The Oklahoma City Barons have recalled forward Eric Hunter and defenseman Dan Ringwald from Stockton. The Barons also loaned defenseman Teigan Zahn to Stockton in the ECHL.
Hunter, 26, signed an AHL contract with the Barons on Nov. 6, but has been playing with the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL. With Stockton, Hunter has 12 points, including four goals in 16 games.
Ringwald has scored five points playing for Oklahoma City and Stockton. Zahn also has split time between the Barons and Thunder.
The Barons, 6-0-1 in their last seven games, open a two-game series Thursday at Houston and will play the Aeros again Friday night at the Toyota Center.
Barons forwards Antti Tyrvainen (wrist), Tyler Pitlick (head injury), Tanner House (head injury), Ryan Martindale (knee) and Josh Green (ribs) remain sidelined, although Green, the team captain, skated during Tuesday’s practice at the Cox Convention Center.
“Antti isn’t skating and still has the cast on,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “Tyler Pitlick and Tanner House still a ways to go but are not far off. Josh Green is really close to coming back. Martindale is starting to skate on his own. Guys are getting better. Josh is probably the closest to coming back.”
Oklahoma City continues a seven-game road trip Thursday and Friday in Houston. The road trip concludes Dec. 8-9 in San Antonio.
“Besides Josh a couple of other guys could be back for San Antonio,” Nelson said. “With these injuries we want to make sure we do the right thing and not rush anybody back. It’s not dire straits like it’s playoff time right now. Plus our team is rolling pretty good.”
The Barons are 6-0-1 their past seven games, collecting 13 of 14 possible points. OKC swept division leader Charlotte last weekend to move to within two points of the Checkers in the South division.
Barons team captain Josh Green, recovering from a rib injury, skated with teammates during Tuesday morning’s practice at the Cox Convention Center. Green has been sidelined the past month after suffering the injury in Oklahoma City’s home opener.
“It’s good when you’re out there on the ice for the first time by yourself but to be out there with the guys is exciting,” Green said. “Hopefully I can keep progressing. It was great to have the boys back in town, even if it’s just for a day.”
In the midst of a seven-game, three-week road trip, the Barons returned home for one practice. The team leaves Wednesday for games Thursday and Friday in Houston.
It’s doubtful Green will make the trip to Houston. The more likely scenario is Green will return when the Barons close out the road trip Dec. 8-9 in San Antonio.
“He looked pretty darn good in practice,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “That’s the debate. We only got to see him one practice. We’ll probably hold him back so we can get into more contact next week.
“He’s lobbying to play. He wants to play. I think he’d be fine but it’s a bit early. We don’t want to risk it.”
Green, a 35-year-old veteran, looks forward to finally returning to the lineup.
“I’ll probably stay here and skate the rest of the week here on my own to try and get in better shape and push myself that way,” Green said. “But I feel I’m getting real close. I think if I could get in a couple more practices with the guys I’d be ready to go. This will give me another week.”
Nelson said Green’s work ethic is contagious.
“I thought our practice was excellent today,” Nelson said. “We had a lot of energy. Having Josh out there certainly helps.”
Barons forward Taylor Hall was named the American Hockey League Player of the Week after recording nine points in three Oklahoma City wins last week.
Hall compiled nine points (one goal, eight assists), three in each game. Hall scored the go-ahead goal and tallied two assists to help the Barons rally for a 6-4 win over the Texas Stars mid-week, then recorded three assists in both of OKC’s wins over the division leading Charlotte Checkers last weekend.
Joining the Barons two weeks into the season following rehabilitation from shoulder surgery, Hall has produced 11 points the past four games. In 10 games with Oklahoma City, Hall has scored 15 points.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, Hall, a 21-year-old winger from Calgary, compiled 95 points in 126 games with the Edmonton Oilers the past two seasons. Still in his entry level contract, Hall is playing with the Barons during the NHL lockout.
The Edmonton Oilers four young stars playing in Oklahoma City during the lockout are showing why all four could be future NHL All-Stars.
Seven weeks into American Hockey League season Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz and Taylor Hall have displayed unique offensive skills that have produced off-the-chart statistics.
Nearly every NHL team last summer made an offer to Schultz, a highly coveted, unexpected free agent who used a loophole to erase being an original draft pick of the Anaheim Ducks four years ago.
Compiling 28 points in 18 games would be a remarkable professional debut for a center or winger. A defenseman? Those type of stats are never seen from a blue liner.
It’s rare for a defenseman to even approach averaging close to a point a game, but Schultz (10 goals, 18 assists) often contributes two- or three-point games. Blue liners don’t finish in the top 10 in scoring much less lead the entire league.
The type of offensive defenseman every NHL team covets to anchor their power play, Schultz last year was playing at Wisconsin University. This year he’s taken the AHL by storm.
Schultz is off to such a sizzling start he’s created a buzz around the NHL. That was never more evident than when he was booed in Abbotsford, B.C. earlier this month because he signed with the Oilers and not the Canucks.
Eberle, who played in last year’s NHL All-Star game, has scored 11 goals and is second in the AHL with 26 points, trailing only his teammate.
A proven goal scorer during two NHL seasons, Eberle four times has scored two goals in a game for the Barons. But he’s also had games he’s dished out three assists. The lightning quick 2009 first-round pick that’s lethal around the net is capable of someday averaging a point a game in the NHL, an elite club.
Nugent-Hopkins probably would have won the NHL Rookie of the Year award last season if he hadn’t been sidelined 20 games. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft also ranks in the top 10 in the AHL in scoring with 20 points in 18 games.
Age 19, in only his second professional season, Nugent-Hopkins has unlimited potential. You can see why Edmonton executives raved about his high hockey IQ.
Hall, the No. 1 overall pick in 2010, already has two year’s NHL experience. He scored 95 points in 126 games the past two years in Edmonton.
Oilers management understandably was cautious with Hall, coming off shoulder surgery last spring. One of the fastest players in the league, Hall’s ability to beat everyone down the ice is unique. Hall’s speed is evident the first time you see him skate.
Hall also would be among the league scoring leaders but joined the Barons during the season. He’s scored 15 points in 10 games with four goals and 11 assists. That’s a pace that would be 27 points if Hall had played in 18 games like Nugent-Hopkins and Schultz.
It will be difficult for the Oilers’ four young stars — ages 19, 21, 22 and 22 — to maintain their current paces. But Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle, Schultz and Hall have consistently found the back of net almost every game, sometimes two or three times a game.
In a weekend sweep of South division leader Charlotte, Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins and Schultz scored six goals. Hall dished out six assists.
Compiling season highs in shots and goals the Oklahoma City Barons romped to a 7-2 road win over the Charlotte Checkers Sunday afternoon at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Jordan Eberle scored his 10th and 11th goals of the season, his second straight two-goal game. Taylor Hall added three assists and Justin Schultz scored his 10th goal and added two assists.
Outshooting the Checkers 47-25, Oklahoma City (11-5-2) has won five consecutive games, including the first three games on a seven-game road trip that continues Thursday and Friday at Houston.
The Barons have collected 13 of 14 possible points their past seven games, including a two-game series sweep against Charlotte to move to within two points of the Checkers, who lead the South division. The only loss during a 6-0-1 streak was in overtime.
Oklahoma City scored three goals in the first period and added three more in the second period. Anton Lander and Chris VandeVelde scored their first goals of the season, VandeVelde’s a short-handed goal.
Schultz’s goal was 22 seconds after Dane Byers scored midway through the second period. Teemu Hartikainen scored his sixth goal of the season and Magnus Paajarvi chipped in two assists.
Featuring three of the American Hockey League’s top four scorers, the Barons have scored 29 goals the past six games.
Schultz leads the AHL in scoring with 28 points, including 18 assists. Eberle has 26 points.
The Edmonton Oilers’ young stars playing in Oklahoma City during the NHL lockout are showing what all the preseason hype was about.
With Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall and rookie defenseman Justin Schultz scoring almost every game, the Barons have collected 11 of 12 possible points their past six games following a 4-2 road win over Charlotte Saturday night.
Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins, Hall and Schultz were involved in three of the Barons’ four goals, including three third-period goals to erase a 2-1 second period deficit.
Schultz continues to lead the American Hockey League in scoring with two more assists. The rookie blue liner from Wisconsin University has 25 points, including nine goals.
Eberle, an NHL All-Star last season, scored his eighth and nine goals in Saturday’s win. Eberle is second in the AHL in scoring (23 points).
Nugent-Hopkins, the No. 1 overall pick in 2011, scored his eighth goal to break a 2-2 tie with 11:47 left in the game. Nugent-Hopkins (20 points) ranks fourth in the AHL in scoring.
Colten Teubert scored his first goal, an empty netter, to close out the scoring.
The Barons’ penalty killing unit has improved dramatically during the 5-0-1 streak. In Saturday’s win OKC twice killed off five-on-three disadvantages.
The Barons’ hot streak has moved the Barons to a tie for third in points in the Western Conference but they’re fourth in the overall standings. Division leaders are listed first, second and third.
Bolstered by a four-game winning streak, Oklahoma City now has 22 points, four behind the Checkers, who lead the South division and are second in the Western Conference standings. The division rivals meet again Sunday at 2 p.m. at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C.
The Edmonton Oilers assigned forward Philippe Cornet to the Barons, general Manager Bill Scott announced on Thursday.
Cornet was assigned to Stockton at the beginning of the season. With the Thunder, Cornet collected 18 points, including 11 goals, to rank in the top 10 in scoring in the ECHL. Cornet also was plus-8.
A fifth round draft choice by Edmonton in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Cornet has played the previous two seasons with the Barons. In 127 games with the Barons, Cornet has 60 points. An American Hockey League All-Star last season, Cornet led the Barons in goals (24).
The Barons opened a seven-game homestand Wednesday night with a 6-4 win over the Texas Stars. They play a two-game series against South division leader Charlotte Saturday and Sunday in North Carolina.
The hybrid icing rule being tested in the American Hockey League is a common sense change similar to monitoring concussions and players wearing helmets.
AHL president David Andrews announced the league’s Board of Governors has voted to continue the current test of AHL Rule 82 (hybrid icing) until the resumption of play in the National Hockey League, at which time it will be reconsidered by the AHL Board.
At the request of the NHL, the AHL Board of Governors in June approved a test through the first five weeks of the season where an official determines which player would get to the puck first and call the play at the zone face-off dots to try and minimize players racing to the puck and crashing into the boards.
The Edmonton Oilers assigned forwards Toni Rajala and Cameron Abney to the Oklahoma City Barons, general Manager Bill Scott officially announced on Tuesday.
Rajala currently leads Stockton in scoring with 23 points, including 11 goals. His goal, assist and point totals are tops in the ECHL among first-year players. His 11 goals ties him for the league lead and 23 points is fourth.
Abney has split time this season between Stockton and Oklahoma City. With the Barons, he has appeared in three games and served seven penalty minutes. Last season, the Oilers 3rd round draft choice (81st overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft split time between Stockton and Oklahoma City. In 46 games last season, he recorded five points while serving 156 penalty minutes.
The Barons begin a seven-game stretch away from home Wednesday in Cedar Park, Texas against the Texas Stars.