Saturday August 30, 2014






Ranford playing waiting game


Brendan Ranford

The NHL's Philadelphia Flyers have signed at least two forwards in the last few days. But they have yet to sign left-winger Brendan Ranford of the Kamloops Blazers.

The Flyers selected Ranford in the seventh round of the NHL's 2010 draft and has until June 1 to sign him or he will go back into the draft.

Ranford said Monday from his Edmonton home that he has nothing to report but that the Flyers have been talking with his agent, Mark MacKay.

"I'm not sure what's going to happen," Ranford said. "I've been staying out of it and waiting and seeing what happens. If it happens, it does; if it doesn't, it doesn't."

Over the weekend, word got out that the Flyers have signed Derek Mathers, a 6-foot-3, 225-pounder from the OHL's Peterborough Petes, and Andrew Johnston, an undrafted forward from the SJHL's Humboldt Broncos.

Mathers was a seventh-round selection in the 2011 draft, meaning the Flyers had until June 1, 2013, to get his name on a contract. He had 17 points and 177 penalty minutes in 65 games with the Petes this season.

Johnston, 20, put up 81 points in 58 games with the Broncos.

Ranford, who turned 20 on May 3, is coming of a season in which he recorded 92 points, 40 of them goals, in 69 games. Through four seasons with the Blazers, the 5-foot-10, 180-pounder has 270 points in 278 regular-season.

"I would love to be a Flyer," Ranford said. "That's probably my No. 1 choice. They drafted me and they have been great to me."

These days, Ranford said he is working out by himself and also working for Pro Euro Training, a hockey school in Edmonton. That gets him on the ice and working with youngsters, something he said he quite enjoys.

And all the while he is playing the waiting game, without any idea as to where he might play next season.

"I don't know what's going to happen," he said. "If things work out with Philadelphia . . . hopefully, I can play in the AHL. But I haven't really thought about anything about next season.

"I'm just going to work hard during the summer and be ready for wherever I play."

Ranford is one of two players on the Kamloops roster who has been looking at a June 1 signing deadline.

The other was defenceman Austin Madaisky, who signed last week with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who took him in the fifth round of the 2010 draft.

Upon hearing that Madaisky had signed, Ranford said he was quick to send his teammate a text congratulating him.

"After the season we were talking about each other signing and wishing each other the best of luck," Ranford said. "Hearing that he signed, I was pretty excited for him . . . that's awesome for him."

gdrinnan@kamloopsnews.ca

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