Hockey Canada fills summer rosters

Coaches French, McGill get contract extensions

 

 

 

F Milan Kytnár (Kelowna, Saskatoon, Vancouver, 2007-10) has signed a contract with Nové Zámky (Slovakia, 1. Liga). The length wasn’t disclosed. Last season, as an alternate captain with Banská Bystrica (Slovakia, Extraliga), he had 12 goals and 17 assists in 55 games. . . .

F Curtis Hamilton (Saskatoon, 2006-11) has signed a one-year contract with SaiPa Lappeenranta (Finland, Liiga). Last season, with Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had 30 points, 13 of them goals, in 43 games. He led the Extraliga in plus/minus, with +29.

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Hockey Canada has invited 196 players to its second annual Summer Showcase that is to run from July 26 through Aug. 6. . . . The U-18 selection camp and U-17 development camp will feature 44 and 111 players,
respectively, at the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary, July 26 through Aug. 2. . . . The national junior team development camp, with a roster of 41, is scheduled for Toronto, July 30 through Aug. 2, and will include a four-game series in Plymouth, Mich, from Aug. 3 through Aug. 6. It was feature games against Finland, Sweden and the U.S. . . . Hockey Canada’s news release and the rosters are right here.

NOTES: The U-20 roster includes two players who aren’t eligible for the NHL draft until 2017 — F Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings and D Cal Foote of the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Patrick will go into the 2016-17 season as the consensus first pick in the 2017 draft. . . . Foote, from Englewood, Colo, is the son of former NHL defenceman Adam Foote and has dual Canadian-American citizenship. . . . Foote’s brother, Nolan, who also has dual citizenship is expected to attend the U-17 camp. Nolan won’t turn 16 until Nov. 29. Kelowna selected him in the second round of the 2015 bantam draft and he could play for the Rockets in 2016-17. He put up 38 points, including 18 goals, in 32 games with the U-16 Colorado Thunderbirds last season. . . . Conspicuous by his absence from the U-20 roster is Seattle Thunderbirds D Ethan Bear, who turns 19 on  Sunday. He had 65 points, including 19 goals, in 69 games last season. . . . Three of the four goaltenders on the U-20 roster are from the WHL, and all four of them are eligible for this weekend’s NHL draft. The four are Evan Cormier of the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit, Carter Hart of the Everett Silvertips, Connor Ingram of the Kamloops Blazers and Zach Sawchenko of the Moose Jaw Warriors.

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One of the weekend’s big hockey-related stories had to do with speculation that Rogers Sportsnet is in the process of moving George Stroumboulopoulos out of his position as the host of its NHL game coverage and bringing back Ron MacLean. . . . Mike Toth, a veteran Canadian sportscaster, has a good feel for what is going on and it’s all right here.

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The story that got all of the Stroumboulopoulos-MacLean speculation started came from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star. That story is right here.

There is one especially intriguing paragraph in Feschuk’s story: “But with ratings down, insiders say executives suggested to Stroumboulopoulos that he tweak his appearance to be less jarring to some mainstream eyes. A trip to the tailor for a more conventional wardrobe was on the list of polite requests.”

This, of course, comes from the same organization that employs Don Cherry.

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G Garret Hughson (Spokane, 2012-16) has committed to attend the U of Lethbridge and play for the Pronghorns. Hughson, from Foremost, Alta., AJHL played out his junior eligibility last season, finishing up with the AJHL’s Brooks Bandits. . . . After being released by the Chiefs as they got down to three 20-year-olds, Hughson signed with the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires before joining the Bandits. . . . In 17 regular-season games with Brooks, he was 14-3-0, 2.23, .918, with three shutouts. He really took off in the playoffs, going 12-1. He set AJHL playoff records of 1.10 and .957, while tying the shutout record, with four.

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D Isaac Schacher (Victoria, Regina, Saskatoon, 2012-15) will attend the U of Regina and play for the Cougars. Schacher, from Kimberley, B.C., played out his junior eligibility with the AJHL’s Drumheller Dragons last season. . . . In 139 regular-season WHL games, the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Schacher had 18 points, including two goals.

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Patrick Conway’s latest Russian hockey news and notes are right here. This week, he covers a lot of interesting player moves. . . . This entry also includes a few paragraphs that involve F Pavel Padakin, who has signed with HK Sochi of the KHL. However, while he has a Russian passport, there is discussion about his immediate future. Padakin spent three seasons (2012-15) in the WHL with the Calgary Hitmen and Regina Pats.

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Coaching Game

The Calgary Hitmen have signed head coach Mark French to a multi-year contract extension. In making the announcement on Monday, the club didn’t announce the length of the extension, but a good guess would be through the 2017-18 season, perhaps with a mutual option for 2018-19. . . . French, 45, just completed his second season as Calgary’s head coach. The Hitmen are 87-48-9 with two playoff appearances during that time. . . . French has been coaching for 20 years, having started as an assistant coach at Brock U in 1996-97. Before joining the Hitmen, he was the head coach of Medvescak Zagreb in the KHL. . . . French will spend part of this summer with the Canadian U-18 team that will play in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament in August. He has been named an assistant coach by Hockey Canada.

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The OHL’s Owen Sound Attack has signed head coach Ryan McGill to a contract extension that runs through 2017-18. McGill, 47, just completed OHL
his first season in Owen Sound. Originally, he signed a two-year contract, meaning the Attack added one season to that deal. . . . The Attack was 32-25-11, then lost a first-round playoff series to the London Knights, who went on to win the Memorial Cup, in six games. Those two losses were the only ones suffered by London in the playoffs. . . . During the season, McGill earned his 300th junior coaching victory. . . McGill, from Sherwood Park, Alta., is a former WHL player and coach. The Kootenay Ice won the 2002 Memorial Cup with McGill as head coach.

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Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.

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