Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Whalers deal Tanaka, get Brophey, Cunningham

The Plymouth Whalers have acquired center Evan Brophey (left) and defenseman Wes Cunningham (below), along with a fourth-round draft choice in 2006, from the Belleville Bulls in exchange for center Cory Tanaka and Plymouth’s second-round draft choices in 2006 and 2007.

“It’s tough trading Cory,” Plymouth coach-GM Mike Vellucci said. “He is a great hockey player and a quality individual. In making the trade, we had a chance to acquire two of our needs – a number one center and another experienced defenseman. You have to give up quality to get quality.

“I can speak for our entire organization that we will miss Cory. We wish him the best.”

Brophey, 19, was Belleville’s leading scorer with nine goals and 17 assists for 26 points in 22 games. Originally selected by the Barrie Colts in the second round (37th overall) in the 2002 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection, Brophey was acquired by Belleville last season and has scored 63 goals with 85 assists for 148 points in 213 career games in the OHL.

Brophey was taken in the third round, 68th overall, by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2005 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

The 18-year-old Cunningham was originally drafted by the Owen Sound Attack in the second round, 23rd overall, of the 2003 OHL draft and acquired by Belleville last season. Cunningham has two goals with four assists for six points and 26 penalty minutes this year in Belleville and has 30 points and 138 penalty minutes in 140 career games in the OHL.

Tanaka, 17, was selected by Plymouth in the second round, 29th overall, in the 2004 OHL draft and scored 10 goals with 11 assists for 21 points and 49 penalty minutes in 67 games last season. This season, Tanaka has two goals (one on a penalty shot Oct. 30 against Owen Sound) with three assists for five points and 20 penalty minutes in 21 games.

Brophey (who will wear number 11) and Cunningham (number 3) are expected to be in the lineup tonight when the Whalers host the Sarnia Sting at 7:30 p.m. at the Compuware Sports Arena.

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