Thursday, 2 July 2015

Former Canes Captain Cam Braes Signs Pro Deal

Former Lethbridge Hurricanes Captain, and current Hurricanes intern, Cam Braes has signed his first professional contract signing a one-year, two-way contract with the American Hockey League’s Texas Stars.

Most recently, the 24 year-old spent three seasons with the University of New Brunswick where he appeared in 82 career games collecting 69 points (26g-43a) with the Varsity Reds. While at UNB, Braes earned his Bachelor’s in Recreation and Sports Studies.

The Shawnigan Lake, BC product played 320 games with the Hurricanes from 2007 until 2012 collecting 203 points before spending half a season with the Moose Jaw Warriors. Braes, sits second in all-time games played in Hurricanes history tied with Scott Borders. He is also 15th in franchise goals (99), 27th in franchise assists (104) and 18th in franchise points. Braes served as an Assistant Captain with the ‘Canes in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 while dawning the ‘C’ in 2011-2012.

Over his five years with the Hurricanes, Braes was a part of the 2007-2008 Eastern Conference Championship team. As well, he won the Hardest Working Player in 2008-2009, the Three Star Award in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, and the Top Scorer in 2010-2011. He was originally selected in the third round, 48th overall by the Hurricanes in the 2006 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft.

(From Lethbridge Hurricanes Media Relations)

Thanks,
Pat

Former Canes Coach Berehowsky Heading to OHL

The Sudbury Wolves will have a different look behind the bench this season with the announcement that former NHL defenceman Drake Berehowsky will be the Wolves' new Associate Coach for the 2015-16 OHL season. Berehowsky, assumes the Associate Coach position from David Matsos who recently signed a multi-year contract with the Sudbury Wolves as the club's new Head Coach.

Berehowsky has coached at various levels of hockey for the past eight seasons. Most recently, Berehowsky was the Head Coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League. Prior to that, he served as Head Coach of the Orlando Solar Bears of the East Coast League. Berehowsky was an assistant coach with the Peoria Rivermen of the American Hockey League for three seasons (2009-2012). He also served as an assistant coach for three seasons in the OHL with the Barrie Colts and the Battalion.

"We are very pleased to have Drake Berehowsky join our coaching staff" notes Wolves' President and General Manager Blaine Smith. "Drake is an outstanding teacher and he will do a great job mentoring our young defencemen in particular. He will also provide experienced bench support for Coach Matsos. I believe we now have one of the best coaching staff in the OHL with a good mix of OHL experience and Pro coaching experience."

Berehowsky was drafted 10th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1990 and played 12 seasons in the NHL with Toronto, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Pheonix, Nashville and the Edmonton Oilers. Berehowsky concluded his playing career in Europe in 2006.

"I am extremely excited to join David Matsos and the rest of the Sudbury Wolves coaching staff and bring my family up to Sudbury where OHL hockey is the big game in town" notes Berehowsky. "Having played in North Bay, I know the passion that northern Ontario fans have for their OHL teams, and I know how badly the fans of Sudbury want to see their Wolves win a championship. I see excellent potential with the group of players that the Sudbury Wolves have gathered together, and I like the plan that team management has in place. I am truly excited to play a part of the future success of the Sudbury Wolves franchise."

Wolves' Head Coach David Matsos is equally pleased to have signed a long-term contract with the Sudbury Wolves and very excited to have Berehowsky join his coaching staff.

"My family absolutely loves living in Sudbury and I am very honoured that ownership and management have awarded me with the challenge of being the Wolves' new Head Coach" notes Matsos. "There are only 20 Head Coaching positions available in the OHL and I am very grateful to be given the chance and the challenge to show what I can do to help lead this team in the right direction. I believe we have the makings of a winning hockey club moving forward and I look forward to working with Drake and Bryan."

Matsos adds, "It was very important for us to hire an Associate Coach that could teach our young defensemen and help us find ways to cut down on our goals against. As a former NHL defenceman, Drake has some excellent ideas on ways of improving our power play and generating offense from the back-end. Drake is an innovator and he uses video and hockey analytics effectively. I know that Drake will play a major role in getting our team back on track and we are very fortunate to add the knowledge and expertise that Drake provides to our team."

Bryan Verreault returns for his second full season as Assistant Coach and working with David Matsos behind the Wolves' bench. Verreault worked for the Wolves from 2004 until 2009 as an Assistant to Heach Coach & GM Mike Foligno. The Sudbury Wolves advanced to the OHL finals in 2007 under the direction of Foligno, Verreault and former assistant coach Bob Jones.

(News Release from the Sudbury Wolves)

Thanks,
Pat

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Canes Pick Russian & Ukrainian in CHL Import Draft

The Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club selected Egor Babenko with the fifth overall pick and Igor Merezhko with the 65th overall pick in the 2015 CHL Import Draft today. Babenko, the 1997-born forward, spent the 2014-2015 season playing with Togliatti Ladya of the MHL.

In 53 games, the Tyumin, Russia native collected 50 points (27g-23a) along with 78 penalty minutes. In two seasons in the MHL, the 5’9”, 145-pounder collected 65 points (37g-29a) in 98 games. “We are going to let their actions speak for them and we are not going to have any preconceived ideas about what kind of player they are. We’ve been told that Babenko is a skilled player, but we are going to let him speak for himself with his actions,” said Hurricanes General Manager Peter Anholt.

Babenko was selected in the first round, 19th overall in the 2014 KHL Entry Draft by CSKA Moskva, but was not selected in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft despite being eligible. Merezhko, the 1998-born defenseman, spent the 2014-2015 season playing with Redbull Salzburg team where in 26 games he collected 10 points (6g-4a) along with 16 penalty minutes. The Kharkov, Ukraine product is a right-hand shot rearguard who is 6’2”, 181 pounds. “I like his size. He’ll have some big adjustments with the smaller ice coming over here. I had some fairly good reports on him from a lot of hockey guys,” said Anholt.

“We thought we needed to continue to add to our defense core and this was one way we could do that and we thought it was a good pick with our second selection.” Anholt continued that it was important to draft players that they can develop and work with for more than one season,

“That was kind of the line of thinking we wanted. If Babenko turns out to be the player we hope he will be, that he can possibly have a chance to being a top six guy but be here for two years. Merezhko being a ’98, he could possibly be here for three and he has some pro potential being the size that he is.”

(Hurricanes Media Relations)

Thanks,
Pat

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Nielsen & Estephan Picked in NHL Draft

The Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club are proud to announce that defenseman Andrew Nielsen and forward Giorgio Estephan were selected in the 2015 National Hockey League Entry Draft today in Florida. 
The 1996-born Nielsen was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the third round, 65th overall. The rookie standout defenseman was ranked 52nd among North American skaters on the NHL’s Central Scouting Services Final Draft rankings released in April. He was the fifth WHL defenseman selected in this year’s NHL draft.
“Honestly, I was speechless. I couldn’t have predicted any of that. I was honoured and blessed that I had my family around me to share the experience with them. It is kind of surreal getting to go to a team like that that has so much history. I’m just excited and looking forward to the next couple weeks,” said Nielsen from his home in Red Deer. “I didn’t expect to go that early, it was a shock. It was a relief just knowing that all the hard work and the process is finally falling into place. If you would’ve told me at the start of the year that I’d be a Toronto Maple Leaf on June 27th, I probably would have laughed at you.”
Nielsen completed his first season with the Hurricanes where he appeared in 59 games collecting 24 points (7g-17a) along with 101 penalty minutes. The Red Deer, AB product was second in defenseman scoring among the Hurricanes. The 18-year-old Nielsen scored his first WHL goal on October 25th in Prince Albert against the Raiders in a 3-1 victory and made his WHL debut January 18th, 2014 in his hometown against the Rebels. 
The 6’3”, 210-pound rearguard was listed by the Hurricanes after going undrafted in the Western Hockey League Bantam Draft and the blueliner says being where is now is even a bigger honourI think it just shows that no matter what happens if you work hard and keep your mind focused on one thing and the end goal is getting where you want to be. Not being selected in the bantam draft was obviously hard at the time, I think it made me a stronger as a hockey player and as a person and I think it helped me get to where I am today.”
Hurricanes forward Giorgio Estephan was also selected in the NHL Entry Draft as the Buffalo Sabres took the 18-year-old with the first pick of the sixth round, 152nd overall.
The Edmonton, AB product had a standout sophomore campaign setting career highs in goals (23), assists (28) and points (51) more than doubling his previous career high totals. The second-year ‘Cane was originally selected fourth overall in the first round of the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft. Estephan was ranked 144th among North American skaters on the final Central Scouting list.
(Hurricanes Media Relations)

Thursday, 25 June 2015

GM Anholt Ready For Import Draft

Lethbridge Hurricanes GM Peter Anholt is hoping to get it right with this year's CHL Import Draft.

It takes place Monday morning, June 29th. The Canes have two selections, the best being the 5th overall pick.

I had a chance to speak with General Manager Peter Anholt about the Import Draft to see which way he's leaning. He still doesn't know if he plans to use his second pick or not.


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Hurricanes 2015-16 Regular Season Schefule

The Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club, in conjunction with the Western Hockey League, today have released their 2015-2016 regular season schedule. The Hurricanes regular season will begin on Friday, September 25th when they host the Medicine Hat Tigers.

The Hurricanes will play a total of 72 regular season games, including 36 at home at the ENMAX Centre and 36 on the road. Marquee match-ups will include the defending WHL Champion Kelowna Rockets on Sunday, October 4th, 2015 and Portland Winterhawks on Friday, February 19th, 2016.
 
In 2015-2016, the Hurricanes will face the Medicine Hat Tigers seven times (four at home, three away) including three home-and-home sets. As well, the ‘Canes will face the Kootenay Ice seven times (three at home, four away) and will face the Edmonton Oil Kings, Red Deer Rebels, and Calgary Hitmen each six times (three at home, three away).

Of the 72 regular season games, 32 will come against the Central Division, 24 against the East Division, 11 against the BC Division and five against the US Division.

The schedule will include four three-in-three weekends over the season. The Hurricanes longest home stand will be five games from November 18th until November 27th. The longest road trip will be six games, twice: from October 24th until November 2nd when the Hurricanes head West through the BC Division and from December 11th until December 19th that will include four games in the East Division and two in the Central.

HOME DATES TO REMEMBER:

Friday, September 25th, 2015 – vs. Medicine Hat Tigers (Season/Home Opener)
Sunday, October 4th, 2015 – vs. Kelowna Rockets (Defending WHL Champions)
Friday, November 6th, 2015 – vs. Seattle Thunderbirds (Return of Jamal Watson)
Friday, February 19th, 2016 – vs. Portland Winterhawks
Friday, March 18th, 2016 – vs. Medicine Hat Tigers (Home Finale)

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Four Hurricanes Invited to Selection Camps

Hockey Canada announced today that four Lethbridge Hurricanes will join 190 other players to attend Hockey Canada’s National Teams’ Summer Showcase that will be held from July 29th until August 6th at the Markin MacPhail Centre at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.

Hurricanes netminder Stuart Skinner is the only player from last year’s ‘Canes roster to attend a camp. The 16-year-old will partake in the Under-18 Selection Camp for the 2015 Ivan Hlinka tournament. Skinner is one of four goaltenders to attend the camp. He is one of 17 total WHL players to attend the U-18 camp.

Skinner posted a record of 13-20-2-3 while collecting a .909 save percentage and a 3.69 goals against average with one shutout in 43 appearances in 2014-2015. He was named the Hurricanes Rookie of the Year. The Edmonton product was one of seven under-18 goaltenders that attended the Program of Excellence Goaltending Camp earlier this month.

Hurricanes prospects Brett Davis, Jordan Bellerive and Nick Watson will participate in the Under-17 Development Camp roster. Davis appeared in three games this past season with the Hurricanes collecting one assist. In 42 regular season games with the Eastman Selects, the Manitoba product scored 47 points (21g-26a) along with 22 penalty minutes.

Bellerive, from North Vancouver, BC, was selected second overall in the 2014 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft and signed with the Hurricanes earlier this month. The 16-year-old scored 49 points (34g-15a) in 27 games this past season with the Okanagan Hockey Academy. While Watson, who was selected in the second round, 28th overall in 2014 collected nine points (3g-6a) in 24 games with the Delta Hockey Academy in 2014-2015. He also signed a WHL Standard Player Agreement earlier this month.


The inaugural National Teams’ Summer Showcase marks the first time Hockey Canada has brought together all three of Canada’s national men’s programs in the same city at the same time.

(From Hurricanes Media Relations)

Thanks,
Pat