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Outgoing Wenatchee Wild Goalies have All-Star Potential

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Outgoing Wenatchee Wild Goalies have All-Star Potential

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May 23, 2012

(Wenatchee, WA) Replacing veteran players who have advanced their careers to the collegiate level is a fact of life in the NAHL. The task is never easy but must be completed each season. Replacing two 100-point scorers, a shutdown defenseman and one of the best goalies in the league is an even more dubious endeavor, but there is light at the end of the tunnel for the Wenatchee Wild.

The Wild said goodbye to centers Shawn Pauly and Ben Carey, both 100-point scorers, top-notch defenseman Kyle Huson and goaltender Greg Lewis at the end of the 2011-12 season. In all, nine active-roster players from 2011-12 moved on after the season to play Division I hockey.

Enter the replacements, a group of 14 skilled tenders that the organization believes will develop into the next all-stars. The Wild also have one more tender in their pocket, which will be used in the coming days. Each NAHL team begins each season with 10 tenders and can acquire additional tenders via trade.

“I think we got a lot of good guys, high-end recruits,” said Rick Ellison, who is the Wild’s head scout. “We really strive to get the best players that are realistically available. Most of the kids on our list had multiple, multiple offers.”

Among the newbies are nine forwards. Two players in particular, centers Nicholas Kuchera and Nolan Sheeran, will be looked upon to help fill the void left down the middle by the loss of Pauly and Carey. Sheeran recorded 59 points (26G, 33A) in 61 games for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres U18 team last season.

“We were very excited to get Sheeran,” said Ellison. “He’s highly skilled, highly competitive and a strong playmaker with very good quickness. Nick is another skilled guy. He has very good foot speed and he’s a finisher.”

Other tendered forwards include: David Powlowski, a teammate of Sheeran’s who tallied 58 points for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres U18 team last season,Jake O’BorskyJay ClarkeNathan FlynnAnthony Olguin, Christian Elsborg and Brad LeLievre. Olguin and Clarke notched 44 and 29 points last season, respectively.

LeLievre and Julian DiFilippo are names that should look familiar to Wild fans. Both were tendered from the Wild U18 squad. LeLievre played three games with the Wild in February. In his very first start with the team, LeLievre scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over Kenai River on Feb. 10. DiFilippo served as a backup last season but did not see any action with the Wild.

One of the Wild’s tenders, Josh Hartley, is a NAHL veteran. The defenseman, who notched 27 points last season, became a free agent when the Dawson Creek Rage ceased operations in April.

“He’s an offensive defenseman,” assistant coach Chris Clark said of Hartley, noting his power play potential. “He’s skilled, very good with the puck and skates well.”

To date, three other defensemen have been tendered, including: Dillon EichstadtDerick Kuchera (twin brother of Nicholas) and Kenneth Miloser.

Most of the tenders are expected to be on hand for the Wild camp that will take place June 29 through July 1 at the Town Toyota Center, Clark said.

More information on each of the Wild’s 14 tenders is included below.

Wenatchee Wild 2012-13 Tenders
Name Hometown DOB Pos. Ht. Wt. Last Team
Jay Clarke Fortson, Ga. June 12, 1994 F 5-7 165 TPH Thunder U18
Julian DiFilippo Pittsburgh, Pa. June 8, 1993 G 6-2 178 Wenatchee Wild U18
Dillon Eichstadt Bemidji, Minn. Feb. 17, 1994 D 6-0 165 Bemidji Lumberjacks
Christian Elsborg Frisco, Texas Sept. 4, 1993 F 5-10 190 Dallas Ice Jets
Nathan Flynn Hastings, Minn. Nov. 26, 1993 F 5-11 170 Hastings High School
Josh Hartley Coquitlam, BC March 26, 1992 D 6-3 185 Dawson Creek Rage
Derick Kuchera Eagan, Minn. Jan. 15, 1994 D 5-8 160 Eagan High School
Nicholas Kuchera Eagan, Minn. Jan. 15, 1994 F 5-9 160 Eagan High School
Brad LeLievre Millcreek, Wash. June 25, 1995 F 5-10 175 Wenatchee Wild U18
Kenneth Miloser Brighton, Mich. July 9, 1993 D 6-0 185 Flint Jr. Generals
Jake O’Borsky Plymouth, Minn. Feb. 4, 1994 F 6-1 190 Benilde St. Margarets
Anthony Olguin Pueblo, Col. Jan. 13, 1994 F 5-10 185 Milwaukee Jr. Admirals U18
David Powlowski Rochester, N.Y. Jan. 27, 1994 F 6-1 170 Buffalo Jr. Sabres U18
Nolan Sheeran East Amherst, N.Y. April 21, 1994 F 6-0 174 Buffalo Jr. Sabres U18

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