Panthers’ Crouse is going back to junior

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Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.

Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.

Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.

“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”

Hanifin stays in Carolina; Fleury heads back to junior

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The Carolina Hurricanes have returned Haydn Fleury to the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League.

The club also announced that they have assigned Brett Pesce, Jaccob Slavin, Brock McGinn, and Derek Ryan to the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL.

Fleury was selected seventh overall by the Hurricanes in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

The 19-year-old scored six goals and 28 points in 63 games with Red Deer last season, and also added a goal in his only AHL contest with the Checkers.

The move means that Noah Hanifin will be sticking around.

The 18-year-old was the fifth overall selection in last June’s draft, and the ‘Canes must feel like he can contribute right away.

Hanifin had five goals, 23 points and plus-12 rating in his only season at Boston College.

The rookie skated on Carolina’s third pairing with Michal Jordan at practice earlier today.

They will enter the season with a young group of defensemen, as four of the team’s seven blueliners are 25-years-old or younger.


Detroit sends ’15 first-rounder Svechnikov back to junior

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Evgeny Svechnikov’s first NHL training camp is done.

Svechnikov, Detroit’s first-round pick (19th overall) at this year’s draft, has been returned to his junior team in the Quebec League, the club announced on Thursday.

The 18-year-old never had a chance of cracking the Red Wings roster this year, so his demotion shouldn’t come as any sort of surprise. Svechnikov got a brief taste of NHL hockey, appearing in Detroit’s 5-4 OT loss to the Blackhawks on Tuesday, getting just over 12 minutes of ice time.

Ho-Sang late for training camp, sent back to junior


You know how some people think Islanders prospect Josh Ho-Sang has an attitude problem?

Well, this won’t help his case to disprove that notion.

From Newsday’s Arthur Staple:

Ho-Sang was among the OHL’s top scorers last season, piling up 81 points in 60 games with Windsor and Niagara.

But he didn’t escape controversy. He was traded to Niagara early in the season, with Windsor coach Bob Boughner saying later:

“It was mandatory that we had to trade him. For many, many, numerous internal reasons, the people that truly know what went on behind the scenes would understand why we had to trade him. We might not be a better team in the standings because of it, but we’re definitely a better team within our four walls and it’s only going to help for the future.”

Now, to be fair to Ho-Sang…

Still, this won’t help his reputation, that’s for sure.

Related: Isles’ Ho-Sang among notable Canada junior camp snubs

Farewell, Duke: Rangers send Duclair back to junior


Anthony Duclair is on his way to the Q.

On Tuesday, the Rangers announced they were sending their rookie forward back to his QMJHL team in Quebec — just hours after Duclair helped Team Canada capture gold at the World Junior Championships.

The 19-year-old, who surprisingly made the Rangers out of training camp, is now bound to the Remparts for the remainder of their regular season and playoffs. Quebec is hosting the Memorial Cup this year, so that release won’t come until May 31.

Prior to getting sent back to junior, Duclair had one goal and seven points in 18 games for the Blueshirts, pretty impressive given he was taken in the third round (80th overall) at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft — for comparison’s sake, picks 11 through 13 in that same draft (Samuel Morin, Max Domi, Josh Morrissey) have yet to make their big-league debuts.

But after playing significant minutes early in the season — including 18:36 TOI in an October loss to the Maple Leafs — Duclair had his ice time trimmed, and routinely sat as a healthy scratch.

In his last game with the Rangers, a 5-2 win over Philly in November, Duclair played just 12:06 and finished pointless.