Kraus: ‘I knew it was coming.’ Update.

Tim Kraus may have been the least surprised of anyone when he was placed on waivers Friday.

An original member of the Reign, the center from Garden Grove had been a healthy scratch in four straight games.

“I suggested to Karl that I wanted to be moved and he tried to move me, I believe,” Kraus said. “I think I talked to him early in the week. I think he tried to get me into a good situation but it wasn’t going to happen through trade.”

The 23-year-old had five assists in his first five games, but had only one assist and no goals in his last 11.

It was a surprising downward turn considering that Kraus was the Reign’s co-leader in scoring during the inaugural 2008-09 season, when he had 48 points (15 goals, 33 assists). He improved in all the major statistical categories the following season, posting 16 goals, 37 assists and a plus-7 rating.

Kraus looked like he would pick up where he left off when he quickly jelled with Aaron Lewadniuk and Kyle Kraemer, a trio that combined for three goals and eight assists in the season’s first five games. The line was broken up because of a knee injury that landed Kraemer on injured reserve, where he’s been ever since.

“I was playing well with Kraemer and Lewadniuk, we were part of the team’s top line at the time,” Kraus said. “Then when Kraemer went down with that injury I lost the chemistry with those guys. I couldn’t fit in with anybody. … He did a lot of line combinations and I wasn’t able to fit in.

“Off the ice, I was able to fit in great. The whole team’s pretty close.”

Kraus saw his ice time diminish even before he became a regular scratch, which he believes was another difference from years past.

“I don’t think I was given the opportunities as much as I was the last two years,” he said. “Once I got in a slump I was taken off the power play and my role on the team was pretty reduced. I wasn’t able to get my game.”

If he doesn’t get claimed by another ECHL team, Kraus said he would consider looking at the Central Hockey League, then possibly Europe.

“I’ve only been on this team for two years, but I grew with the community and the fans the past two years,” he said. “It’s tough to want to leave but I want what’s best for my hockey career.”

Chad Starling, David Walker, Dusty Collins, Kellen Briggs and Jon Francisco (who is on injured reserve) are the only remaining members of the inaugural team.

3 p.m. update
: Kraemer and forward James McEwan were both activated off IR, and forward C.J. Stretch has been placed on IR. The Reign host the Utah Grizzlies at 7 p.m. tonight at The Bank.

This entry was posted in Ontario Reign/ECHL and tagged , , by J.P. Hoornstra. Bookmark the permalink.

About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.
  • Tom

    Nature of the business. Kraus had a great year in the Reigns innaugral season. He was a clutch performer then, but today, finds himself a victim of circumstance accompanied by low stats.

    Now that the club is struggling and has been since last season, shake ups will occur….and should. Question is, where do they end if no improvement in the win column is acheieved? Sounds like Taylor’s using this to show the team that no one’s safe to be moved, especially now with the waiver of a local kid and a fan favorite for many people here.

  • Bob Terry

    I tend to believe that maybe coach is a little too analytical or maybe he can’t see from the bench what us fans see in the stands. Tim Kraus has taken over where Chris Curran left off with his tasmanian devil approach to the puck and the opposing players. Nobody else on that team, except for D walker, has the much intensity! I am going to miss him and I wish him all the best.

  • Hockey fan

    @Bob Terry: You must have been watching Tim’s evil twin brother playing. The Kraus that played for the Reign lacked hustle, looked lost out there and couldn’t hit worth a lick. Now he can join his brother playing in the SPHL!

  • hockey fan2

    david walker needs to be given a waiver also he turned soft and lazy maybe he is to old but the whole team needs a turn around

  • scattaurus77

    Tim was play over his level, since last year, With no big guns and no one too feed him, he could’nt score.

    I never seen a player at this level that is more afraid to Hit,Check, Dig it out of the Corner ,as Kraus was,His excuse of not getting playing time, is because of his lack of hustle, and willing to play to the level of hockey expected at this level.He’s a Third Year Pro, this isnt Jr Hockey anymore.

    He was one of Four Veteran player on the Ontario Reigns, this was too be his breakout year, he has always lacked Leadership, and it showed this year most of all.He does’nt have any leadership, as a Center he the quarterback out there, but he lost,and more of a follower!!!
    Don’t be Surprised if he does’nt get picked up.Ive watch him for over three years and he gotten worst and not better.

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  • Hoeckey Fan

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