The WHL handed out their awards today, and several NHL prospects took home some hardware. Ian Scott of the Toronto Maple Leafs took home the Goaltender of the Year award, Ty Smith of the New Jersey Devils was named Defenseman of the Year, and Joachim Blichfeld of the San Jose Sharks was awarded the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as Player of the Year.
All three players exceeded expectations this season, but the most interesting may just be Blichfeld who was a seventh-round pick of the Sharks back in 2016. While he will turn 21 this summer and was older than much of his competition, the simple fact that he’s developed so well from his draft day is a huge win for San Jose. The team already signed him to an NHL contract back in late 2017. The Sharks have done extremely well pulling value from the late rounds, as Kevin Labanc (171st overall in 2014) and Joakim Ryan (198th in 2012) are already paying off for them in this year’s playoffs.
- The Montreal Canadiens announced today that Jonathan Drouin underwent minor surgery yesterday to correct a fractured nose. The 24-year old forward had mentioned an injury that would keep him from playing in the IIHF World Championship, but it wasn’t clear exactly what that was. The release notes that Drouin is expected to resume his training in two to three weeks, meaning he’ll be ready in plenty of time for training camp in a few months.
- KHL free agency opened today and some familiar names have already re-signed, meaning there won’t be any NHL returns for them this season. Brandon Kozun, Paul Postma, Eric O’Dell, Anton Lander and Stephane Da Costa, have all signed new deals. The previously reported trade of Jiri Sekac to CSKA Moscow in exchange for the rights to Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Igor Ozhiganov was also officially filed today.