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Player Singings

FLAMES SIGN PROSPECT MARK JANKOWSKI

 

Calgary, AB – The Calgary Flames announced today that they have signed 2012 NHL first round draft pick Mark Jankowski to an entry-level contract. The contract will begin in 2016-17 and he will report to Stockton on an amateur try-out agreement.

Jankowski, a 21-year-old centre, just finished his senior season with Providence College of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. He skated in all 38 games for the Providence Friars this season and led the team in goals (15), assists (25), points (40), and plus/minus (+24).

NHL’S SENATORS SIGN WHEAT KINGS’ CAPTAIN

Brandon, MB. – For the second time in four years the National Hockey League’s Ottawa Senators have come to terms on an Entry Level Contract with a Brandon Wheat King captain.

The Senators have announced that they’ve come to terms with 21-year old Delta, B.C. product Macoy Erkamps.

A 6’ 198 lb defenceman, Erkamps is in his fifth and final Western Hockey League season. The Wheat Kings are currently battling the Edmonton Oil Kings in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

A former second round bantam draft choice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Erkamps was acquired by the Wheat Kings in a September 2014 multi-player deal.

One of only three Wheat Kings to play in all 72 regular season games in 2015-16, Erkamps finished second in league scoring among defenceman with thirteen goals and 71 points and tied for fourth with a +47 plus/minus rating.

Since joining Brandon last season, he has sixteen goals, 102 points and 124 minutes in penalties in 140 games. In 21 playoff games, including three this season, he has two goals, six points and 23 penalty minutes.

During his 5-year WHL career meanwhile Erkamps scored thirty goals and 188 points in 341 games.

“This is a great accomplishment for McCoy,” says Brandon coach and general manager Kelly McCrimmon. “He is a tremendous person and has had a great season. This is very well deserved.”

Named the Wheat Kings’ Most Inspirational, Top Graduating and Most Community Minded Player this past season, he attended the St. Louis Blues’ Rookie Camp last September on a free agent tryout.

In Ottawa, he will join former Brandon captain Mark Stone. A sixth round pick (178th overall) of the Sens in 2010, the Winnipeg product signed with Ottawa in 2012.

Game five of the Wheat Kings – Oil Kings best of seven opening round playoff series will be played Sunday in Edmonton, with game six scheduled for Tuesday night at Westman Communications Group Place in Brandon.

The Wheat Kings opening round playoff series is tied at two following Brandon’s 5-0 victory in Edmonton Thursday night.

Erkamps joins a long list of Wheat Kings that have signed professional contracts this season. The others are Jayce Hawryluk (Florida), John Quenneville (New Jersey), Ivan Provorov (Philadelphia) and Tim McGauley (Washington).

Tickets to game six in Brandon will go on sale at 11am Friday at the Keystone Centre box office. Fans can also order online at keystonecentre.com or by calling (204) 726-3555.

OILERS SIGN JONES

The Edmonton Oilers have signed defenceman Caleb Jones to a three-year entry level contract.

Jones, 18, appeared in 72 games with Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Portland Winterhawks this season, posting 55 points (10G, 45A), 64 penalty minutes and a plus four rating. He also recorded two assists and six penalty minutes in four playoff games.

The 6’1”, 192-pound blueliner also spent two seasons (2013-15) with the U.S. National Development Team in the United States Hockey League (USHL), registering 15 points (2G, 13A) and 85 penalty minutes in 58 games.

The Arlington, Texas native represented his country internationally at the 2014 Under-17 World Junior Hockey Championship and the 2015 Under-18 World Junior Hockey Championship.

Jones was selected by the Oilers in the 4th round, 117th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Giants Sign Marcus Kichton

Vancouver, B.C. – The Vancouver Giants announced on Thursday that the hockey club has signed 1999-born defenceman Marcus Kichton to a WHL Standard Player Agreement.

“With the addition of Marcus, we get a good puck moving defenceman,” said Giants Director of Player Personnel Jason Ripplinger. “He’s a good skater who brings some experience coming from Tier-2 as opposed to Midget, so he knows about playing against older guys, and we think he can contribute to our club.”

Kichton, who hails from Spruce Grove, Alberta, tallied five assists in 55 games with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League during the 2015/16 season. Kichton was a second round pick of the Moose Jaw Warriors in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft. The Giants acquired his rights in a trade with Moose Jaw on January 8, 2016.

Kichton’s older brother Brenden is a Winnipeg Jets prospect who scored 268 points over five seasons with the Spokane Chiefs in the WHL.

OILERS SIGN ELLIS

The Edmonton Oilers have signed goaltender Nick Ellis to a two-year entry level contract.

Ellis, 22, appeared in 36 games this season with Providence College in the Hockey East conference, posting a 25-7-4 record, a 1.80 goals against average, a .936 save percentage and four shutouts.

The Millersville, Maryland native has accumulated a 30-9-5 record, a 1.90 goals against average, a .931 save percentage and five shutouts in 48 career NCAA games with Providence.

CANUCKS SIGN GOALTENDER THATCHER DEMKO TO A THREE-YEAR ENTRY-LEVEL CONTRACT
Vancouver, B.C. – Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the club has signed goaltender Thatcher Demko to a three-year entry-level contract.

Demko, 20, recently completed his junior season with Boston College, leading the Eagles to the Hockey East regular season championship and a berth in the NCAA Frozen Four. Demko posted a 27-8-4 record along with a .935 save percentage and a 1.88 goals-against average in 39 games with the Eagles this season. His 10 shutouts on the year set a new Boston College school record and ranks as the second most in college hockey history for a single season.

The 6-4, 195-pound goaltender was awarded the 2016 Mike Richter Award as the most outstanding goaltender in NCAA men’s hockey. He was also a finalist for the 2016 Hobey Baker Award.

In three seasons at Boston College, Demko has posted a 62-26-10 record, along with a 2.08 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage. A native of San Diego, California, Demko was originally selected by Vancouver in the second round, 36th overall, at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

Condors sign Allen and Benik to AHL contracts
Ticket memberships for 2016-17 are on sale now
CONDORSTOWN, Calif. – The Bakersfield Condors announced today that they have signed LW Scott Allen and LW Joey Benik to AHL contracts for the 2016-17 season.

ALLEN (stats) 6’3″, 198 lbs., Edmonton, Alberta

  • Had 30 points (13g-17a) in 37 games with Norfolk (ECHL) as a rookie in 2015-16
  • Played four seasons at the University of Alaska-Anchorage and registered 75 points (40g-35a) in 129 games
  • Second-leading goal scorer on the Seawolves in 2013-14 with 17
BENIK (stats) 5’10”, 175 lbs., Andover, Minn.

  • Joined the Condors on an Amateur Try-Out (ATO) at the end of last season and played four games with one assist
  • Led the St. Cloud State Huskies in goals with 21 in 2015-16 and was +29 in 38 games
  • Finished his tenure with SCSU with 57g-65a-122pts in 134 games
NEED TO RELOCATE? NOW IS YOUR CHANCE!
From now thru the end of April, the Condors are offering members to relocate their seats. Had your eye on another section? Maybe you want to upgrade to a different level? You can do so now by calling 324-PUCK (7825) thru the end of April.

Oil Kings Sign Murray

EDMONTON, AB — Edmonton Oil Kings General Manager Randy Hansch announced today the team has signed 2014 Bantam Draft selection and Sherwood Park native Davis Murray to a standard Western Hockey League player contract.

Murray was selected by the Oil Kings in the 6th round (117th overall) at the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft. The centre spent the 2015-16 season with the Sherwood Park Kings Midget AAA squad, where he appeared in 32 games collecting 11 points (7G,4A) and 76 PIM. Murray also played in two games for the Sherwood Park Crusaders of the AJHL scoring one goal.

The 16-year-old Murray returned from injury in the first half helping lead his team to a respectable quarter-final showing at the prestigious Mac’s AAA Midget Hockey Tournament and a second place finish in the North with a 20-10-4 record and earning himself the Player of the Month for the AMHL (Alberta Midget Hockey League) in January where he scored four goals and adding three assists in five games.

“We are very excited to have Davis joining our program,” says Hansch. “His energy and passion for the game will be an asset to our team as we prepare for next season and Davis’ growth and development in our program will be key to our club going forward.”

Prior to being drafted by the Oil Kings, Murray had a productive bantam season with the Sherwood Park Flyers Bantam AAA team recording 31 points (17G,14A) in 32 games.

The next season he stepped up to the AMMHL (Alberta Minor Midget Hockey League) and had over a point per game with 33 points in 28 games for Sherwood Park.

CANUCKS SIGN CENTRE MARKUS GRANLUND TO A TWO-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION

Vancouver, B.C. – Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the Canucks have signed centre Markus Granlund to a two-year contract extension.

Granlund, 23, appeared in 16 games for the Canucks this season, registering two goals and an assist (2- 1-3) along with six penalty minutes. Prior to being acquired by Vancouver on February 22, 2016, he also split time in 2015.16 between the Calgary Flames (4-3-7 in 31 games) and the Stockton Heat (5-4-9 in 12 games). The Oulu, Finland native has appeared in 102 NHL regular season games, notching 31 points (16-15-31) and 30 penalty minutes.

On the international stage, Granlund won a bronze medal at the 2010 IIHF U18 World Championship and has represented Finland multiple times. He is set to represent Team Finland at the 2016 World Championships in May.

The 6’0”, 178-pound centre was originally selected by Calgary in the second round, 45th overall, at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Condors captain Ryan Hamilton re-signs for two years
Teddy Bear Toss 2016 goal scorer coming back to Condorstown in 2016-17
CONDORSTOWN, Calif. – The Bakersfield Condors announced today that LW Ryan Hamilton has agreed to terms on a two-year American Hockey League (AHL) contract.

HAMILTON (stats) 6’2″, 219 lbs., Oshawa, Ontario

  • Enters his 11th professional season in 2016-17 with 584 career games played; second in Bakersfield; fourth in the Edmonton Oilers organization
  • Finished second on the Condors last season in goals with 20 and had the fourth highest point total with 33 points
  • Scored the team’s Teddy Bear Toss goal which sent 7,908 stuffed animals onto the ice
  • Has played 30 NHL games with Edmonton and Toronto with five points (1g-4a)
  • Two-time AHL All-Star (2012-13 / 2011-12)

FLAMES SIGN FORWARD DANIEL PRIBYL

Czech Signed to Two-Year Entry Level Contract

Calgary, AB – The Calgary Flames announced today that they have signed Czech forward Daniel Pribyl to a two-year entry level contract.

Pribyl was originally drafted by Montreal in the sixth round (168th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft. The 23-year-old has spent the last six seasons with Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga and he has skated in 174 games and recorded 109 points (47G, 62A), adding 24 points (11G, 13A) in 37 postseason tilts. In 2015-16, the 6’3” forward was a point-per-game player with 45 points (16G, 29A) in 45 regular season games before recording five goals and six assists in nine playoff matches.

OILERS SIGN CAGGIULA
The Edmonton Oilers have signed forward Drake Caggiula to a two-year entry level contract.

Caggiula, 21, appeared in 39 games this season with the University of North Dakota in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), posting 51 points (25G, 26A), 60 penalty minutes and a plus 46 rating.

Caggiula led North Dakota to the 2016 NCAA Frozen Four title as an assistant captain and also earned the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award. Caggiula ended the 2015-16 campaign with a 12-game point streak which included him registering a point in each game at the NCAA tournament, as well as two goals in the NCAA championship game.

The 5’10”, 185-pound winger has accumulated 127 points (62G, 65A) and 94 penalty minutes in 162 career games with North Dakota.

The Whitby, Ontario native has enjoyed success in his time at the University of North Dakota, capturing the 2016 NCAA Frozen Four title and being named the 2016 Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player. He was also named to the All-NCHC second team and earned NCAA West Region All-Tournament Team honors in 2014-15.

OILERS SIGN RUSSELL
The Edmonton Oilers have signed forward Patrick Russell to a two-year entry level contract.

Russell, 23, appeared in 41 games this season with the St. Cloud State Huskies in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), posting 41 points (20G, 21A), 14 penalty minutes and a plus 24 rating. He set career highs in goals (20), assists (21) and points (41) in his second season with the Huskies.

Russell received several accolades in his time with St. Cloud State, including being named to the 2015 All-NCHC Academic Team and to the 2015 All-NCHC Rookie Team.

The 6’1”, 205-pound forward has accumulated 66 points (30G, 36A) and 26 penalty minutes in 81 career games with St. Cloud State.

TOPOROWSKI INKS PLAYER AGREEMENT WITH CHIEFS

FIRST ROUND PICK COMMITS TO SPOKANE

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Spokane Chiefs announced today that forward Luke Toporowski, chosen eighth overall in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, has signed a Standard Player Agreement and committed to playing for the Chiefs.

“I’m very proud to officially be a Spokane Chief,” Toporowski said. “Signing with the Chiefs is a dream come true and I can’t wait to get to camp in August.”

Toporowski, a 5-foot-10, 163-pound forward out of Bettendorf, Iowa, became the first American-born player selected in the first round of the WHL Bantam Draft since 2009, when the Everett Silvertips took future fourth-overall NHL Entry Draft pick Seth Jones with the 11th pick.

“We’re very excited to have Luke sign his player agreement and commit to joining our team,” said Chiefs’ General Manager Tim Speltz. “We expect Luke to be a key contributor for our team in the future and this is the first of many steps in that process.”

Luke is the younger brother of current Spokane defenseman Jake Toporowski and son of the franchise’s all-time penalty minutes record holder Kerry Toporowski (1989-91).

“Luke is a dynamic forward with the size and skill to be a difference maker in our league,” Speltz continued. “Obviously, our familiarity with the Toporowski family helped us evaluate Luke’s overall character, but he earned his position as the eighth pick with his talent and hard work.”

In 20 games with the Chicago Mission Bantam Major AAA program of the High Performance Bantam Hockey League, Toporowski scored 22 goals and added 11 assists. He was also the top scorer at the 2015-16 Pat Quinn Classic Bantam Elite Tournament in Burnaby, B.C.

Ticket packages for the 2016-17 regular season are already on sale! With packages starting as low as $110, there’s a plan for any budget. Visit the Chiefs’ Ticket Office in person at the southeast corner of Spokane Arena or call 509-535-PUCK for more information.

Warriors Sign Prospects

Moose Jaw Warriors General Manager Alan Millar has announced that forward Brayden Tracey and defenseman Austin Herron have committed to the Warriors and the Western Hockey League by signing a standard player agreement.

Tracey, 5’11/160lbs, is from Calgary, Alberta and was selected by the Warriors in the 1st round, 21st overall, at the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft.  Last season with the Calgary North Star Sabres in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League Tracey had 36 goals, 25 assists, and 61 points in 33 games.  Tracey led the Sabres in scoring, he was 10th in league scoring, and tied for third in goals.  At the 2016 Albert Cup in April, he led the tournament with eight goals and ten points and was named a tournament First Team All-Star.

Herron, 6’3.5/180lbs, is from Abbotsford, BC and was selected by the Warriors in the 3rd round, 65th overall, in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft.  Herron had one goal, three points, and 44 penalty minutes in 21 games with Yale Hockey Academy in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League Bantam Prep division.

Tracey and Herron will be in Moose Jaw this weekend for the teams 2016 Prospect Camp which opens Thursday with a reception for the Class of 2016.  Friday will consist of fitness testing in the morning and a practice in the afternoon, and then Saturday there will be two scrimmages.  All on-ice sessions will be held in Caronport and are free for the public.

OILERS SIGN KASSIAN
The Edmonton Oilers announced today, they have signed winger Zack Kassian to a one-year contract.

Kassian, 25, appeared in 36 games with the Oilers last season, posting eight points (3G, 5A) and 114 penalty minutes.

The 6’3”, 217-pound winger has appeared in 234 career NHL games, accumulating 74 points (38G, 36A) and 421 penalty minutes. He has also played in eight playoff games, posting six penalty minutes.The Windsor, Ontario native was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1st round, 13th overall in the 2009 NHL Draft.

Kassian was a Memorial Cup Champion in 2010 with the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires, along with current Oilers forward Taylor Hall.

Chase Lang Signs with Minnesota Wild

Vancouver, B.C. – The Vancouver Giants would like to congratulate forward Chase Lang on signing an entry-level contract with the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League.

The Giants acquired Lang in a five player trade with the Calgary Hitmen on October 27, 2015. The 19-year-old tallied 25 goals and 31 assists in 55 games in a Vancouver uniform. After the end of the Giants’ season, Lang was assigned to the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League where he scored two goals and an assist in 11 games.

The Nanaimo native was a sixth round pick (167th overall) of the Wild in the 2014 NHL Draft. The Calgary Hitmen drafted Lang in the fifth round of the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft.

Hurricanes Ink Cozens

LETHBRIDGE, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club have signed prospect Dylan Cozens to a Western Hockey League’s Standard Player Agreement.

Cozens, 15, was selected 19th overall in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft by the Hurricanes on May 5th in Calgary. The 6’2, 159-pound centreman played with the Delta Hockey Academy during the 2015-2016 season where he registered 31 points (19g-12a) along with 18 penalty minutes in 31 games. He also added six points (5g-1a) in three post-season games.

“We’re really pleased to get him apart of the organization right off the bat here. He comes from a really good family. He’s a quality player and he’s a quality kid,” said Hurricanes General Manager Peter Anholt. “He’s a really good player and he’s going to be a really good add for us eventually in our organization.”

“I think any time you can have a big strong centre-ice man that plays hard and is hard to play against, it makes your team a lot better. Dylan has a lot of improving to do, he has a lot of development to do. He’s not the finished product, but we know he’s going to work hard to prepare himself to be a Hurricane when that happens,” added Anholt.

The right-hand shot forward is originally from Whitehorse, Yukon. Prior to joining the Delta Hockey Academy, Cozens spent two seasons with the Whitehorse Mustangs Bantam A team before moving away from home. In 35 games over two years, he registered 31 points (17g-14a).

“I was just really happy [getting drafted] by Lethbridge, my dad lived there for a bit, so it was pretty cool,” said Cozens. “I’m very excited to sign my first contract and I was really happy to do that with Lethbridge.”

Cozens is one of seven Hurricanes prospects invited to take part in Provincial U-16 summer camps in preparation for the 2016 Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup in Calgary in October. He is one of 80 players invited to take part in British Columbia’s Male U-16 Provincial Camp scheduled to take place July 13-17 in Shawnigan Lake, BC.

CANUCKS SIGN DEFENCEMAN TOM NILSSON TO A ONE-YEAR CONTRACT

Vancouver, B.C. – Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the club has signed defenceman Tom Nilsson to a one-year two-way contract.

Nilsson, 22, appeared in 37 regular season games with Frolunda HC of the Swedish Hockey League this past season, where he registered seven points (1-6-7) and 34 penalty minutes. He also registered a goal and an assist (1-1-2) in seven playoff games. In 2014.15, the 6’0″, 183-pound defenceman tallied six points (1-5-6) in 44 games as a member of the AHL Toronto Marlies.

A native of Tyreso, Sweden, Nilsson was originally selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fourth round, 100th overall, at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Smallwood Signs With Warriors

Moose Jaw Warriors General Manager Alan Millar has announced that 15-year-old Jakin Smallwood has committed to the Warriors and the Western Hockey League with the signing of a Standard Player Agreement.

Smallwood, C/5’10”/160lbs, is from Leduc, Alberta and was drafted by the Warriors in the 5th round, 92nd overall, at the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft.  Smallwood played last season with the Leduc Oil Kings in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League, he led his team in scoring and was 12th in league scoring with 28 goals and 59 points in 35 games, and was a member of Team North in the AMBHL All-Star Game.  At the 2016 Alberta Cup, Smallwood had three goals and four points in five games.

Oil Kings Sign Bowman

EDMONTON, ALTA – The Edmonton Oil Kings have signed forward Nick Bowman to a Standard WHL Player Contract today announced general manager Randy Hansch.

Bowman, who is 6’0, 187-pounds, collected 27 points (16G,11A) in 28 games with the Sherwood Park Kings (Midget AAA) last season. He also scored twice and added four assists in six playoff games.

The Sherwood Park, AB native was selected in the 6th round (114th overall) by Edmonton at the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft. In 2014-15 he recorded 33 points (16G,17A) in 31 games with the Sherwood Park Flyers (Bantam AAA).

“We are very pleased to have Nick join the Oil Kings organization,” said Hansch. “He is a solid two-way forward who in his first midget season with the Kings had a productive year of development and played in some very key situations both offensively and defensively. We look forward to watching him grow and develop in our program.”

Pats Ink Pair of Prospects

Regina, Saskatchewan – Regina Pats Head Coach and GM John Paddock announced today the team has signed prospects forward Cole Muir (’01) and goaltender Max Paddock (’00) to Standard Player Agreements.

Cole Muir (6’2”, 195 lbs) was the Pats’ second round selection, 33rd overall, at the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft.  The big centre tallied an impressive 76 points (37G, 39A) in just 35 games with the Yellowhead Chiefs of the Manitoba Bantam AAA league.

“It’s amazing and I’m glad to be signed now,” said Muir. “It’s phenomenal and playing for John Paddock will be amazing.”

“You like to get your highest pick signed as soon as possible,” commented John Paddock.  “He’s somebody we had highly ranked, he’s a big part of the future of the organization and he wants to play in the Western Hockey League.  We have a cornerstone player for down the road.”

Max Paddock (6’1”, 133) was picked by the Pats in the 10th round, 212th overall, at the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft.  The goaltender posted an 8-10-0 record supported by a 2.82 GAA, 0.908 SV% and one shutout over 38 appearances for the Midget AAA Brandon Wheat Kings.

“He’s a tremendous athlete,” said Paddock.  “There isn’t a sport he can’t do so I think that’s what makes him a goaltender.  He’s very smart in the net for a goalie and his movement is great for a goalie.  I think his athletic ability is going to give him the chance to be quite the player.”

The Regina Pats completed their annual spring prospects camp over the weekend.  A group of prospects, mostly from the Pats’ 2015 and 2016 draft classes, were in Regina to learn about the organization and take part in a pair of on-ice sessions.

LEDUC COMMITS TO SPOKANE CHIEFS

YOUNG DEFENSEMAN SIGNS STANDARD PLAYER CONTRACT

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Spokane Chiefs announced today that defenseman Matt Leduc has signed a Standard Player Agreement and committed to playing for the Chiefs. He was one of Spokane’s two second round picks (31st overall) in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft.

“We are thrilled by Matt’s commitment to our organization,” said Chiefs’ General Manager Tim Speltz. “Matt is a big defenseman who we expect to become an impactful player in the Western Hockey League.”

Leduc, a 16-year-old from Richmond, B.C., stands 6-foot-5 and 195 pounds. He recorded one goal and 14 assists in 26 games with the Burnaby Winter Club of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League last season.

“On top of being an excellent hockey player, we have been continually impressed by Matt’s character and leadership abilities,” Speltz continued. “He exemplifies the personal qualities we look for and we are excited to have him join our team.”

Hurricanes Sign Nolan Jones

LETHBRIDGE, AB – The Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club have signed prospect Nolan Jones to a Western Hockey League Standard Player Agreement.

Jones, 15, was selected in the second round (41st overall) in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft. The 6’0, 150-pound defenseman appeared in 28 games during the 2015-2016 campaign where he registered 44 points (24g-20a) along with 100 penalty minutes with the Moose Jaw Warriors Bantam AA to lead all rear-guards in scoring in the Saskatchewan Bantam AA Hockey League.

“We’re really excited to get Nolan signed. It’s another step for us to keep adding good players into our system and get them committed to the Lethbridge Hurricanes,” said Hurricanes General Manager Peter Anholt. “I think he’s a two-way defenseman. He certainly can defend but he has that puck moving ability also. He skated really well and competes hard. We really think he’s going to be a real strong player over his career.”

“He’s going to play triple-A in Moose Jaw next year and hopefully that will put him in a situation where he’s ready to play as a 16-year-old for us, if he’s not he can always go back to triple-A for another year,” added Anholt.

In two seasons with the Warriors Bantam AA, the left-hand shooting Jones registered a total of 74 points (36g-38a) along with 183 penalty minutes in 58 games.

“I was very excited. It’s good to get it over with early so I can focus on training for the rest of the off-season,” said Jones. “I had a lot of emotions [on draft day]. I was extremely excited and happy. I was very happy to go to [Lethbridge], it’s not too far away from home and it’s a great organization and a nice place.”

Jones is slated to take part in the Saskatchewan Under-16 Male SaskFirst Summer Camp from August 1-5 in Wilcox. He will be one of 12 defenseman that will take part in the camp in preparation for the Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup in Calgary in October.

COMETS SIGN BANCKS AND HAMILTON TO TWO-YEAR DEALS
Utica Comets Director of Hockey Operations Pat Conacher announced today that the club has signed forwards Carter Bancks and Wacey Hamilton to two-year American Hockey League contracts.
Bancks, 26, enjoyed a career year during the 2015-16 season and set new personal bests in goals (14), assists (25), and points (39) while playing in all 76 games for the Comets. The Marysville, BC native has collected 105 points (35-70-105), 269 penalty minutes, and a +34 rating in 357 career AHL games with the Comets and Abbotsford Heat.

Undrafted, Bancks played two games with the NHL’s Calgary Flames during the 2012-13 season.

Hamilton, 25, posted career highs in goals (8) and penalty minutes (61) while he appeared in 53 games and posted his second consecutive 15-point season for the Comets. During the 2014-15 season, he recorded five goals and 10 assists along with 27 penalty minutes in 41 regular season games. In the 2015 Calder Cup playoffs he posted four points (2-2-4) and 25 penalty minutes in 22 games. In 269 career AHL games between Utica and Binghamton, the Cochrane, Alberta native has 69 points (26-43-69) and 245 penalty minutes.

COUGARS SIGN FIRST ROUND PICK TAYLOR GAUTHIER

Prince George, B.C. – Prince George Cougars General Manager, Todd Harkins announced this morning that the Cougars have signed 2001-born goaltender Taylor Gauthier (Calgary, AB) to a Standard Western Hockey League Agreement.

Originally selected by the Cougars ninth overall in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, Gauthier (6’0”, 172 pounds) is a 2015-16 Alberta Cup champion and the two-time reigning AMBHL Goaltender of the Year in the South Region. In 2015-16 he led the Calgary Bisons to a regular season record of 15-1-3 with a .948 save percentage, a 1.22 goals-against-average and seven shutouts! In nine playoff games he finished 6-3 with a .933 save percentage and a 1.64 goals-against-average. During his first bantam season in 2014-15 he put forth a record of 16-0-1 with a .950 save percentage, a 1.21 goals-against-average and five shutouts.

Gauthier (02/15/2001), who catches with his right hand, holds the distinction of being the first goaltender ever selected by the Prince George Cougars in the first round of a WHL Bantam Draft. In the history of the WHL Bantam Draft, only one goaltender has ever been picked earlier than Gauthier, and that was Carey Price (Tri-City Americans, seventh overall, 2002). In July Gauthier will be heading to Camrose, AB to attend Team Alberta’s U-16 Summer Provincial Camp with the hopes of eventually representing Alberta in the 2016 Western Canadian U-16 Challenge Cup, a tournament held annually in Calgary in October.

“Seeing Prince George walk to the podium on draft day and announcing my name was probably one of the best moments of my life up to this point,” said Gauthier on draft day which took place on May 5th, 2016 in Calgary. “I’ve heard nothing but good things about the City of Prince George and I’m excited to be a part of the organization. Hopefully I can play there for many years and bring success to the town and the organization.”

“Very early on we identified Taylor Gauthier as the best goaltender available in the draft, and when he was still available to us in the ninth spot, we knew that he was the type of player and person that we could not afford to pass up on,” adds Cougars General Manager, Todd Harkins. “Our fans are going to love the way he battles. He’s big, mobile, and a relentless competitor. He’s made it very clear that his goal is to make it to the NHL and we will do everything within our power to help him get there.”

Harkins adds, “We couldn’t be happier to have Taylor signed. He’s an integral part of our future success and we can’t wait to watch him develop into a franchise goaltender with the Prince George Cougars.”

Gauthier will attend his first WHL training camp in Prince George in August. As an under-ager he’ll be allowed to play in a maximum of five games during the 2016-17 season until his midget team is finished their season.

COUGARS SIGN DEFENCEMAN COLE BEAMIN

Prince George, B.C. – The Prince George Cougars are pleased to announce that 2001-born defenceman Cole Beamin (Saskatoon, SK) has signed a Standard WHL Player Agreement with the team.

Beamin (10/11/2001), who’s 6’3” and 189 pounds was selected by the Cougars in the second round (31st overall) in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft. The right handed shooting defenceman suited up in 30 games for the Saskatoon Outlaws (Saskatchewan Bantam AA) and scored 10 goals, 12 assists and 64 penalty minutes. He added two goals and four assists in six playoff games. He also suited up in five games as an underager for the Saskatoon Contacts (SMAAAHL) and had one goal. Because of his late birthday status he won’t be NHL draft eligible until 2020.

“It’s been a dream of mine for a long time to get drafted to the WHL and to be a part of the Prince George Cougars organization is amazing,” said Beamin a day after he was selected by the Cougars in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft in Calgary. “Over the summer I’ll be focusing a lot on weight training, conditioning and skating in order to make sure I’m ready for my first WHL Training Camp.”

“We couldn’t believe that Cole was still available when we were on the clock and ready to pick in the second round,” comments Cougars General Manager, Todd Harkins. “Having him signed and a part of our defense corps moving forward bodes very well for us. He’ll be a cornerstone of our blueline for many years to come.”

Earlier in the spring, Beamin was invited to attend Saskatchewan’s U-16 Provincial Camp, which will take place August 1st – 5th in Wilcox, SK. From there, Beamin will look to represent his province during the 2016 U-16 Challenge Cup which takes place in October in Calgary, AB.

Beamin joins the likes of Jonas Harkins (2015), Max Martin (2014) and Tate Olson (2012) who were all defenceman drafted in the second round by the Prince George Cougars. He’s now the second player from the Cougars 2016 draft class to sign a Standard WHL Player Agreement (The other being goaltender Taylor Gauthier). He will join the team for Training Camp in August and will be eligible for full-time WHL duty in 2017-18. He can play up to five games next season as an under-ager until his Midget team is done their season.

Oil Kings Sign McLeod

EDMONTON, ALTA. – The Edmonton Oil Kings have signed defenceman Wyatt McLeod to a Western Hockey League standard player agreement general manager Randy Hansch announced today.

McLeod, 16, was a seventh-round pick of the Oil Kings in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft, 142nd overall. The 6’1, 166-pound native of Dawson Creek, B.C. is a left-handed shot who spent the past season with the Pursuit of Excellence Prep in Kelowna, posting 16 points (4G,12A) in 36 games.

“We’re very happy Wyatt has chosen to come to the Western Hockey League and the Edmonton Oil Kings program,” Hansch said. “He has had continued growth in his game since we drafted him from the Dawson Creek Bantam program. In all three camps he’s attended Wyatt has left a positive impression along with this past season where he had a very good year transitioning to the Midget level.”

COUGARS SIGN DEFENCEMAN JACK MICHELL

Prince George, B.C. – Prince George Cougars General Manager Todd Harkins announced today that the club has signed 2001-born defenceman Jack Michell (Saskatoon, SK) to a Standard WHL Player Agreement.

Michell (03/07/2001) was drafted by the Cougars in the third round (53rdoverall) in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft which took place on May 5th in Calgary, AB. He stands 6’1”, weighs 170 pounds and is coming off a season where he posted six goals, 12 assists and 60 penalty minutes in 30 games played with the Saskatoon Stallions (Sask. Bantam AA). In three playoff games, Michell scored three goals and added 16 penalty minutes. He also played seven games with the Saskatoon Contacts as an under-ager where he registered 12 penalty minutes.

Michell was the first defenceman selected by the Cougars in Round 3 since Shane Collins (62nd overall in 2012). Other recent third round selections include: Tyler Ho (66th overall in 2015), Ethan O’Rourke (53rd overall in 2014) and Kolby Johnson (52nd overall in 2013).

“It was a huge honour to get drafted (and eventually signed) by the Prince George Cougars,” said Jack Michell who considers himself a reliable, two-way defenceman. “I can move the puck very well, I make a strong first pass, I can play physical and I am going to make sure I come to my first Training Camp in the best shape possible.”

“Heading into the 2016 draft we set out to add some top-end defensive talent in the early rounds, and getting Jack Michell in Round 3 was a steal for us,” said Cougars General Manager, Todd Harkins. “Jack has major upside in all areas of his game, and we’re very excited to have him signed and a part of our organization.”

Next season, Michell will suit up for the Saskatoon Contacts (SMAAAHL) alongside fellow Cougars draftee Cole Beamin who also signed with the team earlier this week. Michell will attend his first WHL Training Camp in August in Prince George and is eligible to play in up to five games for Prince George as an under-ager this season until his Midget season ends.

Wheat Kings Sign Schneider!

Brandon, MB. – Brandon Wheat Kings’ Director of Scouting Wade Klippenstein has announced that the Western Hockey League club has signed 14-year old defenceman Braden Schneider to a standard WHL Players Agreement.

A 6’1” 185 lb Prince Albert product, Schneider had seven goals and 20 points with the AAA Bantam Raiders during the 2015-16 season.

Schneider, was Brandon’s first selection (12th overall) in last month’s WHL Bantam Draft in Calgary.

The talented blueliner is thrilled to be an official member of the Wheat Kings’ organization, with today’s signing.

“Great players seem to come out of there,” he recently told Perry Bergson of the Brandon Sun. “They have great coaching and a great organization.”

In order to acquire Schneider, the Wheat Kings swapped first round picks with Moose Jaw, before adding a third and sixth round selection.

“This was a player that everyone on our staff really liked,” says Klippenstein. “He was one of the top defencemen in this year’s draft and he’s a guy that other teams won’t enjoy playing against.”

He becomes the first Saskatchewan born player to be chosen by the Wheat Kings in the first round since Eric Roy was taken with the 18th overall selection in 2009.

Fresh off their first WHL Championship in twenty years, the Wheat Kings remind fans that the Early Bird Deadline to renew your 2016-17 Season Tickets at last year’s price is fast approaching. Western Manitoba hockey fans will have until Friday, June 17th at 5pm to renew. For more information or to order fans can also call the Wheat Kings’ office at (204) 726-3535.

The Wheat Kings, who continue to offer the most affordable season ticket prices in the WHL, will open up their 2016 Training Camp on August 30th at Westman Communications Group Place.

MCGOVERN SIGNS WITH TIGERS

Medicine Hat, AB — The Medicine Hat Tigers are pleased to announce the signing of goaltender Duncan McGovern to a Standard WHL Player Agreement on Thursday. McGovern was the Tigers 5th Round Bantam selection in the 2015 draft (91st) overall.

The Winnipeg, Manitoba native had a strong season in his first year of midget eligibility appearing in 39 games with the Central Plains Capitals Midget AAA team, going 12-10-0-2 with 3 shutouts. In those appearances McGovern posted a 2.45 GAA and 0.919 save percentage. His 2.45 mark ranked 8th among all goaltenders in the Manitoba Midget Hockey League.

“We are thrilled that Duncan has chosen the Tigers and the WHL as his development path,” said General Manager and Head Coach Shaun Clouston.

Most recently McGovern was chosen as one of the top goalies in his age category to attend the Program of Excellence Goaltending Camp, hosted by Hockey Canada in Calgary starting Thursday and running until Sunday.

Tigers goaltending coach JF Martel has worked with McGovern over the past years and praises him for his hard work ethic, “Duncan is a strong goaltender with an already good technical game. For his age he has a great work ethic and plays with a lot of confidence and poise. I am looking forward to continue to work with Duncan as he progresses to the WHL.”

McGovern was most recently in Medicine Hat for Orientation Camp, his second appearance at the camp, leading team White to the Championship trophy. The signing solidifies the Tigers goaltending over the next few years.

“We welcome Duncan and his family to the our organization and look forward to seeing him in a Tigers jersey in the near future,” said Clouston.

McGovern is eligible to make the opening night roster this season and will compete for a spot at main camp beginning in August.

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