Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Brett Welychka

Brett Welychka - London Knights

5'10" - 186 LBS
D.O.B. March 3, 1994

Brett Welychka is in his 2nd season with the Knights after playing 5 games as a 16 year old in 2010-2011 where he scored his first OHL goal.

Welychka is a product of the London Junior Knights Gold Minor Midget team where he scored 14 goals and added 18 assists in 2009-2010. He also got a call up to the London Junior Knights AAA where he played in 2 games with 3 assists. This led to the Knights selecting Welychka in the 5th round of the 2010 OHL Priority Draft.

Playing on a Knights roster that has an enormous amount of depth, ice time for Welychka was limited. When Vladislav Namestnikov headed to the World junior Championships camp for Team Russia, this opened up a spot for him. And when Namestnikov was injured, he got his chance then as well. He has 5 goals and 4 assists on the season, of which 4 goals and 2 assists came in Namestnikov's absence. Welychka has appeared in 23 games this season.

Welychka is a tireless player who doesn't seem to have any quit in him. He is an average skater who is strong on his skates. He forechecks well and is tenacious. Despite his size, he doesn't shy away from the physical game. He's a solid two way player who is above average on the defensive side of the puck. As shown in the Namestnikov absence, offense should come as he gets more experience and playing time in London.

We spoke briefly to John Matisz who covers sports, including the Knights for London Community News. here's what John had to say :

Q. Brett is as solid as they come defensively and is strong at both ends of the ice, something NHL scouts love especially with his high energy and compete level. Which part of his game would you say translates easily to the NHL?

JM: I would say his positioning, to be honest. Though he may not make it onto the scoresheet as much as, say, Seth Griffith, Welychka has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. At any level of hockey, that's a very valuable asset.  

Q.  Brett is listed as only 5'10 but a solid 186 pounds. How does he handle himself against bigger opponents ?

JM. Quite well, actually. He has a low center of gravity and knows how to take a check so he does just fine. Then again, all small-ish players get rocked from time to time, and Welychka is no exception. 

Q. If there is one thing that Brett needs to work on the most, what would that be ? On the flip side, what would you say his strongest asset is ? 

JM. I would say his skating. Though I am not a scout, his skating does appear to lag in comparison to the average OHL player. And, as I said earlier, his positioning is most impressive.  

Q. Which of these best describes Brett : Set up man, goal scorer or defensive specialist with some scoring ability ?

JM. At this point in time, defensive specialist. Potential with more consistent OHL ice time? Goal-scorer. 

If you would like to follow John on Twitter, you can do so here.

You can also check out London Community News' Sports section here

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