(CP) - The Washington Capitals want Karl Alzner to hone his skills in junior hockey, which is good news for the Calgary Hitmen.
The 18-year-old defenceman was returned to the WHL club Monday. The six-foot-two skater from Burnaby, B.C., was Washington's first pick, fifth overall, in the 2007 NHL entry draft and was a prominent player in Canada's dominance of the recent eight-game series against Russia's top juniors.
He'll be back in Calgary for the season opener Friday against the Red Deer Rebels.
Also returned to their junior teams by the Capitals were defenceman Josh Godfrey and right-winger Francois Bouchard. Godfrey, the 34th player drafted this year, scored 24 goals for the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds last season. Bouchard, taken 35th overall in 2006, has been a top scorer for the QMJHL's Baie-Comeau Drakkar.
The Toronto Maple Leafs sent goaltender James Reimer back to the WHL's Red Deer Rebels and right-winger Dale Mitchell to the OHL's Oshawa Generals.
Reimer was the 99th overall pick in the 2006 entry draft and last season was 26-23-7 with a 2.66 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage in 60 WHL games. Mitchell was the 74th player drafted last June after scoring 43 goals and amassing 80 points with the Generals.
The Edmonton Oilers assigned 10 players to their AHL affiliate in Springfield, Mass., including defencemen Rick Berry and Allan Rourke. Berry, 28, of Birtle, Man., has played 197 NHL games and last skated in an NHL game in 2004 with the Washington Capitals. Rourke, 27, also was trying to get back to the big league. The native of Mississauga, Ont., appeared in 11 games last season with the New York Islanders.
Also joining the Falcons were goaltender Glenn Fisher, defencemen Theo Peckham and T.J. Reynolds, right-wingers Colin McDonald and Dave Rohlfs and left-wingers Jacob Micflikier, Stephane Goulet and Geoff Paukovich.