Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mike Johnston (WHL) Interview...

After limited success on and off the ice over the past decade, the Portland Winterhawks have emerged this season as a legitimate contender among the WHL's Western Conference teams. Yet the 20-12-0-1 record to date during the current campaign may only be a sign of things to come.

The Winterhawks are among the youngest of WHL teams along the blueline. The club recently acquired 20-year-old rearguard Eric Doyle through a trade with the Swift Current Broncos. Prior to the deal, 18-year-old Brett Ponich was the elder statesman on defence.

We discussed the current group of defencemen with General Manager and Head Coach Mike Johnston, as well as the NHL Draft eligible players in Portland. The list includes forwards Nino Neiderreiter, Ryan Johansen, Brad Ross and defenceman Troy Rutkowski.

And, the talented Winterhawks will potentially lose five players to the various international competitions over the Christmas break and through until mid-January. For a look at the entire Portland Winterhawks roster, click right here.

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