Pats add veteran d-man from Ice … Saskatoon, Kootenay move goalies … Warriors add some size, grit

F Rihards Burkarts (Brandon, Portland, 2013-16) has been released by mutual agreement by Zlín (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He had two goals and two assists in 17 games. . . .

F Ian McDonald (Tri-City, 2000-06) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Selb (Germany, Oberliga) after his release by mutual agreement by Gherdëina Selva Val Gardena (Italy, Alps HL) on Sunday. He had nine goals and 10 assists in 15 games with Gherdëina this season. 

When you are the host team for the next Memorial Cup, tradition dictates that your roster is in a constant state of flux prior to the Jan. 10 trade deadline.

The Regina Pats, the host team for the 2018 Memorial Cup, continued down that road on Monday when they sent a potential five assets to the Kootenay Ice, getting back veteran D Cale Fleury, who is to turn 19 on Sunday, in the exchange.

Going to the Ice: D Jonathan Smart, 18; F Cole Muir, 16; and two or three bantam draft picks — a second-rounder in 2018, a sixth in 2018 and an undisclosed conditional pick in 2019 or 2020. The latter likely is conditional on Fleury playing in the WHL as a 20-year-old.

Originally, the second-round pick belonged to the Medicine Hat Tigers. It moved to Regina in a deal that had G Jordan Hollett move to the Tigers on May 23. In exchange for Hollett, 18, the Pats got F Matt Bradley, 20, the second-round pick and a fifth-rounder in 2019.

The sixth-round pick actually goes back to the Ice after having been sent to Regina for G Kurtis Chapman, who was released by Kootenay on Monday.

Fleury, the Ice’s captain since January, is from Carlyle, Sask. The Ice selected him in the fourth round of the 2013 bantam draft. The Montreal Canadiens picked him in the third round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. His older brother, Haydn, played in the WHL with the Red Deer Rebels and now is a defenceman with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes.

Cale is in his fourth WHL season, all of them with Kootenay. In 218 regular-season games, he put up 86 points, including 26 goals. Last season, he had 11 goals and 27 assists in 70 games.

Smart, from Kelowna, was a first-round selection by the Kelowna Rockets in the 2014 bantam draft. He is the son of former WHLer Jason Smart, and his grandfather, Russ, is a long-time WHL scout.

This season, Jonathan has 12 points, including two goals, in 21 games. In 132 regular-season games, he has 47 points, seven of them goals.

The Pats acquired Smart from Kelowna last season, sending D James Hilsendager and F Erik Gardiner to the Rockets.

Muir, from Vista, Man., is in his first WHL season and has one assist in 12 games. The Pats selected him in the second round of the 2016 bantam draft. Last season, he had 16 goals and 16 assists in 40 games with the midget AAA Yellowhead Chiefs in Manitoba.

John Paddock, the Pats’ general manager and head coach, pulled the trigger on the trade with Kootenay after the Pats were swept by the rival Moose Jaw Warriors in a Friday-Sunday doubleheader.

The Warriors won 3-2 in Regina on Friday, then returned home and won 3-1, on Sunday. When the games were done, the Pats were six points behind the Eastern Conference-leading Warriors, who also are atop the WHL’s overall standings.

After Sunday’s game, Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post wrote:

“There were rumblings on the weekend that the Pats — and perhaps the Warriors as well — were close to making a significant trade. Paddock wouldn’t tip his hand, but he did say there won’t be a knee-jerk reaction based solely on two lacklustre games.”

Paddock also told Harder:

“That’s the last thing on my mind. With the (trade) deadline (on Jan. 10), different guys have different ideas of when they want to do things. We have different things that we’re working on all the time to tweak some things.”

Obviously, Paddock is wanting to tweak his defence, and you have to wonder if he won’t make another deal down the road to bring in a high-end defenceman. As Jan. 10 nears and the non-contenders start auctioning off assets, there could be an all-star defenceman or two come available. Paddock, you can bet, will be first in line with his shopping cart.

The Moose Jaw Warriors got bigger and stronger up front on Monday when they acquired F Barrett Sheen, 19, from the Kootenay Ice for a fifth-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Sheen, from Airdrie, Alta., has two goals, five assists and 51 penalty minutes in 18 games this season. Last season, he totalled eight goals, 10 assists and 159 penalty minutes in 55 games with the Ice. (The WHL credits Sheen with 129 penalty minutes; the league doesn’t include misconducts or game misconducts in its individual penalty totals.)

In 2015-16, Sheen had four goals and eight assists in 46 games with the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

The Saskatoon Blades have made a switch with their goaltenders, dropping Joel Grzybowski, 18, and adding Nolan Maier, 16. . . . Grzbowski, from Hafford, Sask., was an 11th-round selection in the 2014 bantam draft. This season, in five appearances, he was 0-1-0, 4.20, .843. He is expected to join the SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars. . . . Maier, from Yorkton, Sask., was a second-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. He has been playing with the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers, where he is 1-5-1, 5.15, .897. . . . The plan now is for Maier to spend the remainder of the season in Saskatoon backing up Ryan Kubic, 19.

The Kootenay Ice dropped G Kurtis Chapman, 19, from its roster on Monday. He is expected to join the AJHL’s Calgary Mustangs. Chapman, who was acquired from the Regina Pats on Sept. 13, was 4-5-0, 3.91, .880 with the Ice this season. . . . The Ice now is carrying two goaltenders — Bailey Brkin, 18, who came over from the Swift Current Broncos, and Duncan McGovern, 17, who was acquired from the Medicine Hat Tigers.

The Everett Silvertips, who it seems once looked at playing a game on the deck of an aircraft carrier, would be interested in playing an outdoor game at Seattle’s Safeco Field. However, Zoran Rajcic, the COO of CSH International, Inc., which owns the Silvertips, has told Jesse Geleynse of the Everett Herald that nothing is in the works at this moment. . . . “Is there an interest level? Absolutely,” Rajcic said. “I wouldn’t say ‘no’ to that. But we haven’t done anything (about it).” . . . Craig Herkimer, the president of KevaWorks, an event-management and promotions company based in California, has expressed an interest in being involved. He told Geleynse, via email: “Nothing has been confirmed, but many people in the sports community are interested in bringing this kind of event to the area.” . . . Geleynse’s piece is right here.

The KHL is on a scheduled break these days, allowing players to leave their teams to take part in various international competitions. Patrick Conway has taken advantage of the situation to write about the KHL’s teams and attendance. It’s interesting stuff and it’s all right here. . . . You are free to read it and then wonder how these teams are able to pay the salaries they do when attendance numbers don’t seem to be awfully healthy.

If you like what you see here, you may want to consider donating to the cause. Should you choose to help out, simply click on the DONATE button in the upper right corner of this page and away you go. Thank you!

F Seth Bafaro of the Saskatoon Blades has been suspended for four games after he took a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct during a 6-4 loss to the visiting Swift Current Broncos on Friday. Bafaro has already missed one game, the Blades’ 3-1 loss to the host Brandon Wheat Kings on Saturday.


No Games Scheduled.

TUESDAY (All times local):

Calgary at Brandon, 7 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Prince Albert vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

Red Deer at Victoria, 7:05 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 I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).

Royals add two veteran 20s … Tigers release freshman import … Silvertips sign veteran goalie

F Spencer Asuchak (Tri-City, Prince George, 2008-12) has been released by Zvolen (Slovakia, Extraliga) by mutual agreement. He had one goal in six games. Asuchak is expected to sign with the ECHL’s Allen Americans. . . .

F Darian Dziurzynski (Saskatoon, Brandon, 2007-12) has been released by Zvolen (Slovakia, Extraliga) by mutual agreement. He had one assist in five games.

D Chaz Reddekopp and F Tyler Soy are expected to be in the Victoria Royals’ lineup on Friday when they visit the Kamloops Blazers. The Royals learned Wednesday that Reddekopp, 20, is on his way back from the Ontario Reign, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, while Soy, 20, is returning from the San Diego Gulls, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks.

Reddekopp, 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, was a seventh-round pick by the Kings in the 2015 NHL draft. He has signed an NHL contract. Reddekopp has 20 goals and 83 assists in 234 regular-season games over four seasons with the Royals. Last season, he had 10 goals and 33 assists in 51 games. More importantly, he is hard to play against in his zone.

Soy, who started in the Ducks’ camp, will be playing his fifth season with Victoria. Last season, he had 25 goals and 30 assists in 44 games. In 2015-16, Soy put up 46 goals and 39 assists in 72 games.

The Ducks selected him in the seventh round of the NHL’s 2016 draft, but he has yet to sign a pro contract.

Reddekopp and Soy, neither of whom played last night in Victoria’s 8-3 victory over the host Kelowna Rockets, join F Regan Nagy to give the Royals three solid 20-year-olds.

The Medicine Hat Tigers have chosen to keep D Kristians Rubins, who as a 20-year-old import is a two-spotter. As a result, they have released freshman F Mick Kohler, a 19-year-old German. Medicine Hat’s other import is Swedish D Linus Nassen, 19, who is a freshman. Nassen was a third-round selection by the Florida Panthers in the NHL’s 2016 draft. . . . Kohler had one assist in four regular-season games, after recording two assists in four exhibition games. . . . Rubins, a Latvian, had been sidelined as he recovered from a shoulder injury. . . . Medicine Hat continues to carry four 20-year-olds, with Rubins joining G Michael Bullion and veteran forwards Zach Fischer and Mark Rassell. . . . Bullion is one of three goaltenders on the roster, along with Jordan Hollett, 18, and Duncan McGovern, 17. . . . Hollett has been out with mononucleosis. Ryan McCracken of the Medicine Hat News tweeted Wednesday that Hollett is expected to start on Friday when the Tigers entertain his former club, the Regina Pats. Medicine Hat acquired Hollett over the summer in a deal in which F Matt Bradley went the other way.

The Everett Silvertips, faced with playing for a while without G Carter Hart, have signed free-agent G Kyle Dumba, 19. A Calgary native, Dumba had been in camp with the Kamloops Blazers until being released last week. . . . Dumba was with the Silvertips for their game against the host Spokane Chiefs last night. . . . In 40 WHL regular-season games, 39 of them with the Calgary Hitmen, he is 9-12-5, 4.01, .862. He got into one game with the Blazers this season, stopping all 10 shots he faced in one period. . . . Hart, the WHL’s back-to-back goaltender of the year, has been diagnosed with mononucleosis and will be out indefinitely. . . . Dumba and Dorrin Luding, an 18-year-old freshman from Saskatoon, are the healthy goaltenders on the Everett roster. . . . Dustin Wolf, a 16-year-old from Tustin, Calif., also is on the roster, but he is out with an undisclosed injury. . . . The Silvertips open a six-game Central Division swing on Friday against Calgary.

The Saskatoon Blades also have a goaltender who is out of commission, at least in the short term. Ryan Kubic has an undisclosed injury and is day-to-day. It isn’t know if he will be able to play Friday against the visiting Swift Current Broncos, so the Blades have brought in G Nolan Maier to work alongside Joel Grzybowski. Maier, 16, had been in camp with the Blades before being released and joining the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers. Saskatoon selected him in the second round of the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft.

The WHL’s board of governors, as expected unanimously approved the sale of the Seattle Thunderbirds, the reigning champions, while meeting in Calgary on Wednesday. The Seattle ownership group, which includes general manager Russ Farwell and vice-president Colin Campbell, has sold the franchise to Dan and Lindsey Leckelt, who are co-CEOs of Silent-Aire, which, according to its website, “is a global HVAC and data center manufacturing company.” It has a sales/service centre in Seattle. . . . Farwell and Campbell will stay on and be responsible for the hockey and business ends of the organization. . . . Farwell and his group have owned the Thunderbirds since 2002. The team has played out of the ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash., since 2009. The sale still needs the approval of the City of Kent, which is in accordance with the franchise’s lease. . . . The Leckelts also own the Stony Plain Eagles of Allan Cup Hockey West (formally the Chinook Hockey League) and earlier this year purchased controlling interest in the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints.

Canada’s national junior team will hold its selection camp in St. Catharines, Ont., Dec. 12-15, as it prepares for the 2018 World Junior Championship that will open in Buffalo on Dec. 26. . . . The selection camp will end with a game against Denmark on Dec. 15. . . . Canada will play two exhibition games, against Czech Republic in London, Ont., on Dec. 20, and against Switzerland in Hamilton, on Dec. 22.

If you like what you see here, you may want to consider donating to the cause. Should you choose to help out, simply click on the DONATE button in the upper right corner of this page and away you go. Thank you!


At Kamloops, F Kody McDonald scored twice and added an assist to lead the Prince George Cougars to a 6-2 victory over the Blazers. . . . The Cougars dominated, outshooting the Blazers 15-4 in the first period and taking a 3-2 lead in the process. The visitors then put it away with three second-period goals. . . . D Joel Lakusta (1) and McDonald gave the visitors a 2-0 lead in the first period before F Connor Zary (1) got Kamloops on the scoreboard with PP goal at 12:32. . . . McDonald (3) got that one back at 14:40, before F Nic Holowko (3) pulled the home team to within one at 16:42. . . . The Cougars pulled away on second-period goals from F Aaron Boyd (1), F Nikita Popugaev (2), on a PP, and F Josh Maser (1). . . . D Dennis Cholowski had two assists for the winners. . . . Kamloops was 1-4 on the PP; Prince George was 1-6. . . . G Tavin Grant record his second straight victory, with 17 saves. . . . Kamloops starter Dylan Ferguson gave up six goals on 22 shots in 28:26. Max Palaga came off the bench to stop all 20 shots he saw in 31:34. . . . The Cougars (2-3-0) finished a three-game road trip at 2-1-0. They lost 5-1 to the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash., on Friday, then dumped the Portland Winterhawks 3-0 on Sunday with Grant earning the shutout. The Cougars now go home to entertain the Kelowna Rockets on Friday and Saturday nights. . . . The Blazers (0-6-0) have yet to hold this season. They are at home to the Victoria Royals on Friday night. . . . Kamloops is without veteran forwards Jermaine Loewen and Luc Smith with undisclosed injuries. . . . Announced attendance: 3,637.

At Kelowna, the Victoria Royals struck for a franchise-record six second-period goals and went to beat the Rockets, 8-3. . . . The Royals had never scored six times in one period; the franchise had enjoyed eight five-goal periods. . . . Victoria (5-0-0) is off to the best start in franchise history. The Royals started 2015-16 with four straight victories. . . . Kelowna actually held a 2-0 lead as it scored the only goals of the first period. F Dillon Dude (1) counted at 1:42, with F Kole Lind (4) scoring at 13:50. . . . The Royals then took control in the second period, scoring six times on 14 shots. F Regan Nagy scored at 1:57, followed by F Ryan Peckford (6), at 7:03; F Yan Khomenko, at 10:31; F Dante Hannoun (7), at 12:57; Nagy again, at 14:48; and F Jared Legien (2), at 19:27. . . . Nagy completed his hat trick at 2:52 of the third period. He’s got three goals this season. . . . Nagy went into last night’s game with two two-goal outings in 231 regular-season games. . . . F Conner Bruggen-Cate (1) scored Kelowna’s last goal, while Khomenko got his second of the game, and second of the season, at 19:10. . . . The Royals got three assists from F Matthew Phillips, his fourth three-point outing in five games. Legien added two assists to his goal and F Eric Florchuk also had two assists. . . . G Griffen Outhouse record the victory with 26 saves on 29 shots in 56:15. Dean McNabb finished up but didn’t face a shot in 3:45. . . . Kelowna starter Brodan Salmond allowed five goals on 15 shots in 34:48. Reliever James Porter stopped eight of 11 in 25:11. . . . Victoria (5-0-0) was 3-8 on the PP; Kelowna (2-1-1) was 0-2. . . . Announced attendance: 4,461.

At Spokane, F Hudson Elynuik scored with 3.5 seconds left in the third period to give the Chiefs a 5-4 victory over the Everett Silvertips. . . . The goal was Elynuik’s third of the season and his third game-winner. He had three winners in 64 games last season. . . . The Chiefs led this one 2-0 early in the first period on goals from F Ethan McIndoe (2), at 2:32, and D Jeff Faith (1), at 3:50. . . . Everett then got three goals from F Connor Dewar, who is in his third season. The 18-year-old, who is from The Pas, Man., had never before scored more than once in a game; this was his 148th regular-season game. Last season, he had 14 goals and 16 assists in 71 games. . . . Dewar scored on the PP, at 4:02 and 19:10 of the second period, and at even strength 54 seconds into the third period. . . . F Taylor Ross (2) pulled the Chiefs even at 2:53, with D Tyson Helgeson (1) putting them in front at 3:59. . . . Everett F Riley Sutter (4) tied it at 5:23, setting the stage for Elynuik’s late heroics. . . . F Jaret Anderson-Dolan had two assists for Spokane, with Faith and Helgeson adding one each. . . . F Patrick Bajkov had three assists for the Silvertips, while D Kevin Davis had two. . . . G Dawson Weatherill stopped 24 shots for the Chiefs, while Everett’s Dorrin Luding turned aside 29. . . . Everett (2-3-0) was 2-4 on the PP; Spokane (4-1-0) was 0-2. . . . Everett is on a nine-game road trip that continues Friday in Calgary. . . . Spokane’s Jake Toporowski, a defenceman by trade, was in the starting lineup at right wing, with his brother Luke, 16, on the left side. Jake, 19, was playing the final game of his hockey career after revealing Monday that he has decided to retire. This was his 100th regular-season game; he finished with 10 assists. . . . Announced attendance: 2,902.

THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.

FRIDAY (all times local):

Brandon at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Everett at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Swift Current at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Regina at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

Kelowna at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Victoria at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Portland at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Tri-City vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 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 I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).