Several NHL clubs have sent their junior-eligible prospects back to the Canadian Hockey League. Here are a few of the more notable assignments:
Jackets drop Jenner
The Columbus Blue Jackets have sent forward Boone Jenner back to OHL Oshawa. Jenner, 19, is currently one of the Ontario League’s top scorers and recently played with Team Canada at the World Junior Championships.
The Jackets selected Jenner in the second round — 37th overall — of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, and many figured Jenner would be in the mix for a roster spot, given he’s skilled enough to play in the top nine and physical enough for a fourth-line energy role.
Instead, he was dropped.
“Tough decision,” Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. “Our goal is to get Boone playing where, career-wise, he’s able to develop and get him up to his maximum level as soon as possible. We’re getting him back where he can play in every situation.”
Isles assign Reinhart, Strome
New York have sent their top picks from 2011 and 2012 — forward Ryan Strome and defenseman Griffin Reinhart — to OHL Niagara and WHL Edmonton, respectively.
The Isles took Strome fifth overall last year and Reinhart fourth overall this year. It seemed unlikely that Reinhart, 18, had a shot to make the club but some figured Strome could be in the mix for a spot given his production in the Ontario League (fourth in scoring with 62 points in 32 games) and his play with Team Canada at the World Juniors (four goals in six games.)
Sens send Noesen, Ceci
Ottawa returned 2011 first-rounder (21st overall) Stefan Noesen and 2012 first-rounder (15th overall) back to OHL Plymouth and Owen Sound, respectively.
Neither were expected to make the team.
The Capitals won’t have either of their 2012 first-round picks in the lineup this season.
That’s the word out of Washington on Wednesday as GM George McPhee announced the Caps have sent forward Tom Wilson back to OHL Plymouth.
Wilson, 18, was the 16th overall selection at the draft and earned praise from Washington head coach Adam Oates for his training camp performance thus far.
“He looked great out there,” Oates told the Washington Times. “He skated great, he looked like one of the guys and sometimes I didn’t realize it was him.”
Wilson was the second of Washington’s two first-round picks at the draft. The first, Filip Forsberg, was taken 11th overall and had already been dispatched to his Swedish team, Leksands, in late July.
Of note, Forsberg was named to the 2013 World Junior tournament All-Star team after pacing Sweden with five points in six games en route to a silver medal.
The Jets made the lockout AHL assignments today and two names that standout are a pair of former first-round picks.
Winnipeg sent Alexander Burmistrov to St. John’s in the AHL while sending 2011 first-round pick Mark Scheifele back to his junior team in Barrie of the OHL.
Burmistrov’s assignment is a curious one as he could stand to use more ice time in the minors but there’s a possibility he bolts to the KHL during the lockout as well. After being picked eighth overall in the 2010 draft, Burmistrov has had a rough go of it in both Atlanta and Winnipeg fighting for ice time.
Scheifele, on the other hand, could’ve been looking at a starting job in Winnipeg this year but another year in junior hockey might not be so bad for the 19 year-old. He had 23 goals and 63 points in Barrie last season.
Ryan Murray’s NHL debut has been put on hold.
That’s the news out of Ohio today as the Blue Jackets announced they sent Murray — the second overall pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft — back to his WHL team in Everett.
The move is clearly lockout-related as Murray had a strong shot of making the NHL club out of training camp.
In May, the talented blueliner played with Team Canada at the 2012 World Hockey Championships, averaging nearly eight minutes a game, finishing the tournament plus-1 while playing with the likes of Duncan Keith, Dion Phaneuf and Jay Bouwmeester.
At 18, Murray was the youngest player on the Canadian roster.
The Jackets also announced they sent Boone Jenner, the 37th overall pick in 2011, back to his junior team in OHL Oshawa.
Jenner got his first taste of pro hockey last season with a five-game cameo for AHL Springfield, scoring once.
There is no joy in Calgary. Rookie phenom Sven Baertschi is headed back to junior hockey.
Baertschi was an emergency call-up and for five games he thrilled Flames fans, giving them a glimpse of what his future in Calgary will look like scoring three goals in his abbreviated time with the big club. Now that Lee Stempniak is healthy enough to play, however, Baertschi’s headed back to the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL.
Flames GM Jay Feaster explains why Baertschi has to go back from whence he came.
“The agreement between the CHL and the NHL is very clear regarding the conditions and circumstances under which a player from major junior may be recalled to his NHL team, as well as when he must be returned to his major junior club,” said Flames General Manager Jay Feaster.
Meanwhile the Flames are very much in the playoff race and Baertschi had a hand in helping that out. Now it’s up to Stempniak and Blake Comeau to make sure the Flames’ good fortunes continue or else Flames fans will be looking forward to next season for a few other reasons.