The Saskatoon Blades pre-season roster was pared from 30 to 26 Wednesday…but only in terms of availability!
Four forwards from the Bridge City Bunch have headed to N-H-L rookie camps/rookie tournaments for at least the next week. Eric Florchuk and Kristian Roykas Marthinsen are both draft picks of the Stanley Cup-champion Washington Capitals. Chase Wouters is a free agent invite with the Tampa Bay Lightning while Max Gerlach received a free agent invitation from the Arizona Coyotes.
Actually, the Blue and Gold only have 25 players available for a pair of W-H-L pre-season games this week against the Raiders…Thursday in Prince Albert and Saturday at the Legends Centre in Warman. Freshman left winger Kyle Crnkovic continues to be sidelined by an “Upper Body” injury. Following is the news release from the Blades…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saskatoon, SK – Four members of the Saskatoon Blades will be departing the Bridge City on Wednesday to attend NHL training camps. Forwards Eric Florchuk, Max Gerlach, Kristian Roykas-Marthinsen, and Chase Wouters have all earned a shot at 2018 Fall Rookie Camps after showcasing their abilities at summer developmental camps.
Eric Florchuk experienced one of the biggest highlights in his young hockey career this past summer when he was selected by the Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft in Dallas, Texas. Eric was selected in the 7th round, 217th overall, while watching from his home in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. Florchuk split last season between the Victoria Royals and the Saskatoon Blades, recording 16 goals and 34 assists for 50 points in 71 contests. Eric will be attending Washington’s fall rookie camp after attending his first NHL summer development camp this past June. Following camp, the speedy winger will join the Capitals rookies in Estero, Florida, to compete in the rookie tournament consisting of three NHL teams: Washington, Tampa Bay, and the Nashville Predators. The tournament will take place September 8th – 11th and will be played at the Germain Arena; the home of the ECHL’s Florida Everblades.
A new teammate of Florchuk’s in Saskatoon, Kristian Roykas-Marthinsen, will also be attending Washington Capitals camp. Kristian was selected by the Blades in the 2018 CHL Import Draft, in round 2, 83rd overall. Originally from Lorenskog, Norway, Roykas-Marthinsen played last season with the Almtuna IS J20 team where he scored 23 goals and 31 points in 23 games. Kristian was selected by the Washington Capitals in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft in round 7, 213th overall, and will be attending his second camp with the Capitals.
Chase Wouters has earned himself an invite back to Tampa Bay after a solid effort at the Lightning’s summer development camp as an invite. Wouters had an excellent sophomore campaign with the Blades in 2017-18, appearing in all 72 games collecting 51 points along the way. Chase will look to compete against fellow Blades, Roykas-Marthinsen and Florchuk who will be with Washington, at the rookie tournament in Estero, Florida from September 8th-11th.
Veteran forward, Max Gerlach, will head back to the desert as a free agent invitee to the Arizona Coyotes rookie camp. Gerlach is coming off his third consecutive 30+ goal season in the WHL, setting a career high with 35 in 2017-18. Max attended the Coyotes summer development camp for a second time this past summer, and will be looking to get himself high on the prospect radar and impress with his natural scoring touch. The “Texan Sniper” will be joining the Coyotes this week where 31 of their prospects will travel to Las Vegas to compete in the inaugural Vegas Rookie Faceoff, taking place at the Golden Knights practice facility, the City National Arena. This tournament runs September 8th – 11th and will feature six NHL teams including: Arizona Coyotes, Las Vegas Golden Knights, San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, and the Colorado Avalanche.
The Saskatoon Blades exhibition schedule continues on Thursday night in Prince Albert when the Blades visit the Raiders, then the two rivals will meet again on Saturday night in Warman at the Legends Centre. Tickets for the game in Warman are available at the Legends Centre and the Blades office for $10 each; proceeds go directly towards Warman Minor Hockey.