 2013.

    "But I'm quite pleased that we've managed it and been able to be aboveboard about it and do it early by November 19. I understand that today is a bad day for our loyal fans in Brampton. I've always said that we have a hard core of very loyal, very enthusiastic and very knowledgeable fans in Brampton, there just haven't been enough of them. But I do feel for them today, yes."

    Read More »from Battalion owner Scott Abbott glad relocation hasn’t been messy; now the hard work begins in North Bay
  • Ottawa Senators prospect Stefan Noesen (Getty Images)

    On the bright side, Stefan Noesen is not expected to miss more than a handful of games with the reported high ankle sprain that cost him a chance to play in his NHL organization's home rink Sunday.

    As an Ottawa Senators first-rounder who stars for the Plymouth Whalers, the 19-year-old centre only makes one visit per season to Canada's capital. Senators brass, including club president Cyril Leeder, turned out Sunday to see two of their prized prospects, Noesen and the 67's Cody Ceci, go head-to-head. That was scuppered after Noesen tweaked an ankle Saturday in Belleville in a scrum with Brendan Gaunce.

    "It's a tough thing but it's the nature of the beast," Noesen, who got tangled up in the said of ending up watching the game with Senators executives from a suite at Scotiabank Place. "I just kept pushing and it [his leg] came up as I got pushed down. It was just one of those awkward moments. Tough break. It was one of those things — taking precautionary steps, maybe a couple games, hopefully be back by Friday."

    Read More »from Plymouth’s Stefan Noesen misses chance to impress Senators brass, but injury isn’t serious

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