The Winnipeg Ice will face the Seattle Thunderbirds in the Western Hockey League championship series. The Thunderbirds defeated the Kamloops Blazers 4-2 Monday night and took the best-of-seven Western Conference final in six games. The first two games of the WHL championship series will take place Friday and Saturday at Canada Life Centre. The series then shifts to Seattle for games three, four and if necessary five next week Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
The Chicago Blackhawks won the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery. The Blackhawks own the first overall pick for the second time. Chicago selected forward Patrick Kane in 2007. The 2023 NHL Draft will be held in Nashville. The first round will take place June 28th, with rounds 2-7 on June 29th. Regina Pats forward Connor Bedard has been targeted as the number one pick of this draft for the past two years and was number one among North American skaters in Central Scouting's final ranking. The Anaheim Ducks fell to the number two pick and the Columbus Blue Jackets have the third overall pick. The Winnipeg Jets will pick 19th in round one.
The Winnipeg Goldeyes wrap up their pre-season schedule today when they play a pair of seven-inning games against the Milwaukee Milkmen at Franklin Field. Last nights game was rained out. The Fish will open the 2023 American Association season against the SouthShore RailCats in Gary on Thursday, May 11th.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers announced signing of four American players in quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome, receivers Otis Lanier and Matt Cole and defensive end/long-snapper Damian Jackson, as well as National receiver Michael O’Shea. Pigrome threw for 1,638 yards and 14 touchdowns with the Towson State Tigers last year, rushing for an additional 574 yards and two more TDs. Lanier spent the last two seasons with the Howard Payne University Yellow Jackets. Last year he had 66 receptions for 955 yards and 11 touchdowns, leading the American Southwest Conference in receiving yards, receptions per game and all-purpose yards. He also nine punt returns for 166 yards and one TD and was a First Team All-ASC selection. Cole was on the Washington Commanders practice roster last year. Jackson appeared in 13 games last year for the University of Buffalo. He made nine starts at defensive end while handling the long-snapping chores. O’Shea joins the Blue Bombers after two solid years with the Okanagan Sun in the British Columbia Football Conference, including helping lead the squad to a 21-19 win over the Regina Thunder in the national championship game last fall -- a game in which he caught a touchdown pass and also had seven returns for 108 yards, earning him the Special Teams Player of the Game award. O’Shea had 28 receptions for 483 yards and eight touchdowns last season, adding another seven catches for 164 yards and a TD in the playoffs. In 2021 he was a CJFL First-Team All-Canadian as a receiver. He is the son of Blue Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea.