QUICK HITS: MAY 4, 2017
1) The Elite Prospects website is often a go-to source for finding out the contractual status of players, especially ones coming over to North America from the Europe. The site lists top 2017 NHL Draft candidate Nico Hischier as being on loan
from Swiss team SC Bern to the QMJHL's Halifax Mooseheads after Hischier was selected by Halifax in the 2016 CHL Import Draft and decided to play in North America last season.
This seemed logical. Both Julius Honka and Alexander Nylander went through the CHL Import Draft and were loaned by European teams (JYP Jyväskylä in Honka's case, AIK Stockholm in Nylander's case) to clubs in Canadian junior hockey. As such, both players fell under European player drafting rules and were immediately AHL-eligible despite having played in the CHL in their draft year.
In Hischier's case, however, Mooseheads reporter Scott MacIntosh wrote on Twitter
that Hischier was NOT a loan arrangement but rather a full transfer to Halifax. As such, the player would be subject to the AHL's age restrictions requiring CHL-affiliated players under the age of 20 to be returned to their junior team if they do not play in the NHL.
After Hischier went through the Import Draft, why would SC Bern have NOT acted to protect their contractual control rights by arranging a loan? It turns out that the power was in Hischier's hands all along. According to an article last offseason in SwissHockeyNews.CH, Hischier had a CHL out-clause
in his contract with Bern. Thus, when he exercised the out-clause to play for Halifax, it was a full transfer. No loan was necessary, as his contract with Bern was voided. Hischier himself told Eurolanche.com that he has a junior -- not professional -- contract with Bern that applies through the 2018-19 season
From an NHL development plan standpoint, if Hischier is deemed not to be immediately NHL ready by the team that drafts him, he must spend the 2017-18 season in the Quebec League. It's not a big deal -- all the North American players from the CHL leagues are in the same boat -- but it does remove the flexibility that existed with Honka and Nylander, who played in the American Hockey League right after their draft year.
2) Congratulations go out to Flyers left wing prospect Oskar Lindblom and goalie prospect Carter Hart for winning top positional honors in their respective leagues.
The 20-year-old Lindblom was selected by Ishockeyjournalisternas Kamratförening (the Swedish equivalent of the Professional Hockey Writers Association) as the top forward in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL)
for the 2016-17 season. The SHL Awards will be presented on May 5 and televised nationally in Sweden.
For the second straight season, the 18-year-old Hart has been selected the Western Hockey League's Del Wilson Memorial Award winner as the goaltender of the year
3) Slightly belated happy birthday wishes go out to late 1980s and early 1990s Flyers defenseman Jeff Chychrun, who turned 51 yesterday. "Chych" participated in the Flyers Alumni's trip to Russia back in February and I got to know him a bit during the trip. He's a great guy.
I enjoyed talking hockey and other topics with Jeff during a morning bus ride in Kazan and, along with Shjon Podein, Al Secord and Freddy Cassivi, over dinner in St. Petersburg. My fondest memory of Jeff was seeing him downstairs in the lobby of our hotels early every morning after the Arizona Coyotes played, as he always made sure to be awake to catch his son Jake's game despite the time difference.