Daily Dose of the DUB: Knazko signs with Blue Jackets, WHL awards, and more!


Knazko signs with Blue Jackets

Twice drafted by WHL teams at the annual CHL Import Draft, Samuel Knazko has signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Vancouver Giants first selected Knazko, 59th overall at the 2019 edition of the draft. He chose not to sign and stayed in Finland, playing with the TPS U20 squad. At the 2020 CHL Import Draft, the Seattle Thunderbirds took a swing at Knazko, this time taking the Slovak 21st overall. Time will tell if the Blue Jackets would like to see Knazko play in the WHL as he does not turn 19 until August 7th.

Bedard named rookie of the year

Leading all rookies in goals with 12 and tied with 16 assists, Connor Bedard was named the Jim Piggot Memorial Trophy winner as the WHL’s rookie of the year. Bedard also only played in 15 games as a 15-year-old before participating in the IIHF World U-18 Championships. The North Vancouver, BC product also had seven goals and seven assists in seven games for the gold medal-winning Team Canada. Just 10 of his 28 points came with the man-advantage.

Wolf named WHL goaltender of the year

With an 18-3-0-0 record, Dustin Wolf was named the recipient of the Del Wilson Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s goaltender of the year. The win was Wolf’s second in a row, and the fifth time an Everett Silvertip has won the award in the last six seasons. Wolf also had the league’s second-lowest goals-against average (1.80) and second-best save percentage (.940). His 18 wins edged out Sebastian Cossa by one.

Schneider named WHL’s defenceman of the year

With 27 points in 22 games, Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman Braden Schneider was named the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy winner for the 2020-21 WHL season. Schneider was a +18 and finished third in WHL scoring by defencemen.

Peters named WHL scholastic player of the year

2003-born defenceman Ethan Peters was named the Doc Seaman Memorial Trophy recipient for the 2020-21 WHL season. The 18-year-old finished with one goal and four assists in 23 games and had a 94.67% average in his completed grade 12 classes.

Parik signs with Reign

Goaltender Lukas Parik (32GP, 22-7-2, 2.73GAA, .917sv% with Spokane ’19-’20) has signed with the Ontario Reign. The Los Angeles Kings selected Parik in the third round of the 2019 NHL Draft, but due to the agreement made between the NHL and Czech Hockey, he does not need to be signed by the Kings until 2023. Parik spent most of the 2020-21 season with the Dubuque Fighting Saints, earning a 15-8-4 record, 3.35 goals-against average and a .867 save percentage.

Gustafson hired by Canucks

Following 18 seasons as an assistant/associate coach and the last three seasons as an assistant general manager with the Portland Winterhawks, Kyle Gustafson has been hired by the Vancouver Canucks. Gustafson’s new role will be as an assistant / special assignment coach.

Breitkreuz signs with Lausitzer Fuchse

Forward Clarke Breitkreuz (49GP, 3G, 6A with Regina and Prince George ’08-’10) has signed with Lausitzer Fuchse of the DEL2 in Germany. Breitkreuz spent 2020-21 with the EC Kassel Huskies, also of DEL2, scoring 13 times and adding 16 assists in 43 games.

Yelizarov signs in VHL

Defenseman Anatoli Yelizarov (124GP, 9G, 12A with Edmonton ’15-’17) has signed with Yugra Khanty-Manisiyk of the VHL in Russia. The 22-year-old Kazakh played 2020-21 with Dynamo St. Petersburg, also of the VHL, scoring three goals and adding nine assists in 50 games. Yelizarov also added one goal and one assist in 20 playoff games. The Oil Kings selected Yelizarov 32nd overall at the 2015 CHL Import Draft.

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