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Plymouth Whalers, Portland Winterhawks, Niagara IceDogs will be hardest-hit when NHL lockout lifts

Neate Sager
Buzzing The Net

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N.Y. Rangers prospect J.T. Miller is eligible to join the AHL' Connecticut Whale (OHL Images)

There first has to be a sign the NHL lockout will end before junior hockey fans should worry about which stars will be summoned to big-league training camps.

But on Tuesday, there was further clarity about whocould be called up from the Canadian Hockey League at midseason when/if the NHL shutdown ends. Bob McKenzie of TSN reported NHL clubs "had to submit a list in late August" stating which 18- and 19-year-old players they could bring to camp, although putting a player on said list doesn't mean he will be recalled.

There are probably few surprises on the list, that was reported through a series of tweets. All four of the NHL first-round picks playing for the OHL's Plymouth Whalers — Ottawa Senators' Stefan Noesen, Anaheim Ducks' Rickard Rakell, New York Rangers' J.T. Miller (who is due to report for AHL duty) and Washington Capitals' Tom Wilson — could be called up.

The Kitchener Rangers could bid, however briefly, adieu to centre Radek Faksa, defenceman Ryan Murphy and goalie John Gibson. The Niagara IceDogs also have a third player on the list, since Dallas Stars second-rounder Brett Ritchie joins world junior players Dougie Hamilton (Boston Bruins) and Ryan Strome (New York Islanders).

Other teams which have multiple players affected include the London Knights (Pittsburgh Penguins defence prospects Scott Harrington and Olli Maatta) and Oshawa Generals (captain Boone Jenner, a Columbus Blue Jackets draft, and Philadelphia Flyers-drafted centre Scott Laughton). The Western Hockey League's Portland Winterhawks, with high-scoring Ty Rattie and defenceman Derrick Pouliot. (Gregg Drinnan has compiled a complete WHL list.)

Since it's McKenzie and he usually is thorough, one should feel fairly same in presuming that's close to a complete list. Most junior fans probably could have twigged to anticipating that, say, the Edmonton Oilers would want to bring Nail Yakupov to camp. Ditto the Montreal Canadiens with Sarnia Sting centre Alex Galchenyuk, the Toronto Maple Leafs with Moose Jaw Warriors defenceman Morgan Rielly and the Ottawa Senators with Ottawa 67's d-man Cody Ceci. The same goes with some high 2011 drafts who are back in junior, such as Florida Panthers' Jonathan Huberdeau (Saint John Sea Dogs), Winnipeg Jets' Mark Scheifele (Barrie Colts) and Edmonton Oilers' David Musil (Vancouver Giants).

The QMJHL stands to be the least affected of the three major junior circuits; Huberdeau and Quebec Remparts centre Mikhail Grigorenko were the lone players McKenzie mentioned. That's not surprising since the league was low on high-end picks in the 2012 draft and a few of its top picks from 2011 were late-birthdate players who are now in their age-20 seasons.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at neatesager@yahoo.ca and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.

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