The Anaheim Ducks made a predictable move to shore up their defensive group today, calling up Jaycob Megna from the San Diego Gulls. The Ducks are without Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm and Korbinian Holzer as they head into their game tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks. Jaycob, the younger brother of Vancouver Canucks forward Jayson Megna, is a 24-year old who has yet to make his NHL debut.
Selected in the seventh round of the 2012 entry draft, Megna is a hulking defenseman—6’6″ 225-lbs—capable of contributing offensively. His 27 points through 60 games trails just Brandon Montour and Andrew Welinski for the Gulls, despite not possessing any standout offensive skills. Nevertheless, he’s improved over the years and has a legitimate chance to make an impact at the NHL one day, albeit in a depth role. His first chance will come tonight against his favorite childhood team, growing up in Chicago.
- Mark Divver of the Providence Journal reports that Joona Koppanen is expected to turn down interest from the NCAA and “turn pro”. Whether that means the Boston Bruins draft pick will sign an entry-level deal and play in the AHL next season or join the top league in his home country is unknown. He’s currently playing in the junior league in Finland, where he scored 54 points in 38 games this season. Despite being only 19, Koppanen could join the AHL ranks next year to play for the Providence Bruins if the teams feels he’s ready.
- One of the more interesting prospect journeys this year has been that of defenseman Brendan Guhle, who was called up mid-season by the Buffalo Sabres right from the junior ranks. Guhle played three games for the Sabres before being sent back. For his new team the Prince George Cougars, he excelled scoring 29 points in 32 games and another six in their first round exit from the WHL playoffs. He’s now heading to the Rochester Americans for the remainder of the season, according to Ted Clarke of the Prince George Citizen. Guhle will be an interesting candidate for a full-time job next season with the Sabres, but is more likely destined for a top-pairing AHL role to continue his development.
- The Montreal Canadiens have brought up Brett Lernout under emergency conditions, after Alexei Emelin was injured last night. Though Shea Weber took to the ice this morning at practice, there is no expectation that he’ll be ready to play tomorrow night against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and with the Atlantic Division clinched, there is no reason to push him. Lernout, a 21-year old defenseman who was the Canadiens’ third-round pick in 2014 is a big strong defensive presence that has performed well for them in the AHL this year.