Monday, September 24, 2007

Neuvirth returned to Whalers by Capitals

The Plymouth Whalers announced that the National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals have returned goaltender Michal Neuvirth to the Whalers.

Neuvirth (pronounced “NOY-vair”) now rejoins Brownstown native Jeremy Smith in goal for Plymouth. Neuvirth, taken by Washington in the second round (34th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, played in one game for Washington in the preseason, a 4-3 overtime loss to Carolina on Sept. 16.

Smith was selected in the second round and 54th overall by the Nashville Predators in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Neuvirth and Smith teamed up last season to contribute to Plymouth’s run to the Ontario Hockley League title as the Whalers won the OHL’s Dave Pinkney Award for the fewest goals allowed (173 over 68 games). Neuvirth won the OHL’s F.W. “Dinty” Moore Trophy last season after posting a league-best 2.32 goals-against average and .932 save percentage while going 26-8-2-2 in 41 regular season games. Neuvirth played most of the way in the 2007 playoffs and Memorial Cup, going 16-5-2 with a 2.54 goals-against average and .927 save percentage in 23 games.

Neuvirth and Smith give the Whalers a unique situation – two talented NHL-drafted goaltenders playing for the same team.

Photo by Walt Dmoch/Plymouth Whalers

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