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Keith Aulie

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Keith Aulie
Keith Aulie Lightning.jpg
Born (1989-06-11) June 11, 1989 (age 28)
Rouleau, Saskatchewan, Canada
Height 6 ft 6 in (198 cm)
Weight 222 lb (101 kg; 15 st 12 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Left
team
Former teams
Free Agent
Toronto Maple Leafs
Tampa Bay Lightning
Edmonton Oilers
HIFK
NHL Draft 116th overall, 2007
Calgary Flames
Playing career 2009–present

Keith Aulie (born June 11, 1989) is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman currently an unrestricted free agent who most recently played for the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League (AHL). Aulie was drafted by the Calgary Flames 116th overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Aulie played junior hockey for the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League (WHL), and was honoured as the League's Top Scholastic Player in 2007.

Internationally, Aulie played in the 2009 World Junior Championships, where he paired with Tyler Myers on defence and helped Canada capture a gold medal. He was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in trade for Dion Phaneuf, among others, from the Flames during the 2009–10 season. Aulie made his NHL debut with the Maple Leafs in November 2010. Off the ice, Aulie was honoured by the Canadian Red Cross for saving his father after he fell through ice on the family farm.

Playing career[edit]

Junior[edit]

Aulie played junior hockey with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League (WHL), after being selected in the first round of the 2004 WHL Bantam Draft. Prior to being drafted, Aulie played minor hockey with the Weyburn Bantam RedCoat Rams.[1] Aulie made his WHL debut with the Wheat Kings during the 2005–06 season, playing in 38 games and recording two assists.[2] After the 2006–07 season, Aulie was named the winner of the Doc Seaman Trophy as the WHL's top scholastic player.[3] He played in 66 games that season, scoring his first career WHL goal, and adding eight assists.[2] The Calgary Flames made Aulie their fourth-round pick, 116th overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.[2] In the leadup to the Draft, Aulie was ranked 108th overall among North American skaters by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau.[4] Aulie spent his entire WHL career with the Wheat Kings, and in his final season (2008–09), he served as the team's captain[5] and was named to the WHL Eastern Conference All-Star Team.[3] Aulie improved his point totals in each of his four WHL seasons, finishing with 17 points in his third season and 33 during his final season.[2]

Professional[edit]

Aulie signed his first professional contract with the Calgary Flames in January 2009.[6] After exhausting his junior eligibility, Aulie began his professional career with the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League (AHL), the Flames' top minor league affiliate. During his first professional season with the Heat, Aulie's rights were traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, along with Dion Phaneuf and Fredrik Sjöström, in exchange for Matt Stajan, Ian White, Niklas Hagman and Jamal Mayers.[7] After the trade, Aulie joined the Toronto Marlies, the Maple Leafs' AHL affiliate, for the remainder of the 2009–10 season. His season was cut short after only five games with the Marlies, however, due to an injury.[3] He played 48 games during his first professional season, scoring two goals and adding four assists between both teams at the AHL level.[2]

At the start of the 2010–11 season, Aulie was assigned to the Marlies after training camp with the Maple Leafs. He was later called up to the NHL on November 12, 2010, when Dion Phaneuf was injured. Aulie played his first career NHL game the next day against the Vancouver Canucks, playing 12 games total with the Maple Leafs in his call-up before ultimately being returned to the Marlies.[8] Despite the time he spent away from the AHL, Aulie was selected to the Western Conference team for the AHL All-Star Game.[9] During the Skills Competition, Aulie competed in the hardest shot event, finishing third, with a top speed of 95.5 mph.[10] After the Maple Leafs traded defenceman François Beauchemin to the Anaheim Ducks, Aulie was called up to rejoin the team. Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke said one of the reasons for the trade was to open up a spot at the NHL level for Aulie: "...as soon as we get a roster spot, we're calling up Keith Aulie. We expect him to be here for a while."[11] Aulie engaged in his first career NHL fight against Scott Hartnell of the Philadelphia Flyers, earning him the nickname "Muhammad Aulie."[12] He scored his first career NHL goal against the New York Islanders on March 9, 2011.[13]

Prior to the 2011–12 season, Aulie was demoted to the Toronto Marlies. On February 27, 2012, he was then traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Carter Ashton.[14] After the trade, Aulie split time between the AHL level with the Norfolk Admirals and Syracuse Crunch and the NHL with the Lightning.[15]

On July 1, 2014, Aulie signed as a free agent to a one-year contract with the Edmonton Oilers.[16] On December 31, Aulie was suspended for two games as a result of an illegal check to Calgary Flames center Matt Stajan.[17]

As a free agent, Aulie accepted a professional try-out contract to attend the training camp of the Arizona Coyotes on September 9, 2015.[18] A month into the 2015–16 season, Aulie was signed to a professional try-out contract with the Coyotes AHL affiliate, the Springfield Falcons on November 3, 2015.[19] Aulie featured in 7 games for 1 goal over the duration of his try-out before he was released on November 26, 2015. On January 3, 2016, Aulie signed his first European contract, joining HIFK of the Finnish Liiga for the remainder of the season.[20]

Aulie returned to North America in the off-season, and belatedly signed a professional try-out contract to begin the 2016–17 season with the reigning Calder Cup champions, the Cleveland Monsters, on October 18, 2016.[21] After three scoreless games with the Monsters, Aulie was released from his try-out on October 31, 2016. He made a return within the Flames organization on November 3, 2016, signing another professional try-out with AHL affiliate, the Stockton Heat.[22] He played out the campagin with the Heat, adding his veteran presence in scoring 2 goals and 7 points in 54 games.

As a free agent into the 2017–18 season, Aulie again signed late in agreeing to a PTO with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL on October 18, 2017.[23] Aulie made 11 scoreless appearances with the Wolves before he was released from his tryout on November 26, 2017.[24]

International play[edit]

Medal record
Representing Canada Canada
World Junior Championships
Gold medal – first place 2009 Ottawa
Spengler Cup
Gold medal – first place 2015 Davos

Aulie represented Canada internationally for the first time at the 2009 World Junior Championships.[25] He played on a defensive pairing with Tyler Myers and helped Team Canada to a gold medal.[26] Aulie, standing 6'5" tall, and Myers, at 6'7", were nicknamed the "twin towers" by media covering the event.[5][26] After the tournament, Aulie was honoured by his hometown of Rouleau with a steak dinner, as well as by his then-NHL team, the Calgary Flames, when he attended a game against the St. Louis Blues.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Aulie's parents are Bill and Karen. He has a younger sister, Krystal. He attended school in Rouleau, Saskatchewan, until Grade 9, where he helped capture a provincial volleyball championship [26] in addition to multiple provincial track medals. He attended high school at Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox,[6] before he began playing with the Brandon Wheat Kings.

In December 2006, Aulie's father was using a tractor to clear snow off a frozen dugout in anticipation of an outdoor shinny game on New Year's Day. The ice could not support the weight of the tractor, and he fell through. Aulie was able to pull his father out of the water and get him to safety. The Canadian Red Cross honoured Aulie with their Rescuer Award for his act.[27]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2005–06 Brandon Wheat Kings WHL 38 0 2 2 32 4 0 0 0 4
2006–07 Brandon Wheat Kings WHL 66 1 8 9 82 11 0 2 2 14
2007–08 Brandon Wheat Kings WHL 72 5 12 17 81 6 0 3 3 11
2008–09 Brandon Wheat Kings WHL 58 6 27 33 83 12 2 7 9 12
2009–10 Abbotsford Heat AHL 43 2 4 6 32
2009–10 Toronto Marlies AHL 5 0 0 0 6
2010–11 Toronto Marlies AHL 36 3 6 9 61
2010–11 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 40 2 0 2 32
2011–12 Toronto Marlies AHL 23 0 1 1 30
2011–12 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 17 0 2 2 16
2011–12 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 19 0 1 1 13
2011–12 Norfolk Admirals AHL 3 0 2 2 0 18 1 5 6 10
2012–13 Syracuse Crunch AHL 20 3 3 6 34
2012–13 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 45 2 5 7 60
2013–14 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 15 0 1 1 9 1 0 0 0 0
2014–15 Oklahoma City Barons AHL 8 0 1 1 0
2014–15 Edmonton Oilers NHL 31 0 1 1 66
2015–16 Springfield Falcons AHL 7 1 0 1 11
2015–16 HIFK Helsinki Liiga 23 1 4 5 12 17 1 1 2 4
2016–17 Cleveland Monsters AHL 3 0 0 0 2
2016–17 Stockton Heat AHL 54 2 5 7 90 2 0 0 0 0
2017–18 Chicago Wolves AHL 11 0 0 0 6
NHL totals 167 4 10 14 196 1 0 0 0 0

Junior and professional statistics source[2]

International[edit]

Year Team Event Result   GP G A Pts PIM
2009 Canada WJC 1st, gold medalist(s) 6 0 1 1 2
Junior totals 6 0 1 1 2

International statistics source[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wheaties Busy Draft Day Morning". Brandon Wheat Kings. 2004-04-29. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Keith Aulie". Hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  3. ^ a b c "WHL Alumni Spotlight: Keith Aulie". Western Hockey League. 2010-05-27. Archived from the original on 2011-02-04. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  4. ^ "4 Hounds in NHL Draft". Athol Murray College of Notre Dame. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  5. ^ a b Prest, Ashley (2009-01-07). "Wheat Kings captain Aulie back home, with a very nice souvenir from Ottawa". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  6. ^ a b c "Aulie '04 feted in Rouleau". Athol Murray College of Notre Dame. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  7. ^ "Flames trade D Phaneuf to Maple Leafs". The Sports Network. 2010-01-31. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  8. ^ McGran, Kevin (2011-02-13). "Aulie learns to walk Leafs' blue line and fits right in". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  9. ^ "Keith Aulie added to roster for AHL All-Star game". Toronto Marlies. 2011-01-25. Archived from the original on 2011-01-29. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  10. ^ "2011 Skills Competition". American Hockey League. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  11. ^ McGran, Kevin (2011-02-09). "Expect more moves, Burke says after Beauchemin trade". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  12. ^ Hilson, Dave. "Leafs have that winning feeling". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  13. ^ McGran, Kevin (2011-03-09). "Wilson blasts top forwards after Leafs lose in OT". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  14. ^ "Leafs trade Keith Aulie to Lightning". The Globe and Mail. 2012-02-27. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  15. ^ "Keith Aulie, Lightning". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  16. ^ "Hulking d-man Keith Aulie the latest Oilers hire with connections to Dallas Eakins". Edmonton Journal. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  17. ^ "Keith Aulie suspended two games". National Hockey League. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 
  18. ^ "Rookie camp marks start to new season". Arizona Coyotes. 2015-09-09. Retrieved 2015-09-09. 
  19. ^ "Bunting re-assigned to Springfield, Aulie signed to PTO". Springfield Falcons. 2015-11-03. Archived from the original on 2015-11-06. Retrieved 2015-11-03. 
  20. ^ "Keith Aulie transferred to HIFK" (in Finnish). HIFK. 2016-01-03. Retrieved 2016-01-03. 
  21. ^ "Monsters sign defenseman Keith Aulie to PTO". Cleveland Monsters. 2016-10-18. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  22. ^ "Heat sign defenseman Aulie to pro-tryout contract". Stockton Heat. 2016-10-18. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  23. ^ "Aulie signs with Wolves". Chicago Wolves. 2017-10-18. Retrieved 2017-10-18. 
  24. ^ "Aulie has been released from PTO". Chicago Wolves. 2017-11-26. Retrieved 2017-11-26. 
  25. ^ "Canada Roster". Hockey Canada. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  26. ^ a b c "Aulie and Myers give Canada plenty of size". The Sports Network. 2008-12-27. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  27. ^ "Keith Aulie felt fated for Flames in the NHL draft". Calgary Flames. 2007-06-25. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  28. ^ "Player Statistics by Team CAN" (pdf). International Ice Hockey Federation. 2009-01-06. Retrieved 2010-12-05. 

External links[edit]