Prospects update: MacMillan injured, McCue down.

Rookie forward Matt McCue has been re-assigned by the Ducks from the AHL’s Manitoba Moose to ECHL affiliate Bakersfield. McCue, whom the Ducks signed out of the Western Hockey League in Dec. 2008, had one goal and 24 penalty minutes in 10 games in Manitoba, where he had limited playing time.

He’ll get more of an opportunity in Bakersfield, typically more of a run-and-gun team that could use an enforcer — which is what the 6-foot-5, 218-pounder projects to in the NHL.

“He’s going to go to Bakersfield and get that chance to play regularly and learn his trade,” Moose head coach Scott Arniel told the Winnipeg Sun. “And part of his trade is learning to fight. It’s part of the element that he has to continue to get stronger at.”

Meanwhile, the Condors transfered forward Logan MacMillan to 21-day injured reserve today. The former first-round draft pick reported back spasms and was placed on 7-day IR prior to Saturday, when he missed his first game of the ECHL season. MacMillan had two goals and six points in 30 games with Bakersfield.

Ducks’ goalie prospect scores a goal.

Timo Pielmeier has been having a good season so far for the Bakersfield Condors, the Ducks’ ECHL affiliate. Saturday night, he added the goaltender’s ultimate exclamation point by scoring a goal in the Condors’ 6-4 win over the Utah Grizzlies.

With Utah goalie Parker Van Buskirk off for an extra attacker,Pielmeier fired the puckthe length of the ice to score with 5 seconds left.Pielmeier made 26 saves for the victory.

The 20-year-old from Germanywasdrafted 83rd overall by San Jose in 2007, then traded to Anaheim lastMarch in the deal that sent Travis Moen and Kent Huskins to the Sharks. In 20 games for Bakersfield, he’s 12-5-2 with a 2.79 goals-against average.

Breaking down Dan Sexton’s breakout performance.

Cut by his junior team at age 19, signed as an undrafted free agent, and standing 5-foot-9 on a good day, Dan Sexton is the last guy anyone would expect to become the Ducks’ brightest spot in a dismal season.

Just ask Sexton himself.

“Three or four years ago,” he said, “I was in no position to even dream about this.”

Which sort of explains his reaction to each of his goals Tuesday, the first two of his NHL career.

Continue reading “Breaking down Dan Sexton’s breakout performance.” »

Bickel, Sharp reassigned.

Center MacGregor Sharp and defenseman Stu Bickel have been reassigned from the Ducks’ ECHL affiliate in Bakersfield to the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League.

It will be the first taste of AHL hockey this season for both players. Sharp began the season in Bakersfield before earning an eight-game cup of coffee in Anaheim following the injuries to Kyle Calder and Ryan Carter. Sharp was sent down last week, when the Ducks acquired Kyle Chipchura from Ottawa to center the fourth line, and did not score during his first NHL stint. In 15 games with Bakersfield, the 24-year-old center had four goals and 14 points.

Bickel, 23, had one goal and 12 points, as well as 44 penalty minutes, in 22 games for the Condors. A free-agent signee out of the University of Minnesota, Bickel played 21 games last season for the Iowa Chops, logging one assist.

The Rampage are the AHL affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes.

Sharp heading back to Bakersfield.

MacGregor Sharp’s first taste of the NHL lasted eight games. Having traded for Kyle Chipchura to center their fourth line, Sharp became expendable and was returned to ECHL affiliate Bakersfield on Saturday.

The 24-year-old appeared in eight games for the Ducks this season, going scoreless with six shots on net. Recalled from Bakersfield on Nov. 18, Sharp made his NHL debut on Nov. 19 vs. Tampa Bay. He began the season with the Condors, collecting four goals and 14 points with 10 penalty minutes in 15 games. At the time of his recall, Sharp was tied for the team lead in assists and appearances, ranked second in shots (48) and tied for second in scoring and points-per-game (0.93).

Another goalie prospect is goalie of the month.

This time it’s Timo Pielmeier, who crowded Jean-Phillippe Levasseur out of a job in Bakersfield, picking up the ECHL’s goaltender of the month award. Levasseur was named goalie of the month in the Central Hockey League yesterday.

Pielmeier, 20, went 6-1-0 during the month, boasting a 2.07 goals-against average and a.925 save percentage in eight appearances. The German-born netminder ranks ninth in the ECHL with a 2.78 GAA and is third in the league with eight wins, one shy of the ECHL lead. Pielmeier has more appearances than any other rookie goalie, and is sixth in the league with 713 minutes played.

Sharp recalled; Koivu, Carter to IR.

Center MacGregor Sharp has been recalled from the Bakersfield Condors, the Ducks’ ECHL affiliate, while centers Saku Koivu and Ryan Carter have been placed on injured reserve retroactive to their last appearance — Nov. 11 for Carter and Nov. 7 for Koivu.

The 24-year-old Sharp ranked second on the Condors in points (14) and first in assists (10) through 15 games at the time of his recall. Signed as an undrafted free agent to a two-year entry-level contract on Mar. 31, Sharp finished tied for fourth in the nation last season with 50 points (26 goals) in 43 games with the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Sharp also ranked second in the country in goals.

Koivu has been battling a groin injury, while Carter is recovering from a bruised foot. Both would be eligible to play tomorrow against the Tampa Bay Lightning.