Brian Willsie

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Brian Willsie
Brian Willsie.jpg
Born (1978-03-16) March 16, 1978 (age 36)
London, ON, CAN
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 202 lb (92 kg; 14 st 6 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shoots Right
SHL team
Former teams
Örebro HK
Colorado Avalanche
Washington Capitals
Los Angeles Kings
TPS
Kloten Flyers
KHL Medveščak Zagreb
NHL Draft 146th overall, 1996
Colorado Avalanche
Playing career 1998–present

Brian R. Willsie (born March 16, 1978) is a Canadian ice hockey right winger. He currently plays with Örebro HK of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL). Willsie was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the 6th round (146th overall) of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.

Playing career[edit]

Willsie grew up in the small southwestern Ontario town of Belmont, Ontario and played minor hockey for the local Belmont MHA teams and eventually one year with the AAA Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs. In 1993–94 he played for the Chiefs Midget AAA team before signing for the 1994–95 season with the St. Thomas Stars Jr.B. club of the Western Ontario Junior B League (OHA). With the Stars Brian teamed up with St Thomas native Joe Thornton to help capture the Western Jr. B. League championship.

Willsie began his junior career with the Guelph Storm of the OHL in the 1995–96 season. At the conclusion of the season, Brian was drafted 146th overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. After starring for the Storm in the following two seasons, Brian was named to the OHL First All-Star team and represented Canada at the 1998 World Junior Championships.

Willsie made his professional debut in the 1998–99 season with the Hershey Bears of the AHL, affiliate of the Avalanche. In the 1999–2000 season, Brian made his NHL debut with the Colorado Avalanche, playing in a solitary game on January 9, 2000 against the Chicago Blackhawks. It wasn't until the 2001–02 season that Willsie played his first full season in the NHL appearing in 56 games with the Avalanche.

After spending the majority of his 5-year tenure with Colorado splitting between the AHL and the NHL, Willsie was claimed by the Washington Capitals prior to the 2003–04 season on October 3, 2003.[1] Willsie established himself with the Capitals scoring 15 points in 49 games in a season that was shortened with a concussion

During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Willsie had a brief stay with Slovenian team HDD Olimpija Ljubljana before he racked up a team-leading 24 goals along with 17 assists (41 points) in just 53 games played for Capitals affiliate, the Portland Pirates, in the AHL. The 2005–06 season was a breakout year for Willsie, as he set career highs with 19 goals, 22 assists, for a total of 41 points with the Capitals.

On July 4, 2006, Brian signed a two-year contract with the Los Angeles Kings.[2] After missing only 1 games with the Kings in the 2006–07 season, Willsie suffered a downturn in production and was often an extra forward in the following season, appearing in only 53 contests.

On July 15, 2008, Willsie signed a one-year deal with the Colorado Avalanche, marking his second stint with the team.[3] Brian now a veteran, was re-assigned to captain affiliate the Lake Erie Monsters prior to the 2008–09 season.[4] Only 14 games into the season, Willsie was recalled to the depleted Avalanche where he remained for the season appearing in 42 games and scoring his lone goal for the season on January 21, 2009, against former team the Kings in a 6-5 loss.[5] Willsie re-signed a one-year deal with the Avalanche on July 6, 2009.[6]

Willsie played in four games with the Avalanche early in the 2009–10 season but primarily remained in the AHL to continue as captain of Lake Erie. He set a franchise record and led the team with 26 goals in 75 games.[7]

On July 14, 2010, Willsie signed a one-year two-way contract with the Washington Capitals. Brian was assigned to the Hershey Bears where he spent the entire 2010-2011season with the exception of a one game recall to the Washington Capitals. With the Bears, Willsie had a career year and led the team in goals with 30.

On July 7, 2011, Willsie signed a one-year contract with the Montreal Canadiens.[8] Assigned to affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs, Willsie was named an alternate captain and concluded the 2011-12 season leading the team in scoring with 44 points in 68 games.

After spending the last four seasons primarily in the AHL, Willsie returned for his second tenure in Europe signing an initial try-out contract with Finnish team, TPS of the SM-liiga, on August 21, 2012.[9] During the 2012–13 season on September 22, 2012, TPS extended his contract for the remainder of the season and named him captain. In leading TPS with 24 goals, good for third in the SM-liiga, Willsie was subsequently signed to a one-year contract extension on February 14, 2013.[10] With his intentions to experience various styles of European hockey from the onset, Willsie was then immediately granted permission by TPS to join Kloten Flyers of the Swiss National League A for the remainder of the season with his extension for the 2014 season with TPS still in affect.[11]

On July 9, 2013, Willsie signed a unique dual contract with Croatian club, KHL Medveščak Zagreb, of the Kontinental Hockey League for the beginning of the 2013–14 KHL season. Under the terms of the contract, Willsie agreed to play with Zagreb from August to October, then honour his Finnish contract with TPS. Willsie was signed with a view to commit to Medveščak Zagreb for the following 2014–15 season.[12] After contributing with 5 points in 13 games, Willsie returned to TPS and compiled 25 points in 33 Liiga games before opting to join a third club prior to the transfer deadline, agreeing to a two-year deal with Örebro HK in the Swedish Hockey League on February 17, 2014.[13]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular Season and Playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1993–94 Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs OMHA 39 29 40 69 32
1994–95 St. Thomas Stars Jr.B. WOJHL 45 35 47 82 47
1995–96 Guelph Storm OHL 65 13 21 34 18 16 4 2 6 6
1996–97 Guelph Storm OHL 64 37 31 68 37 18 15 4 19 10
1997–98 Guelph Storm OHL 57 45 31 76 41 12 9 5 14 18
1998–99 Hershey Bears AHL 72 19 10 29 28 3 1 0 1 0
1999–00 Hershey Bears AHL 78 20 39 59 44 12 2 6 8 8
1999–00 Colorado Avalanche NHL 1 0 0 0 0
2000–01 Hershey Bears AHL 48 18 23 41 20 12 7 2 9 14
2001–02 Colorado Avalanche NHL 56 7 7 14 14 4 0 1 1 2
2002–03 Hershey Bears AHL 59 29 28 57 49
2002–03 Colorado Avalanche NHL 12 0 1 1 15 6 1 0 1 2
2003–04 Washington Capitals NHL 49 10 5 15 18
2004–05 HDD Olimpija Ljubljana SLV 14 7 9 16 38
2004–05 Portland Pirates AHL 53 24 17 41 47
2005–06 Washington Capitals NHL 82 19 22 41 77
2006–07 Los Angeles Kings NHL 81 11 10 21 49
2007–08 Los Angeles Kings NHL 53 4 8 12 30
2008–09 Lake Erie Monsters AHL 12 8 6 14 8
2008–09 Colorado Avalanche NHL 42 1 3 4 14
2009–10 Lake Erie Monsters AHL 75 26 31 57 44
2009–10 Colorado Avalanche NHL 4 0 0 0 0
2010–11 Hershey Bears AHL 76 30 38 68 68 6 2 3 5 6
2010–11 Washington Capitals NHL 1 0 1 1 0
2011–12 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 68 18 26 44 88
2012–13 TPS SM-l 48 24 11 35 105
2012–13 Kloten Flyers NLA 6 1 5 6 0
2013–14 KHL Medveščak Zagreb KHL 13 2 3 5 10
2013–14 TPS Liiga 33 11 14 25 88
2013–14 Örebro HK SHL 6 1 0 1 6
NHL totals 381 52 57 109 217 10 1 1 2 4

International[edit]

Year Team Comp GP G A Pts PIM
1998 Canada WJC 7 0 2 2 4
Junior int'l totals 7 0 2 2 4

Awards and honours[edit]

Award Year
OHL
First All-Star Team 1998

References[edit]

  1. ^ "No Takers for Cujo". ESPN. 2003-10-03. Retrieved 2010-02-28. 
  2. ^ "Kings sign forward Brian Willsie". Los Angeles Kings. 2006-07-04. Retrieved 2010-02-28. 
  3. ^ "Avalanche signs McCormick, Willsie". Colorado Avalanche. 2008-07-15. Retrieved 2010-02-28. 
  4. ^ "Willsie channels disappointment into goals". NHL. 2008-10-30. Retrieved 2010-02-28. 
  5. ^ "Kings 6, Avalanche 5". CBS Sports. 2009-01-21. Retrieved 2010-02-28. 
  6. ^ "Avs agree to terms with six players". Colorado Avalanche. 2009-07-06. Retrieved 2010-02-28. 
  7. ^ "2009–10 player rewind...Brian Willsie". Lake Erie Monsters. 2010-07-14. Retrieved 2010-07-14. 
  8. ^ "Hershey Bears lose Brian Willsie". Hershey Bears. 2011-07-03. Retrieved 2011-07-03. 
  9. ^ "TPS receives a substantial gain in Brian Willsie" (in Finnish). TPS. 2012-08-21. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  10. ^ "Willsie continues next season with TPS" (in Finnish). HC TPS. 2013-02-14. Retrieved 2013-02-14. 
  11. ^ "Commitment to the end of the season" (in German). Kloten Flyers. 2013-02-15. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  12. ^ "Willsie and Murley joined to Medvescak" (in Croatian). KHL Medveščak Zagreb. 2013-07-09. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  13. ^ "Brian Willsie ready for Orebro Hockey" (in Swedish). Örebro HK. 2014-02-17. Retrieved 2014-02-17. 

External links[edit]