Six New­found­lan­ders in NHL camps … for now

Six skat­ing at camp, but four likely des­tined for mi­nors with a fifth go­ing back to ju­nior

The Western Star - - Sports - BY ROBIN SHORT rshort@thetele­

Six New­found­lan­ders are in Na­tional Hockey League train­ing camps to­day look­ing to make an im­pres­sion on their var­i­ous or­ga­ni­za­tions, though it’s likely four of the five will start the year in the mi­nors, with a fifth head­ing back to ju­nior hockey.

Colin Green­ing of St. John’s, a vet­eran of 303 ca­reer NHL games, is at the Toronto Maple Leafs camp in Ni­a­gara Falls, Ont. af­ter sign­ing a one-year, free agent con­tract with Toronto last sum­mer.

Green­ing played the en­tire 2016-17 sea­son with the AHL’s Toronto Mar­lies, fin­ish­ing up a three-year, $2.45 mil­lion con­tract he orig­i­nally signed with the Ot­tawa Sen­a­tors.

The 31-year-old winger will be a vet­eran pres­ence on the Mar­lies this sea­son.

In Carolina, 21-year-old sec­ond-year pro Clark Bishop of St. John’s is at the Hur­ri­canes’ camp. Last sea­son, Bishop split the sea­son be­tween the AHL Char­lotte Check­ers and the Florida Everblades of the ECHL.

Nathan Noel of St. John’s is at­tend­ing his sec­ond camp with the Chicago Black­hawks af­ter clos­ing out his ju­nior ca­reer with a Que­bec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League cham­pi­onship last sea­son with the Saint John Sea Dogs.

The 20-year-old cen­tre played in his sec­ond rookie tour­na­ment for the Black­hawks last week­end, be­fore join­ing the Black­hawks for their main camp at the United Cen­tre.

Noel was drafted in the fourth round, 113th over­all, by the Black­hawks in 2016. Last sea­son, he pot­ted 24 goals for the Sea Dogs.

Cody Don­aghey is at­tend­ing his first camp with the Ot­tawa Sen­a­tors.

The de­fence­man from St. John’s just suited up for Ot­tawa’s rookie squad — just as did last year — in a rookie tour­na­ment in Toronto. But un­like last sea­son, Don­aghey has been in­vited to Ot­tawa’s main camp at the Cana­dian Tire Cen­tre.

Don­aghey has train­ing camp ex­pe­ri­ence, hav­ing at­tended the Toronto Maple Leafs’ camp for a brief time in 2015. The Leafs signed Don­aghey to a free agent con­tract, but he was dealt to Ot­tawa as part of the Dion Pha­neuf trade.

Don­aghey fin­ished his five sea­sons in the QMJHL last year, split­ting the year be­tween the Char­lot­te­town Is­landers and Sher­brooke Phoenix. He suited up for six teams in the Q.

There’s a good chance goalie Evan Fitz­patrick, orig­i­nally from St. John’s but now liv­ing in Lower Sackville, N.S., will wind up back in the QMJHL with Sher­brooke from the St. Louis Blues’ camp.

The big net­min­der was drafted in the sec­ond round, 59th over­all, by St. Louis in 2016. He at­tended the Blues’ rookie camp last year and, for a brief time, St. Louis’s main camp be­fore get­ting sent back to ju­nior.

Fitz­patrick was at rookie camp again this sea­son, and is cur­rently with the big club in camp at their prac­tice fa­cil­ity in sub­ur­ban St. Louis.

He has three sea­sons in the QMJHL un­der his belt, all with Sher­brooke.

Tyler Boland of St. John’s at­tended the Win­nipeg Jets’

rookie camp, and suited up for the Jets’ rook­ies at a tour­na­ment in Pen­tic­ton, B.C.

How­ever, Boland, an un­drafted free agent, was not in­vited to the Jets’ main camp, or the Man­i­toba Moose AHL camp.

Boland, who fin­ished sec­ond in scor­ing in the QMJHL last sea­son skat­ing for the Ri­mouski Oceanic, is set to be­gin his first sea­son with the UNB Var­sity Reds, two-time Cana­dian univer­sity hockey cham­pi­ons.

Thurs­day af­ter­noon, WEEI Sports Ra­dio in Bos­ton re­ported for­ward Teddy Pur­cell was in­vited to the Bru­ins’ train­ing camp on a pro­fes­sional try­out.

Pur­cell, 32, split the 2016-17 sea­son be­tween the Los An­ge­les Kings and the AHL’s On­tario Reign af­ter sign­ing as a free agent in L.A. in the sum­mer of 2016.

“Just from look­ing at the ros­ter, and kind of the right side and kind of wher­ever they want to put me, I felt com­fort­able here,” Pur­cell told WEEI, adding he had train­ing camp in­vites from other NHL teams and con­tract of­fers from some of the Euro­pean leagues.

“And some­times you just have to go with your gut, and that’s what I did.”

Pur­cell has played for the Kings, Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers and Florida Pan­thers over the last two sea­sons af­ter spend­ing five years with the Tampa Bay Light­ing.

He scored 24 goals in Tampa in 2011-12, but his pro­duc­tion has slipped since then.

There are other New­found­lan­ders at NHL camps

In ad­di­tion to the five play­ers, there are six other New­found­lan­ders at NHL train­ing camps in other ca­pac­i­ties.

Ryane Clowe and Dar­ryl Wil­liams, who both grew up in Mount Pearl, are as­sis­tant coaches with the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers, while John Slaney of St. John’s and Ja­son King of Cor­ner Brook are at the Ari­zona Coy­otes and Van­cou­ver Canucks train­ing camps. Both are as­sis­tant coaches with their or­ga­ni­za­tions’ AHL teams. Dar­ryl Se­ward of Lewis­porte is the newly-ap­pointed video coach for the Canucks, and Dave Roper of Mount Pearl was just ap­pointed as­sis­tant equip­ment man­ager for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The list does not in­clude Pitts­burgh Pen­guins di­rec­tor of pro scout­ing, Derek Clancey.


Nathan Noel of the Saint John Sea Dogs (10) drives to the net dur­ing a QMJHL play­off game last spring against the Blainville-Boisbriand Ar­mada. Noel is cur­rently at the Chicago Black­hawks’ train­ing camp.


Clark Bishop takes a face­off for the Char­lotte Check­ers against Mike McMurtry of the Texas Stars in an AHL game last sea­son.

Ja­son King

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