Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Salmond successful in solidifying backup spot

Brodan Salmond earned back up job to Michael Herringer 
  • Brodan Salmond (pictured) was pushed to earn the backup spot to Michael Herringer and promptly delivered. The sophomore from Calgary was sharp in two pre-season appearances against Victoria and Kamloops and showed he has taken another step in his overall development as a goalie. Salmond was challenged by 16 year-old James Porter for the #2 duties. Fifteen year-old Roman Basran also impressed, but the Delta product can't play full time until next season, so essentially it was a two horse race between Salmond and Porter. At the end of the day, Salmond's number were significantly better in pre-season despite a rather small sample size. Salmond stopped 32 of 35 shots for a save percentage of .914 and a goals against average of 3.31. Porter, who will be heard from again next fall at training camp, stopped 32 of 39 shots in two games and sported an inflated goals against average of 7.48. 
  • It appears 16 year-old defenceman Konrad Belcourt has made the opening day roster. It has been suggested that a spot was available for a rookie blueliner and it was Belcourt's or newcomer Kelvin Hair's to lose. Belcourt is one of seven bodies on the Rockets d-core, which includes Cal Foote, Gordie Ballhorn, Lucas Johansen, Brayden Chizen, Devante Stephens and Jonathan Smart. Stephens is yet to see any playing time during the pre-season.  
  • The Rockets re-assigned six players on Tuesday. Liam Kindree, Kaedan Korczak, Roman Basran, James Porter, Kelvin Hair and Ted Brennan will play elsewhere this season. With Kindree and Brennan sent to play midget and Junior 'B' respectively, it is a clear sign 17 year-old listed player Jake Cowell has made the team. Cowell had an assist against Victoria and then added a goal in Kamloops on the weekend to solidify his spot on what will eventually be a 23 man roster.
  • Right now the team has 24 players in camp, which mean one cut must be made. That one player move is expected at forward. One rookie who has solidified his spot on the team despite failing to play in a pre-season game is 16 year-old Nolan Foote. Foote remains out with mono but is practicing with the team. The only veteran forward who has yet to dress in a exhibition game is Jordan Borstmayer. 
  • The Rockets welcomed three NHL players to practice on Tuesday. Josh Gorges (Buffalo), Jordon Tootoo (Chicago) and Luke Schenn (Arizona) took part in full drills. Tootoo is often seen going 100 miles an hour during the drills, which only increases the intensity of the workouts.
  • The Rockets will send two players to the Young Stars tournament later this month in Penticton. Tomas Soustal will suit up for the Edmonton Oilers while Dillon Dube will play for the Calgary Flames. Soustal is no stranger to the Oilers, who invited him to an orientation camp in July while Dube was a second round pick of the Flames in June's NHL draft. The Young Stars tournament is at the South Okanagan Events Centre September 16th to the 19th. 
  • Cal Foote had a short summer. The draft eligible defenceman says he took about two and a half weeks off before resuming training following a rookie season that saw him dress in 71 regular season games and an additional 18 playoff games. Foote was busy attending Hockey Canada's summer evaluation camp for the World Junior team.

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