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.
Eventful last 24 hours for Travis Sanheim.
Sent packing from Flyers training camp yesterday, Sanheim — the club’s first-round pick (17th overall) at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft — signed his entry-level contract on Thursday, the club announced.
While he’ll spend this season in WHL Calgary, getting Sanheim signed is a welcome development for the Flyers. He, along with ’13 first-rounder Samuel Morin and former NCAA standout Shayne Gostisbehere, is expected to be a key part of Philly’s future blueline — one that looks pretty promising, based on this year’s camp (which Morin and Gostisbehere are still a part of.)
Though Sanheim was sent back to junior after just one preseason game, reports suggest he acquitted himself well. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound rearguard has been steadily on the rise; he made big jumps up various boards as he got closer to the draft, and wound up being the fourth blueliner selected, behind Florida’s Aaron Ekblad, Carolina’s Haydn Fleury and Dallas’ Julius Honka.
Travis Sanheim’s time with Philadelphia is over after just one game.
Sanheim, the club’s first-round pick (17th overall) at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, has been sent back to his junior team in WHL Calgary, according to the Courier-Post.
(Sanheim also tweeted the news himself.)
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound blueliner made his NHL preseason debut in Monday’s 5-4 split-squad win over Washington, logging just over 18 minutes of ice time. While he wasn’t expected to make the Flyers this season, some thought Sanheim may have warranted a lengthier stay at camp given his pedigree, a good showing at rookie camp and the fact Philly’s blueline is pretty thin with Kimmo Timonen out indefinitely (blood clots).
That said, the decision to send Sanheim down is consistent with Philly’s recent approach. Last year, the Flyers returned their other first-round defensman — Samuel Morin, taken 11th overall — to junior after he played one exhibition game.
Conner Bleackley’s time with the Colorado Avalanche is over after just one game.
Bleackley, the 23rd overall pick at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, was sent back to WHL Red Deer on Tuesday — the day after playing 10:53 in a split-squad loss to the Anaheim Ducks.
The 18-year-old wasn’t expected to make the Avs roster this year — in July, Red Deer coach Brent Sutter said Bleackley’s “not ready for NHL hockey” — but this is a pretty quick exit from training camp.
The guy taken one spot ahead of Bleackley in June, Kasperi Kapanen, is expected to get a long look while trying to crack the Penguins roster; the guy taken two spots after Bleackley, Nikita Scherbak, was named player of the game in Montreal’s intra-squad scrimmage on Monday and will play in tonight’s preseason opener against Boston.
More light has been shed on the Bleackley situation and that of another fellow Avs prospect, Chris Bigras (32nd overall, ’13).
From the Denver Post:
Roy said he was disappointed in Bleackley and the Avs’ top pick in 2013, Chris Bigras, who also was sent back to his junior team. The coach said Bleackley, a forward, did not come into his first NHL training camp in adequate shape, and defenseman Bigras did not play as well as last year.