Holiday break means player movement for Jr. Blues
The Jr. Blues took a much needed break over the holiday, but several players found themselves with other opportunities. Leading the way was defenseman Tyler Opilka. Opilka was in the middle of his second season for the Jr. Blues and had notched 20 points in 29 games, and amazing +41. After agreeing to sign an affiliated player agreement with Springfield, they decided to move Opilka up this season to finish the year in Springfield.
Head Coach J.P. Beilsten said, "Tyler and I sat down with his family and looked at the options. We all came to the conclusion that if he wanted to progress, he should make the move now. Both Tyler and Springfield were concerned about what that would do to our roster, but our goal is to move kids on. Whether it is this year or next."
In addition, 3 other players were used as temporary call-ups in Fairbanks and Odessa. Opilka's defense partner Kyle Meeh had been receiving a lot of attention. As a 1995 birth year averaging just under a point a game and a +28, Meeh attracted the attention of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. After spending a week skating with the Tier II team, and skating in two games, the Ice Dogs offered Meeh a tender for the 2013-14 season. Beilsten said, "The distance was something that we needed to consider. That's why I suggested he spend the week. He needed to be sure he was comfortable there. Fairbanks has a great reputation for moving players on, so Kyle accepted the tender."
Finally, 1996 birth year Brycon Johnson and 1995 year Cody Guidorzi made a holiday trip to Odessa to skate with the Jackalopes. Johnson and Guidorzi are tied for the team lead in scoring with 32 points, along with Mike Lozano. Both players stayed for the weekend and saw action against the Amarillo Bulls. No word at this point on tenders or affiliations for this year or next.