Prospect defenceman Keith Aulie:
“Aulie is a 6’6 defenceman playing for Abbotsford of the AHL. Our plans for Keith are for him to stay at the AHL level for the present, so he will report to the Marlies. This is a player who played on the national junior team and won a gold medal. Excellent skater for a big man, a guy we coveted and hard to work real hard to get into the deal. We think he’s going to be a really good NHL player down the road for a long time. We think right now, like Calgary did, that from a development standpoint, he’ll be better off logging big minutes in the American league.
Swedish defensive right-winger Fredrik Sjostrom:
“A player who is a former first round pick, who skates real well. He’s a good addition to our team in terms of foot speed, and in particular on the penalty kill. We have had some difficulty [that’s the understatement of the century] killing penalties and that’s one of his strong suits. From our perspective, we add a player who has played in the world juniors, played in the world championships, a former first round pick, a quality person, actually has decent size from a weight perspective, and gets around the rink real well. To us, he’s a useful part of this deal and a player we wanted in the deal.
Centerpiece of the deal, Dion Phaneuf:
“A couple words I would use to describe him: one is an elite player. In terms of our getting better, we’ve added in the last four months Phil Kessel, who I view as an elite player, and Dion Phaneuf, who I view as an elite player [Alec’s note: and both are 21 and 24 respectively]. This guy is a warrior, he’s got a cannon for a shot, and plays the game hard. That’s the most important part of this deal is that not only is he a good player but he plays the game hard. I want players that play hard, and are hard to play against. He makes our powerplay better, he’s got one of the biggest shots in the league, he’s a big open ice hitter and he’s a quality person. I got to know him a little bit in his draft year and I think it’s an important day for us to add all of these players here, obviously the centerpiece is Dion Phaneuf.”
More to come.