Archive for the ‘London Knights Rumours’ Category

It is well documented the mess that unfolded in Flint, Michigan last year with the Flint Firebirds. The team’s crooked leadership has made it possible for the London Knights to bring in Tyler Johnson, who at one point was among the most highly touted American goaltenders for last year’s NHL Entry Draft.


Tyler Johnson was drafted by the former Plymouth Whalers in the 7th round of the 2014 OHL Priority Selection and signed with the Whalers before they moved to Flint and became the Firebirds. Flint GM Terry Christensen at one point was quoted saying “Tyler Johnson has no future in hockey,” because he already had a vested interest in Kyle Keyser who had played for Terry for years at little Caesars. Terry then put Tyler on unconditional waivers and released him, despite being an NHL prospect.

Because Tyler signed in the OHL, he lost his NCAA eligibility and following his release, entered into a long battle with the NCAA to gain back his eligibility.

University of Maine compliance officers felt as though he had a strong enough case to be reinstated that they advised Maine coaching staff to continue to recruit him. He was offered a scholarship and verbally committed. Tyler’s NCAA reinstatement conditions however, remained up in the air. If granted, Johnson would have continued down the NCAA route.

Following complications with their NCAA appeal. Tyler Johnson was not reinstated and the London Knights began recruiting Johnson.

“He will be in London next season,” said one source close to the situation.

This is not the first time Johnson has been touted by an OHL team. Last year, it was the Mississauga Steelheads looking to sign him as James Boyd was looking for somebody to take over from Jack Flinn once his time in the OHL came to an end.

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The Guelph Storm announced the selection of defender Ryan Merkley with their 1st Overall Selection in what is actually Saturday’s OHL Draft. The Storm did so at a news conference held at the Sleeman Center on Friday morning.

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The Oshawa Generals enjoyed their run to becomming Memorial Cup Champions last season after bringing many important pieces into the fold. Roger Hunt and crew sacrificed a total of 11 draft picks to bring in goaltender Jason DaSilva from the Peterborough Petes, veteran defender Dakota Mermis and Michael McCarron from the London Knights, and followed that up with the acquisition of Matt Mistele from the Plymouth Whalers. This time around, the Generals will be doing the opposite as Roger Hunt and staff feel it’s time to recoup some of the draft picks lost last year. (more…)

The London Knights have been extremely active on the phones trying to put themselves in a position to better their roster when the time comes. The Knights need one or two big stay at home, physical defensemen who will help on the PK. Wednesday, the Knights finalized two moves that see 1998 born winger, Drake Rymsha head to Ottawa and 1998 born defender Ben Gleason head to the Hamilton Bulldogs.

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The Plymouth Whalers currently have ten defenders on their roster. With injuries to Alex Peters, Gianluca Curcuruto and Yannick Rathgeb the Whalers are relying on guys like Matthew Watson, Mitch Jones, Mathieu Henderson, and newly acquired Sean Callaghan.

But what happens when these players whom apart from Peters are presumed to return to the lineup within the next couple of weeks, actually do return to the lineup? You start working the phones. This will be the case with multiple players but specifically with Rochester, MI native Mitch Jones.  (more…)

Earlier in the season when the Barrie Colts decided to send a 10th round pick in 2017 to Kitchener in exchange for G Jordan DeKort, we knew that would mean one goalie would be bumped out of the picture in Barrie. That goalie has been Import player Daniel Gibl.

Gibl, a native of Slovakia was selected by the Barrie Colts in the 1st round, 47th overall in the 2013 CHL import draft. He’d been backing up for 2015 NHL Draft eligible goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood, a role that Jordan DeKort will now be filling as evidenced by Gibl’s multiple recent healthy scratches.

Gibl was not available for any immediate comment but I’m going to come out and say there’s probably not the largest market for an import goalie who will also take up an overage spot next season. In fact, there are only three OHL teams with an import spot open as teams are only allowed to carry two at any given time. Those teams include:

  • Belleville Bulls: Seem pretty content with their goaltending tandem of Charlie Graham and youngen, Connor Hicks
  • Erie Otters: Very solid goaltending tandem of Devon Williams and Daniel Dekonig
  • Mississauga Steelheads: The Steelheads also pretty confident in their tandem of Avalanche pick Spencer Martin and Cameron Zanussi
  • London Knights: We know the Knights are searching for a goaltender to come in and be reliable but they currently have their two import spots filled by Finland’s Julius Bergman and Russia’s Nikita Zadorov. However, if Nikita sticks in Buffalo or decides to play KHL like Nikolay Goldobin did, the Knights could turn to Daniel Gibl.

If I was a betting man, I say the 1995 born Daniel Gibl returns home.

The Guelph Storm Guelphsent 96′ born goaltender Matthew Mancina to his Tecumseh, Ontario home early last week in order to let him gather his thoughts and recollect while Mike Kelly and crew try to find a new home for him.

Reports say Mancina has a preference to play closer to home and that may come true as the Windsor Spitfires have inquired about Matthew’s services as have the London Knights. The Storm are asking for a 2nd round pick and a 3rd round pick in any deal involving the goaltender. We’ll see who pays that price.

If you’ve been following me either through Twitter or BBM, you’ll have known that both Brett Welychka and his agency have requested a trade from the London Knights for about a month now. The overage RW is widely regarded as the most versatile player in the league with experience playing every position except for goalie.

Welychka attended rookie camp this year with his childhood favourite Chicago Blackhawks, last year he attended rookie camp and training camp with the Tampa Bay Lightning where he turned a lot of heads and after his first season, he attended rookie camp with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

There have been many teams who have inquired about Brett Welychka’s services however it’s now down to four main players. Those being, the Niagara IceDogs, Erie Otters, Belleville Bulls, and the Owen Sound Attack. Any trade would begin with one player and at least two picks depending on the picks. Brett is an overage player, and out of the four teams that are considered the “main players,” all but one, the Belleville Bulls, would have to clear room, meaning they currently have all three overage players they’re allowed on their roster.

Brett has notched 115 points (51 goals, 64 assists) and managed to record 78 penalty minutes while being a +38 in 195 career OHL games over the span of five seasons.

Welychka is a fan favourite in London because he gives it his all night in and night out.

The Owen Sound Attack are extremely close to finalizing a trade that is believed to involve the Peterborough Petes and include one of either Brandon Hope or Jack Flinn.

These rumours havOwen Sounde been swirling around OHL rinks since preseason. Attack GM Dale DeGray has taken in a couple Petes games this year dating all the way back to preseason when the Petes were in Oshawa on a Sunday afternoon.

OHL teams are only allowed to carry three overagers (94′ born players in their last season) on their roster each year. Brandon Hope classifies as an overager while Jack Flinn is a 95′ born with two seasons of OHL eligibility left.

I spoke will Attack goalie, Brandon Hope briefly today, he didn’t have much to say other than “We’ll have to wait and see.” I went on to ask him if he’d be okay with playing in Peterborough to no response.

It makes more sense for Brandon Hope to head to Peterborough. He’s in his last year in the OHL and he’s looking for a bonafide starting role, he’d get it in Peterborough, where you’ll find a team desperate for some saves. Even if Jack Flinn was the one to go, Hope would not necessarily have the starting gig bPeterboroughecause Michael McNiven is right there chomping at the bit.

What would head the other way? Well, the kicker for Peterborough is the fact that they are currently at their limit of 3 overage players in Josh MacDonald, Michael Clarke and Connor Boland so the deal (if it is Brandon Hope) would have to include one of those three. I’ve been told it would take Michael Clarke and a 2nd round pick to get Brandon Hope out of Owen Sound and in a maroon and white jersey.

If it’s Jack Flinn headed to Peterborough, the Petes are getting a goaltender with a whole extra year of eligibility, compared to Brandon Hope. Therefore, the price is going to be a little higher. I’m told it would take two solid OHL players to pry the 6’8 Flinn out of Owen Sound. Attack GM Dale DeGray had the names: Anthony Stefano, Matt McCartney, Stephen Nosad, Cameron Lizotte all circled when he took in a Petes game earlier this season. Cam Lizotte and Stephen Nosad would get the trade done for me.

Matt McCartney was a late healthy scratch in the Petes game tonight at home Vs. Sarnia.

You can add the London Knights to a team that could use Brandon Hope and have inquired about his services. The Knights now have an overage spot open with the deal that saw Brett Welychka head to Belleville