With most of the major European leagues off on Thursday because of the Karjala Cup tournament in Finland, this gives us a chance to update some of the happenings in North America. There was one more NHL player loaned overseas while we await the start of the 2020-21 season. The United States Hockey League’s (USHL) attempt to start their season is off to a rocky start while one of the top leagues in U.S. college hockey released part of its schedule.
Canadiens Loan Blueliner to Germany
On Thursday, the Montreal Canadiens announced they have loaned defenseman Josh Brook to the Krefeld Pinguine in the DEL, Germany’s top professional league. He is expected to return for the start of training camp, hopefully sometime in early December.
The Habs drafted Brook in the second round (56th overall) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. He had a very successful junior career with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League (WHL). In 204 total WHL games, he scored 31 goals and 157 points and finished with a plus-92 rating.
Brook turned pro last season and scored four goals and 13 points in 60 American Hockey League (AHL) games for the Laval Rocket. The right-handed defender also picked 43 penalty minutes which were the sixth among AHL rookie defensemen
Three Weekend Series Postponed by USHL
The USHL was supposed to start their 2020-21 season this weekend, but four of the matchups were postponed on Thursday.
The two-game series between the Waterloo Black Hawks and Omaha Lancers have been declared a “No Contest.” The league is working with both teams to try and reschedule the games.
Both home games for the Des Moines Buccaneers have been postponed. Thursday night’s scheduled game versus the Sioux Falls Stampede has been moved to Dec. 21. Friday’s game against the Tri-City Storm will be made up on a later date yet to be determined.
Finally, Friday and Saturday’s games between the Fargo Force and Lincoln Stars have been pushed back as well. They will be made up on Dec. 3 and Feb. 11.
The reasoning for all the postponements was “per league safety protocols, minimum standards were not met” in order to play. With COVID-19 cases spiking in the United States, and especially in the Midwest, these likely won’t be the only USHL games to be forced into a later date.
Big Ten Releases Partial Schedule
In some more positive news, the Big Ten announced the first half of their 2020-21 hockey schedule. Their season is planning on starting next weekend. Each team will play a full 24-game conference schedule as well as four games each against Arizona State University, at Big Ten venues. The season-ending championship tournament will be played between March 18-20, 2021.
Per the official release:
“Big Ten hockey teams will follow the same medical protocols that were developed by the Big Ten Return to Competition Task Force and announced on Sept. 16, 2020, including daily antigen testing, enhanced cardiac screening and an enhanced data-driven approach when making decisions about practice/competition. Arizona State University has agreed to adhere to the same testing protocols as the Big Ten Conference.”
The first game of the season will take place on Nov. 13, with Notre Dame hosting Wisconsin. Their current schedule goes through Dec. 20. The remainder of the schedule will be released at later date.
Brady’s Stunning New Mask
Speaking of Arizona State and the Big Ten, goaltender Cole Brady has himself quite the new mask for the upcoming 2020-21 season. The Sun Devils posted pictures to their official Twitter account as they prepare for their season-opening game against the University of Michigan on Nov. 14.
Brady, born in Pickering, Ontario, was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the fifth round (127th overall) of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. This is his first season in the NCAA after successful campaigns in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) and USHL. He posted a .903 save percentage and 2.79 goals-against average with two shutouts in 39 games for the Force.
We will keep you updated as the North American leagues try to start up again as well as giving you all the prospect news coming out of Europe.
All stats were provided by InStat Hockey.
Greg Boysen has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks since 2010 and has been a site manager for both FanSided and SB Nation. He has been published in The Hockey News and was fully credentialed for the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. Among his various roles with The Hockey Writers are covering the Blackhawks, the AHL, writing the daily “Today in Hockey History” column, serving as a copy editor, and appearing and hosting multiple YouTube shows, including Blackhawks Banter. He is credentialed with the Chicago Wolves, Rockford IceHogs, and Milwaukee Admirals, while also being a regional scout for the NAHL. And, just because his plate isn’t full enough, Greg hosts trivia in the Chicago area two nights a week. For interview requests or to provide topic suggestions, follow Greg on Twitter and reach out.