The Portland Winterhawks will have 15 players, over half of their regular season roster, attending NHL training camps. That number is the highest of any team in the WHL this season.
Of the 15 players, 13 are NHL draft picks. Oliver Gabriel was signed by the Columbus Blue Jackets last October after attending their 2010 training camp as a free agent invitee, while Taylor Peters will be attending the Minnesota Wild’s camp this year as a free agent invitee.
“Attending NHL training camps will be a tremendous experience for all of these players,” said Portland Winterhawks General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston. “Competing against the best players in the world every day will show them what it takes to make it to that level.”
Among the 15 players attending camps are the five 20-year-olds currently on the roster. WHL rules state that teams can carry a maximum of three 20-year-olds on their roster after October 13, which means at least two of those 20-year-olds will not be back in Portland after that date.
The players attending NHL training camps are (name, age, NHL team, draft/free agency information):
Taylor Aronson, 20, Nashville Predators, 3rd round, 78th overall in 2010
Sven Bartschi, 19, Calgary Flames, 1st round, 13th overall in 2011
Riley Boychuk, 20, Buffalo Sabres, 7th round, 208th overall in 2010
Mac Carruth, 19, Chicago Blackhawks, 7th round, 191st overall in 2010
Oliver Gabriel, 20, Columbus Blue Jackets, signed by Columbus as a free agent on October 7, 2010
Ryan Johansen, 19, Columbus Blue Jackets, 1st round, 4th overall in 2010
Joe Morrow, 19, Pittsburgh Penguins, 1st round, 23rd overall in 2011
Nino Niederreiter, 19, New York Islanders, 1st round, 5th overall in 2010
Taylor Peters, 19, Minnesota Wild, free agent invitee
Brett Ponich, 20, St. Louis Blues, 2nd round, 48th overall in 2009
Ty Rattie, 18, St. Louis Blues, 2nd round, 32nd overall in 2011
Brad Ross, 19, Toronto Maple Leafs, 2nd round, 43rd overall in 2010
Troy Rutkowski, 19, Colorado Avalanche, 5th round, 137th overall in 2010
Tyler Wotherspoon, 18, Calgary Flames, 2nd round, 57th overall in 2011
William Wrenn, 20, San Jose Sharks, 2nd round, 43rd overall in 2009
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