The Hawks’ Nest

More News & Notes
June 30, 2009, 2:58 pm
Filed under: Winterhawks | Tags: ,

In case you missed it earlier today, the Winterhawks swung a big trade to move up in the import draft so they could pick high-scoring Swiss forward Nino Niederreiter.


Portland traded two future bantam draft picks to Moose Jaw in order to move up three spots to draft Nino (yes, using his first name is informal, but it’s just easier).

Some pundits have Nino pegged as a possible first round pick in next year’s NHL draft, perhaps even going quite early.

But for the Winterhawks, one of the most important factors in making the trade is his age. He’ll be entering his 17 year-old year next season, which theoretically gives him up to four seasons in Portland.

Looking long-term at the team’s roster, it’s becoming clear that the team is looking to hitch its wagon to its 1992-born players. If Nino makes it over to North America this season, the 92s will play a big role on the team.

Last season Brad Ross, Troy Rutkowski and Taylor Peters all played heavy minutes as 16 year-olds, and will bear an even heavier load next season. Then, consider that Daniel Johnston will start the season healthy after sitting out until January last year, and that’s another player who can log big minutes. Joe Morrow was in and out of the lineup early in 08-09, but showed steady improvement as the season went on. And the team still has goaltender Keith Hamilton waiting in the wings.

That’s a pretty big group of players who are going to be growing and maturing together over the next few years. It will be fun to see how good this group can become.

-By now you likely know that Brett Ponich will be attending the Blues’ prospect camp in St. Louis next week (Good luck with that Midwest humidity, Brett), but Tayler Jordan’s mom dropped us a note in the comments section of our last post letting us know that Tayler is currently in Columbus taking part in their prospects camp.

Tayler Jordan is in Columbus for the Blue Jackets' prospect camp

Tayler Jordan is in Columbus for the Blue Jackets' prospect camp

The Jackets have posted an interview with their Development Coach Tyler Wright where he discusses the importance of the prospects camp. While he doesn’t talk specifically about Tayler, it’s still an interesting interview.

Meanwhile, according to Gregg Drinnan, Kurtis Mucha won’ t be heading to Edmonton’s prospects camp after all, the victim of a numbers game after the Oilers took a goalie in the NHL entry Draft. If Mucha, or any of the other Winterhawks players end up in NHL camps, we’ll keep you posted.

-While all the attention locally was on Brett Ponich’s selection in the second round of the draft, it may have gone unnoticed or even unknown that three of the Winterhawks’ list players were also taken.

Defenseman William Wrenn was taken in the second round, 43rd overall by the San Jose Sharks. Wrenn is currently a member of the U.S. National Team Development Program.

Goaltender Michael Lee was taken in the third round, 91st overall by the Phoenix Coyotes. Lee went 26-15-4 with four shutouts, a 2.40 goals against average and .918 save percentage for the Fargo Force of the USHL last season.

And lastly, left winger Spencer Bennett was taken in the fifth round, 141st overall by the Calgary Flames. Last season with the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles, Bennett posted 20 goals and 21 assists for 41 points, then led the team with two goals and four assists for six points in nine postseason games.


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Tayler signed an Amateur Try Out contract with Columbus and will play with their team in the Prospect Tournament in Traverse City in Sept.

Comment by Jody Jordan

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