‘Round the ‘DUB

With the season underway, teams are making final adjustments to their rosters. The key deadline here is October 10th, the day that all WHL teams must be at three overage players. By then most teams will have played six regular season games.

Tavin Grant of the Prince George Cougars recorded his first WHL shutout in fine fashion on Sunday. The Portland Winterhawks directed 47 shots at him and he turned them all away. As reported by Geoffrey Brandow (@geoffreybrandow), Grant’s shutout tied a 2002 saves mark in a shutout by a Prince George Cougar (Real Cyr, 2002). Grant was  rewarded with the WHL goaltender of the week award today and is nominated for the Vaughn CHL goaltender of the week award as well.

On the topic of award winners, Tyler Steenbergen of the Swift Current Broncos was named the On the Run WHL Player of the Week today. Steenbergen helped lead the Broncos to back-to-back wins with his nine points. He had four goals and an assist in the 7-2 drubbing of the Brandon Wheat Kings on Friday night. He would follow up with a nearly as great outing the next night, posting two goals and two assists in a 5-3 win over the Regina Pats. The Broncos are now 3-0-0-0 on the season and Steenbergen has 11 points on the season, good for a tie for the overall league lead.

The Edmonton Oil Kings were beneficiaries of the numbers game in the WHL this week. Overage import player Tomas Soustal was dealt to the Oil Kings for 4th round 2018 bantam draft pick. The former Kelowna Rocket was drafted in the 1st round, 60th overall in the 2014 CHL Import Draft. As a result, import Artyom Baltruk was placed on waivers by Edmonton.

Lethbridge Hurricanes overage defenseman Brennan Menell signed with the Minnesota Wild on September 26th. This would mean that the Hurricanes had an open spot at the overage designation. The Hurricanes would then send a third round draft pick in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft to the Prince George Cougars for Tate Olson.  The fifth-year defenseman is currently suffering from an upper body injury and was last listed as out for 2-4 weeks. The ‘Canes also added Jack Flaman, who was released from the Vancouver Giants. He would proceed to put up five points in two games with his new club, including a hat-trick Saturday.

Kamloops Blazers goaltender Dylan Ferguson was inked to an entry level contract with the Vegas Golden Knights on September 28th. Ferguson was originally drafted by the Dallas Stars in this year’s NHL entry draft but was traded nearly immediately to the Golden Knights.

Brandon Wheat Kings forward Tanner Kaspick signed his entry level contract with the St. Louis Blues earlier today. He was selected in the fourth round of the NHL Entry draft earlier this year. He has 98 career points and has suited up in 160 WHL games.

Keeping the Brandon Wheat Kings signing NHL contracts trend going, Ty Lewis inked an entry level deal with the Colorado Avalanche today. Lewis earned his contract after being invited to Colorado’s training camp.

There were some plays this week that resulted in player suspensions. In Portland this Saturday, there was a hit laid by Turner Ottenbreit. He was assessed a 5-minute major and a game misconduct for a check to the head. The WHL website shows TBD, which means that the length of the suspension has yet to be set. Marco Creta of the Regina Pats was assessed a 5-minute major and a game misconduct for a cross-checking penalty against the Moose Jaw Warriors on Friday night. Creta received a one game suspension, which has now been served. Cale Fleury of the Kootenay ICE was given a cross-checking major and misconduct in a game against Edmonton Sunday. His suspension has also been listed as TBD.

Here are the hits:

Ottenbreit on Joachim Blichfeld


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