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CONDORSTOWN, Calif. – The Bakersfield Condors, owned by the Edmonton Oilers, are set for the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2015-16. Every week in the offseason, the team will give you a “What you need to know” synopsis around the world of hockey.
1. AHL DIVISIONS ANNOUNCED; CONDORS IN 7-TEAM PACIFIC DIVISION
- As announced by the AHL today, the Condors will be part of the new 7-team PacificDivision in 2015-16.
- The Pacific Division will be comprised of the five California teams including Bakersfield, Ontario, San Diego, San Jose, and Stockton along with the two Texas teams, the Texas Stars (Dallas) and San Antonio Rampage (Colorado).
- Four divisions will make up the AHL in 2015-16, split into two 15-team conferences.
- The Central Division is the other division in the Western Conference and will feature eight teams including the Charlotte Checkers (Carolina), Chicago Wolves (St. Louis), Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit), Iowa Wild (Minnesota), Lake Erie Monsters (Columbus), Manitoba Moose (Winnipeg), Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville), and Rockford IceHogs (Chicago)
- The format for the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs will be finalized by the Board of Governors at its Annual Meeting in Hilton Head Island, S.C., July 6-9, and the complete playing schedule for the 2015-16 regular season, which begins Oct. 9, will be announced later this summer.
2. AROUND THE AHL
- The Oklahoma City Barons dropped Game 3 of their second round series with the UticaComets (AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks) last night, 3-2. The Barons trail the best-of-7 series, 2-1, with Game 4 set for tomorrow night at 5 p.m. and Game 5 on Thursday in Oklahoma City.
- LW Kellen Jones scored in Game 1 while brother Connor scored in Game 2. Connor is tied for the team lead in goals with three.
- With RW Josh Winquist’s goal last night, a former Condor has scored in each of the three games of the series.
- In the Eastern Conference, the Hershey Bears fell 3-1 in Game 4 last night against the Hartford Wolf Pack (New York Rangers) and are at home on Wednesday, tied 2-2.
- D Erik Burgdoerfer has played every game for the Bears in the playoffs and is +4.
3. OILERS PROSPECTS NEARING MEMORIAL CUP BERTHS
- C Leon Draisaitl, who is 19 years old and was drafted 3rd overall in last year’s NHL Draftby the Edmonton Oilers, had a goal and an assist last night as his Kelowna Rockets took a 3-0 series lead over the Brandon Wheat Kings in their best-of-7 Western Hockey League (WHL) Championship. The winner of the series moves on to the four-team Memorial Cup later this month.
- Draisaitl, who played 37 games with the Oilers this season, is third in the WHL playoff scoring race with nine goals and 18 assists for 26 points in 18 games.
- In the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), the Erie Otters won Game 3 last night thanks in large part to C Connor McDavid who had a goal and an assist. They trail the best-of-7 series, 2-1. McDavid is the projected number one overall pick in the upcoming NHL Draft and leads the league in playoff scoring with 45 points (20g-25a) in just 18 games. He leads the league in scoring by an incredible 17 points.
- In the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), Oilers prospect C Marco Roy, who was drafted in the 2nd round (#56) of the 2013 NHL Draft and the Quebec Remparts have a 3-1 series lead in the QMJHL Championship. The Remparts are already guaranteed a spot in the Memorial Cup since they are the host city.
- Roy formerly played under J-F Houle with Blainville-Boisbriand and has 11 points (3g-8a) in 12 playoff games.
4. DRAMATIC NHL GAMES ON TAP
- The Western Conference is down to the final two as the Chicago Blackhawks and the Anaheim Ducks each won their series in four and five games respectively. There was a nice moment after the Ducks won in OT as Bruce Boudreau, father of 2013-14 Condors Assistant Coach Ben, was seen pointing at Ben and his family in the stands in celebration.
- However, the Eastern Conference picture is a little muddier as the Montreal Canadiens head to Tampa Bay tonight (4:30 p.m. / NBCSN) trailing 3-2 in the series. Montreal has won the last two games of the series. Only four teams in Stanley Cup Playoff history have come back to win a series down 3-0, but it happened last year when the Los Angeles Kings stunned the San Jose Sharks.
- The other Eastern Conference series is already headed for Game 7 after the New York Rangers won Games 5 & 6 against the Washington Capitals. That game is tomorrow night at 4:30 p.m. on NBCSN.
AHL CONDORS MEMBERSHIPS NOW AVAILABLE!
Be part of history as the Condors move to the American Hockey League in 2015-16. Memberships begin for less than $17/month. contact the Condors at 324-PUCK (7825) for more information.