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Seven Americans Alumni Participate in Stanley Cup Qualifiers

KENNEWICK, WA – The Tri-City Americans have seven (7) alumni listed on rosters for the Stanley Cup Qualifiers. Brandon Carlo (BOS), Juuso Välimäki (CGY), Morgan Geekie (CAR), Jake Bean (CAR), Carey Price (MTL), Dylan Coghlan (VGK), and Eric Comrie (WPG) will all join their team respective NHL clubs for Phase 4 of the NHL’s Return to Play Plan. The Stanley Cup Qualifiers tournament begins on Aug. 1 in Toronto, Ont. and Edmonton, Alta., the two NHL hub cities.

The top four teams in each conference, based on points percentage, will play a three-game round-robin, and the No. 5-12 seeds will play in eight best-of-5 series. The winners of those series will advance to the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the four teams from the round-robin.

More information on the NHL Stanley Cup Qualifiers format and schedule is available here.

We wish all seven Americans alumni the best of luck as they compete for a spot in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

 

Brandon Carlo – Boston Bruins

Brandon Carlo was selected by the Americans at 214th overall in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft. The low draft position did not deter him from becoming a star on Tri-City’s blue line. The defenseman played 186 games for the Americans from 2013-2016. During his WHL career he totaled 65 points (12 goals, 53 assists) and 250 penalty minutes. However, it was his defensive skills on the backend that made Carlo a standout.

His rising profile earned Carlo an invitation to the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game that year in St. Catharines, Ont., where he was the first player from the Americans to make an appearance since goaltender Carey Price in 2005. To date, he is one of just nine players from the Club to appear at the game.c

Carlo, a native of Colorado Springs, Colo., represented the United States at the 2016 World Junior Championship where they won a Bronze Medal. He was the tournament’s highest scoring defenseman with two goals.

Carlo was taken 37th overall by the Bruins at the 2015 NHL Draft. After completing the 2015-16 season with the Americans he joined the AHL’s Providence Bruins for the final eight games of the season. After that he made the permanent jump to the NHL for the following season.

Carlo has been a mainstay on Boston’s blue line for the past four seasons. During the shortened 2019-20 regular season he totaled 19 points (5 goals, 14 assists) and finished with a plus-minus rating of +16 through 67 games played.

2019-20 Stats
Boston Bruins NHL 67 5 14 19 33 +16

 

Juuso Välimäki – Calgary Flames

Hailing from Nokia, Fin., Juuso Välimäki was selected by the Americans 14th overall in the 2015 CHL Import Draft.

The defenseman joined Tri-City for the 2015-16 season and put up an impressive 32 points (7 goals, 25 assists) through 57 games in his rookie campaign. The following year his point production jumped to 61 points (19 goals, 42 assists) through 60 games. His success in Tri-City earned him an invite to the 2016 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game as one of the highest ranked NHL Draft prospects.

At the 2016 NHL Draft he was selected by the Calgary Flames at 16th overall.

He returned to Tri-City but spent part of the 2016-17 season sidelined with an injury. Välimäki continued averaging over a point-per-game with 43 points (14 goals, 31 assists) through 45 games played. His offensive production heated up during the 2017 post-season. Through 12 playoff games he added 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) to help the Americans reach the Western Conference Final.

Välimäki received invitations to play with Finland at the World Junior Championship in both 2017 and 2018. He wore the ‘C’ for his team at the 2018 tournament.

Välimäki made the jump to pro for the 2017-18 season. He split his time between the AHL and NHL playing 20 games with the Stockton Heat and 24 with the Calgary Flames. Välimäki spent this past season on long-term injury reserve after suffering an ACL injury in August. He did not play at all during the regular season and it’s unsure if he will see ice time during the Stanley Cup Qualifiers or Playoffs.

 

2019-20 Stats
Calgary Flames NHL

Morgan Geekie – Carolina Hurricanes

Morgan Geekie, a native of Strathclair, Man., was selected 90th overall by the Americans in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. Being a late round pick did not stop the center from making a quick impact in Tri-City.

Geekie was called up to play his first game with the Americans as a 16-year-old and scored Tri-City’s only goal that night against the Seattle Thunderbirds. His WHL debut previewed his high-scoring career with Tri-City.

After another season with the Yellowhead Chiefs U18 AAA, Geekie joined the Americans full time for the 2015-16 season. He had a strong rookie campaign putting up 25 (12 goals, 13 assists) points through 66 games played.

In his second WHL season Geekie saw a significant jump in points production. Through 71 games played he collected a team high 90 points (35 goals, 55 assists). The impressive breakout season caught the eye of NHL scouts. After going undrafted at 2016 NHL Draft, Geekie was selected at 67th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes as a 19-year-old.

He returned to Tri-City for another remarkable campaign during 2017-18 season. Through 68 games played Geekie recorded 84 points (30 goals, 54 assists) and once again lead the Americans in scoring. He heated up in the post-season adding 27 points (17 goals, 10 assists) in 18 playoff games and helping the Americans to a Western Conference Final appearance.

His playoff success continued into his AHL career with the Charlotte Checkers. Geekie played the full 2018-19 season with Charlotte where he totaled 46 points (19 goals, 27 assists) in 73 games played. The Checkers went on win the AHL’s Calder Cup where Geekie led all rookies in post-season scoring. He also set a club record with an eight-game playoff point streak.

Geekie rejoined the Checkers this year. Soon before the NHL regular season was cut short, the Hurricanes recalled Geekie to play his first NHL games. In his NHL debut Geekie recorded two goals and one assist. He followed that with another goal in his second NHL game.

2019-20 Stats
Charlotte Checkers AHL 55 22 20 42 54 -17
Carolina Hurricanes NHL 2 3 1 24 2 3

 

Jake Bean – Carolina Hurricanes

The Calgary Hitmen added Jake Bean to their 50-man list after the defenseman went undrafted at the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. Bean went on to become a franchise player for the Hitmen. Through four seasons and 187 games with the Hitmen Bean contributed 175 points (42 goals, 133 assists).

At the 2016 NHL Draft Bean was selected 13th overall by the Calgary Hitmen.

The Calgary, Alta. native represented Team Canada at the World Junior Championship twice, taking home a Silver Medal in 2017 and Gold in 2018. Soon after winning the 2018 World Junior Championship he was traded to Tri-City in a blockbuster deal. Bean played a major role on Tri-City’s blue line during their 2018 playoff run. He led all Western Conference defensemen with 18 points (one goal, 17 assists) in 14 post-season games.

The following season he joined the Charlotte Checkers. Alongside Morgan Geekie, Bean had a stand-out rookie campaign in the AHL. In 70 games played he totaled 43 points (13 goals, 31 assists) during the 2018-19 season. He was named to the AHL’s All-Star Rookie team and played a solid role in the Checker’s championship run. Bean added five points (one goal, four assists) in 15 playoff games for Charlotte.

This year was another impressive season for Bean with the Checkers. Through 59 games played Bean put up 48 points (10 goals, 38 assists). He was named to the AHL’s Eddie Shore Defenseman of the Year and a First Team AHL All-Star.

Bean played two games in the NHL last season but has yet to play a game with the Hurricanes this season.

2019-20 Stats
Charlotte Checkers AHL 59 10 38 48 34 -6

 

Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens

The Americans selected goaltender Carey Price, a native of Vancouver, B.C., at 7th overall in the 2002 WHL Bantam Draft. He played an extraordinary five seasons with the Americans from 2003-07. Price averaged 2.65 goals against and a .914 save percentage through 193 career WHL games. His outstanding numbers carried into the post-season Price averaged 2.39 goals against and a .914 save percentage through 24 career WHL playoff games.

His many junior career highlights include: 2004 U17 World Hockey Challenge Silver Medal, 2005 U18 Hlinka Gretzky Cup Silver Medal, 2005 NHL/CHL Top Prospects Game, 2007 U20 World Junior Championship Gold Medal, 2007 U20 WJC Best Goaltender, U20 WJC All-Star Team, 2007 U20 WJC Most Valuable Player, 2007 WHL Goaltender of the Year, 2007 CHL Goaltender of the Year, and 2007 CHL All-Star.

Price set two franchise records with the Americans: most single-season shutouts (8) in 2003-05 and most career shutouts (15) from 2003-07.

The generational netminder was selected 5th overall by the Montreal Canadiens at the 2005 NHL Draft.

His professional career highlights include a Calder Cup Championship, seven NHL All-Star Game appearances, one Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s Best Goaltender, one Hart Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player, and one Ted Lindsay award as the NHL MVP selected by the NHLPA. In international tournaments has won an Olympic Gold Medal and an Olympic Best Goaltender award in 2013, and a World Cup Gold Medal in 2016.

Price has played now played 13 seasons in the NHL and is Montreal’s winningest goaltender of all time. This season he appeared in 58 games for the Canadiens and has averaged 2.79 goals against and a .909 save percentage.

2019-20 Stats
Montreal Canadiens NHL 4 2.75 .900

Vegas Golden Knights – Dylan Coghlan

Tri-City selected Dylan Coghlan, a native of Duncan, B.C., 63rd overall in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. He joined the Americans full time as a 16-year-old for the 2014-15 season. Coghlan played his full WHL career, four seasons, with Tri-City recording 145 total points (38 goals, 127 assists) through 265 games played.

The defenseman over doubled his point production from 24 points (four goals, 20 assists) through 70 games in 2015-16 to 53 points (15 goals, 38 assists) through 71 games in 2016-17. Coghlan went undrafted at the 2017 NHL draft, but received an invitation to the Vegas Golden Knights’ training camp. Vegas offered Coghlan a three-year entry-level contract after an strong performance at the camp.

He returned to Tri-City for his final season in the WHL and showed even more growth. Coghlan contributed 63 points (17 goals, 46 assists) in 69 games. Alongside Bean and Välimäki, Coghlan was a star on Tri-City’s blue line during the 2017 WHL Playoffs. He played 14 post-season games contributing 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) in the Americans’ Western Conference Final run.

Coghlan has spent the past two seasons with Vegas’ AHL team, the Chicago Wolves. Last season he put up 40 points (15 goals, 25 assists) in 66 games. His solid rookie campaign ended in the Calder Cup Final where he faced Bean, Geekie, and the Charlotte Checkers.

This season Coghlan totaled 24 points (11 goals, 18 assists) in 60 games with the Wolves before their regular season was cut short. He joins the Golden Knights in Edmonton but has yet to play his first NHL game and is not expected to play during the NHL Qualifiers.

2019-20 Stats
Chicago Wolves AHL 60 11 18 24 14 -9

Eric Comrie – Winnipeg Jets

Goaltender Eric Comrie played 168 games in net for the Americans from 2011-2015. Over his WHL career he averaged 2.67 goals against and a .916 save percentage and was named to the WHL Western Conference Second All-Star Team twice. The Winnipeg Jets selected Comrie 59th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. After graduating from the WHL he competed primarily with Winnipeg’s AHL affiliate the Manitoba Moose over the past four seasons.

This past year he was claimed by the Arizona Coyotes, where he played four games in the AHL with the Tucson Roadrunners. He soon landed in Detroit where he played three NHL games with the Red Wings. After being placed on waivers Comrie was claimed by the team that originally drafted him, the Jets. He found himself back in the AHL with the Manitoba Moose where he played 16 games.

2019-20 Stats
Tucson Roadrunners AHL 4 2.75 .900
Detroit Red Wings NHL 3 4.28 .864
Manitoba Moose AHL 16 2.51 .918

The WHL has announced a Return to Play Protocol for the 2020-21 season with an anticipated start date of Friday, October 2. Further information is available here.

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