Saturday, June 24, 2017

Two Pats Taken In NHL Draft

Saturday was a big day for two members of the Regina Pats as Jake Leschyshyn and Nick Henry heard their names get called at the NHL Draft in Chicago.

Leschyshyn was the first to go as he was taken with the last pick of the 2nd round, 62nd overall, by the Vegas Golden Knights.


With the first pick of the 4th round, the Colorado Avalanche selected Nick Henry as he went 84th overall.

Two former Pats also heard their name get called on Saturday.  Lane Zablocki was selected in the 3rd round by the Detroit Red Wings with the 79th pick while Jordan Hollett was taken in the 6th round with the 183rd pick by the Ottawa Senators.

 The Western Hockey League is proud to announce 33 WHL players have been selected in the 2017 NHL Draft, which concluded today at the United Center in Chicago.

The seven WHL players selected in the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft represented the most prospects provided out of any league in the world during the opening round of the draft. The 33 WHL players selected in the 2017 NHL Draft represented the second-most prospects provided out of any league in the world.

The Canadian Hockey League (WHL, OHL, QMJHL), as a whole, provided 89 of the 217 draft picks this year. In addition, 14 of the 31 first-round selections developed this season in the Canadian Hockey League.

Here are the WHL'ers who were taken:

 Round One (7)
#2 – Nolan Patrick (C) – Philadelphia Flyers; Brandon Wheat Kings; Winnipeg, Man.
#6 – Cody Glass (C) – Vegas Golden Knights; Portland Winterhawks; Winnipeg, Man.
#9 – Michael Rasmussen (C) – Detroit Red Wings; Tri-City Americans; Surrey, B.C.
#14 – Cal Foote (D) – Tampa Bay Lightning; Kelowna Rockets; Engelwood, Col.
#16 – Juuso Valimaki (D) – Calgary Flames; Tri-City Americans; Nokia, Finland
#22 – Kailer Yamamoto (RW) – Edmonton Oilers; Spokane Chiefs; Spokane, Wash.
#29 – Henri Jokiharju (D) – Chicago Blackhawks; Portland Winterhawks; Oulu, Finland

Round Two (5)
#33 – Kole Lind (RW) – Vancouver Canucks; Kelowna Rockets; Shaunavon, Sask.
#40 – Aleksi Heponiemi (C) – Florida Panthers; Swift Current Broncos; Tampere, Finland
#41 – Jaret Anderson-Dolan (C) – Los Angeles Kings; Spokane Chiefs; Calgary, Alta.
#56 – Josh Brook (D) – Montreal Canadiens; Moose Jaw Warriors; Roblin, Man.
#62 – Jake Leschyshyn (C) – Vegas Golden Knights; Regina Pats; Grasswood, Sask.

Round Three (6)
#67 – Morgan Geekie (C) – Carolina Hurricanes; Tri-City Americans; Strathclair, Man.
#68 – Scott Walford (D) – Montreal Canadiens; Victoria Royals; Coquitlam, B.C.
#73 – Stelio Mattheos (RW) – Carolina Hurricanes; Brandon Wheat Kings; Winnipeg, Man.
#78 – Stuart Skinner (G) – Edmonton Oilers; Lethbridge Hurricanes; Edmonton, Alta.
#79 – Lane Zablocki (RW) – Detroit Red Wings; Red Deer Rebels; Wetaskain, Alta.
#87 – Cale Fleury (D) – Montreal Canadiens; Kootenay ICE; Calgary, Alta.

Round Four (5)
#94 – Nick Henry (RW) – Colorado Avalanche; Regina Pats; Portage la Prairie, Man.
#97 – Mason Shaw (C) – Minnesota Wild; Medicine Hat Tigers; Wainwright, Alta.
#98 – Nikita Popugaev (LW) – New Jersey Devils; Prince George Cougars; Moscow, Russia
#110 – Ian Scott (G) – Toronto Maple Leafs; Prince Albert Raiders; Calgary, Alta.
#122 – Kyle Olson (RW) – Anaheim Ducks; Tri-City Americans; Calgary, Alta.

Round Five (3)
#128 – Tyler Steenbergen (C) – Arizona Coyotes; Swift Current Broncos; Sylan Lake, Alta.
#140 – Zach Fischer (RW) – Calgary Flames; Medicine Hat Tigers; Lloydminster, Alta.
#149 – Jarret Tyszka (D) – Montreal Canadiens; Seattle Thunderbirds; Langley, B.C.

Round Six (4)
#159 – Jacob McGrew (RW) – San Jose Sharks; Spokane Chiefs; Orange, Calif.
#163 – Brett Davis (RW) – Dallas Stars; Kootenay ICE; Oakbank, Man.
#166 – Brendan De Jong (D) – Carolina Hurricanes; Portland Winterhawks; Victoria, B.C.
#183 – Jordan Hollett (G) – Ottawa Senators; Medicine Hat Tigers; Port Moody, B.C.

Round Seven (3)
#194 – Dylan Ferguson (G) – Dallas Stars; Kamloops Blazers; Lantzville, B.C.
#198 – Skyler Mckenzie (LW) – Winnipeg Jets; Portland Winterhawks; Sherwood Park, Alta.
#204 – Daniel Bukac (D) – Boston Bruins; Brandon Wheat Kings; Most, Czech Republic

***Photos Courtesy Keith Hershmiller

This And That---the Saturday Edition

It's one day late due to the Riders game, but welcome to Saturday. Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they come in no particular order.

--What a shot to the onions Thursday's CFL opener provided to Rider Nation. Hey, its not like other games against Montreal have come down to a field goal that hasn't turned out well for you right? SIGHHHH!  What could have been an optimistic week for Canada's team and its crazed fanbase turned out being another knife-throwing affair in the waning hours of Thursday night and Friday.

All Tyler Crapigna had to do was kick the game-winning 45 yard field goal and the Riders would have been 1-0 and there would have been a good feeling surrounding the team, but nope!  No wind and straight down the middle. He has done that before and he will do it again, but on this night it wasn't going to happen.

Crapigna has made game winning kicks for the team before, and he will again.  On this night, it wasn't to be though which is too bad because the Riders outplayed the Alouettes, but they didn't get the two points.  You can complain about Chris Jones bringing in Brandon Bridge and the clock management all you want as well as other things, but at the end of the day, a play that should have been made wasn't made.  Players will tell you one play does not make a game and they are right, but on this night the one play that needed to be made wasn't so we move on to Winnipeg and hope the first official CFL game at Mosaic Stadium does not go down in the history books as a win for the Bombers.

Crapigna isn't alone as we found out Friday night in a Grey Cup rematch. Rene Paredes had the game on his foot and he failed to come through as well as Calgary and Ottawa played to a tie.  It brought up my problem with CFL overtime which is teams need to start possession at the 45 yard line or 55 yard line.  After Calgary intercepted an Ottawa pass, all they had to do was run two simple plays and kick a field goal.  By putting the ball at the 45 or 55, you make them have to earn at least a first down before having a reasonable shot at a field goal.  It's too easy to get points from the 35.

As for video review, TSN's Chris Cuthbert put it the best after another highly questionable call by the command centre when he put "CFL Video Review needs to be reviewed" on his Twitter account, Yes it does Chris, yes it does.   Hey, at least the first two games of the season have gone right down to the last play though right?

 --A question for the CFL from the warped mind of Twitter follower "Jock Cartier".  With no commissioner, whose signature is on the CFL football this year?

--Jordan Eberle is a New York Islander. A fickle fan base turned on Eberle because they didn't want to remember what he had done over a seven year time, but what he did over a two month period.  Why did Eberle become the whipping boy in the playoffs when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had just as bad a playoff?  In a bad year, Ebs still scored 20 but in the end it didn't matter as he was sent away for Ryan Strome.  Yes, I would have liked to seen more, but the trade allowed for the return of Kris Russell and perhaps another piece in either a trade or free agency.  You might have not been able to get the same return for RNH as you did for Eberle, but it will be tougher to fill Jordan's skates and his offensive production.  He'll score 25-30 if not more playing alongside John Tavares in a conference that isn't as tough.

--I just want to make sure I have this right. The Arizona Coyotes went to the NHL draft and they were there without A) a head coach B) no president of hockey operations C) no #1 goalie unless you want to give that to Antti Raanta whom they traded for along with Derek Stepan to the Rangers for the  #7 pick and  D) no captain.  What a hot mess!  Speaking of hot messes, how about the Vancouver Canucks who tweeted out just hours before the draft that they will be re-tooling their scouting staff after the draft and free agency.  ?????  Get excited Vancouver!!  Congratulations as Trevor Linden and Jim Benning have taken over for Craig MacTavish and Kevin Lowe as biggest front office dunces that used to be former players.

--Was the torch officially passed from Sidney Crosby to Connor McDavid as the face of the NHL Wednesday night when  the Oilers captain won the NHL's MVP award?  I don't know if you can really do that until McDavid has the Stanley Cup in his possession whenever that may be especially if Pittsburgh continues to be a strong contender for hockey's holy grail.  I will ask this though.  At the NHL Awards this week, players were asked if you could start a team today what player would you start with and the majority answered McDavid. Connor voted for Carey Price for what its worth. The reason players are voting for McDavid is because he is much younger.  It begs the question that with the likes of Matthews, Laine, Marner and other young guns making their name known, where would you put Sid if starting a team from scratch with everybody available.  I would have to think he would be no lower than 3, Would you put Matthews ahead of him?

--How many people does it take to announce your first round draft pick?

--That's all I got. Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 23, 2017

7 WHL'ers Taken In First Round of NHL Draft

Image result for 2017 nhl draft

The Western Hockey League is proud to announce seven WHL players have been selected during the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft at the United Center in Chicago Friday night.

WHL players selected in the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft included Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings (second overall, Philadelphia Flyers), Cody Glass of the Portland Winterhawks (sixth overall, Vegas Golden Knights), Michael Rasmussen of the Tri-City Americans (ninth overall, Detroit Red Wings), Cal Foote of the Kelowna Rockets (14th overall, Tampa Bay Lightning), Juuso Valimaki of the Tri-City Americans (16th overall, Calgary Flames), Kailer Yamamoto of the Spokane Chiefs (22nd overall, Edmonton Oilers) and Henri Jokiharju of the Portland Winterhawks (29th overall, Chicago Blackhawks).

The NHL Draft resumes Saturday morning with the second round beginning at 8 a.m. MT on Sportsnet.

In total, 14 of the 31 selections made Friday developed in the Canadian Hockey League this season. Through 51 WHL seasons, a total of 1,974 WHL players have been selected in the NHL Draft.

2017 NHL Draft – WHL Players
Overall – Player (Pos.) – NHL Team; WHL Team; Hometown            

Round One
#2 – Nolan Patrick (C) – Philadelphia Flyers; Brandon Wheat Kings; Winnipeg, Man.
#6 – Cody Glass (C) – Vegas Golden Knights; Portland Winterhawks; Winnipeg, Man.
#9 – Michael Rasmussen (C) – Detroit Red Wings; Tri-City Americans; Surrey, B.C.
#14 – Cal Foote (D) – Tampa Bay Lightning; Kelowna Rockets; Engelwood, Col.
#16 – Juuso Valimaki (D) – Calgary Flames; Tri-City Americans; Nokia, Finland
#22 – Kailer Yamamoto (RW) – Edmonton Oilers; Spokane Chiefs; Spokane, Wash.
#29 – Henri Jokiharju (D) – Chicago Blackhawks; Portland Winterhawks; Oulu, Finland

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Alouettes 17 Riders 16


It looked like the Riders were going to win their season opener in Montreal, but a 44 yard FG attempt by Tyler Crapigna on the game's last play sailed wide right as the Alouettes won 17-16 in a game the green-and-white should have won.

Darian Durant threw for two touchdown passes in the win and told TSN's Matthew Sciantti after the game that the football gods are what pushed Crapigna's attempt wide because they know what happened shouldn't have ended the way it did.  Durant was extremely enthusiastic after winning the opening game of the season as he hopped around the field celebrating while appearing to yell something towards the Riders bench most likely at Chris Jones.

Kevin Glenn threw one touchdown pass, and it was a controversial one as Bakari Grant appeared to have fumbled as he hit the goal-line, but the refs after review called it a touchdown.

Nic Demski had a break-out game for the green-and-white as he caught 7 passes.

The Riders are back in action July 1 versus Winnipeg at Mosaic Stadium as the first official CFL game is played at the team's new 278 million dollar home.

Thoughts on the game and other topics will be found in the usual "This and That" column which will appear on Saturday morning.

Depth Charts For Riders-Alouettes Game

Game time is 5:30 on 620 CKRM and TSN

Jordan Eberle Traded To Islanders

Image result for jordan eberle

The Edmonton Oilers have traded Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders in exchange for forward Ryan Strome.

The former Regina Pat had 20 goals and 31 assists in 82 games iwth the Oilers last year, but in the playoffs, he only had two assists in 13 games.

The 26 year old is entering the 5th year of a 6 year, 36 million dollar contract.

Strome, who was the 5th overall pick in the 2011 NHL draft, had 13 goals and 17 assists in 69 games last season and has 126 points in 258 career games with the Islanders, The 23 year old owns a $2.5 million cap hit and is entering the final season of a two-year deal.

With Leon Draisaitl becoming a restricted free agent on July 1 and Connor McDavid eligible to sign an extension, the Oilers were believed to be looking to add cap space this summer.

Eberle, a Regina, SK native, has played his entire career with the Oilers, originally drafted in the first round 22nd overall in 2008 and has scored 165 goals and 217 assists in seven NHL seasons.

Eberle has represented Canada eight times in his career, winning gold at the under-18 world championship (2008), world junior hockey championship (2009) and world hockey championship (2015).

Players To Watch


The 2017 CFL season begins in Montreal Thursday night with the Riders taking on the Alouettes. There are many storylines to this game as both teams look to get off to a positive start after less than stellar campaigns last year.  

Here are some players to watch for

DARIAN DURANT:  Duhhhh!! Durant has said all the right things this week leading up to the first game against his old team.  There is no doubt he would like to be more than "moderately successful" in this game and send a message to Chris Jones.  The relationship between the two was obviously strained enough to the point he could not return.  Durant, who is said to be leaner going into the season, isn't putting up any statements for people to run with, but you know in his first game as an Alouette, he would love nothing more than to stick one to Jones. 

DURON CARTER:  It is Durant's first game against his old team, and it is Carter's first game against his old squad.  The publicity for that hasn't been as great, but I would think Carter would like to show his former team what they are missing as well.  He was released by the Alouettes late in the season and combined with Naaman Roosevelt gives Kevin Glenn two very inviting targets to throw the football to. The key is emotion as Carter has to have his head screwed on right and focus on the game and nothing more. 

CALEB HOLLEY:  With all the attention that will be paid to Roosevelt and Carter, it could free up some space for Holley. He showed us what he could do last year, and if Kevin Glenn can find him on a few routes it will make the Riders offence a little more dangerous 

JOHN BOWMAN:  The 34 year old defensive lineman is a quarterback's nightmare.  The guy shows no signs of slowing down.  The Riders o-line has a challenge in front of them in dealing with Bowman. Neutralizing him goes a long way to recording a "W".  

CHRIS LYLES:  He takes over the defensive half spot left open by the release of Justin Cox. He needs to provide the solid defence in his first CFL season as Cox did in his. I would think Durant will be looking at Lyles as the possible weak link in the secondary.  

BJ CUNNINGHAM:  A lot of people are talking up the 28 year old Michigan State receiver as a player to watch after having a great training camp. Cunningham caught 4 TD passes late in the 2015 season for the team, but didn't play last year. Who is this guy? We may find out tonight if the clippings come out of Montreal are correct 

Game time is 5:30 on 620 CKRM and TSN