Kyle Wellwood : biography
Kyle Wellwood (born May 16, 1983) is a Canadian professional ice hockey centre who plays for the Winnipeg Jets of 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.
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.http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftsearch.htm?year=2009&round=6 His sister Michelle is a teacher, like their mother Donna was before becoming a firefighter. Wellwood used hockey to escape from troubles at home. Wellwood and his fiancee, Bianca, became parents March 28, 2011 when their son, Roman, was born nine weeks ahead of schedule.http://blogs.mercurynews.com/sharks/2011/03/30/sharks-clinch-playoff-spot-by-beating-dallas-marc-crawford-on-steve-ott-kyle-wellwood-now-a-dad/
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.
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 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. 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 consequently 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.
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