Four Walleye called up to AHLWritten by Vincent D. Scebbi | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to injuries at the next level, the Toledo Walleye saw four players get called up to the American Hockey League on Dec. 17.
Forwards Andrej Nestrasil and Luke Glendening along with defenseman Gleason Fournier have been reassigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins, the AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings. In addition, the Chicago Blackhawks sent forward Philippe Paradis to its AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs.
Walleye head coach Nick Vitucci said that while he was expecting Paradis and Fournier to be leaving around now, seeing Nestrasil and Glendening — two of Toledo’s highest point collectors — leave was a “well-deserved surprise.”
“They have been fantastic for us and deserve the opportunity to at least showcase their abilities at the next level,” he said. “We’re thrilled for them.”
As far as filling the empty slots, the Walleye already received forward and former Bowling Green State University player Brandon Svendsen from Rockford. Svendsen was in Toledo and practiced with the team Dec. 18.
Vitucci said left winger Doug Clarkson and center Adam Hobson should be “100 percent” and taken off the injured reserve list by this weekend, when the Walleye face the Greenville Road Warriors on back-to-back nights in Greenville, S.C., beginning Dec. 21.
“We’re replacing good players with good hockey players, number one; it presents an opportunity for players here to step up their game now too,” Vitucci said. “We always look at these as a positive step, number one; good players having an opportunity to play at the next level and number two, good players in our locker room now assuming maybe more of a role. They become more dependent on the success of the team and it allows them to step their game up.”
Svendsen, a native of Maplewood, Minn., played college hockey at BGSU from 2005-09. In 148 games as a Falcon, he scored 32 goals and 44 assists.
After college, Svendsen played with the Idaho Steelheads, Elmira Jackals and Kalamazoo Wings. In addition, he spent time in the AHL with the Binghamton Senators and in Rockford.
Last season, he tallied 14 points (4 goals, 10 assists) in 39 games with the IceHogs before being injured in the last game of the season. This weekend will be his first action of the 2012-13 campaign.
Nestrasil departs Toledo in the midst of an eight-game point streak, scoring a goal and 10 assists in that span. He has 24 points on the year (7 goals, 17 assists).
He tallied 57 points (17 goals, 40 assists) in 103 games last season between Grand Rapids and the Walleye.
Glendening, a native of Grand Rapids, Mich., lit the lamp 14 times, ranking him second among all rookies in the ECHL in goals scored this season.
Fournier played nine games with the Walleye this year and is a +3 on the ice. This six-foot defenseman recorded four penalty minutes during his short span with Toledo.
Paradis also spent a short time in Toledo, playing in five games after being sent down from Rockford. He had two assists in 14 games with the IceHogs.
The Walleye travel to Greenville, S.C., to face the Road Warriors on consecutive nights. The first of two games at the BI-LO Center is scheduled for 7 p.m. Dec. 21.