F Levko Koper (Spokane, 2006-11) has signed a tryout contract with the Straubing Tigers (Germany, DEL). Last season, with the Charlotte Checkers (AHL), he had seven goals and 11 assists in 56 games; he also had five goals and three assists in 13 games with the Florida Everglades (ECHL). Straubing’s news release on Koper’s signing notes he has played in the playoffs 12 straight seasons.
Almost 600 present and former CHL players have registered as part of a class action lawsuit that has been filed against the CHL and the three major junior leagues that operate under its umbrella — the OHL, QMJHL and WHL. . . . Rick Westhead of TSN reported those figures on Thursday, pointing out that the number was supplied by lawyers for the plaintiffs.
Westhead also reported:
“A lawyer for the Canadian Hockey League players suing for minimum wage says newly obtained evidence shows at least one of Canada’s three major junior leagues has considered players to be team employees, not amateur student athletes.
“Plaintiff lawyer Ted Charney said in an interview Wednesday that he has obtained through discovery a copy of a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League standard player contract from before the 2013 season.
“The undated contract was provided to the plaintiffs on Aug. 25 after a Montreal judge ordered the QMJHL to provide copies of all standard player contracts from 2008 to 2013. The contract states that players are employees of their team who receive salaries.”
Westhead’s story is right here.
The Everett Silvertips have acquired D Riley Bruce, 18, in exchange for an unannounced conditional 2018 WHL bantam draft pick. . . . Bruce, from Winnipeg, had a goal and two assists in 20 career regular-season games with the Pats, who selected him in the fifth round of the 2014 draft. He played two games with Regina in 2015-16 and 18 last season. In those 18 games, he had a goal, two assists and 13 penalty minutes. . . . The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Bruce will bring some truculence to the Everett lineup. In 2015-16, he led the Manitoba midget league with 140 penalty minutes in 28 games while with the Winnipeg Thrashers. Last season, in 14 games with the MJHL’s Steinbach Pistons, he rang up 102 penalty minutes.
Later in the day, the Silvertips announced they had signed F Jackson Berezowski to a WHL contract. Berezowski was a second-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. Last season, Berezowski had 87 points, including 41 goals, in 30 games with the bantam AA Yorkton Terriers. That was good enough to win the league scoring title. . . . Berezowski, who is from Yorkton, added 17 points, including three hat tricks, in five playoff games.
— Jackson Berry (@JacksonBerry_1) September 1, 2017
F Jeff de Wit scored three times to lead the host Regina Pats to a 5-3 victory over the Saskatoon Blades in an exhibition game on Thursday evening. De Wit’s third goal, at 9:37 of the third period, gave the Pats a 4-2 lead. . . . Regina was 1-8 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-4. . . . G Nolan Maier went the distance for Saskatoon, stopping 36 shots. . . . The Pats started Max Paddock (22 stops in 29:46) and finished with Kurtis Chapman (12 in 30:14). . . .
Earlier in the day, also in Regina, the Moose Jaw Warriors dumped the Swift Current Broncos, 5-2. . . . Two nights earlier, the Broncos had won, 4-0, in Moose Jaw. . . . F Justin Almeida and F Luka Burzan each had two goals for the Warriors yesterday. . . . The Warriors started G Jackson Berry, who stopped 13 shots in 30:24. Adam Evanoff came on to make 13 saves in 29:36. . . . Bailey Brkin went the distance for the Broncos, stopping 34 shots.
F Brandon Hagel left the Red Deer Rebels’ intrasquad game with a knee injury on Wednesday night. Greg Meachem of reddeerrebels.com reported that Hagel was injured in the third period “and struggled to get off the ice.” . . . Brent Sutter, the Rebels’ general manager and head coach, said Hagel won’t be gone long. “He’s fine,” Sutter said. “He’ll be fine.” . . . Hagel, 19, was a sixth-round selection by the Buffalo Sabres in the NHL’s 2016 draft. Last season, he had 31 goals and 40 assists in 65 games. The previous season, as a freshman, he scored 13 goals and added 34 assists in 72 games.
The Prince Albert Raiders opened training camp without a pair of veterans, as G Nicholas Sanders and D Max Martin are recovering from injuries. Jeff D’Andrea of paNOW.com reported that Sanders, 19, is recovering from hip surgery. Martin, 18, is out with an undisclosed injury. . . . “We’ve got them competing on the side,” Raiders GM Curtis Hunt told D’Andrea. “They’re close, but at this point in time, it doesn’t make any sense (to play them). It gives us the opportunity to look at somebody else.” . . . Martin was acquired from the Prince George Cougars last season, while Sanders came over from the Tri-City Americans. . . . F Jordy Stallard, who turns 20 on Sept. 18, and F Carson Miller, 17, both of whom had their 2016-17 seasons ended prematurely by shoulder injuries, have recovered from surgery and are on the ice. . . . D’Andrea’s story is right here.
D Jeremy Masella, who is preparing for his second WHL season, had five points Wednesday night as Team White scored an 8-5 victory over Team Blue in the Victoria Royals’ intrasquad game. . . . Masella, an 18-year-old from Phoenix, had two goals and three assists. Last season, he had one assist in 28 games. . . . F Jared Legien scored twice for the winners. He was selected by the Kootenay Ice with the ninth overall pick of the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft. Legien spent last season with the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers. . . . F Eric Florchuk also scored twice for Team White. He had three goals and six assists in 51 games with the Royals as a freshman last season. . . . Team Blue got three goals from Belarusian F Igor Martynov, who is preparing for his first WHL season. . . . The Royals will open their exhibition season with two road games — against the Kamloops Blazers on Friday and the Kelowna Rockets on Saturday.
On Thursday morning, the Royals announced that they have signed the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Legien, 19. He was added to their protected list earlier this year, after he had been dropped by the Ice. . . . Legien scored four goals and added in five assists in 84 regular-season games with the Ice over two seasons (2014-16). . . . Last season, with the Terriers, he had 30 goals and 26 assists in 51 games.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes will take 32 players into the exhibition season, after announcing the release of 16 players on Friday. Included on that list was F Austin Wong, who was acquired from the Kootenay Ice on Aug. 21 for D Tyler Strath and a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft. Wong, 17, is the brother of F Tyler Wong, who captained the Hurricanes last season as he played out his junior eligibility. . . . “Austin has returned to the (AJHL’s) Okotoks Oilers to pursue an Ivy League education,” Peter Anholt, the Hurricanes’ general manager said in a news release. “This is not about hockey, it’s about education and we respect his decision.” . . . Included on the roster are two players who are recovering from surgery — D Brennan Riddle (wrist) and F Ryan Bowen (shoulder).
The Calgary Hitmen are down to 32 players as they prepare to begin the exhibition season. . . . That includes four 20-year-olds in F Matteo Gennaro, D Brady Reagan, G Nick Schneider and F Jakob Stukel. . . . Schneider, who was acquired from the Medicine Hat Tigers, is under contract to the NHL’s Calgary Flames, who own the Hitmen. . . . The other two goaltenders in camp both are freshmen — Matthew Armitage of Calgary, who played last season with the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers, and Connor Dochuk of Edmonton, who spent last season with the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints. . . . Armitage, who will be 18 on Oct. 30, was a fourth-round selection by the Spokane Chiefs in the 2014 bantam draft. The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder was 2.53, .902 in 18 games with Okotoks last season. . . . The 6-foot-3, 170-pound Dochuk, 18, was 2.51, .899 in 11 games with Spruce Grove last season.
The Kootenay Ice has signed F Cody Shepheard and D Zachary Patrick, a pair of 16-year-olds, to WHL deals. . . . Shepheard, from Qualicum Beach, B.C., was an eighth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. Last season, he had 17 goals and 17 assists in 28 games with the Shawnigan Lake School varsity team that played in the CSSVHL. . . . Patrick, who was placed on the Ice’s protected list last season, is from Winnipeg. He played last season with the midget AAA Winnipeg Wild, putting up four goals and 25 assists in 39 games.
F Tanner Wishnowski, 20, has joined the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers. From Cooks Creek, Man., Wishnowski played for three WHL teams last season, but was limited by injuries to 28 games (Kelowna Rockets, 10; Spokane Chiefs, 13; Prince George Cougars, 5). . . . He had three goals and 9 assists in those 28 games. . . . In 84 career regular-season games, Wishnowski has 11 goals and 15 assists.
The Vancouver Giants have signed D Jacob Gendron, who was a sixth-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. They now have signed four of their 2017 draft picks. . . . Gendron, from Prince George, captained the bantam Tier 1 Prince George Cougars last season. He is expected to play with the major midget Cariboo Cougars this season. . . . Gendron is the son of Shawn Gendron, who played for the WHL’s Cougars from 1994-96.
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If you’re looking for information on WHL teams and their training camp rosters, visit Small Thoughts At Large, the blog maintained by Alan Caldwell. . . . You will find it all right here.
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Brandon says '98 F Alex Uryga is in camp:https://t.co/yxx6FTMAW7
Seattle has him on their roster:https://t.co/L11wDJotNY
— Alan Caldwell (@smallatlarge) September 1, 2017
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