Coetzee with the Toledo Walleye.
November 7, 1990 |
Johannesburg, South Africa
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)|
Grand Rapids Griffins
Willie Coetzee (born November 7, 1990) is a South Africa-born Canadian ice hockey player, who is currently an unrestricted free agent who last played for the Worcester Sharks of the American Hockey League (AHL).
Coetzee, the son of an ultra marathon runner and a semi-pro tennis player, and grandson of a field hockey player, lived in Johannesburg until he was 4. Afterwards he moved to Vancouver, developing an interest in ice hockey watching Pavel Bure's Vancouver Canucks. While also interested in soccer and golf, Coetzee eventually chose to focus on hockey at the age of 17, signing with the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League.
On September 18, 2009, the Detroit Red Wings signed Coetzee as a free agent to a three-year, entry-level contract, and after finishing the WHL season, the Red Wings sent him to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League. In 2011 he was reassigned to the ECHL, becoming a points leader and fan favorite. Coetzee suffered a knee injury in training camp, which sidelined him for the entire 2013–14 season.
Coetzee was not tendered a qualifying offer from the Red Wings, which released him as a free agent. On July 2, 2014, Coetzee accepted a try-out contract with Austrian club, Graz 99ers of the EBEL. After 12 games with Graz and registering just 4 assist, Coetzee was released from his try-out and returned to North America, signing an ECHL contract with the Reading Royals on November 26, 2014. On the Royals top line, Coetzee instantly produced offensively with 12 points in 9 games before he was loaned to the Worcester Sharks of the AHL on December 18.
|2007–08||Red Deer Rebels||WHL||23||2||0||2||14||—||—||—||—||—|
|2008–09||Red Deer Rebels||WHL||72||18||24||42||42||—||—||—||—||—|
|2009–10||Red Deer Rebels||WHL||72||29||52||81||32||4||1||0||1||0|
|2009–10||Grand Rapids Griffins||AHL||2||0||0||0||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|2010–11||Grand Rapids Griffins||AHL||25||0||5||5||8||—||—||—||—||—|
|2011–12||Grand Rapids Griffins||AHL||61||11||11||22||25||—||—||—||—||—|
|2012–13||Grand Rapids Griffins||AHL||1||0||0||0||0||—||—||—||—||—|
- "Competitive Walleye forward Willie Coetzee was born in South Africa". Toledo Walleye. 2012-11-14. Retrieved 2012-11-14.
- "Red Wings sign 2009 draft pick Tomas Tatar, free-agent forward Willie Coetzee". MLive.com. 2009-09-18. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
- "Fans weigh in from World over to select Coetzee as favourite Walleye". Toledo Walleye. 2013-03-24. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
- "Development in minor league system remains key for Detroit prospects". hockeysfuture.com. 2013-09-29. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
- "Press conference of Graz 99ers" (in German). Graz 99ers. 2014-07-02. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
- "Royals agree to terms with Willie Coetzee". Reading Royals. 2014-11-26. Retrieved 2014-11-26.