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Canucks select C Alex Friesen - 6th Round, 172nd Overall

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Old
06-27-2010, 06:09 PM
  #26
Made Dan
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I played xbox with this guy for awhile until his account got hacked. No need for him to put on an act over xbox, he's a genuinely nice guy. I didn't follow him this year but watched a little of him last season. Plays bigger than he is, plays with heart. I would've loved the Rangers to pick him up. Good pick.

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07-25-2010, 04:14 PM
  #27
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Alex Friesen article on CDC

http://canucks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=534713

Article from CDC "Overlooked no More"
Friday, 23.07.2010 / 12:01 PM / Features By Derek Jory


Overlooked no more

Undrafted in 2009, Alex Friesen finally got the call in Alex Friesen was living the dream.

Born and raised in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Friesen made his way through the junior hockey ranks before the OHLís Niagara Icedogs recruited his talents in the 2nd round of the 2007 OHL Priority Selection. Hometown boy playing for the hometown team; what could be better?

Things were moving along swimmingly for the 18-year-old, who waited with bated breath as the 2009 NHL Draft approached, a draft he anticipated being a part of. With the first few rounds coming to a close, Friesen didnít fret, he had 'late round flyer' written all over him.

No one saw the writing on the wall.

Fast-forward to the 2010 NHL Draft and again Friesen was anxious to be picked, but this time wiser understanding not everyone gets drafted (see Brunelle, Jonathan circa 2010). This was his year though, much to his surprise and delight, and one of the hundreds of text messages he got while at home watching the draft provided the details.

ďMy teammate Mark Visentin (drafted 27th overall by the Phoenix Coyotes) was at the draft and he texted me before I even knew I had been drafted, before it was updated on the Internet or the NHL Network,Ē laughed Friesen.

ďWeird way to get the news, but getting drafted was all that mattered.Ē

The Vancouver Canucks selected Friesen in the sixth round, 172nd overall, or as Visentinís text to Friesen likely read: Youíre going to Vancouver Freezer, Canucks just picked you!!!

ďNot getting drafted in 2009 was disappointing, but it was good in that it gave me that extra motivation I needed. Finally hearing my name called, everyone wants to hear their name called at the NHL Draft - whoever tells you they donít is lying - was a huge relief.Ē

As Friesen and his family look a long, deep, collective breath, so too did Vancouverís scouting department knowing that its third pick was a solid one.

After 15 years of dreaming the dream, Friesen had 10 days before he would realize part of it. The Canucks began Prospects Development Camp June 6th with 36 young guns calling Rogers Arena home for a week; poked and prodded and pushed and pulled and tested and tested and tested like never before, Friesen felt like he stood out like Alan Thicke at the 2010 ESPY Awards, but he wasnít alone.

When the hockey bags were packed and everyone pounded fists farewell, the prospects went their separate ways, none riding higher than Friesen, a 5-foot-10, 189-pound tenacious centre and third-year Niagara Icedog who finished second in team scoring last season with a career-high 23 goals and 37 assists in 60 games and was named Heart of the Team and Hardest Working Player in an OHL coaches poll.

ďThis camp was amazing. This is my first taste of an NHL atmosphere and it was great. The practices were hard, workouts were hard and it just kind of gave me an idea and was a real eye-opener for what itís going to be like.

ďI learned that itís going to take a lot of hard work like doing some of the longer bike rides and the Grouse Grind, it showed that itís going to take a lot of hard work to get to the next level; itís a real process.Ē

If any of Vancouverís 2010 draftees knows how to dedicate himself and make the most of opportunities, itís Friesen. He scores thrilling overtime winners, throws his frame around (remember Taylor Hall?), holds his own when it's time to dance and takes a pie in the face like a champ.

No wonder Vancouver saw the writing on the wall.

"He's a very hard-nosed player, really good on faceoffs," Canucks GM Mike Gillis said of Friesen during the draft. ďHe scored in the top-three in our psychological and intelligence testing. He's not a big guy at 5-foot-10, but he's a very, very competitive player. Hard nosed, good skills, can score goals."

Now back in Niagara, Alex spends his days working out alongside brother Gary, a forward with the Brock University Badgers, and sister Julia, a soon-to-be soccer player for St. Lawrence University. All three are pushing themselves to be in peak form come September and with the first-ever Young Stars Prospects Tournament on the horizon, Alex has added incentive.

ďI think this camp was a little bit of a more relaxed atmosphere then itís going to be in September, guys will be fighting for jobs then and itís going to be intense. Thatís when youíve really got to come out to play and play hard. Itís my first time in a tournament like this so Iím just looking forward to showing what I have.Ē

The Young Stars prospects tournament in Penticton, BC begins September 12. Tournament ticket packages are available online at www.valleyfirstTIX.com, by phone at 1-877-763-2849 1-877-763-2849 or in person at the South Okanagan Events Centre box office. Single game tournament tickets will be made available in mid-August.

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Old
07-26-2010, 12:15 AM
  #28
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Originally Posted by MattiO View Post
http://canucks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=534713

...Friesen, a 5-foot-10, 189-pound tenacious centre and third-year Niagara Icedog who finished second in team scoring last season with a career-high 23 goals and 37 assists in 60 games and was named Heart of the Team and Hardest Working Player in an OHL coaches poll.

...

"He's a very hard-nosed player, really good on faceoffs," Canucks GM Mike Gillis said of Friesen during the draft. ďHe scored in the top-three in our psychological and intelligence testing. He's not a big guy at 5-foot-10, but he's a very, very competitive player. Hard nosed, good skills, can score goals."
Kind of sounds like Darren Helm.

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07-26-2010, 12:49 AM
  #29
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Kind of sounds like Darren Helm.
More like Alex Burrows with faceoffs, but without as much agitation.

Darren Helm is a speed demon.

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Old
03-22-2015, 06:19 AM
  #30
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This guy has continued to improve year by year. Hope he sticks it out in Utica and gets a shot in the NHL. Seems to be a defensive forward with 2-way upside.

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03-22-2015, 02:08 PM
  #31
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He's a RFA this summer...

6 yrs since his first eligible draft.... Any upside in the kid?

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03-22-2015, 02:17 PM
  #32
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Wow. Five year bump.

How random.

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Old
03-22-2015, 06:34 PM
  #33
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As a sixth rounder the guy has already well exceeded expectations by playing regularly in the AHL...love his compete level, but just not sure how statistically and at his size he would ever translate to the NHL, particularly with the 'Nucks knee-deep in young centre prospects...still pulling for him though...if he keeps improving he'll find a home somewhere.

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03-22-2015, 11:58 PM
  #34
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As a sixth rounder the guy has already well exceeded expectations by playing regularly in the AHL...love his compete level, but just not sure how statistically and at his size he would ever translate to the NHL, particularly with the 'Nucks knee-deep in young centre prospects...still pulling for him though...if he keeps improving he'll find a home somewhere.
If he doesn't make the team next season, it seems unlikely that he'll be an NHLer. I can't see another team taking him on waivers.

With Cole Cassels going pro next season (likely AHL/ECHL), Friesen is really going to need to use his extra years of pro experience to his advantage or else he may find himself in a reduced role at the AHL level.

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Old
03-23-2015, 05:54 AM
  #35
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i remember all the word on this guy being that he was a good skater, but then when he first showed up in utica man he was a ****ing slug. has that changed?

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Old
03-23-2015, 08:41 PM
  #36
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i remember all the word on this guy being that he was a good skater, but then when he first showed up in utica man he was a ****ing slug. has that changed?
Keeps up well with Conacher. The two of them have been flying around and have left poor Gaunce trying to figure out where to go when he catches up.

End result was Friesen centered Baertschi and Conacher yesterday. Not sure that will stick if Baert doesn't get the same effects he got with O'Reilly and Grenier. Sven was tired yesterday on the third of three in a row getting much more ice than he had been getting in Adirondack. When he's rested the evaluation will be made.

Most likely it will be Shinkaruk and Conacher with Friesen in the middle if it gets changed again. Green is looking for the most potent way to get Baert and Cory onto the ice. He'd prefer to split them up, but if it works better together that's what we'll see.

Friesen's problem hasn't been his speed. It was his ineffectiveness around the net. That has changed drastically with the addition of Sven and Cory, 3 goals and 8 points.

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03-24-2015, 03:45 AM
  #37
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Keeps up well with Conacher. The two of them have been flying around and have left poor Gaunce trying to figure out where to go when he catches up.

End result was Friesen centered Baertschi and Conacher yesterday. Not sure that will stick if Baert doesn't get the same effects he got with O'Reilly and Grenier. Sven was tired yesterday on the third of three in a row getting much more ice than he had been getting in Adirondack. When he's rested the evaluation will be made.

Most likely it will be Shinkaruk and Conacher with Friesen in the middle if it gets changed again. Green is looking for the most potent way to get Baert and Cory onto the ice. He'd prefer to split them up, but if it works better together that's what we'll see.

Friesen's problem hasn't been his speed. It was his ineffectiveness around the net. That has changed drastically with the addition of Sven and Cory, 3 goals and 8 points.
I recall Friesen having a strong finish to his season last year, and I went to check his stats:

http://theahl.com/stats/gamebygame.p...nId=43&id=4684

18 points in his final 21 games with 9 points in 9 games in April. Looks like he's been a streaker player

If you check his game-by-game this year, he is also streaky, but in smaller bunches:
http://theahl.com/stats/gamebygame.p...nId=48&id=4684

You'll see he will go 3-4 games without a point then go 3-4 games in a row where he is scoring. It doesn't surprise me that he plays well with high-skill players, and if that's the case I think he should project well into a bigger role next season if the Canucks choose not to retain veterans like O'Reilly and Conacher.

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Old
03-24-2015, 10:51 AM
  #38
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Production isn't good enough to expect an NHL transition IMO, even in the bottom six.

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Old
03-24-2015, 12:07 PM
  #39
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When he was drafted I expected a forward version of Nolan Baumgartner...a good solid pro that just doesn't have the physical attributes to ultimately play at the highest level. Seems like a good projection at this point and imo a pretty solid pick for that point in the draft.

Offers an interesting case study for draft philosophy as well...whether there is utility taking a player like Friesen who will probably never be more than an emergency injury call up at the NHL level, but can be a solid contributer in the minors and thus help with development of prospects that do project to the next level. This versus the always swing for the fences even though misses likely don't even make the Comets philosophy espoused by some.

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03-24-2015, 02:25 PM
  #40
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When he was drafted I expected a forward version of Nolan Baumgartner...a good solid pro that just doesn't have the physical attributes to ultimately play at the highest level. Seems like a good projection at this point and imo a pretty solid pick for that point in the draft.

Offers an interesting case study for draft philosophy as well...whether there is utility taking a player like Friesen who will probably never be more than an emergency injury call up at the NHL level, but can be a solid contributer in the minors and thus help with development of prospects that do project to the next level. This versus the always swing for the fences even though misses likely don't even make the Comets philosophy espoused by some.
I agree, and I think a lot of the value in this style of drafting will come from the Canucks owning the Comets over the coming years. Baumgartner is a good comparison because he is a guy who stuck it out, splitting time between NHL/AHL duties in his later years, and who has gone on to be an important member of the organization.

If Friesen sticks it out I have no doubt he is given a game or two with the Canucks as a call-up down the road, especially if he can add a little offense to his play.

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03-24-2015, 05:53 PM
  #41
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Offers an interesting case study for draft philosophy as well...whether there is utility taking a player like Friesen who will probably never be more than an emergency injury call up at the NHL level, but can be a solid contributer in the minors and thus help with development of prospects that do project to the next level. This versus the always swing for the fences even though misses likely don't even make the Comets philosophy espoused by some.
I'm having a hard time placing Friesen in that evaluation. When you're late in the 1st round are there still any 'swing for the fences' left beyond a guy who's already a smallish PPG OHL center?

Where you typically have a 99% failure rate and a guy that isn't even good enough for the AHL is when you start taking projected 4th liners or 6th/7th dmen in those spot. Like last summers draft people weren't happy with Petit and Stewart.

I don't really follow junior hockey but going by the numbers it seems like a guy like Friesen is about as high end upside as you can get that late. Take a guy that's good enough in the CHL/etc that he will probably translate to a good AHL player, and maybe if you're really really lucky he has an unexpected development spike and becomes something more.

Going by Friesen's draft, that would be Ottawa's Mark Stone who 6 spots later. 39-11-17-28 in the OHL for his draft season, followed by a 71-37-69-106. That offense translated directly to the AHL and now as a Rookie he' a 2nd line winger for the Sens.

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03-24-2015, 05:57 PM
  #42
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Production isn't good enough to expect an NHL transition IMO, even in the bottom six.
Might be good enough to fill in on the bottom 6. Not as a regular but he's responsible enough in his own end that he could be a decent injury replacement and is good organization depth for that reason.

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03-24-2015, 05:59 PM
  #43
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But is he good enough for the Comets to deserve a contract spot?

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03-25-2015, 03:16 PM
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But is he good enough for the Comets to deserve a contract spot?
I'd say he's been at least very solid. He leads the team's forwards in +/- and his offensive game has steadily improved.

I'm a big fan of holding onto any player who has shown improvement year-by-year regardless of age/draft position. If Friesen is a point-per-game AHL forward at 25, is that really so big a problem? he has never had a season where he hasn't improved on his totals, going all the way back to his first year in junior. Why can't that be projected as a positive thing, even if he isn't lighting the world on fire at 19 like Horvat?

Let the team have more Alex Burrows-types.

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03-25-2015, 08:52 PM
  #45
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I'd say he's been at least very solid. He leads the team's forwards in +/- and his offensive game has steadily improved.

I'm a big fan of holding onto any player who has shown improvement year-by-year regardless of age/draft position. If Friesen is a point-per-game AHL forward at 25, is that really so big a problem? he has never had a season where he hasn't improved on his totals, going all the way back to his first year in junior. Why can't that be projected as a positive thing, even if he isn't lighting the world on fire at 19 like Horvat?

Let the team have more Alex Burrows-types.
A ppg would double his current production of 1/2 ppg. It would definitely project as a positive thing.

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Old
12-13-2015, 11:22 PM
  #46
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A lot of guys have written Friesen off but I hope he gets a call-up or two like Biega. He's still on pace for another career year, however underwhelming on the scoring-side.

Two goals and +4 tonight.

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Old
12-13-2015, 11:53 PM
  #47
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Wasn't Benning suggesting Friesen as an option to take over for McCann should he go to WJC, alongside Vey?

Anyone have a source to that? I've always found Friesen to be an interesting player, will never forget him absolutely wrecking Hall several years ago with a bodycheck. He was also the top rated player in the entire draft on Gillis' IQ/mental testing that he tried to kickstart that year too IIRC.

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12-14-2015, 12:10 AM
  #48
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Wasn't Benning suggesting Friesen as an option to take over for McCann should he go to WJC, alongside Vey?

Anyone have a source to that? I've always found Friesen to be an interesting player, will never forget him absolutely wrecking Hall several years ago with a bodycheck. He was also the top rated player in the entire draft on Gillis' IQ/mental testing that he tried to kickstart that year too IIRC.
JB was interviewed on the radio broadcast during one of the intermissions and when asked about who would fill in for McCann if he was loaned to team Canada,he mentioned Vey first then mentioned Friesen and how he just scored two goals.

Personally,I'd take Friesen over Vey as a call up just for his defensive play and compete level.

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12-14-2015, 11:58 AM
  #49
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I'd be happy to see Friesen get a few games. He's worked hard for it, scoring at the same pace as Vey.

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12-14-2015, 04:43 PM
  #50
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If they send MCann off to the WJC and don't recall Friesen instead of Vey, then there's no justice....he actually looked fairly decent in the exhibition schedule and is one of Green's 'go-to-guys' in Utica....hard not to pull for a sixth rounder who's already exceeded expectations.

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