Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Plymouth inks trio of 2005 draft picks

Chad Beal (right) and assistant to the coaches George Scott at last summer's Whalers golf outing (Photo by Walt Dmoch)

It’s been a busy off-season for the Plymouth Whalers.

Three days after selecting 13 players in last Saturday’s OHL Priority Selection, the Whalers signed three players selected in the 2005 draft – 17-year-old center Chad Beal, goaltender Kyle Jendra, also 17, and right wing Kaine Geldart, 16.

Beal was taken in the 3rd round (49th overall), Jendra in the 9th round (165th overall) and Geldart in 12th round (229th overall) a year ago. All three played in leagues close to their hometowns in 2005-06.

Beal split time last season between the Pickering Panthers of the Ontario Provincial Jr. A League and Markham Waxers midgets. In 19 regular-season games with Pickering, Beal scored six goals and 14 points. Beal had seven goals and 17 points in 15 regular-season games for Markham and added 10 more points in 10 playoff games for the Waxers.

Geldart scored 19 goals with 28 assists for 47 points and 139 penalty minutes in 47 regular-season games for the Kingston Voyageurs of the OPJHL. He also scored four goals in 10 playoff games for the Voyageurs.

Jendra (left), from Bolingbrook, Ill., was the lead goaltender for the Chicago Chill midgets of the Mid-American Hockey League. The Chill won the Illinois Midget State Championship and finished second in the USA National Championship, losing 2-1 in overtime in the championship game to the Boston Jr. Bruins. Jendra posted a 1.40 goals-against average, .920 save percentage, 11 shutouts and 41-6-2 won-loss record in 49 regular-season games last season. He was even better at the National Championship in posting a 1.04 goals-against average, .944 save percentage and three shutouts in five games.

Beal, Geldart and Jendra will report to the Whalers Rookie Orientation camp on Saturday, May 20, along with free agents and players selected in last Saturday’s draft. The orientation is part of the Whalers’ Fan Appreciation Day at the Compuware Sports Arena.

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