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Kyle Wellwood (born May 16, 1983) is a Canadianmarker professional ice hockey centre currently playing for the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs 134th overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft and played his first three seasons in the NHL with the club.

Playing career

Junior

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. 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

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 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. 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. 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 he missed the first 15 games. He returned on November 6, 2007, against the Ottawa Senators. 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

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. He was claimed the following day by the Vancouver Canucks and was signed to a one-year, $998,000 contract. Reporting to training camp, he failed his initial fitness test and, although he passed a later evaluation, he was a healthy scratch to begin the season. On October 17, he was placed on waivers; after clearing, he was assigned to the Manitoba Moose of the AHL. However, two days after being assigned to the Moose (and before Wellwood had made it to Winnipeg) 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. 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.

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. 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. 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. 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, but he returned to the lineup just eight days later, on November 1.

International play

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

Wellwood grew up in Oldcastle, Ontariomarker, just outside of Windsormarker. His brother Eric plays for the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL and was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the sixth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. His sister Michelle is a teacher, like their mother Donna was before becoming a firefighter. Wellwood's father Rick suffers from bipolar disorder, and Wellwood used hockey to escape from troubles at home. In the summer Wellwood lives in a condo in St. Clair Beachmarker.

Awards

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


Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
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
NHL totals 263 49 86 135 18 10 1 5 6 0


International

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

  1. http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftsearch.htm?year=2009&round=6


External links




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