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Wheaton making a name for himself in WHL

Published Monday, April 7, 2014, 1:02 p.m. under 2013-14 RWC Reports
Mitchell Wheaton

Mitchell Wheaton (Credit: Marissa Baecker/shootthebreeze.ca)

The Detroit Red Wings have a 6-foot-5, 215-pound defenseman who is quietly developing into a quality prospect on the Canadian Hockey League’s No. 1 team.

Mitchell Wheaton, who the Red Wings drafted in the fifth round, 139th overall, last June, is a key member of the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets, who are ranked No. 1 in the CHL and currently locked in a quarter-final battle with the Seattle Thunderbirds after a 57-11-4 regular season.

The 19-year-old had seven goals and 21 assists for 28 points along with a plus-31 rating in 57 games in the regular season, and has followed that up with three assists and a plus-4 rating in seven playoff contests.

Head coach Ryan Huska described Wheaton as the team’s “most consistent defenseman” in a recent Kelowna Daily Courier article, lauding his vision. Similar comments were made by assistant coach Dan Lambert earlier this season.

“You see how much game sense he has,” Lambert told the Kelowna Capital News in December. “Typically guys his size are more physical and play that big, more brutal game. Mitch does have some of that, but certainly his biggest asset is his vision and his ability to break pucks out of our end.”

Wheaton missed half of his draft year with a serious shoulder injury, but managed to record a goal and seven assists in 39 games.

He is expected to return to the WHL in 2014-15 and the Red Wings don’t have to sign him until June 1, 2015.

The Rockets have a 2-0 lead on Seattle in the best-of-seven quarter-finals

Also on Kelowna’s roster is winger Marek Tvrdon, who started the season in the pros but ended up back in the WHL after struggling mightily. Tvrdon, one of the older players in the WHL, is fourth in team scoring with four goals and three assists in seven games.

Elsewhere in the CHL: Andreas Athanasiou’s Barrie Colts are down 2-0 to the North Bay Battalion in the OHL quarter-finals; Tyler Bertuzzi’s Guelph Storm are tied 1-1 with the London Knights in another OHL quarter-final; and Anthony Mantha’s Val-d’Or Foreurs are tied 1-1 with the Drummondville Voltigeurs in the QMJHL quarter-finals.

NOTES: Mantha won QMJHL’s Michel Briere Trophy as most valuable player to add to the Jean Beliveau Trophy as the league’s top scorer … Center Luke Glendening signed a three-year contract extension this week … Defenseman Ben Marshall (Minnesota, NCAA) will play in the Frozen Four starting April 10. Marshall, whose signing deadline isn’t until August 2015, is second in team defense scoring with three goals and 15 assists in 37 games while leading the team with 61 blocks and 56 penalty minutes … Right-winger Zach Nastasiuk signed an amateur tryout contract to finish the season with the Grand Rapids Griffins. He had no points and one shot in his pro debut … Goaltender Jake Paterson and defenseman Marc McNulty, also on amateur tryouts, have yet to play … Right-winger Mitchell Callahan (Grand Rapids, AHL) suffered a broken jaw, lost 10 teeth and had nine stitches after taking a Ryan Sproul slap shot to the mouth. He had surgery on Thursday. Callahan has 26 goals and 18 assists for 44 points along with a plus-23 and 51 penalty minutes in 70 games. “He’s been one of our best players all season long,” head coach Jeff Blashill told MLive.com. “With all that he plays, obviously it’s a significant loss.” … Right-winger Teemu Pulkkinen (Grand Rapids, AHL) sits tied for fourth in league goal-scoring with 30, while Adam Almquist’s 48 assists rank third … Forward Andrej Nestrasil (Grand Rapids, AHL) was named the Griffins’ player of the month for March. He had 13 points in 13 games … Goaltender Thomas McCollum (Grand Rapids, AHL) won the Griffins’ Man of the Year award. McCollum, a restricted free agent, will likely sign with the Red Wings this summer to share the Griffins’ goaltending duties with either Jake Paterson or Jordan Coreau, assuming Petr Mrazek graduates to Detroit … Defenseman Richard Nedomlel (Toledo, ECHL) has made the most of his time in the ECHL. “He plays with an edge every shift,” Walleye head coach Dan Watson told bcsn.tv. “He keeps it simple and smart. He is a very effective hockey player … He plays hard every night.” Nedomlel has eight goals and 10 assists along with a minus-14 rating in 57 contests … A pro scout told the Edmonton Journal that Alexei Marchenko is the Red Wings’ best prospect defenseman ahead of Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproul. That’s one opinion, but the fact is, all three project as NHLers and each one brings something different. Marchenko is the safest and steadiest; Ouellet has the best blend of two-way ability; and Sproul has the most offensive upside.

Sarah Lindenau contributed to this report.

SKATERS: REGULAR-SEASON REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE LEVEL GP G A P PIM +/- SOG
Almquist, Adam Grand Rapids AHL PRO 69 4 48 52 56 +9 125
Callahan, Mitchell Grand Rapids AHL PRO 70 26 18 44 51 +23 194
Jurco, Tomas Grand Rapids AHL PRO 32 13 19 32 14 +10 91
Marchenko, Alexey Grand Rapids AHL PRO 49 3 15 18 14 +11 34
Sheahan, Riley Grand Rapids AHL PRO 31 8 10 18 12 -2 51
Sproul, Ryan Grand Rapids AHL PRO 70 10 21 31 49 0 145
Glendening, Luke Grand Rapids AHL PRO 18 5 7 12 18 +8 26
Jarnkrok, Calle Grand Rapids AHL PRO 57 13 23 36 14 +19 99
Pulkkinen, Teemu Grand Rapids AHL PRO 67 30 25 55 34 +18 194
Frk, Martin Grand Rapids AHL PRO 48 3 9 12 22 -12 44
Jensen, Nick Grand Rapids AHL PRO 42 0 9 9 6 +15 33
Tvrdon, Marek Grand Rapids AHL PRO 1 0 0 0 0 0 3
Ferraro, Landon Grand Rapids AHL PRO 66 15 15 30 48 -1 180
Aubry, Louis-Marc Grand Rapids AHL PRO 37 2 2 4 16 -1 48
Fournier, Gleason Grand Rapids AHL PRO 24 0 2 2 2 +4 18
Parkes, Trevor Grand Rapids AHL PRO 32 5 3 8 23 +5 46
Nestrasil, Andrej Grand Rapids AHL PRO 66 14 19 33 24 +1 104
Ouellet, Xavier Grand Rapids AHL PRO 67 4 12 16 22 +4 87
Nedomlel, Richard Grand Rapids AHL PRO 3 0 0 0 2 -2 1
Campbell, Colin Grand Rapids AHL PRO 9 1 0 1 5 +1 13
Nastasiuk, Zach Grand Rapids AHL PRO 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Parkes, Trevor Toledo ECHL PRO 27 17 17 34 20 0 106
Frk, Martin Toledo ECHL PRO 15 5 8 13 10 -11 27
Nicastro, Max Toledo ECHL PRO 58 0 16 16 28 -18 112
Nedomlel, Richard Toledo ECHL PRO 57 8 10 18 126 -14 107
Tvrdon, Marek Toledo ECHL PRO 22 9 4 13 6 -8 59
Aubry, Louis-Marc Toledo ECHL PRO 18 7 7 14 10 -4 62
Jensen, Nick Toledo ECHL PRO 3 0 0 0 0 -2 4
Mantha, Anthony Val-d’Or QMJHL CHL 57 57 63 120 75 +34 286
Hudon, Philippe Victoriaville QMJHL CHL 57 19 12 31 75 -1 125
Athanasiou, Andreas Barrie OHL CHL 66 49 46 95 52 +25
Nastasiuk, Zach Owen Sound OHL CHL 62 23 28 51 26 -14
Bertuzzi, Tyler Guelph OHL CHL 29 10 25 35 49 +9
McNulty, Marc Prince George WHL CHL 67 17 25 42 115 -10
Wheaton, Mitchell Kelowna WHL CHL 57 7 21 28 38 +31
Tvrdon, Marek Kelowna WHL CHL 29 11 16 27 24 +8
Janmark, Mattias AIK SEL EUR 45 18 12 30 56 -6 99
Backman, Mattias Linkoping SEL EUR 54 6 15 21 16 +25 68
Melen, Hampus Tingsryds SWE-J20 EUR-JR 11 0 5 5 14 -6 17
Bodin, Rasmus Linkoping SWE-J20 EUR-JR 14 0 2 2 2 -3 5
De Haas, James Clarkson ECAC NCAA 37 6 7 13 18 -12 49
Marshall, Ben Minnesota BIG-10 NCAA 37 3 15 18 56 +9 74
McKee, Mike W. Michigan BIG-10 NCAA 21 1 0 1 54 +1 11
Pope, David W. Kelowna BCHL USHL/JR-A 45 27 23 50 20

GOALIES: REGULAR SEASON REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE GP W L O/S SO GAA SV%
Paterson, Jake Saginaw OHL 45 24 18 2 2 3.41 .906
Coreau, Jared Grand Rapids AHL 5 0 4 0 0 4.39 .873
Mrazek, Petr Grand Rapids AHL 30 22 7 1 3 2.03 .927
Coreau, Jared Toledo ECHL 19 1 12 5 0 4.10 .873
McCollum, Thomas Grand Rapids AHL 44 23 12 3 2 2.32 .920

SKATERS: PLAYOFF REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE LEVEL GP G A P PIM +/- SOG
Pope, David W. Kelowna BCHL USHL/JR. A 6 2 4 6 2
Backman, Mattias Linkoping SEL EUR-PRO 10 0 3 3 6 +2 16
Janmark, Mattias AIK SEL EUR-PRO 9 1 2 3 22 0 20
Mantha, Anthony Val-d’Or QMJHL CHL 6 5 4 9 10 +5 25
Hudon, Philippe Victoriaville QMJHL CHL 5 3 1 4 6 -1 13
Athanasiou, Andreas Barrie OHL CHL 7 3 5 8 0 +3
Nastasiuk, Zach Owen Sound OHL CHL 5 3 1 4 2 -4
Bertuzzi, Tyler Guelph OHL CHL 5 4 1 5 8 +2
Wheaton, Mitchell Kelowna WHL CHL 7 0 3 3 6 +4
Tvrdon, Marek Kelowna WHL CHL 7 4 3 7 4 +3

GOALIES: PLAYOFF REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE GP W L O/S SO GAA SV%
Paterson, Jake Saginaw OHL 5 1 4 0 0 4.67 .889
38 Comments
  1. Patrick says:

    Ben Marshall’s Minnesota Golden Gophers lost tonights frozen 4 game to get 2nd place in the tourney. He finished the game with no points 2 shots, and a minus 1 rating. finishing the tourney with 1 assist

    Since his hot start, Calle Jarnkrok has 1 assist and -1 rating in his last 6 games to end the year…

  2. Graham says:

    Coreau stopped 50 in the Walleye loss tonight. Maybe a few hours with the big boys helped his confidence.

  3. Hockey Fan says:

    are the wings after any college players this year

  4. Patrick says:

    They got one… Colin Campbell

  5. Hockey Fan says:

    wasn t there a big swedish d man or has he sign elsewhere

  6. How is the Campbell kid playing? says:

    How is the Campbell kid playing?

  7. Graham says:

    Can anyone help me out with some Bruins parody pictures. Lived in Boston for close to 12 years and I need some good trash talking supplies. Thanks!

  8. Alex says:

    I am so happy I am a wings fan, cause they are the best at developing talent. Teams like Edmonton who have had multiple 1st overall picks and top 10, still cannot win with the picks. It does seem that the Wings are drafting players more mature, cause it’s going to be hard next year with all the young ready talent to deny them an opportunity (Anthony Mantha).



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