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Blake Wheeler
Blake wheeler
Position Right Wing
Shoots Right
Nickname(s) "Whoops" or Wheels
Height
Weight
6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
219 lb (100 kg)
NHL Team Boston Bruins
Nationality USA
Born August 31 1986 (1986-08-31) (age 33),
Plymouth, Minnesota
NHL Draft 5th overall, 2004
Phoenix Coyotes
Pro Career 2008 – present

Blake Wheeler (born August 31, 1986) is an American professional ice hockey right winger currently playing for the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes in the first round, fifth overall, in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Playing career

Wheeler attended Wayzata High School for his freshman year, transferring soon after to Breck School. There, during his junior year, Wheeler had his breakout season, putting up a state-high 45 goals and 55 assists in 2003–04. He led his team to a State Hockey Championship that season, and scored a hat trick in the final game.

Wheeler opted to forego his senior year to play in the United States Hockey League (USHL) for the Green Bay Gamblers. After playing one season with the Gamblers, Wheeler entered the University of Minnesota. In 2005–06, his freshman year with the Minnesota Golden Gophers, he recorded 23 points in 39 games, playing alongside future Boston Bruins teammate Phil Kessel. Wheeler is praised for his deceptive speed with his large body frame, and his ability to stick handle at such high speeds.

In the 2007 WCHA Final Five tournament, Wheeler recorded a hat trick in a 4–2 win in the semifinal game against the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the championship game, Wheeler scored the game winning goal in a 3–2 overtime win against the North Dakota Fighting Sioux. The play was featured on ESPN's SportsCenter and quickly gained notoriety for its similarity to the game-winning goal in the 1979 NCAA Championship Game, scored by Minnesota's Neal Broten, also against North Dakota. Wheeler was named the tournament MVP.

Early in the 2007–08 season, following injuries to Ryan Stoa and Mike Howe, Wheeler was named an alternate captain for the Golden Gophers and recorded 35 points in 44 games. At the end of the season, four years after he was drafted, Wheeler had yet to come to a contract agreement with the Coyotes. Given the option, Wheeler elected to become an unrestricted free agent despite a maximum entry-level contract offer from the club.

On July 1, 2008, Wheeler signed an entry-level contract with the Boston Bruins. On October 7, the Bruins made their final cuts for the 2008-09 season and Wheeler remained with the NHL club. Two days later, on October 9, Wheeler scored his first NHL goal, in his NHL debut, against goaltender Peter Budaj of the Colorado Avalanche. Wheeler then collected his first NHL hat trick the next month on November 6, against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Being named to the 2009 NHL YoungStars Game to represent the rookies, he earned Game MVP honors after a four-goal effort to beat the sophomores 9–5.

Awards

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2004–05Green Bay GamblersUSHL5819284743
2005–06University of MinnesotaNCAA399142341
2006–07University of MinnesotaNCAA4418203842
2007–08University of MinnesotaNCAA4415203572
2008–09Boston BruinsNHL812124454680000


External links


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