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.

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:

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,

Tuesday reading: Gannon, Prosser, J. Schwartz

Captain Jaden Schwartz and other national team veterans lead Canada into tonight’s WJC semifinal against defending champion Russia., which defeated the Czech Republic 2-1 in the quarterfinals.

He is garnering praise for his leadership.

“When things are down or going hard, or when practice gets tough, he’s not a guy that hangs his head,” Team Canada assistant coach Scott Walker told the Edmonton Journal. “His chin is always up and he’s got that gleam in the eye. I tell you, it’s those little things that make the difference and that’s why he’s the captain, for sure.

“He’s got that quiet confidence. His demeanor, he walks around the room … he’s a head-up kind of guy, great body language and people feed off of the little things.”

Raffi Torres was suspended for two games for his hit on former Tiger Nate Prosser.

Jake Gannon has missed 21 games due to a concussion and remains out of action for AHL Peoria.

And finally here is a funny video showing some of the Cornell players dancing to an N’Sync hit back in 2008.

Glad to see the Big Red having some fun and not taking themselves too seriously.