F Ned Lukacevic (Spokane, Swift Current, 2001-06) has been released from a tryout contract by Újpesti TX Budapest (Hungary, Erste Liga). He was pointless in two games. . . .

F Jesse Mychan (Everett, Tri-City, 2011-13) has been released by Innsbruck (Austria, Erste Bank Liga) at his request for family reasons. This season, he had two assists in five games.

Super excited to have signed with @GoldenKnights hockey. Also, thank you to everyone for all the kind words today.

— Dylan Ferguson (@dferg_98) September 28, 2017

G Dylan Ferguson of the Kamloops Blazers has signed a three-year entry-level deal with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. Ferguson, 19, was in their training camp before being returned to the Blazers. . . . Ferguson was the winning goaltender in the Golden Knight’s first exhibition game, a 9-4 victory over the Canucks in Vancouver on Sept. 17. A native of Lantzville, B.C., Ferguson was selected by the Dallas Stars in the seventh round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. He was traded on June 26, along with a second-round selection in the 2020 NHL draft, to the Golden Knights for D Marc Methot. . . . Ferguson is in his third season with the Blazers. He was an eight-round pick in the 2013 bantam draft. Ferguson backed up Connor Ingram for two seasons before moving into the starting role this season. Last season, in 31 games, he was 16-10-2, 2.74, .922.

Meanwhile, the Blazers got their roster down to 24 players, including seven defencemen, on Thursday by dropping D Quinn Schmiemann, 16, from their roster. He has returned home to Wilcox, Sask., where he will play for the midget AAA Notre Dame Hounds. A third-round pick in the 2016 WHL bantam draft, he played in one of the Blazers’ first two regular-season games.

The Prince Albert Raiders released two veteran forwards on Thursday, as they trimmed their roster to 24, including 13 forwards. . . . Kolby Johnson, who had two assists in 36 games with the Raiders last season, is expected to join the SJHL’s La Ronge Ice Wolves. Johnson, 18, is from Rosetown, Sask. He was acquired by the Raiders last season from the Prince George Cougars in a deal that had D Brendan Guhle go the other way. The Cougars selected him in the third round of the 2013 bantam draft. In 83 career WHL games, he had one goal and five assists in 83 games. . . . Drew Warkentine, who had five goals and six assists in 87 games with the Raiders, is headed to the AJHL’s Whitecourt Wolverines. From Prince Albert, he was a fifth-round selection by the Kootenay Ice in the 2013 bantam draft.

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Hockey Canada mandated a few months ago that all minor hockey players under the age of seven must play cross-ice starting with this season. Of course, there has been some pushback from leagues, primarily in Toronto. It seems there are those who feel such a move will hinder the development of six-year-old hockey players. Yes, only in Canada. . . . Ken Campbell of The Hockey News examines the issue right here.

Congratulations to Ams Alumni Neal Prokop now a WHL Linesman. #AmsHockey#AmsAlumni

— Robert (Bob) Tory (@BTORY) September 28, 2017

The temperature hit at least 27 C in Kamloops on Thursday, but here’s a tip of the toque to the Calgary Hitmen. They will hold a toque toss on Oct 8 when they play host to the Brandon Wheat Kings. Seats for the game — it starts at 4 p.m. — can be had for $10 (plus those wonderful applicable fees) — and fans are asked to bring toques, scarves or gloves, all of which will be tossed onto the ice during the first intermission. The gear will go to Project Warmth Society of Alberta, an organization that provides assistance to those who need it. . . .

The Portland Winterhawks have released F Brett Clayton, who will turn 19 on Nov. 22, but he remains on their protected list. From Abbotsford, B.C., he had three goals and five assists in 87 games with the Winterhawks. This season, he was pointless in one game. Clayton is likely to start this season in the BCHL. . . .

D Brendan O’Reilly, who lost out in the 20-year-old game with the Tri-City Americans, is expected to join the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs. . . .

D Kyle Walker is back on the ice with the Everett Silvertips, reports Jesse Geleynse of the Everett Herald, but not taking part in contact drills. Walker, 17, suffered a broken collarbone early in training camp and underwent surgery. . . . The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Walker played last season with the midget AAA Oil Kings in his hometown of Leduc, Alta. . . .

The Swift Current Broncos have released F Tanner Mole, 18, and he is expected to join the MJHL’s Steinbach Pistons. Mole, a fifth-round pick by the Broncos in the 2014 bantam draft, is from Winnipeg. He had one assist in 39 games with the Broncos last season.

F Casey Pierro-Zabotel, who won the 2008-09 WHL scoring title while with the Vancouver Giants, is getting into the coaching game. Pierro-Zabotel, 28, has been named a player/assistant coach by the ECHL’s Allen Americans. He helped the Americans win the ECHL title in 2015-16, then left for the Colorado Eagles for one season and helped them win the Kelly Cup. He chose to return to Allen over the summer. . . . “He’s one of the smartest players I’ve ever had,” Allen head coach Steve Martinson said in a news release. “He has the experience of playing in all situations, power play and penalty kill, and can help the younger players. He has a wealth of experience.”

Clayton Beddoes, a native of Bentley, Alta., is the new head coach of the Italian national team. Beddoes, 46, has some WHL experience, having worked with the Red Deer Rebels as skills coach in 2014-15. . . . He has been in Europe almost exclusively since 1998-99 when he played for the Berlin Capitals of the German DEL. He has extensive coaching experience in Europe, most recently with Cortina in Serie A (2012-14) and Sterzing/Vipiteno of the Alps Hockey League (2015-17). This season, he is an assistant coach with ERC Ingolstadt of the German DEL. . . . Beddoes had been an assistant coach with the Italian national team for two seasons. He takes over from Stephan Mair. . . . Italy will compete in the IIHF World Championship (Division 1 Group A) in Budapest, Hungary, April 22-28. . . . Beddoes played one season with the AJHL’s Red Deer Rustlers and one with the SJHL’s Weyburn Red Wings before going on to spend four seasons at Lake Superior State. His pro career included 60 games with the NHL’s Boston Bruins.

Patrick Conway, who closely follows goings-on in the KHL, reported Thursday that there have been two coaching changes. . . . According to Conway, Igor Zakharkhin was fired by Ugra Khanty-Mansiysk and replaced by Anatoly Yemelin, while former NHLer Sandis Ozoliņš was dropped by Dinamo Riga and replaced by Ģirts Ankipāns. According to Dinamo’s website, the parting was by “mutual agreement.”


No Games Scheduled.

Friday (all times local):

Red Deer at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Lethbridge at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Regina at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Spokane at Kootenay, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Everett at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Kamloops vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.

Prince George vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:35 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).

Our new dman has arrived… getting ready for our 9 day road trip #doesntpivot #lowmaintenance @DrakkardeBaieCo pic.twitter.com/8vruL7Jg9i

— brian st-louis (@bri_saint_louis) September 28, 2017

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