Tonight is game 3 of the Saskatoon Blades exhibition schedule. The team heads to Moose Jaw for a 7 o’clock puck drop.
After dressing a lineup of mostly 15, 16 and 17 year old’s during a home and home with the Raiders last week, the team is going with an older grouping for tonight’s game.
Travis Toomey, Sena Acolatse and Jeremy Boyer are all drawing into the lineup. All three are 20 year olds.
This decision makes one thing painfully clear for the Blades moving forward, many of the jobs are still up for grabs. The insertion of the 20 year old's shows to me that they, along with the younger players are fighting for the few spots available to them.
The entire 20 year old situation on the team continues to complicate things as it won’t be known for weeks who will be returning to the WHL for next season. Out of the 8 20 year old’s eligible to return, only 3 can stick on the roster. That decision has to be made by the 10th of next month.
10 players are also attending NHL camps starting this week, many of them only being 18 and freshly drafted. It will be up to many of the 16 and 17 year olds to plug the holes left by those players over the course of the next few weeks, including the start to the regular season.
After tonight’s game, two more pre-season games remain for the Blades, including tomorrow night back in Saskatoon against Moose Jaw.
For those interested, tonight’s game will be broadcast live on The Bull, 92.9 FM.