Kyle Wellwood

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Kyle Wellwood
KyleWellwood021612.jpg
Born (1983-05-16) May 16, 1983 (age 31)
Windsor, ON, CAN
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight 181 lb (82 kg; 12 st 13 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Right
Played for Toronto Maple Leafs
Vancouver Canucks
Atlant Moscow Oblast (KHL)
San Jose Sharks
Winnipeg Jets
EV Zug (NLA)
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 134th overall, 2001
Toronto Maple Leafs
Playing career 2003–2013

Kyle Wellwood (born May 16, 1983) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey centre who played professionally mainly in the National Hockey League (NHL). He was originally selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs 134th overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft and played his first three seasons in the NHL with Toronto, before joining the Vancouver Canucks in 2008. After not re-signing with the Canucks, Wellwood played in Russia for Atlant Moscow Oblast of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). He left the team due to family concerns and was signed by the St. Louis Blues. He never played a game with them as he was claimed on re-entry waivers by the San Jose Sharks. After one season with the Sharks, he signed with the Jets as a free agent where he played the final 2 years of his NHL career. Wellwood briefly signed with EV Zug of the National League A.

Playing career[edit]

Minor Hockey[edit]

Wellwood grew up in the small town of Oldcastle, Ontario, just east of Windsor, Ontario, playing most of his minor hockey with the Tecumseh-Shoreline Eagles of the OMHA's Bluewater Hockey League. He moved up to the AAA level and played for the Sun County Panthers of the OMHA's South Central AAA League. At age 16, Wellwood played one year of Jr.B. hockey with the Tecumseh Chiefs of the OHA's Western Ontario Hockey League.

Junior[edit]

Wellwood was drafted by the Belleville Bulls in the first round, 16th overall, in the 1999 Ontario Hockey League (OHL) draft. In his second season with Belleville (2000–01), he put up 118 points, capturing the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy as the league's leading scorer. The next season, he was traded in January 2002 to the Windsor Spitfires for Jason Spezza. As a Spitfire, he tallied 100 points in 57 games, including a 29-game stretch in which he scored 26 goals and 59 points.[1] In his final year of junior, he also received the William Hanley Trophy as the OHL's sportsman of the year, as well as the CHL Sportsman of the Year Award by playing in 57 games without a single penalty minute that year.

Toronto Maple Leafs[edit]

Wellwood was drafted in the 5th round, 134th overall, by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. He turned pro in 2003–04 when he joined Toronto's minor league affiliate, the St. John's Maple Leafs of the American Hockey League (AHL). Wellwood recorded 55 points in his professional rookie season while also appearing in his first NHL game with the Maple Leafs that year. The NHL lockout the following season guaranteed that Wellwood would play in the AHL one more season. On October 30, 2004, he set a St. John's franchise record by scoring 5 goals in one game against the Cleveland Barons.[2] He finished his second season with St. John's in 2004–05 fourth in league scoring with 87 points.

As NHL play resumed the following season in 2005–06, Wellwood joined Toronto's lineup. When captain Mats Sundin was injured in the first game of the season, Wellwood was bumped to centre the first line between Alexei Ponikarovsky and Nik Antropov in Sundin's absence for a month. He posted a career-high 45 points in his rookie campaign. The following season, on December 16, 2006, Wellwood scored his first NHL hat trick in a game against the New York Rangers. He also had two assists that same night for a career-high five point NHL game.[3] On pace to surpass his rookie totals, Wellwood was sidelined for almost half the season and finished with 42 points in 48 games.

Wellwood suffered a sports hernia before the start of the 2007–08 season, and consequently he missed the first 15 games. He returned on November 6, 2007, against the Ottawa Senators.[4] After the Leafs had been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, Wellwood went to Philadelphia for minor surgery on the opposite side of his groin from the first operation, prematurely ending his season with 21 points in 59 games.

Vancouver Canucks[edit]

Wellwood skates against Craig Anderson in a shootout.

During the 2008 off-season, Wellwood broke a bone in his right foot while playing indoor soccer. With his contract set to expire, the Leafs placed him on waivers on June 24.[5] He was claimed the following day by the Vancouver Canucks and was signed to a one-year, $998,000 contract.[6][7] Reporting to training camp, he failed his initial fitness test and, although he passed a later evaluation,[8] he was a healthy scratch to begin the season. On October 17, after having played just one game for the Canucks, he was placed on waivers;[9] after clearing, he was assigned to the Manitoba Moose of the AHL. Because the addition of Wellwood would have put the Moose over the limit for veteran players, Wellwood started looking at playing options in Europe; however, two days after clearing waivers, injuries to the Canucks forced them to call Wellwood up from the minors, and he cleared re-entry waivers 24 hours later. Wellwood took advantage of this opportunity by getting a goal and an assist in a 4-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets and stuck with the club. Later in the season, on February 17, 2009, Wellwood ended a streak of 159 games without a penalty by taking a high-sticking penalty against the Calgary Flames. It was his first penalty since April 11, 2006.[10] Wellwood ended his first regular season in Vancouver with 18 goals and 9 assists. Having never reached the post-season with the Maple Leafs, Wellwood made his NHL playoff debut with the Canucks in 2009 and scored his first NHL playoff goal in game four of the first round against the St. Louis Blues, helping Vancouver complete a sweep in a 3–2 overtime win.[11]

In the off-season, Wellwood became a restricted free agent. After taking the Canucks to arbitration on July 28, 2009, he was re-signed to a one-year, $1.2 million contract two days later on July 30;[12] terms in the collective bargaining agreement did not allow the Canucks to walk away from a ruling of less than $1.57 million.[13] Having earned a reputation in his first Canucks season for a lack of fitness, Wellwood reported to training camp for the 2009–10 season 15 pounds lighter than in the previous year.[14] He started the season on the third line with Steve Bernier and Mason Raymond, a combination that coach Alain Vigneault carried over from the latter stages of the 2008–09 season and playoffs.[14] Wellwood was sidelined early in the season, suffering a broken toe after blocking a shot from Maple Leafs defenceman Mike Komisarek in a game on October 24, 2009,[15] but he returned to the lineup just eight days later, on November 1. He finished the campaign with 14 goals and 25 points in 75 games. He followed that up with a seven-point post-season as the Canucks were eliminated by the Blackhawks in the second round.

KHL and San Jose Sharks[edit]

After two seasons in Vancouver, the Canucks let Wellwood become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2010, opting instead to sign Manny Malhotra from the San Jose Sharks as their projected third-line centre.[16] Wellwood's main goal during the off-season was to find an opportunity to play centre on a scoring line. He accepted an invitation to the Phoenix Coyotes' training camp on a try-out basis.[17] However, he was unable to secure a spot on the Coyotes' roster and was released on October 1.[18] Four days later, Wellwood signed with Atlant Moscow Oblast of the Russian Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).[19] In January 2011, he was released from Atlant.[20] Initially it was believed that he had been released due to performance issues, but it was soon revealed that Wellwood was returning to his hometown of Windsor, Ontario, for family reasons.[21]

Later in the 2010–11 season, he was reported to have signed with the St. Louis Blues; however, Blues officials denied the report, stating that they were unsure where the information came from. Team general manager Doug Armstrong stated that they were interested in Wellwood but they had not signed him.[22] According to a St. Louis-based reporter, the team was waiting for confirmation of Wellwood's release from Atlant before they finalized the signing.[23] On January 17, Wellwood officially signed a one-year deal with the Blues,[24] but needed to clear re-entry waivers before joining the team. The following day, he was claimed by the San Jose Sharks.[25] He scored his first goal for the Sharks on February 1, 2011 in a game vs. the Coyotes. Wellwood's goal tied the game at 3–3 and was considered a rallying point for San Jose as they came back to win 5–3 after being down 3–0.[26]

Winnipeg Jets & EV Zug[edit]

After becoming a free agent in the off-season Wellwood signed a one-year $US 700,000 deal with the Winnipeg Jets on September, 8th 2011.[27] With 47 points on the season, Wellwood set a career high in points, while tying his previous career high of 18 goals in a season. On July 13, 2012 Wellwood re-signed with the Jets for a one year $ 1,600,000 contract. After the 2012-2013 NHL season the Winnipeg Jets did not extend his contract making Kyle an unrestricted free agent. After not catching on with any NHL team, Wellwood signed a one month contract with EV Zug of the National League A. After expiration of the contract, he reportedly retired from the sport with his "heart no longer in the game", though he stated he would explore NHL options before officially retiring.[28]

International play[edit]

Medal record
Competitor for Canada Canada
Ice hockey
World Junior Championships
Silver 2003 Canada

As a junior in his fourth and final OHL season, Wellwood competed for Team Canada at the 2003 World Junior Championships, earning a silver medal. He contributed 1 goal and 4 assists in 6 games.

Personal life[edit]

Wellwood grew up in Oldcastle, Ontario, just outside of Windsor. His brother Eric plays for the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL and was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the sixth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.[29] His sister Michelle is a teacher, like their mother Donna was before becoming a firefighter.

Awards[edit]

Major Junior

AHL

  • Player of the month - November 2003
  • Player of the week - October 31, 2004

NHL

  • 1st star of the week - December 17, 2006
  • 2nd star of the night - April 4, 2011
  • 3rd star of the night - October 22, 2011
  • 3rd star of the night - January 23, 2012
  • 1st star of the night - February 2, 2012

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1997–98 Sun County Panthers OMHA 48 34 60 94 20
1998–99 Tecumseh Chiefs WOHL 51 22 41 63 12
1999–00 Belleville Bulls OHL 65 14 37 51 14 16 3 7 10 6
2000–01 Belleville Bulls OHL 68 35 83 118 24 10 3 16 19 4
2001–02 Belleville Bulls OHL 28 16 24 40 4
2001–02 Windsor Spitfires OHL 26 14 21 35 0 16 12 12 24 0
2002–03 Windsor Spitfires OHL 57 41 59 100 0 7 5 9 14 0
2003–04 St. John's Maple Leafs AHL 76 20 35 55 6
2003–04 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 1 0 0 0 0
2004–05 St John's Maple Leafs AHL 80 38 49 87 20 5 2 2 4 2
2005–06 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 81 11 34 45 14
2006–07 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 48 12 30 42 0
2007–08 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 59 8 13 21 0
2008–09 Vancouver Canucks NHL 74 18 9 27 4 10 1 5 6 0
2009–10 Vancouver Canucks NHL 75 14 11 25 12 12 2 5 7 0
2010–11 Mytishchi Atlant KHL 25 5 3 8 2
2010–11 San Jose Sharks NHL 35 5 8 13 0 18 1 6 7 0
2011–12 Winnipeg Jets NHL 77 18 29 47 4
2012–13 Winnipeg Jets NHL 39 6 9 15 2
2013–14 EV Zug NLA 9 1 2 3 0
NHL totals 489 92 143 235 36 40 4 16 20 0

International[edit]

Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
2003 Canada WJC 6 1 4 5 0
Junior int'l totals 6 1 4 5 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Canucks claim Wellwood off waivers". Vancouver Canucks. 2008-06-25. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  2. ^ "Wellwood's five-goal night named CCM AHL Milestone of the Month". American Hockey League. 2004-11-02. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  3. ^ "Wellwood, Leafs hammer Rangers". CBC Sports. 2006-12-16. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  4. ^ "Senators' 5-1 win over Leafs breaks NHL record". USA Today. 2007-11-07. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  5. ^ "Maple Leafs place Wellwood, Raycroft on waivers". TSN. 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  6. ^ "Canucks Grab Wellwood Off Waivers". TSN. 2008-06-25. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  7. ^ "Canucks sign Wellwood to 1-year deal". Rogers Sportsnet. 2008-07-01. Retrieved 2008-10-18. 
  8. ^ "Wellwood wins battle of the bulge". Globe and Mail. 2008-09-29. Retrieved 2008-10-17. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Canucks place Wellwood on waivers". CBC. 2008-10-17. Retrieved 2008-10-18. 
  10. ^ "Kesler scores twice, Demitra adds shootout winner as Canucks edge Flames". Canadian Press. 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  11. ^ "Canucks sweep Blues with overtime win". 2009-04-22. Retrieved 2009-05-11. 
  12. ^ "Canucks re-sign Wellwood to 1-year, $1.2 million contract". The Sports Network. 2009-07-30. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  13. ^ "Canucks 'not walking away' from Wellwood: agent". Vancouver Sun. 2009-07-29. Retrieved 2011-04-06. 
  14. ^ a b "Loads of potential in Canucks' third line". The Province. 2009-10-01. Retrieved 2009-10-05. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Wellwood suffers broken toe". The Sports Network. 2009-10-25. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  16. ^ Brad Ziermer (2010-08-18). "Wellwood nervously waiting for the phone to ring". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2010-08-18. 
  17. ^ "Wellwood, Other NHL Veterans Enter Training Camps on Tryouts". TSN. 2010-09-16. Archived from the original on 2010-09-18. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  18. ^ "NHL Transactions September 26, 2010 - October 2, 2010". TSN. 2010-10-02. Retrieved 2010-10-02. 
  19. ^ "Wellwood moves to KHL". Sportsnet. 2010-10-03. Retrieved 2010-10-04. 
  20. ^ "Blues Sign Veteran Wellwood to One-Year Deal". TSN. 2011-01-11. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  21. ^ "Wellwood Flew to his Wife". Atlant Moscow Oblast. 2010-11-03. 
  22. ^ O'Neill, Dan. "Blues say no sign of Wellwood". St. Louis Today. 
  23. ^ Strickland, Andy. "Wellwood to the Blues?". True Hockey. 
  24. ^ "Blues ink Wellwood to a One-Tear Deal". TSN. 2011-01-17. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  25. ^ "Sharks Claim Wellwood Off Waivers". TSN. 2011-01-18. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  26. ^ Yerdon, Joe (2011-02-02). "Goal of the night: Kyle Wellwood’s concentration gets him his first with San Jose". NBC. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  27. ^ "Jets sign centre Wellwood: reports". CBC. 2011-09-08. Retrieved 2011-09-08. 
  28. ^ Yerdon, Joe (2013-10-10). "Report: Kyle Wellwood to retire from hockey (Updated)". NBC Sports. Retrieved 2013-10-10. 
  29. ^ http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftsearch.htm?year=2009&round=6

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Sheldon Keefe
Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy
2001
Succeeded by
Nathan Robinson
Preceded by
Brad Boyes
CHL Sportsman of the Year
2003
Succeeded by
Benoît Mondou
Preceded by
Brad Boyes
William Hanley Trophy
2003
Succeeded by
André Benoit