Tri-Cities Americans’ captain Justin Feser is made of steel. The 20-year-old forward set a new Western Hockey League ironman mark last week when he played in his 312th straight game eclipsing a 20-year standard set by Dwayne Newman back in 1988-92 while playing with the Brandon Wheat Kings and Victoria Cougars. Feser’s current streak began on Jan. 7, 2009, when he was just 16 years old…Mike McBain, the first player the Red Deer Rebels took in a WHL bantam draft back in 1992, was recently sentenced to a minimum four-year prison term for sexually assaulting a female over a four-year period while living in Las Vegas.
Kamloops Blazer defenseman Tyler Hansen is at a cross-roads in his life. As a practising member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints he has been aware and fully prepared to do two years of missionary service for his church once he turns 20 years of age. Hansen, who has been in the league for four years, will turn 20 later this year meaning he has to decide if he is going to return for his final year of junior eligibility or assume his role with the church. He told the media in Kamloops recently he is leaning towards doing the missionary work and possibly returning to hockey at a later date when he attends college.
Saskatoon Blades’ coach and general manager Lorne Molleken became just the second coach in league history to reach the 600-win plateau last week. Molleken has racked up the majority of those wins in two stints with the Blades, but he has had other stops in Moose Jaw and Regina. Molleken is still a long way from catching the leader in that category as Ken Hodge amassed 742 wins with Portland and Edmonton. Two former Prince Albert Raider alumni are in the top 10 list with Bob Lowes in eighth spot with 453 victories and Peter Anholt in 10 place with 450 wins.
Saskatoon Blades winger Josh Nicholls finally got his name on a professional contract this week when he signed a three-year entry-level deal with the New York Rangers. The 20-year-old Nicholls was drafted in the seventh round of the 2010 NHL draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, but was never signed to a deal and when he was bypassed in last year’s draft, he became a free agent. Nicholls has 42 goals for the Blades this year…Lethbridge Hurricanes’ goaltender Ty Rimmer has shattered a number of team records as he has played in the most games, 60, and counting and made the most saves in one season, 1939, and counting. Lethbridge is the fourth WHL team for the 20-year-old Edmonton product as he started his career with Brandon before moving on to Prince George and Tri-Cities.
Legendary Gordie Howe does not turn 85 until Mar. 31, but last weekend in Vancouver the stars came out for a game between the Giants and Hurricanes to help Mr. Hockey celebrate the milestone birthday a bit early. Bobby Hull, Dennis Hull, Pat Quinn, Marcel Dionne and Johnny Bower were all on hand for the opening face-off. Howe is a part owner of the Giants and was in town to raise money for several charities he is associated with…There is a proposal being made to level the playing field for the Canadian Hockey League’s import draft. Presently, elite juniors from Europe negotiate deals with selected teams, but the proposal is to ban the trading of import picks prior to and for one year after a given draft. This did not affect the Raiders when they chose Leon Draisaitl with the second overall pick last year, but it has been a concern in the Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in the past.
Information for the WHL notebook is garnered from submissions by the WHL Writer’s Group.