Darnell Nurse was looking to make the leap this season.
The Edmonton Oilers have decided the 19-year-old defenseman should spend another year in junior instead.
Nurse has been returned to OHL Sault Ste. Marie, where he’ll bolster a Greyhounds team that doesn’t actually need much bolstering. Sault Ste. Marie has won all eight of its games this season, outscoring its opposition 41-18.
The Greyhounds’ success stands in stark contrast to how the Oilers have started the season (0-3-1 and getting outscored 23-11). Nurse only got into two of those games, failing to register a point in either.
The move will allow the Oilers to delay the start of Nurse’s entry-level contract, while providing the player the opportunity to play in a winning environment and possibly represent Canada at the World Juniors tournament.
The Oilers have recalled defenseman Martin Marincin from AHL Oklahoma City.
Related: Goaltending is an issue for Edmonton…again
The Montreal Canadiens sent prospect Tim Bozon — who, this summer, successfully recovered from near-fatal meningitis — back to his junior team in WHL Kootenay on Friday
“Tim Bozon has come a long way,” Habs GM Marc Bergevin said in a statement. “He fought a life-threatening disease with courage and determination and we are pleased with what he accomplished in the last few months. He was able to take part in the rookie camp, the Canadiens’ official camp and the Hamilton Bulldogs training camp.
“However, with his progression having been diminished due to illness, we feel that one of the priorities for his long term development is for him to fully regain his physical strength. We believe that joining the Kootenay Ice in the WHL is the right decision at this time as it will allow Tim to fully recover.”
Bozon, 20, lost approximately 40 pounds while in hospital (he was placed in a medically-induced coma during his stay) and will likely benefit from another year in junior. He was a prolific scorer with the Ice prior to falling ill last season, scoring 62 points in 50 games.
After a wild 24 hours, Samuel Morin is leaving Philadelphia.
Morin, the hulking defenseman taken 11th overall at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, has been sent back to his junior team in QMJHL Rimouski, the Flyers announced on Friday.
The news comes after an eventful Thursday evening, during which reports claimed the Flyers — enamored with the 19-year-old’s play this preseason — were trying to trade a defenseman to free up a spot for Morin on the NHL roster.
More, from TSN’s Insider Trading:
The Philadelphia Flyers are also trying to move a defenseman. They’ve got cap issues. Historically, Luke Schenn has always been available from that Philadelphia blueline.
But the play of Sam Morin, an underage junior from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, has also got some believing that Nick Grossmann, the veteran defenseman for the Philadelphia Flyers, could also be had to try and free up cap space and a roster spot for Morin who might be ready to step in, at least for a nine-game trial.
Flyers GM Ron Hextall was quick to shoot down the rumors.
“I’m not going to talk about trades,” Hextall said Thursday, per CSN Philly. “But I will give you one other piece of advice. Don’t believe everything you read.”
As for Morin, he’ll head back for a fourth season of junior, which could benefit a kid that won’t turn 20 until July. Morin will also have a tremendous shot to make Team Canada for the 2015 World Junior tournament.
The Arizona Coyotes made a bit of a surprise decision on Thursday, sending highly-touted prospect Max Domi back to his junior club in OHL London, per the Canadian Press.
Domi, 19, was the club’s first-round pick (13th overall) at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and made waves last preseason, appearing in four exhibition games while raising hopes he’d crack the Coyotes’ opening-night roster before getting sent back to London.
This year, Domi’s chances of making the NHL seemed even better. Arizona GM Don Maloney said the club made a “concerted effort” to give opportunities to its young skaters, adding he passed on signing veteran free agents so Arizona’s prospects would have a better chance of cracking the roster.
It’ll be interesting what kind of reaction this news will get. Domi has dominated junior hockey for each of the last two years, scoring 180 points in 125 regular-season contests, and many were eagerly anticipating watching him in a Coyotes uniform this season.
The Anaheim Ducks sent a slew of prospects and veterans home from camp on Monday.
Nick Ritchie, the big-bodied forward taken 10th overall at this year’s draft, was returned to his OHL team in Peterborough while prospects Stefan Noesen (21st overall, 2011) and Nic Kerdiles (36th overall, ’12) were assigned to AHL Norfolk.
Louis Leblanc, the 18th overall selection in 2009, was put on waivers for the purpose of also going to Norfolk.
On the veteran front, four longtime NHLers — brendan Bell, Steve MacIntyre, David Steckel and Brad Winchester — are headed to the Admirals as well while Brandon Yip, who spent last season in the Coyotes organization, has been released from his professional tryout.