Saturday, 11 February 2017

The Long Way To Get To Wong

It's amazing how the smallest of deals can change the tide for an organization or a player. Every junior hockey team knows this, as it's always a bit of a mystery what will happen with a young player taken in the bantam draft. Puberty hits the wrong way and a highly-touted prospect can evaporate quickly. On the flipside, puberty hits the right way and a fifth-rounder can turn into a gem. Might I be foreshadowing a bit?

LISTEN: Episode #25 of Canes This Week Let's start on June 26, 2008, when the Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club made what seemed like a pretty meaningless, pedestrian deal. They sent their 1st round CHL Import Draft choice (54th overall) to Official Kootenay ICE Hockey Club for a 7th round WHL Bantam Draft choice. The Ice used that import pick to grab Ales Frieb. He played five games with the Ice before heading back to the Czech Republic. His career highlight came in HC Unicov, where he netted 36 points in 14 games in one season. Not bad... As for that 7th round choice the 'Canes got back, it didn't last long in their hands. On September 28, 2008, Lethbridge traded that pick to Edmonton Oil Kings for forward Brent Henke. The Oil Kings used that selection to grab goaltender Wade Moyls, a 6'7", 181-pound behemoth. But he spent most of his playing career in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. Nothing to write home about. Henke spent a couple of years in Lethbridge, grabbing 30 points in 110 games. Near the end of the 2009-2010 season, the 'Canes decided to send him packing one more time, this time to the The Official Vancouver Giants Page for a fifth-round pick. Henke played 18 games there, then went to the AJHL's Spruce Grove Saints Junior A Hockey Club for a year, before moving back to Lethbridge to play with the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns for the better part of five seasons. That 5th round choice that came back to the Hurricanes? Tyler Wong. Yes, the captain, Tyler Wong. If I'm the Lethbridge Hurricanes, I'm sending the Ice, Oil Kings and Giants a little "thank you" card at the end of the season.

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