In the pros: J. Schwartz, Prosser, Crabb, Sterling, Testwuide fight video

ProsserFormer Tiger Jaden Schwartz is making a good impression on Blues coach Ken Hitchcock.

He is one of a number of young stars according to NHL.com who may benefit from their  time in the AHL while veterans played in the ECHL, overseas or tried to stay in game shape on their own.

Nate Prosser and Justin Falk look ready to be the Wild’s third defensive pair. Brian Connelly is injured.

Joey Crabb took part in this Q&A.

Brett Sterling scored a natural hat trick in just over eight minutes during the first period of a 3-1 win for AHL Chicago on Friday night.

Wednesday reading: Stuart, Schwartz, Gophers, Yale

stuart celebrationFormer Tiger Mark Stuart has signed with the ECHL Florida Everblades.

Jaden Schwartz improved to No. 20 in scoring among the AHL’s rookies (14 points, eight goals).

A little-used Minnesota defenseman has left the Gophers.

No. 15 Yale 4, Massachusetts 2

Bulldogs goalie Jeff Malcolm made 27 saves to lift Yale to the nonconference win.

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: J. Schwartz leads Rivermen past Sweatt, AHL Wolves

Former Tiger Jaden Schwartz scored two third-period goals to lead the Peoria Rivermen to 4-2 win over the Chicago Wolves in preseason action on Friday in Illinois.

The 14th overall selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft broke a 2-2 tie at 12:24 of the third after forcing a turnover in the offensive zone with the teams playing four-on-four. He added a second unassisted goal, this one on the power play, with just 1:28 left. He stole the puck from Darren Haydar just inside the blue line and then beat goalie Matt Climie between the legs as he was being pulled to the ice.

Chicago’s Bill Sweatt scored a power-play goal against Mike McKenna at 6:14 of the first period.

Here is an NHLPA video you may enjoy:

Tigers stay sharp in practice as Jaden Schwartz looks on

CC captain William Rapuzzi is happy with the sustained intensity shown by the Tigers during their informal captain’s practices this September.

“I am really pleased with the tempo of the practices,” Rapuzzi said. “Sometimes things drop off toward the end. But this year, there has been no dip. The guys are focused.”

The six freshmen continue to impress and some of the returning players – especially sophomore wing  Charlie Taft, who skated with aggression, confidence and showed off an accurate shot – look stronger and sharper as well. Taft converted a beautiful one-timer by the left post on a pass from behind the net from Rylan Schwartz during one drill. Scott Winkler snapped off a memorable tough-angle shot to score high glove side and Andrew Hamburg skated well and created opportunities for his linemates during drills.

Former Tiger Jaden Schwartz is visiting his former teammates and his brother Rylan this week due to the NHL lockout and the resulting gap in his schedule until AHL training camp starts Sept. 28. He watched Thursday’s practice.

“Once the season started I knew it would be hard to find the time to visit,” Schwartz said. “It’s great to see the guys on the team.”

Schwartz is looking forward to playing for the Peoria Rivermen where he can continue to play and improve his game against top professionals.

“A lot of superstars played in the AHL,” Schwartz said. “You can get a lot better playing in that league.”

Weekend reading: Jaden Schwartz, Mankato, Minnesota, NHL negotiations, CHI, NCAA hockey in Lincoln?, outdoor ticket prices

Former Tiger Jaden Schwartz could prove to be a real boon for AHL Peoria if he falls short of making the very deep Blues’ NHL roster.

A BCHL defenseman has committed to MSU-Mankato.

Minnesota players and coach Don Lucia took part in a Q&A session at the state fair recently.

The College Hockey News points out that colleges will likely not benefit from a new NHL CBA.

Here is CHN’s Q&A article with new College Hockey Inc. executive director Mike Snee, who looks to take on a more positive tone than his predecessor. Here is an interview with Snee by USCHO.

This Nebraska-Lincoln student columnist thinks UNL should add Division I hockey now that it is in the Big Ten.  Thanks to Goon’s World for finding that. I love the concept, but believe one of the reasons Nebraska-Omaha dropped football and wrestling was to focus on D1 hockey and avoid those kinds of conflicts with the nearby big school. It seems unlikely any school can afford adding a men’s varsity sport (two with a women’s program needed under Title IX) in the near future.

Wisconsin season ticket holders got a rude surprise when the outdoor game ticket prices were announced.

The Atlantic Hockey Association gave its commissioner a three-year contract extension.

Wednesday reading: Jaden Schwartz, Prosser, future foes, Penn State

Former Tiger Jaden Schwartz, pictured,  is the No. 2 prospect in the St. Louis organization according to nhl.com, but on a deep team like the Blues, that means he may start next season in AHL Peoria. Unless, of course, he has an exceptional training camp that dislodges a proven veteran.

Either way, do not expect Jaden to stay in the minors for long.

Nate Prosser will likely be on the Wild’s NHL roster in the fourth defenseman pairing this upcoming season, according to nhl.com.

Future foes for both Air Force and Colorado College were profiled recently by Inside College Hockey. The most recent articles are about UMass-Lowell’s sophomore defenseman Zack Kamrass of Atlanta and Sacred Heart senior Ben Ketchum and Wisconsin’s Joseph LaBate, pictured.

Vermont fills out its coaching staff.  Penn State gets its second commit in seven days. UMass announced its incoming freshman class.

So when will Jaden play in the NHL?

This full-time Blues blogger suggests that former Tiger Jaden Schwartz will get into his first NHL game Saturday or next Wednesday. He had dinner with the Blues Monday and is available Tuesday night at Chicago.

Here is the blogger’s write-up. Click the link above for the full entry.

Some may question the rationale for using one year of Schwartz’s ELC on the final 15 games and the playoffs rather than opting for an ATO contract and an introductory stint in the AHL with the Peoria Rivermen. The move does break from the protectionist trend of not rushing prospect development. But every such scenario must be handled based on the needs and capabilities of the specific player. Comments from made by General Manager Doug Armstrong today indicate that the Blues feel that Schwartz is mature enough to handle the late season intensity and the uncertainty surrounding the returns of Alex Steen and Matt D’Agostini factored in to the decision.

The opportunity to add a quality difference maker with the only cost being a minimal increase in payroll, around $128,000 prorated for 15 games, is simply one that cannot be passed up. Keep in mind if Schwartz signed an ATO he would only be available to the Rivermen. There is no one on their roster that could be recalled with the blend of skill and hockey sense Schwartz possesses. Not Phil McRae, TJ Hensick, Brett Sterling, or Evgeny Grachev.

Given that a year is being burned off his contract it’s doubtful Schwartz will spend much time in the press box once he gets up to speed. So long as he can assimilate in to Ken Hitchcock’s system. A pretty safe bet he can considering one area of improvement highlighted in our chat last year was how playing at the collegiate level helped his defensive game.

Schwartz will wear the number 9 and is not expected to play Tuesday in Chicago. A reasonable target would be Saturday in Tampa or even next Wednesday in Anaheim. There are not many full practices this juncture of the season and it may be that long till he can get a couple in.

Bluenotes

– No word on if the Blues will sign Jaden’s brother Rylan to an ATO. Since he went undrafted he is free to sign with any NHL team. He could also remain at Colorado College for his senior year.

CC’s Jaden Schwartz will sign pro deal with Blues

The Colorado Springs Gazette is reporting that CC sophomore Jaden Schwartz will sign a pro deal with the St. Louis Blues as early as Tuesday. Here’s the story:

Sophomore left wing Jaden Schwartz is leaving Colorado College for a professional deal with the St. Louis Blues that he’s expected to finalize this week. And his departure opens the door for his older brother, Rylan, to also abandon the Tigers for the pro ranks.

Jaden Schwartz will sign with the Blues – the team that drafted him in the first round in 2010 – as early as Tuesday, sources familiar with Schwartz’s decision told The Gazette. The Blues have had discussions with Schwartz, sources said, since CC suffered a season-ending defeat Saturday to Michigan Tech in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs. Neither Schwartz nor CC coach Scott Owens returned phone and text messages.

If Schwartz sticks with the NHL-leading Blues for their playoff run, his contract would pay $700,000 a year, and if he winds up with the Peoria (Ill.) Rivermen of the American Hockey League, it would net $250,000 a year. Either way, his contract would be prorated based on the length of time he’s on the roster – a contract being negotiated by an adviser to Schwartz, whose NCAA eligibility is gone once he signs a pro deal or hires an agent.

In the pros: Rau called up; Sterling traded to AHL Portland

Former Tiger Chad Rau was called up by Minnesota recently.

The St. Louis organization has traded former Tiger Brett Sterling, pictured at left, from AHL Peoria to AHL Portland, Maine, an affiliate of the Phoenix organization.

Here’s the official release with stats.

Both traded players are former AHL Rookie of the Years,