Three Cougars sign pro deals
By Staff Reporter - Prince George Free Press
Published: March 30, 2012 8:00 AM
Updated: March 30, 2012 8:51 AM
The Prince George Cougars have announced that three players from their team this past season have signed deals to advance in hockey.
Twenty-year-old forward Spencer Asuchak, 20-year-old defenceman Cody Carlson and 19-year-old forward Campbell Elynuik have signed professional contracts. Asuchak is California bound, and will be joining the Ontario Reign of the East Coast Hockey League. Carlson is heading to Texas to play for the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees in the Central Hockey League. Elynuik has signed an amateur tryout contract with the Adirondack Phantoms of the American Hockey League.
Asuchak, a product of Kamloops, finished the 2011-12 Western Hockey League season tied for the Cougars team lead in goals, with 18, and finished with a new season-high in points at 36. He played a total of 224 games in the WHL and recorded 49 goals and 95 career points along with 208 penalty minutes. Asuchak joins an Ontario squad currently ranked first in the ECHL’s Pacific Division. Through 65 games, the Reign had 39 wins, 18 losses, five overtime setbacks and three shootout defeats (39-18-5-3).
Carlson, a Victoria native, was the only Cougars player to suit up for all 72 games this past season. He finished with nine goals and 39 points to lead all Cougars defencemen. Carlson played more than 300 games in the WHL and scored 25 career goals and collected 135 career points. Rio Grande is currently ranked fourth in the CHL’s Berry Conference with a record of 32 wins, 27 losses and seven overtime defeats.
Elynuik, a Calgary product, led the Cougars in penalty minutes this past season with 156. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound winger was acquired by the Cats from the Regina Pats in October. He recorded four goals, 11 points and tallied 132 penalty minutes in 52 games with the Cougars in the 2011-12 campaign. Elynuik had previously spent parts of three seasons with the Everett Silvertips before being traded to Regina prior to the start of the 2011-12 season.
Asuchak and Carlson also formed two thirds of the Cougars’ 1991-born overage trio this past season. The other overager was goalie Drew Owsley, a Lethbridge product.
The Cougars season has been over since March 17, the team falling short of a playoff spot with a 24-46-0-2 record. Although they were last in the 10-team Western Conference, they ended up only four points short of the final playoff spot.
The Cougars will have the third selection in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft, scheduled for May 3 in Calgary. The Seattle Thunderbirds won the draft lottery and will have the first choice, with the Prince Albert Raiders picking second.