Welcome to Wolves Insider: the weekly report that gives you the scoop on all Chicago Wolves developments throughout the team’s 25th anniversary season.
A LOOK AT OUR ROOKS
Winning is everything to the Chicago Wolves. From the day the franchise was founded in January 1994, the primary goal has been to be the last team standing at the end of the season. But there’s an additional way for the Wolves to win while winning games: By developing prospects into NHL players.
The Wolves roster already features nine players with NHL experience, but there are several young Wolves gaining valuable skills and working their way toward the Vegas Golden Knights. For example, 19-year-old Erik Brännström is delivering on the promise that comes with being one of Vegas’ first-round picks in the 2017 NHL Draft. The Eksjo, Sweden, native ranks second among all AHL rookie defensemen in scoring with 12 points (3 goals, 9 assists).
Fellow 19-year-old Nic Hague, who was selected early in the second round of the 2017 draft, shares fifth place among rookie defensemen in scoring with 8 points (2 goals, 6 assists). Dylan Coghlan (4 points in 7 games) and Zach Whitecloud (1 assist in 14 games) give the Wolves four rookies on the blue line on a regular basis.
Up front, rookie center Reid Duke produced one goal and two assists last year to push his season totals to 4 goals and 4 assists. Rookie forward Ryan Wagner delivered his first professional goal on Sunday against Manitoba and first-year professional Matthew Weis, who signed with the team in the offseason after graduating from Ohio State University, has been a solid fourth-liner in nine appearances.
CALLING ALL CHEWBACCAS AND STORMTROOPERS
Get ready for one of the most colorful events of our season: Star Wars Night! Make sure to be at Allstate Arena at 7 p.m. Saturday for our battle with the Grand Rapids Griffins and wear the costume for your favorite character. The 501st Legion has its orders to appear on Saturday night, which means there are endless photo opportunities and chances to be immersed in the magic that is Star Wars.
And if dressing up as a character is your thing, then make sure to prepare for Superhero Night on Saturday, Dec. 29. We’ll be hosting the Rockford IceHogs and everyone is encouraged to represent their favorite superhero.
GET FED BY THE WOLVES
Sunday, Dec., 9, is your chance to Get Fed By the Wolves at Adobe Gila’s in Rosemont! All the Wolves players will trade in their skates for aprons so they can serve the fans while spending the afternoon together. Tickets for this event are $55 and proceeds go to Chicago Wolves Charities. To sign up for the event, visit ChicagoWolvesStore.com.
Carr contributed two assists on Saturday night against the Iowa Wild to move into first place in the AHL scoring race. Carr, who owns nine goals and 13 assists in 16 games, shares first with Rochester defenseman Lawrence Pilut. He continues to own the league lead in plus/minus rating at +18 and shares seventh in goals and assists.
The 27-year-old veteran scored three goals in two games to race up the AHL scoring charts. Pirri heads into Thanksgiving with seven goals and 13 assists. His 20 points share fifth place in the league and his assists share seventh. Pirri’s two-goal effort Saturday against Iowa represented his fifth multi-goal effort in a Wolves uniform.
This Park Ridge native signed with the Wolves last March after completing his career at the University on Wisconsin. On Sunday, the 22-year-old rookie forward earned his first professional goal as he rushed to beat a Moose defender to the front of the crease and redirected a perfect Keegan Kolesar centering pass past Manitoba goaltender Ken Appleby.
- Rookie forward Ryan Wagner scored his first professional goal in the first period to set the tone for the Central Division win at Allstate Arena
- Forward Reid Duke set up forward Curtis McKenzie and defenseman Griffin Reinhart for second-period goals, then Brandon Pirri clinched matters with an empty-net goal in the final seconds
- Goaltender Oscar Dansk recorded 17 saves for the win
- The Wolves rallied from a pair of one-goal deficits in the third periof to force the first-place Wild into overtime, but the visitors scored 2:44 in the extra session to earn the extra point
- Forward Brandon Pirri whistled home a pair of power-play goals while Reid Duke added his fourth goal of the season
- Goaltender Max Lagace stopped 23 of 27 shots