D Colin Joe (Kelowna, Saskatoon, 2004-09) has signed a one-year extension with Jegesmedvék Miskolc (Hungary, Erste Liga). Last season, he had two goals and 11 assists in 29 games. . . .

G Justin Pogge (Prince George, Calgary, 2003-06) has signed a one-year contract with Rögle Ängelholm (Sweden, SHL). Last season, with Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, KHL), he was 7-13-1, 3.12, .903 in 23 games. Oh yes, he also had one assist.

Might the Spokane Chiefs’ two most-prolific forwards stay in the NHL, at least for up to nine games, after which the first year of their pro deals would start counting?

That is the question they are asking in Spokane as F Kailer Yamamoto and F Jaret Anderson-Dolan continue to make impacts with their NHL teams.

Prior to the start of NHL training camps, most observers thought the Oilers would have returned Yamamoto to the Chiefs by now. But there he was on Monday night, the Oilers’ best player in a 6-2 loss to the visiting Carolina Hurricanes.

And there was Edmonton head coach Todd McLellan telling reporters: “I don’t care who makes our team. We need 23 guys to wear jerseys. . . . Whether he’s 18 or 38, it doesn’t matter what their names are or how big they are . . . if he can get the job done, he should stay.”

After skating on Tuesday, McLellan revealed that Yamamoto would be making the trip to Saskatoon for a game tonight (Wednesday) against Carolina.

Yamamoto, who turns 19 on Saturday, weighs 154 pounds. He has five goals and an assist in four exhibition games. The Oilers got him with the 22nd selection in the NHL’s 2017 draft.

From Spokane, Yamamoto had 42 goals and 57 assists in 65 games last season, his third with the Chiefs. In 190 regular-season games, he has 227 points, including 84 goals.

The way Jim Matheson, the Edmonton Journal’s hall-of-fame hockey writer has it figured, Yamamoto has earned the opportunity to open the season among the Oilers’ top nine forwards. Matty has more right here.

Meanwhile, Anderson-Dolan signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Los Angeles Kings on Monday and was in their lineup on Monday night as they scored a 3-2 OT exhibition victory over the host Vegas Golden Knights.

According to Jon Rosen, the Kings’ insider, Los Angeles will be making “significant cuts” today, so Anderson-Dolan could be on his way back to Spokane this week.

There is a trickle-down effect to having Yamamoto and Anderson-Dolan with NHL teams, too.

The Chiefs, for example, have 13 active forwards on their roster — it shows 16, including Yamamoto and Anderson-Dolan, but F Jake McGrew, 18, remains out as he rehabs from knee surgery.

The result of that is that Spokane has three 16-year-old forwards on its roster, all of them selected in the 2016 WHL bantam draft — Luke Toporowski, who was a first-round pick and is out day-to-day with an undisclosed injury; Carter Chorney, who was taken in the second round; and Adam Beckman, a fifth-round pick.

You can bet, too, that there are teams farther down the hockey ladder who are waiting to see what happens with those three players.

The Lethbridge Hurricanes won’t be getting back D Brennan Menell, at least not for a while. Menell, 20, attended the camp of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild as an undrafted free agent and on Tuesday he signed a three-year entry-level contract.

Menell, a native of Woodbury, Minn., is expected to start the season with the AHL’s Iowa Wild.

Last season, he had 12 goals and 59 assists in 70 games with the Hurricanes. He led all WHL defencemen in assists and was second in points. In 20 playoff games, he added five goals and 12 assists. . . . He played the previous two seasons with the Vancouver Giants, putting up nine goals and 65 assists in 126 games. . . . This season, he had one assist in one exhibition game with the Wild.

With Menell out of the picture, at least for now, the Hurricanes claimed F Jack Flaman off 20-year-old waivers after he had been dropped by the Vancouver Giants. Flaman, from Vibank, Sask., joins F Giorgio Estephan and D Brennan Riddle, who is out with an undisclosed injury, as Lethbridge’s 20s.

Flaman had 15 goals and seven assists in 71 games with Vancouver last season.

Menell is the third WHL player to attend an NHL camp this month as an updrafted free agent and to end up signing a three-year entry-level contract.

F Jordy Bellerive signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins and now is back with the Hurricanes, while F Parker Kelly of the Prince Albert Raiders did the same with the Ottawa Senators. Kelly has returned to the Raiders.

The Lethbridge Hurricanes have been forced into another roster move, too, what with D Brennan Menell with the AHL’s Iowa Wild and undisclosed injuries to F Ryan Vandervlis and F Tanner Nagel, both key veteran performers. Vandervlis could be out a couple of weeks; Nagel may miss as much as four weeks.

The Hurricanes also are without veteran F Ryan Bowen, who could sit for up to two months with an undisclosed injury.

Aside from adding F Jack Flaman, 20, who had been released by the Vancouver Giants, the Hurricanes also have brought in F Zach Cox.

The also have added Zach Cox, 18, who had been an eight-round pick by the Regina Pats in the 2014 WHL bantam draft. Cox, from Rocky View, Alta., has never played a WHL game. Last season, he had 10 goals and 15 assists in 58 games with the AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder. This season, he has a goal and three assists in four games with the SJHL’s Nipawin Hawks.

Flaman and Cox should be in the Hurricanes’ lineup on Friday when they meet the Oil Kings in Edmonton and on Saturday for the rematch in Lethbridge.

The Detroit Red Wings have assigned D Dennis Cholowski, 19, to the Prince George Cougars. Cholowski, from Langley, B.C., was the 20th overall selection in the NHL’s 2016 draft. . . . The Cougars had selected him in the 10th round of the 2013 bantam draft. He didn’t go until then because of an expressed preference for the NCAA route. In fact, he did take that road and played last season at St. Cloud State U, recording a goal and 11 assists in 36 games. Prior to that, he spent two seasons with the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs. . . . The Cougars hope to have him in the lineup this weekend as they visit the Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday and the Portland Winterhawks on Sunday.

The NHL’s Calgary Flames trimmed their training camp roster on Tuesday, with two WHLers being returned. . . . F Dillon Dude is rejoining the Kelowna Rockets, with D Juuso Valimaki on his way back to the Tri-City Americans. . . . Both players are potential first-team WHL all-stars. . . . Dube, 19, will be a candidate for Canada’s national junior team. He was a second-round pick by the Flames in the 2016 NHL draft. Last season, he had 20 goals and 35 assists in 40 games. His season was late starting because of a knee injury suffered in the Flames’ camp. . . . Valimaki, 18, was the 16th overall selection in the NHL’s 2017 draft. Last season, he had 19 goals and 42 assists in 60 games with the Americans. He played on Finland’s national junior team last season and is certain to be there again this year.

When Craig Butz played in the WHL, for the Kelowna Wings and Portland Winterhawks, he was mean and miserable to play against. But, as Darren Zary of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix found out, there was a lot more to the man who became Dr. Craig Butz than that. Zary talked to former coaches and players who knew Butz from his playing days with the U of Saskatchewan Huskies. Butz, 52, was killed in a boating accident in the Clearwater Beach area of Florida on the weekend. . . . Zary’s story is right here.

NOTES FROM THE INJURY REPORT (all injuries undisclosed unless noted): D Daniel Bukac and D James Shearer of the Brandon Wheat Kings appear to have long-term injuries as both are listed as TBD. . . . F Matt Dorsey of the Calgary Hitmen is shows as being out indefinitely. . . . F Brett Kemp of the Edmonton Oil Kings is TBD. . . . The Everett Silvertips have three players out — G Dustin Wolf, up to seven weeks; D Kyle Walker, up to five weeks; and F Ethan Brown, up to two weeks. . . . The Kelowna Rockets have F Erik Gardiner back after he missed their first two games, but F Leif Mattson could be out for up to six weeks. . . .

The Kootenay Ice is without F Kaeden Taphorn for up to two weeks. . . . F Mason Shaw of the Medicine Hat Tigers had knee surgery on Friday and won’t play until perhaps March. D Joel Craven of the Tigers is week-to-week. . . . G Jordan Hollett of the Tigers has yet to play because of mononucleosis but is listed as day-to-day. . . . With G Adam Evanoff out due to illness, the Moose Jaw Warriors brought in G Ethan Fitzgerald from OHA in Penticton. . . . The Warriors also are without D Josh Brook (wrist surgery) and D Chase Hartje, both of whom are week-to-week. . . . G Ian Scott of the Prince Albert Raiders will be out indefinitely after being injured in a goal-mouth collision on Friday night. The Raiders also are without D Austin Crossley, who is week-to-week. . . .

D Tate Olson of the Prince George Cougars has yet to play and is out for up to four weeks. . . . The Red Deer Rebels have three injured players — F Dawson Martin and G Riley Lamb are out indefinitely, with F Austin Pratt TBD. . . . F Nick Henry and F Austin Wagner of the Regina Pats are out as they recover from shoulder surgeries. Henry is about a month away; Wagner is month-to-month. As well, Regina F Riley Krane is out four weeks. . . . F Tyler Lees of the Saskatoon Blades is out up to four weeks. . . . G Carl Stankowski of the Seattle Thunderbirds, who was injured during the summer, is out at least another month, while D Tyson Terretta (week-to-week), F Tyler Carpendale (minimum one month), F Nikita Malukhin (up to four weeks) and F Ian Briscoe (week-to-week) also are listed. . . .

The Spokane Chiefs are without F Jacob McGrew, who continues to rehab after off-season knee surgery. . . . F MacKenzie Wight of the Swift Current Broncos will watch for up to a month. . . . The Tri-City Americans are without three players on a long-term basis — F Paycen Bjorklund, week-to-week; D Dan Gatenby, up to eight weeks; and D Liam Belcourt, month-to-month. . . . The Vancouver Giants are listing F Tyler Benson as week-to-week. He had off-season surgery to repair a sports hernia, and is with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers now. He may rejoin the Giants for their East Division swing in October.

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The Everett Silvertips got down to three goaltenders on Tuesday when they released Danton Belluk, 16, who is from Lorette, Man. He was a 10th-round selection in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. Belluk is expected to play for the midget AAA Eastman Selects. . . . The goaltenders left are veteran Carter Hart, Dorrin Luding, 18, who is from Prince George, and Dustin Wolf, 16, from Tustin, Calif. Wolf is out with an undisclosed injury. . . .

The Moose Jaw Warriors released F Chantz Petruic, 18, on Tuesday. Petruic, from Moose Jaw, had four assists in 55 games with the Warriors last season. His father, Jeff, played with the Warriors, Tri-City Americans and Regina Pats (1989-95). . . .

The Kamloops Blazers have named F Nick Chyzowski as the team captain, with D Joe Gatenby and Garrett Pilon the alternate captains. Chyzowski, in his fifth season with the Blazers, is the team’s first Kamloops-born captain since F Ajay Baines wore the ‘C’ from 1996-99. . . .

The Brandon Wheat Kings have released F Zach Russell, 18. Russell, from Calgary, is expected to play for the AJHL’s Calgary Canucks. Last season, he had three goals and two assists in 40 games with the Wheat Kings. . . .

Perry Pearn, a veteran coach with loads of WHL and NHL experience, has joined the coaching staff at Vimy Ridge Academy in Edmonton.


No Games Scheduled.

Wednesday (all times local):

Swift Current at Regina, 7 p.m.

If you would like to contact Taking Note with information, have a question or just feel like commenting on something, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).

Welcome back my friend. #AnsHockey pic.twitter.com/WgyoIdF0MC

— Robert (Bob) Tory (@BTORY) September 27, 2017

The post Spokane forwards making early mark … Hurricanes add two forwards … Three WHLers back from NHL appeared first on Taking Note.

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