Ams grab Portland's Walter off waivers

By Annie Fowler, Tri-City HeraldSeptember 15, 2011 

KENNEWICK -- With 150 Western Hockey League players at National Hockey League camps, a couple of teams found themselves short of players and were forced to cancel preseason games.

Kamloops canceled Wednesday's game against Prince George because of a lack of players -- eight are at NHL camps and four are injured.

The Portland Winterhawks, who played in the Everett and Tri-City preseason tournaments, found themselves with a short bench and had to cancel their Friday game against the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Portland lost a player to injury and left wing Lukas Walter, 18, was claimed off waivers by the Tri-City Americans.

"He caught my eye at the Everett tournament and when they were here last weekend," Tri-City general manager Bob Tory said. "He was unprotected, and I picked him up. I don't think they are too happy with me."

Walter, 18, who skated against Tri-City last Friday in a 3-2 Portland victory, participated in his first practice with the Americans on Wednesday. He will travel with the team to Spokane tonight for a game against the Chiefs at Eagles Ice-A-Rena.

"This was unexpected," Walter said of the move. "It's a good feeling to be wanted. It's quite a bit of a change from Portland, and the whole system is different, too."

A native of Langley, British Columbia, the 6-foot, 190-pounder played for the North Delta Devils (Pacific International Junior Hockey League) last season, scoring one goal with eight assists and a team-high 188 penalty minutes in 38 games.

In three preseason games with Portland, Walter had one goal and 14 penalty minutes.

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