In the pros: Hillen injury, Crabb, Prosser, Schwartz, Stuart, AHL

Hillen shootsFrom the Washington Times …

TAMPA, Fla. | Washington Capitals defenseman and former Tiger Jack Hillen left Saturday night’s season opener against the Tampa Bay Lightning after taking a hit into the boards from Vinny Lecavalier.

Hillen’s left shoulder hit into the boards after Lecavalier struck him with what appeared to be a clean check. He was down on the ice and in pain until the whistle blew with 8:17 left in the second period.

Hillen was attended to on the ice but skated off under his own power, favoring his left arm. Hillen did not return. Coach Adam Oates said the defenseman had an upper-body injury but offered no other update.

Hillen, who’s listed at 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, signed a one-year contract with the Caps in July. He was making his Washington debut.

Adam Oates dressed seven defensemen and 11 forwards, so Hillen’s injury knocked the Caps down to the usual six. No penalty was called on the play. Joey Crabb was a healthy scratch.

In other former Tigers news, Nate Prosser logged 12:10 in the Wild’s 4-2 win over Colorado. Jaden Schwartz played 11:59 in St. Louis’ 6-0 win over Detroit, , took two shots, blocked two shots and one hit. Winnipeg’s Mark Stuart drew an early boarding call that set up a Jets’ 1-0 lead on a power-play goal.

Both Richard Bachman and Toby Petersen, who enters his 13th professional season in 2012-13, his ninth in the AHL, are starting the season with the Texas Stars. Petersen signed a two-year two-way contract with Dallas on July 2, 2012.

Kris Fredheim has five points (four assists) in 24 games with the AHL’s Houston Aeros. Brian Connelly had 22 points (20 assists) in 33 games before a recent injury. Chad Rau has seven points (four goals) in 24 games with Houston.

Thursday reading: Tigers in the pros, WMU, WCHA schedule

NHL.com interviewed former Tiger Jaden Schwartz for its regular 10 Questions feature. He has four points (two goals) in seven games with AHL Peoria.

Defenseman Brian Connelly has eight points (six assists) in six games for AHL Houston while teammate Chad Rau has three (two assists) in seven games. Kris Fredheim has appeared in two games for the Aeros.

For AHL Chicago, Brett Sterling has five points (four assists) in six games while Bill Sweatt has three (two goals) in seven games.

Mike Testwuide has one goal in two games so far this season for AHL Adirondack. Gabe Guentzel has appeared in two games for AHL Norfolk.

Here is a column focusing on Western Michigan.

This weekend’s schedule in the WCHA …

Games for Friday, November 2: Nebraska Omaha at Michigan Tech (WCHA), 7:07 pm ET; Colorado College at Wisconsin (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Minnesota State at Minnesota (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Boston University at North Dakota (NC), 7:37 pm CT; St. Cloud State at Denver (WCHA), 7:37 pm CT.

Games for Saturday, November 3: Nebraska Omaha at Michigan Tech (WCHA), 7:07 pm ET; Boston University at North Dakota (NC), 7:07 pm CT; Colorado College at Wisconsin (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Minnesota at Minnesota State (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; St. Cloud State at Denver (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT.

In the pros: Bidwill, Connelly, Crabb, Fredheim, Hall, Lamoureux, Rau, Schultz

Former Tiger Kris Fredheim is in AHL Houston’s training camp, along with Brian Connelly and Chad Rau, pictured.

The ECHL Alaska Aces just got a whole lot better with the addition of three NHL regulars — Anchorage residents Joey Crabb, Scott Gomez and Nate Thompson. Aces fans should send thank you cards to Gary Bettman.

Tim Hall and former Air Force Falcon Jacques Lamoureux are also on the Aces’ training camp roster.

Stephen Schultz is on the Trenton Titans roster while Arthur Bidwill is on the Colorado Eagles camp. Most ECHL camps started Friday.

Tuesday reading: CC season preview, Rylan Schwartz, Jaden Schwartz, Connelly, Rau, Sweatt, Testwuide, Bachman, Hockey East

Incoming CC freshman Hunter Fejes, shown in red during the Coyotes prospect camp,  will be one of the six newcomers the Tigers will look to for big results this coming season.

Colorado College sports information posted its season preview.

Senior assistant captain Rylan Schwartz is one of the top players returning in Division I judging from national statistics. His 0.66 goals per game trails only Maine’s Joey Diamond, who he is tied with at 11 power-play goals last season.

RPI’s Without a Peer blog compiled the stats (ECAC first followed by national) in this post.

Former Tiger Jaden Schwartz was assigned to AHL Peoria so he may continue to develop during the NHL lockout. Brian Connelly and Chad Rau were sent to AHL Houston. Bill Sweatt is headed to the Chicago Wolves as is Mike Testwuide to AHL Adirondack.

Here are five storylines to watch in Hockey East.

There are high hopes for Richard Bachman among the Dallas Stars leadership.

Former Badger Justin Schultz (remember him?) will benefit from the NHL lockout with some time spent with the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons.

NHL free agency: Wild ink Connelly to two-year, two-way deal

The Wild brass continue to make smart moves including this very good depth signing. This was a smart move by former Tiger Brian Connelly, pictured in foreground, who reportedly did not seem a good fit for the Flames organization.

Tiger fans can expect Connelly to make his NHL debut and  spend a little time in St. Paul this season depending on the big club’s health.

He joins Nate Prosser and Chad Rau at the Minnesota training camp later this summer/fall.

Here is the updated list of former Tigers testing the waters of free agency as of 9a.m. MT this July 7.

They are (name, 2011-12 team):  Richard Bachman, (Dallas): Mark Cullen (Florida); Kris Fredheim (Wild); Trevor Frischmon, (Islanders); Richard Petiot (Tampa Bay);  Brett Sterling (Blues), and Colin Stuart (Sabres).

From NHL.com …

The Minnesota Wild bolstered its defensive depth late Friday night by inking defenseman Brian Connelly to a two-year, two-way deal. The move gives the Wild an added weapon from the blue line capable of contributing at the offensive end and displaying outstanding puck moving ability and skating.

The Bloomington native split time between the Abbotsford Heat and Rockford IceHogs last season of the American Hockey League. His 52 points (6-46=52) ranked second amongst defensemen in the AHL.

Connelly has played in the AHL All-Star Game the last two seasons. At last year’s AHL Skills Competition, he represented the Western Conference in the Fastest Skater Competition.

The 26-year-old has played professionally. For three seasons, all in the AHL. Before turning pro, the blueliner was a three-year standout at Colorado College. With the Tigers, he amassed 63 points (8-55=63) and was a teammate of Nate Prosser and Chad Rau.

A left-handed shot, Connelly is listed at 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds.

In the pros: Lampl, Rau, Sweatt

Former Tiger Cody Lampl is now a fan favorite for the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies after recovering from two elbow surgeries this season.

The Minnesota Wild announced Friday that it has reassigned goalie Matt Hackett and center Chad Rau, sending the pair of young players to the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League. Rau, a 25-year-old Eden Prairie native, has produced a pair of game-winning goals in seven games with the Wild this winter. The 5-foot-11, 184-pound forward — the brother of Minnesota Gophers standout freshman Kyle Rau — has tallied 21 points in 47 games with Houston this season.

Bill Sweatt scored, but it wasn’t enough to keep the AHL Wolves’s win streak alive.

Updated Monday reading: Rau, polls and rankings

Wild forward Chad Rau, left, celebrates with Marco Scandella (6) after scoring on Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas (30) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012, in St. Paul, Minn. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Former Tiger Chad Rau fought off some travel problems to make it to Minnesota Sunday in time to score his second NHL career game-winner on Hockey Day in America. Two game-winners in four NHL career games? Not a bad average.

Ryan Lowery scored for ECHL Stockton over the weekend.

Colorado College dropped to No. 16 in the latest USCHO.com weekly poll and USA Hockey Poll (listed at bottom)  and up to No. 19 in the latest Pairwise rankings. The Tigers sit in 14th in the Inside College Hockey rankings.

If you’re an Alabama football fan, you may want to bid on these signed memorabilia and help out the Alabama Huntsville program.

Here’s that video of that ridiculous shorthanded goal by Detroit Lake’s Alex Mason, who lives on the White Earth reservation in Minnesota and has not made a decision about his post-prep future.

The rink at the Kohl Center will be named after “Badger Bob” Johnson, a former CC coach.

Here’s the USA Hockey poll:

USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings

1 Ferris State (36) 22- 8-4 979 1
2 Boston College (11) 21-10-1 939 3
3 Michigan ( 3) 20-10-4 860 5
4 Minnesota-Duluth 20- 7-5 836 4
5 Boston University 18-11-1 757 2
6 Minnesota 21-11-1 748 7
7 UMass-Lowell 20- 9-0 736 6
8 Union 19- 6-7 677 8
9 Denver 18-10-4 521 10
10 Maine 18-10-3 511 11
11 Cornell 14- 6-7 472 12
12 Merrimack 15- 9-6 434 9
13 Michigan State 18-12-4 388 16
14 North Dakota 17-11-3 384 14
15 Miami 19-13-2 331 19
16 Colorado College 16-12-2 254 15
17 Ohio State 15-11-5 227 17
18 Notre Dame 16-15-3 140 13
19 Western Michigan 16-13-5 133 18
20 Colgate 17-12-3 52 NR