D Travis Ehrhardt (Moose Jaw, Portland, 2004-09) has signed a one-year contract with Genève-Servette (Switzerland, NL A). Last season, with the Utica Comets (AHL), he had six goals and 19 assists in 64 games. . . .F Sean Ringrose (Medicine Hat, 2007-09) has signed a one-year contract with Gap (France, Ligue Magnus). Last season, he had two goals and six assists in 22 games with the Colorado Eagles (ECHL).———
While chatting with an NHL scout at a recent exhibition game, it was mentioned that 2016-17 isn’t looking like a banner season for the WHL, at least not in terms of top-end NHL draft picks.
In fact, he suggested that the WHL might be home to only . . . maybe . . . three first-round selections. That includes F Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings, who is coming off sports hernia surgery but remains the consensus No. 1 selection.Craig Button of TSN issued his first 2017 draft rankings yesterday and his list pretty much bears out what the scout suggested.The second WHLer on Craig’s List is F Kailer Yamamoto of the Spokane Chiefs. He’s at No. 19, one spot ahead of Kelowna Rockets D Cal Foote.D Henri Jokiharju of the Portland Winterhawks is at No. 22, with F Michael Rasmussen of the Tri-City Americans at No. 27.Craig’s List also has 10 “players to watch” and it includes four WHLers — F Jaret Anderson-Dolan of Spokane, D Cale Fleury of the Kootenay Ice, G Ian Scott of the Prince Albert Raiders, G Stuart Skinner of the Lethbridge Hurricanes.Craig’s List is right here.——Whoops! Apologies to F Owen Seidel of the Seattle Thunderbirds, who, despite a report here yesterday, remains on their preseason roster. Seidel, 18, was acquired from the Swift Current Broncos last season and had a goal and two assists in 18 games with Seattle. He was pointless in seven games with the Broncos. . . . In 2013-14, he led the B.C. Major Midget League in scoring, putting up 67 points, including 50 points, with the Greater Vancouver Canadians. . . . His name was inadvertently dropped from the Thunderbirds’ online roster, which led to reports that he had been released. Seidel was back on that roster as of Tuesday afternoon.——The Kootenay Ice appears to be down to three goaltenders after dropping Jesse Makaj, 15, from its roster. He is expected to join the Vancouver-North West Giants of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. Makaj, a Vancouver native, was a second-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . News of the move was tweeted by Dickson Liong, the director of communications for The Sports Corporation. . . . Goaltenders still with the Ice are Cranbrook native Payton Lee, 20, who was acquired from the Edmonton Oil Kings over the summer; Declan Hobbs, who backed up Wyatt Hoflin last season; and Jakob Walter, 17, of Langley, B.C., who was a second-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft.——Veteran F Jesse Shynkaruk, 20, is in camp with the Saskatoon Blades on a tryout basis. He was released by the Moose Jaw Warriors over the summer. The 5-foot-9, 175-pounder is from Saskatoon and played a season there with the midget AAA Contacts. . . . He has three WHL seasons under his belt, having played 85 games with the Kamloops Blazers and 111 with the Warriors. In 196 regular-season games, he has 48 points, including 23 goals. . . . Shynkaruk is one of three 20-year-olds on the Blades’ roster at the moment, the others being F Ryan Graham and D Bryton Sayers.———Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.———
The ECHL’s Worcester Railers, who are to begin play in October 2017, have signed Jamie Russell as general manager and head coach. Russell, 50, is a native of Kamloops. Russell spent the past two seasons as GM and head coach of the ECHL’s Elmira Jackals. Prior to that, he was an assistant coach for three seasons at Providence College. He also was the head coach at Michigan Tech for eight seasons (2003-11).——Former WHL D Sven Butenschon has been named the head coach of the UBC Thunderbirds. An assistant coach with the Thunderbirds last season, he was named interim head coach on Aug. 30 when the university announced that it had parted company with head coach Adam Shell after one season. Butenschon played three seasons (1993-96) with the Brandon Wheat Kings before going on to a professional career.———
Ryely McKinstry missed @WHLGiants practice today. GM Glen Hanlon admits it's more concussion concerns. D-man only played 11 games last year.— Steve Ewen (@SteveEwen) September 14, 2016
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