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  • The end of the summer means our final installment of our annual series featuring the off-season work habits of junior hockey players. This summer we've had many interesting jobs and a couple of jobs that pay really well – which is important when you're making CHL money.

    The fun thing about this series is picturing the players you're used to seeing at the rink, signing autographs for kids or doing interviews, out in the summer mowing lawns or fishing or building decks or working in your local bakery. For most of them, it's a good way to keep busy during the off-season and earn some cash – just like most other teens.

    So without further ado, here's a look at how some players are spending the summer...

    Kyle Haas was cutting grass before his job was cut short

    Kyle Haas (Moncton Wildcats)
    Landscaper - Fredericton, N.B.:

    Usually our summer job stories are pretty straight forward, but Kyle Haas' off-season tale is anything but ordinary. It was while he was working as a landscaper for a contractor in the Fredericton, N.B., area that he noticed something

    Read More »from CHL Summer Jobs 2013: A fond farewell to off-season work
  • Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...

    WHL

    Call off the search: Randy Hansch will take one step to the right and take over as Edmonton Oil Kings general manager. (Edmonton Journal)

    Latvian forward Rihards Bukarts will soon be winging his way to the Brandon Wheat Kings, who have also picked up 6-foot-7 defenceman Taylor Green, from the Seattle Thunderbirds. Green, 18, will soon be able to say he played with each of the Honey twins (T-Birds forward Connor, Wheaties goalie Curtis). (Luber's Lounge, Westman Journal)

    A nice story, and after this week, one is needed: former Brandon captain Shayne Wiebe rustled up enough equipment to outfit 20 minor hockey players in western Manitoba. (Brandon Sun, paywall)

    Twenty-two years after starring with the Oshawa Generals, former NHLer Mike Craig is back in blue and red as a Lethbridge Hurricanes assistant coach. (Lethbridge Herald)

    Regina Pats grad Matt Hewitt is carrying on with the UBC Thunderbirds. (New Westminster News Leader)

    OHL

    Pittsburgh Penguins-drafted goalie Matt Murray is bent on not repeating last season's late-year fade now that he's heading into his 19-year-old year with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. (Sault Star)

    No shocker: the Saginaw Spirit released Dalton Young, the 20-year-old defenceman who was charged in connect with a home invasion and stabbing last week in Michigan. (Bay City Times)

    Hey, a trade: overage centre Michael Curtis crosses conferences to Erie, with 19-year-old Luke Cairns going east to the Belleville Bulls. So long as they're both near one of the Great Lakes. (Quinte News)

    Read More »from Duclair in centre of action, Otters pick up pivot: the coast-to-coast
  • Kootenay Ice centre Sam Reinhart topped BTN's 2014 preliminary draft ranking (Larry MacDougall, The Canadian Press)Not even two months after the 2013 NHL entry draft, player rankings are already popping up for the 2014 draft class.

    Barrie Colts defender Aaron Ekblad topped International Scouting Service’s preliminary ranking. Past the OHL rearguard, Kootenay Ice centre Sam Reinhart, Sweden’s Anton Karlsson and William Nylander, and Calgary Hitmen winger Jake Virtanen closed out the top five in that respective order.

    Mckeen’s Hockey preliminary top-30 ranking looks a lot different from ISS’s list. They have Nylander leading the way with Reinhart behind him and Ekblad all the way down at seventh overall. In addition, they have Kingston Frontenacs defenceman Ronald McKeown, who wasn’t in ISS’s top 15, ranked fifth and NTDP forward Ryan MacInnis, who wasn’t ranked by ISS either, pegged sixth overall.

    Here is a look at BTN’s preliminary 2014 draft list. This ranking is based on a compilation of Mckeen’s Hockey and International Scouting Service’s draft lists.

    1. Sam Reinhart, centre, Kootenay Ice

    Read More »from Reinhart, Nylander and Ekblad top the first look at the 2014 NHL draft class
  • Dylan Strome's older brother, Ryan, played in 2 world junior championships (OHL Images)

    The Erie Otters envision Dylan Strome and superstar Connor McDavid developing the telepathy of any great offensive tandem.

    It turns out the pair got started on their rapport rather early, long before the possibility of teaming up in the OHL was even started.

    "We bonded a little bit last summer at the All-State All-Canadians Mentorship Camp and got kind of close there," says Strome, whom the Otters selected No. 2 overall in this spring's OHL priority selection draft. "It was always in the back of our minds that we could be on the same team. We always got off on the right foot and we're pretty good friends.

    "It was weird how it all worked out. We got each other's number and started texting and then I got drafted there. We've played Sunday nights in this little summer league that some teams do and we've become close through that."

    Read More »from Erie Otters’ Dylan Strome raring to read off of Connor McDavid: Making The Jump
  • Jacques Beaulieu was 69-55-12 in 2 seasons with Sarnia (Aaron Bell, OHL Images)

    Nathan Beaulieu and Jacques Beaulieu are free men, albeit ones who ought to feel a little chastened.

    Neither the Montreal Canadiens prospect nor his father, the ex-Sarnia Sting coach-GM, are going to have their lives overly disrupted after pleading guility to assault charges stemming a "drunken hockey game in a friend's garage" back in April. Each of the Beaulieus received a conditional discharge in London, Ont., court on Wednesday.

    In Ontario, a conditional discharge essentially means that the accused have pleaded guilty but are not actually convicted of a criminal offence. The discharge disappears from police databases in time. It also means Nathan Beaulieu, who is entering his second pro season in the Habs organization after a four-year career with the Quebec League's Saint John Sea Dogs, will not have any interruption in his hockey playing.

    Read More »from Habs prospect Nathan Beaulieu, former OHL coach Jacques Beaulieu plead guilty on assault raps
  • Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...

    WHL

    Evan Howorko, who played three seasons in Swift Current, is retiring from hockey due to the lingering effects of a brain injury he suffered two seasons ago: "I don't even know what it feels like not to have a headache anymore." (Swift Current Online)

    The two-time Eastern Conference champion Edmonton Oil Kings already faced some transition, and now general manager Bob Green is leaving to scout for the Edmonton Oilers. (NHL.com)

    Mark Ferner, who lasted 1 1/2 seasons as Everett's head coach, will be the new associate coach in Kamloops. (Kamloops This Week)

    Prince Albert Raiders GM Bruno Campese says paperwork is being finalized for Czech defenceman Tomas Andrilik to join the club. Now what else is new in P.A. besides the uniforms, the coach (Cory Clouston) and the No. 1 goalie (Cole Cheveldave)? (Prince Albert Daily Herald)

    Everett Silvertips grad Landon Oslanski has signed on with the New York Islanders' ECHL affiliate. (ECHL)

    OHL

    Hulking 6-foot-5 forward Tyler Hill, 18, has signed on with the Ottawa 67's. (Western College Hockey)

    Read More »from Broncos’ Howorko retires due to concussion, Oil Kings lose GM Ferner lands on feet in Kamloops: the coast-to-coast
  • Kingston Frontenacs wing Henri (Hank) Ikonen was drafted by Tampa Bay this summer after being passed over while playing in Finland (OHL Images)If the wheels are in motion to proscribe European players from the Canadian Hockey League, its member teams had a funny way of showing it when they selected 78 players in last month's import draft.

    Nevertheless, since the embargo on European goalies was enacted in June, there's been scuttlebutt that was a first step to wider restrictions. The CHL president and OHL commissioner David Branch addressed that on Tuesday's Prime Time Sports with Elliotte Friedman and David Branch and said that's not the case. The interview was a response to a claim from a Russian agent — Russia accounted for nearly 30 per cent of this year's selections, 22 out of 78 — that the CHL would soon make that move.

    As Branch put it:

    "It's not on the table, never been discussed. I have absolutely no idea why this individual would have uttered such a statement.

    " ... We see no reason to make any adjustment. As we've stated before, we expect that we must serve the best interests and opportunities wherever possible for the North American player. So we're trying to bring some balance, keep some balance, to it. And we view the two players as a real positive to our program in terms of what those players bring in terms of style of play, quality of play and everything else.

    Read More »from CHL president David Branch: Eliminating import players ‘never been discussed’
  • In a matter of minutes, the life of Jordan Boyd went from a promising prospect stepping on the ice as a Titan for the first time, to the tragic end of the 16-year-old’s life.

    The fourth round pick of Acadie-Bathurst was skating during his first workouts on the opening day of Titan training camp Monday when he experienced discomfort after some hard skating and collapsed to the ice, unprompted. The impact from the fall was so violent that it broke his nose and jaw.

    Workouts continued on the other end of the ice while the training staff worked on Boyd. Players were escorted off the ice after only a couple of minutes.

    The athletic therapist on-site at the workouts cut his gear away for easier access and tried several times to revive Boyd, who was then taken in an ambulance to Chaleur Regional Hospital in Bathurst, N.B. A defibrillator was used on Boyd in the ambulance, but it was unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

    Boyd, a native of Bedford, N.S., was attending his

    Read More »from Boyd’s death sends shockwaves throughout hockey community
  • Dalton Young, who recently attended a Washington Capitals development camp, is facing criminal charges (OHL Images)

    The Saginaw Spirit didn't dress Dalton Young for their final game last season, which was an eyebrow-raising move at the time since he was a seasoned defenceman who logged a lot of ice time.

    Whether that was due to some personal issue is unclear, but now the 20-year-old is facing rather serious criminal charges following a situation in his hometown in Michigan. The Marysville, Mich., native, on the same day that he arraigned after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, is facing counts of assault and home invasion after forcing his way into the young woman's home and attacking her father, according to police.

    Young was arraigned Sunday on charges of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, first-degree home invasion, and resisting and obstructing a police officer, Marysville Police Chief Tim Buelow said in an email.

    ... Young had been arrested Thursday after he allegedly assaulted his 20-year-old girlfriend. He was arraigned Friday and released with a no contact order.

    The same day, he visited his girlfriend’s home in the 2700 block of River Road, Buelow said.

    Read More »from Saginaw Spirit’s Dalton Young charged in stabbing
  • Travis Konecny was the No. 1 overall pick in April's OHL priority selection draft (Contributed photo)

    The afterglow of being the OHL's first overall selection has worn off, as far as Travis Konecny is concerned.

    The Ottawa 67's, amid their most trying season since the franchise's nascence, decided Konecny had the right combo of vision and competitive fire to be the centrepiece in their rebuilding. Moreover, the centre from Clachan, Ont., has absorbed the reality that all the spoils of going No. 1 are null and void once training camp begins on Aug. 28.

    "I just want to do what I can and be a piece of the puzzle, earn my ice time," says the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Konecny. "The best advice I've had is that my mum and dad [Terri and Rob Konecny] have always given me a bit of humble pie whenever I've needed it, The best advice they've given me is 'be yourself' and 'be honest about everything.' Really, this is just the beginning, right? It's awesome to be picked first overall, but the work's just starting now and I have a long way to go to prove myself. It is kind of cool to have that attention, though."

    Read More »from Ottawa 67′s Travis Konecny, OHL’s top pick, aware ‘this is just the beginning’: Making The Jump

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