In the newest column from Rick Westhead of TSN, he dives into the idea that the NHLPA is considering a regulation that would ban agents from contacting players under the age of 16. Westhead reveals the information that agents have been using former professional players as “bird-dog” scouts to contact young kids and establish relationships before anyone else can contact them—at ages of nine or ten years old.
As Westhead writes, this comes in conjunction with a study former Buffalo Sabres star Pat LaFontaine is conducting on the future of player development and drafting. We wrote in December about LaFontaine’s suggestion that the league change the draft age from 18 to 19. The idea that nine-year old kids would be recruited is hard to imagine, but for those who’ve ever been to a high-level tournament at that age easy to believe.
- The San Jose Sharks have sent Daniel O’Regan to the AHL after playing his second NHL game on Monday. The 23-year old was the Sharks’ fifth-round draft pick in 2012 before heading to Boston University. He’s easily the Barracuda’s top scorer this year, with 52 points in 56 AHL games.
- The Penguins will be without Evgeni Malkin again tonight as they “take a cautious approach”. The superstar center hasn’t played since March 15th, but is getting closer to a return. The Penguins need him if they’re to catch the Capitals for first place in the NHL and a better matchup in the first round.
- Those Penguins may get Bryan Rust back though, as the winger is a game-time decision for them tonight. Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette did see Rust playing soccer in the hallway, for what it’s worth.
- The Buffalo Sabres have signed Jonas Johansson, Justin Danforth and Ian Brady to amateur tryouts with their AHL affiliate Rochester Americans. Johansson—who should not be confused with the former Colorado Avalanche prospect—was the Sabres’ third-round pick in 2014 and has played quite well in the Swedish second league, even making his Elite League debut this season. The goaltender shows exceptional potential, and could develop into an NHL netminder one day.