- On Monday, the Kansas City Smoke‘s CHL affiliate in Omaha placed D Lowell Sharkey on the injured list. Sharkey suffered a serious lower-body injury during Sunday’s game against Idaho, and is expected to be sidelined for over a month. The loss is a major blow to the organization, as the 20-year-old blueliner is a prized prospect who was off to a strong start, with 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists) and a +6 rating in 9 games. To fill Sharkey’s spot on the roster, the team signed D Fyodor Agronozov. The 26-year-old Agronozov spent last year in Oshawa, where he recorded 20 points (3 goals, 17 assists) in 62 games.
- Also on Monday, the Dakota Jackalopes‘ CHL affiliate in Idaho placed D Georg Ochre on the injured list. Ochre, who was last season’s CHL Finals MVP, sustained an upper-body injury on Sunday against Omaha. Much like Sharkey, Ochre was playing quite well; he recorded 9 points (2 goals, 7 assists) in 9 games before his injury. Unlike Sharkey, Ochre is expected to miss only 2 to 3 weeks. Ochre’s spot will be taken by D Gerry Michaud, a 25-year-old who recorded 5 assists in 57 games with Maine last season.
- On Friday, the Hamilton Pistols demoted F Michael Jennings to their CHL affiliate in Oshawa, and called up C Hilliard Macy from Oshawa. The Pistols were in need of a center after Calvin Frye suffered a lower-body injury in Thursday’s 7-6 win over Hershey. Although Frye is day-to-day, Jennings is a natural winger and the Pistols didn’t want to plug him in at center for any extended length of time. The 20-year-old MAcy has had a solid season in Oshawa, with 7 goals and 3 assists in 11 games.
- Also on Friday, the Hershey Bliss placed LW Russell Nahorniak on the injured list. Nahorniak suffered a major lower-body injury when he was upended by a violent check in Thursday’s game. He is expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks. Nahorniak was a key contributor on Hershey’s second line, with 9 points (5 goals, 4 assists) in 11 games. To fill Nahorniak’s spot, the Bliss called up LW Sergei Tarisov from their affiliate in Milwaukee. Tarisov, 22, had put up 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists) in 11 minor-league games this season. The Bliss also signed F Jerry Cazenovia to a short-term contract to replace Tarisov in Milwaukee.
The following trades took place in the offseason before Season 2:
The expansion Seattle Sailors made a splash and landed some veteran talent to guide them in their inaugural campaign. The Sailors acquired C Cliff Derringer, RW “King George” Lane, and D Hylton Windham from the Hamilton Pistols in exchange for first-round and third-round picks and F Elmo Jacobson. In Derringer, the Sailors land a solid scorer (21 goals and 35 points last season) who is expected to anchor their top line. Lane, meanwhile, is a capable passer (23 assists in 2015) who may be placed on the top line to feed Derringer and top draft pick Vince Mango. Windham appeared in limited action for Hamilton last season, scoring 4 points in 22 games, but is best known for being the first native of the Bahamas to play professional hockey. The Pistols are rebuilding under new coach Keith Shields, and the picks (which were used to draft D Clayton “Crusher” Risch and LW Norris “Beaver” Young) will help position the team for the future. The 24-year-old Jacobson spent last season with Saskatchewan, for whom he scored 9 points.
The other expansion team, the Quebec Tigres, made several moves after the expansion draft. First, they dealt RW Kenny Patterson and D Teddy Morrison to the New York Night in exchange for LW Pascal Royal. The Tigres have made a point of acquiring as many Quebec natives as possible, and Royal certainly qualifies. He will also provide the Tigres with a dose of badly-needed offense, having put up 15 goals and 40 points in New York. Patterson is being reunited with his former club, as Quebec plucked him from New York in the expansion draft. The winger scored 13 goals and 37 points for the Night last year. Morrison was a gritty defender who spent last season with Washington, putting up 12 points in 56 games.
The Tigres also strengthened their blue line by acquiring Viktor Babykin, a rugged stay-home defenseman, from the Saskatchewan Shockers, along with F Alois Rodney in exchange for rookie D Brody “Bruiser” McCallan. Babykin is known as one of the SHL’s meanest players, a man who never hesitates to drop the gloves and was one of the league leaders in penalty minutes last year. His pugnacious personality also created some friction in the Shockers locker room, however. The 21-year-old McCallan, the Tigres’ third-round draft pick, spent last season in the Quebec junior league, where he put up 12 points. Rodney, who was the last player selected in the draft, put up 6 points in limited action in the Swiss league last season.
In their final deal, the Tigres picked up another left winger, Stellan Fisker, from the Hamilton Pistols. Fisker put up 17 goals and 30 points for Hamilton last season. The Pistols sent Fisker and the just-acquired Jacobson to Quebec in exchange for a pair of rookies, LW Magnus Gunnarson and the aforementioned Rodney, and a second-round pick in next year’s draft. Gunnarson, who was selected in the second round by Quebec, scored 15 goals last season for Lake Erie State.
The Hershey Bliss and the Anchorage Igloos struck a major deal on draft night, with the Bliss sending G Riley Lattimore to the Igloos in exchange for RW Sven Danielsen. Lattimore began last season as Hershey’s starting goalie, but struggled and wound up losing playing time to backup Milo Stafford. Lattimore finished the season with a 12-18-1 record with a 3.70 GAA, as the Bliss stumbled to a disappointing third-place finish in the East. He became expendable after Hershey picked netminder Buzz Carson in the second round of the draft. Lattimore will serve as a backup in Anchorage, who lost their former second-string goalie, Ron Mason, to Seattle in the expansion draft. Danielsen, meanwhile, spent last season on the second line for the champion Igloos, netting 11 goals and 28 points. He lost his spot on the Anchorage depth chart to Remi Montrechere, as the Igloos found themselves with forward depth to spare.
In a minor swap of defenders, the Dakota Rapids shipped Jose Martinez and rookie Fyodor Agrozonov to the Hamilton Pistols for Pierre Chappelle. Chapelle was a solid two-way defenseman for the Pistols last season, putting up 10 points. Martinez was an offensive-minded defender who struggled somewhat in Dakota, posting 7 points in 52 games. Agrozonov is a 22-year-old who played the last two seasons in the KHL.