The Neely Cup will be back this year, but with a three-game and three-team battle. The teams named after former Winterhawks will be (Johnathan) Ludvig, (Keegan) Iverson, and (Aidin) Hill. The Cup is named after Cam Neely, a major force in Hawks history, with the first Memorial Cup in 1983.
The games will be played Thursday to Saturday, starting at 3 and ending at about 7. Each will be 1-hour running clock games as in previous years. The Sunday championship series will begin at 9 am and end at about 1. There will be a half-hour break between games, but that will most likely be tighter if they have overtimes or stoppages of the clock in the last two minutes. The Hawks have not identified parking or who will be on which rosters, but you can expect a great mixing of prospects and veterans on each team.
The cost of the games will be FREE to the public, so make sure you can check this out!
There will be no Fan Fest this year, but there will be games, lots of them in the Neely Cup, to get your hockey fix on.
The Rosebuds Dance team will be back but on a smaller scale. They will host auditions in late August and announce the winners on September 1st. The link to try out is here. https://winterhawks.com/rosebuds-auditions
A couple of notes from former Hawks, Mason Mannek, has resigned with the Utah Grizzlies of the ECH:L. He played there last year and was strong enough to get a new deal.
Skyler MacKenzie has signed on in Sweden. He played the past three seasons with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL, the farm team for the Winnipeg Jets. Now he’s headed to Sweden with Västerviks IK. A one-year deal there for the now 23-year-old.
Dan DiSilva, who played with the Hawks from 2002-2005, has been named an Assistant Coach of the WHL Saskatoon Blades. DiSilva played 383 professional games in his career and now becomes an assistant coach in the WHL.
Portland will also have a prospect who played in two seasons of Neely Cup games in 2018 and 2019. Dawson Pasternek, who played the past season and a half with the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League, has committed to Portland for the upcoming year. He would be draft-eligible, and with the high potent offense of the Winterhawks, he will fit in very well. After tallying 37 points in 86 games with the Steel, the Winnipeg, Manitoba native is ready to light the lamp this upcoming season.
Josh Critzer of PNWHockey reports that goaltender Jesper Wallstedt will not be heading to Portland after all. Dante Giannuzzi will instead look to be the number one goalie. The Hawks traded a sixth-round selection to Moose Jaw Warriors for the rights to Wallsted in the hopes of having him gain experience in the North American smaller arena. Minnesota, which drafted him 20th overall, apparently had other plans, and Wallsted looks to be staying to play for Lulea HF in Sweden.