Knights crowned OHL champions, some AHL news and a few coaching jobs announced in the AHL, OHL and WHL…
The London Knights have won the J. Ross Robertson Cup after sweeping the Niagara Ice Dogs in the OHL Final. The Knights outscored the Ice Dogs 17-8 in the four games and have booked their ticket to Red Deer. The last two games were one goal games, 6-5 OT win and a 1-0 victory in game four. Tyler Parsons (2016 draft eligible) out dueled Alex Nedeljkovic (CAR) in this series stopping 93 of 101 shots (.921 SV%). Nedeljkovic finished the series with 97 saves of the 114 shots taken (.851 SV%).
Mitchell Marner (TOR) was named the MVP of the 2016 OHL Playoffs and is the recipient of the Wayne Gretzky ‘99’ Award. Marner led the OHL scoring with 16 goals, 28 assists and 44 points in only 18 games. (2.44 pts/gp)
The AHL Board of Governors unanimously granted conditional approval of the ownership transfer of the Springfield Falcons to the Arizona Coyotes, as well as relocation of the franchise to Tucson, Arizona beginning next year, 2016-17 season.
The Board of Governors are also reviewing an application for transfer of ownership and relocation of the Portland Pirates (FLA), which would move from Portland, Maine to Springfield, Massachusetts for 2016-17. The Board should vote on that request within two weeks. So don’t worry Falcons fans, you may have lost a team, but you may get a team back right away. You lose an Atlantic Division basement dwelling team to a playoff team, so the hockey should get better next year. As for the prospects you could be watching in Tucson and Springfield, here’s a list of Arizona prospects and Florida prospects who could be on those AHL teams.
The AHL has handed down a heavy suspension to Albany Devils defenceman Dan Kelly (NJD) for 10 games for an illegal check to the head of Andreas Johnson (TOR). A very steep suspension but the AHL is sending a big message to the league about getting these hits out of the game. Johnson was released from a local hospital Wednesday morning with a suspected concussion, but is out indefinitely. Johnson played for the Swedish Elite League champion Frolunda this past year, he came over to the Marlies at the end of the SEL playoffs to get more ice time and gain experience in North America. Johnson is not expected to compete in Maple Leafs training camp and will likely to return to Frolunda next year. Thankfully Johnson isn’t seriously injured, but it’s a shame we may not see him take the ice again this year.
A lot of coaching changes have been announced in the past couple of days in both the AHL and the CHL. Highly touted Benoit Groulx, formerly the Gatineau Olympiques GM and head coach, is now behind the bench of the Syracuse Crunch, AHL affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Kitchener Rangers Mike Van Ryn resigns as head coach, the Rangers have named former associate coach Jay McKee as the new bench boss.
Portland Winterhawks are turning back the clock with former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Johnston returning as GM/coach of the Winterhawks. Johnston has had great success in Portland, reaching the WHL final four straight years from 2011-2014. Portland won the WHL title once in 2012-13 season, which happened to be the year Johnston was forced to step aside as GM/coach for a suspension for providing player benefits that were against the rules. Johnston will try to help Portland become a top tier team in the U.S. Division, once again.
DobberHockey Prospect Rankings have been updated as of May 10th. Check out the full list HERE. A few prospects moving up; Aho (CAR), Vrana (WAS), Prince (NYI) and Caggiula (EDM) makes his debut.
Don’t forget you are able to pre-order the Prospect Report, Fantasy Guide and two fantasy packs in the DobberHockey SHOP. Get a step ahead of your fantasy competition with all of these reports and guides
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