What Cup Finals? Focus people.
Via the mothership, a happy word on one of the kids.
Vancouver Canucks President & General Manager Mike Gillis announced today that the Canucks have signed centre Alex Friesen.
Friesen, 21, recorded 71 points (26-45-71) and 106 penalty minutes in 62 games played with the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League during the 2011.12 season. Friesen, an alternate captain for the IceDogs, was named to the 2011.12 OHL Third All-Star Team.
The 5’10", 189 lbs. native of Niagara-On-the-Lake, Ontario, was originally drafted by Vancouver in the sixth round, 172nd overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Fun fact: The Canucks got that 172nd pick when Mathieu Schneider was traded to Phoenix and successfully cleared re-entry waivers. On that note alone I hope Friesen morphs into Zach Parise.
Friesen had a strong playoff run with Niagara (who bowed out to the London Knights in five games in the finals) and finished fourth best on the team in points.
Vancouver isn't terribly strong down the middle (cue Hodgson fury right here) so Friesen stands to jump over to the Wolves to fill the middle behind Jordan Schroeder or help offset his loss should Schroeder (finally?) make it to the Canucks. Outside of these two it gets really thin with Prab Rai (who was injured all of last year) and 2011 selection Joe Labate who is at the University of Wisconsin. Mats Froshaug, Taylor Matson and Stefan Schneider round out the mix.
Some final fun facts, first from the Canucks when he was drafted:
Friesen is quick, intelligent, solid on the forecheck and has a penchant for scoring clutch goals as he racked up seven point in five games with the Niagra Ice Dogs last season. Friesen is a point-a-game player, scoring 60 points in 60 games along with 94 penalty minutes.
The centreman finished second on his team in scoring. This season he was awarded the team’s "Heart of the Team" award. In 2008.09 he received the team’s Humanitarian Award. In 2007.08, the Niagara-on-the-lake, ON native was awarded the Ivan Tennant Award as the Top Academic Player.
Some parting words from a 2010 article from the Chiller Instinct:
The 5'9", 189 pound pivot is a hybrid of Canucks' nemisis Dave Bolland and fan favourite Alexandre Burrows.
Case in point:
Like this team isn't hated enough?
Welcome to the party Alex. Good luck.