Islanders forward Nino Niederreiter sent back to his junior team

Yesterday we looked over the case of whether or not Islanders 2010 draft pick Nino Niederreiter should stay with the Isles this season or head back to his junior team in the WHL, the Portland Winterhawks. Today, Isles GM Garth Snow and head coach Scott Gordon made the decision on what to do. It turns out that the Isles are going to send Niederreiter back to junior hockey and let him develop there. For what Niederreiter was going to bring to the team if he stayed, Gordon spoke plainly.

“I think he could have success not being on the power play and being in a third line situation,” said Islanders head coach Scott Gordon. “He could work his way into that role, but we already have guys that are playing on the power play that have been successful. It’s not like we’re in a situation where you have a struggling power play and you need someone with some offensive abilities to add to the power play.”

Forcing a talented offensive player into a different role is the sort of thing that can jumble his development. Adding to the Isles mix is the eventual return of Rob Schremp and Kyle Okposo to the lineup. Their return would force Niederreiter down the depth chart and into an even more grinder-like role and less time on the ice. The keys the Islanders had when bringing Josh Bailey and John Tavares is that they had the opportunity to be top line players immediately. For Niederreiter, it’s not that simple and the Islanders do have the depth on the wings to not need Niederreiter right now.

Niederreiter will get his chance next year as you have to think that after a year of dominating the WHL and getting tons of playing time there, he’ll be ready to kick things into high gear next season for the Islanders. That’s something to be excited about on the Island should the Islanders hot start not hold up through the season.

Stars 2010 first round pick Jack Campbell sent back to his junior team

Thumbnail image for Campbell2.jpgWhile it’s not surprising at all it’s news that we should keep you updated on. Team USA 2010 World Junior Championships star and Dallas Stars 2010 first round pick Jack Campbell was sent back to his junior team in Windsor today.

Campbell is a guy with a lot of hope attached to him and we’ll likely see more from him at the 2011 World Junior Championships in Buffalo that starts in late December. For now, you’ll have to watch Windsor Spitfires games to see Campbell in action. Best of luck to you in doing so if you’re not living in southern Ontario or Detroit.

Flames sign goalie prospect, U.S. world junior champion Tyler Parsons to entry-level deal

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Busy day for the Calgary Flames.

Micheal Ferland is out of the lineup tonight and now under observation for mumps. Curtis Lazar, acquired at the deadline, could make his debut. And the organization got some work done, signing prospect goalie Tyler Parsons to a three-year entry level contract.

The Flames selected Parsons in the second round, 54th overall, of last year’s NHL Draft. This year marks his third season with the OHL’s London Knights.

He currently has a .924 save percentage, which is a regular season career high for him with the Knights, who currently have a record of 46-15-3-4 and have qualified for the post-season.

Familiar territory for Parsons and the Knights. Last year, he backstopped a talented London team to a Memorial Cup title, with a .925 save percentage in the playoffs.

Parsons was also the gold-medal winning goalie for Team USA at this year’s world junior tournament, stopping all five shots he faced in the deciding shootout to best Canada in the finale and posting a .917 save percentage in five games during the competition.

“I love the pressure. I’ve played in a lot of high-pressure games. I love it. It makes me play better. I knew what I had to do. I had to stop the puck to win that gold medal,” he told the Detroit Free Press after winning the gold.

“The whole time in the shoot-out I was thinking in my head, ‘If I let in a goal, we’re losing the gold medal.’ I made sure that wasn’t going to happen. Stopped all five guys.”

NCAA sniper Gaudette tells Canucks he’s going back to school

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Vancouver will have to wait another year before getting Adam Gaudette in the mix.

Gaudette, who enjoyed a breakout campaign at NCAA Northeastern this year with 26 goals and 52 points in 37 games, told News 1130 he’s returning to school for his junior campaign, rather than turn pro.

A fifth-round pick in 2015, Gaudette looks to be a potential draft steal. He led the country in power play goals this year, with 16, and TSN analyst Craig Button called him a “gem.”

Gaudette further upped his stock by being named a finalist for the Walter Brown Award, given annually to the best American-born college player in New England (other candidates include Ottawa prospect Colin White, and Bruins prospect Charlie McAvoy).

With Northeastern’s season over, there was much speculation the Canucks would persuade the 20-year-old to go pro.

“More development is best option for me,” Gaudette said as part of his explanation for going back to school. “Put on more weight and get faster and quicker.”

Vancouver is still expected to make a push for prized North Dakota prospect Brock Boeser to go pro at the end of his collegiate season. Boeser was the Canucks’ first-round pick (23rd overall) in ’15.

 

 

 

Flames battle back, then score late to beat Sharks

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CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Chad Johnson and the Calgary Flames got a victory — after getting a big scare.

A late goal by Dougie Hamilton and a pair of clutch saves by Johnson led the Flames to a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night.

Hamilton scored at 17:41 of the third period, while Johnson turned aside a short-handed breakaway by Mikkel Boedker with just 8 seconds left in the game.

“I think everybody was pretty shocked,” Johnson said of Boedker’s late scoring chance. “We’ve got a power play and all of a sudden, 8 seconds left, a guy’s on a breakaway from the blue line. You’ve kind of just try to stay focused and stay with him and thankfully nothing came of it.”

Johnson also stuck out his left pad to stop Boedker from scoring on a penalty shot at 14:33 of the third.

“On the penalty shot, I just tried to stay with him,” said Johnson, who made 25 saves to pick up his 15th win of the season. “I played with him in Phoenix, so I tried to go back in the memory log there and just try to remember what he did. He had two good looks there, but I got lucky and made the saves.”

Hamilton and rookie Matthew Tkachuk both finished with a goal and an assist for the Flames, while Michael Frolik also scored. Mikael Backlund added a pair of assists.

“It’s big,” Hamilton said of beating the Pacific Division-leading Sharks. “I think for us, we’ve just go to try to win every game. … It’s tough to move up the standings, so we’ve got to do it now instead of trying to do it later in the season.”

Read more: The Flames are starting to grasp their new system, and it shows

Brent Burns had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, while Logan Couture also scored.

“Just losing makes it tough,” said Burns, who scored once and set up two others in Edmonton on Tuesday to lead the Sharks to a 5-3 win over the Oilers. “You don’t like to give away points. That’s all that matters.”

Making just his sixth start of the season, San Jose’s Aaron Dell made 25 saves in a losing cause.

“It was pretty cool,” said the 27-year-old Dell, who’s from nearby Airdrie, Alberta, and played two seasons for the Calgary Canucks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League from 2007-09.

“I dreamed of playing here growing up,” he added. “It was a dream come true. It could’ve been a little better.”

Couture opened the scoring at 9:40 of the first period when he redirected a point shot fired by Burns through Johnson’s legs for a power-play goal.

Frolik, who was in the penalty box serving a slashing penalty when Couture scored, then answered right back for the Flames at 11:22. Thanks to a nice second effort, Frolik shoveled a rebound past Dell to atone for his penalty.

Burns put the Sharks back up by one at 16:06 when his wrist shot from the point found the back of the net behind Johnson, who was screened on the play.

After being outshot 12-8 in the first period, the Flames turned the tables and outshot the Sharks 9-7 in the second. The Flames were rewarded for their hard work during a man advantage when Tkachuk deflected Backlund’s shot past Dell with 31.7 seconds left in the period.