Good news for the Anaheim Ducks as the team learned today that barring a setback, forward Ondrej Kase is expected to make his debut on Monday, according to Eric Stephens of The Athletic. Kase has been reportedly skating on a line with teammates Ryan Kesler and Nick Ritchie.
Many people felt that Kase might take his game to a new level this year after posting a 20-goal season a year ago. The 23-year-old, however, suffered a concussion during the team’s final preseason game and has been out since then. The former seventh-round pick has done a nice job working his way through the Ducks’ system and earning a full-time role with the team. He was rewarded over the summer with a three-year, $7.8MM ($2.6MM AAV) bridge deal. Hopefully, he can step in right away and help out a struggling team that has gone 2-7-2 in their last 11 games.
- NBC Sports’ Charlie Roumeliotis suggests that new Chicago Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton will be keeping a close eye on his former team, the Rockford Ice Hogs as its very likely he will want to continue the team’s youth movement by bringing up several of their top players from there at some point during the season. At the top of the list would likely be winger Dylan Sikura, who is faring well there in his rookie campaign after four years at Northeastern University. Sikura has five goals and 12 points in 15 AHL games. “First of all, I care about the team, I care about the players, I care about the people who are down there,” said Colliton. “So it’s only natural for me to keep my fingers on the pulse. But we want to build as much depth as we can within this group and that includes the guys in Rockford. Because there are going to be injuries, and we want competition, that it’s not a given you’re going to play or not a given you’re going to have a certain role and that’s healthy for everyone and it’s going to push everyone to be better.”
- The Vegas Golden Knights should get a boost in one week when suspended defenseman Nate Schmidt becomes eligible to return. The speedy defenseman has been missed by his team as they struggle through the early part of the schedule. SinBin Vegas’ Steve Carp writes that Schmidt should immediately return to the role as the team’s leader in minutes played and shutdown defender as well inject both special teams’ units with his talents. However, the team doesn’t have the luxury of easing him in as other teams might considering the team’s inability to string together wins.
- Despite scoring his first NHL goal of his career, Dallas Stars prospect Denis Gurianov was returned back to the AHL Sunday and while the 21-year-old impressed, The Athletic’s Sean Shapiro reports that the team made the move for cap reasons. Regardless, the team believes that while Gurianov has come a long way since last season when he was scratched during multiple games in the AHL playoffs, he still hasn’t done enough to force his way into a permanent role with Dallas.