The World Juniors kicked off on Wednesday in Ufa, Russia and Flames players performed rather well in their first games. Meanwhile, it seems like a Flames pro prospect might return to his junior squad.
So Far So good
Finland beat Latvia by a 5-1 score. Flames prospect Markus Granlund scored a power-play goal. He won 69% of the face-offs he took and was on the ice for two power-play goals scored by his team. All-in-all, a fine performance.
Later on, Canada trounced Germany 9-3. Defender Tyler Wotherspoon scored the ever-important ninth goal and was generally defensively responsible during the contest. Wotherspoon was on the ice for one German goal (a power-play marker late in the first) and for one Canadian goal, the one that he scored late in the third. He had three shots on net, all in the third period.
The United States opens their tournament on this morning at 7am MT against Germany. TSN has the broadcast and will replay it during the day.
REPORT: FERLAND BACK TO BRANDON
Meanwhile, reports out of Brandon over the holiday season have seen former Wheat King Michael Ferland possibly returning to his former junior team.
It’s being reported (most notably by the voice of the Wheat Kings, Bruce Luebke) that Ferland’s agent and the Flames are in discussions to return Ferland to the WHL for the balance of the season. He’s only 20 and is eligible to play in the Dub, and the Wheaties would be given an allotment of time to make room for him on their roster.
Ferland’s split this year between Abbotsford and Utah of the ECHL and hasn’t really gotten his pro footing yet. Abbotsford has more experienced bottom-six energy guys on their roster, most notably Carter Bancks, and the emergence of guys like Tyler Ruegsegger and Brett Olson as complementary guys has pushed Ferland to the ECHL. And recently the Utah Grizzlies have had a roster crunch, with the additions of locked-out NHLers Trevor Lewis and Colby Armstrong makes it tough for them to weave the untested Ferland into their plans.
As long as the lockout persists and Abbotsford and Utah are both packed with bodies, moving back to the WHL is probably the best bet for a young player that needs ice-time to develop.