Friday, May 29, 2009

Noesen the latest to sign with Plymouth

The Plymouth Whalers announced the signing yesterday of 16-year-old center Stefan Noesen, who was selected by the Whalers in the fourth round (64th overall) of the 2009 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection back on May 2.

“I feel ready to play,” Noesen said. “I feel like I can contribute to the team. I’m excited to sign and become a member of the Whalers.”

Noesen, originally from Texas, but who now lives in Northville, scored 24 goals with 24 assists for 48 points and 57 penalty minutes in 53 games last season for the national champion Compuware U-16s.

“We’ve always put a premium on finding character players with skill,” said Plymouth coach-GM Mike Vellucci. “Stefan fits that mold. He played on a championship team last year. I skated with his team in practices last year and love his potential. If Stefan continues to work hard and improve his conditioning, he has a chance to become an excellent player. It’s exciting to work with a player with his combination of skill, size and grit.”

Noesen and his family moved to Northville after being attracted to the Compuware youth program.

“About four or five years ago, I played for the Dallas Ice Jets and we faced Compuware in the semi-finals of the Nationals,” Noesen said. “We beat them, 8-3. I knew couple of guys on that (Compuware) team and they talked to (head coach) Derek Szajner about me playing for them. A couple of years later, I came up, tried out for the team and made it.”

The Whalers have a long history of drafting or signing local players from the Compuware youth program, going all the way to the team’s first-ever selection in 1990, Pat Peake, the Whalers all-time leading scorer with 319 points in 162 games between 1990-93. Other players include James Wisniewski (now with the National Hockey League’s Anaheim Ducks), David Legwand (Nashville), Chad LaRose (Carolina), John Vigilante, Nate Kiser, Jared Newman, Damian Surma, Kevin Holdridge and current Whaler Austin Levi. Now, Noesen joins the fold.

Noesen (pronounced NAY-sen) is expected to report Plymouth’s training camp in late August.

Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

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