Saturday, September 03, 2011

Vienneau leaves Muskegon for OHL

The Sudbury Wolves have announced that goaltender Joel Vienneau has reported to the team's tryout camp being held at the Sudbury Arena.

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound goaltender from Hearst, Ont., made the difficult decision this week to choose the option of playing for the Wolves and earning an OHL education scholarship over returning to the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL and the prospect of an NCAA scholarship.

Vienneau backstopped the Lumberjacks to their first-ever playoff series win and posted a .910 save percentage in two playoff rounds last season. He played 39 regular season games for the expansion USHL team and recorded 15 wins and a .889 save percentage.

"I am really pleased to be here in Sudbury and competing for a goaltending position with the Wolves," said Vienneau. "Sudbury has a very good team and a good organization and I’m excited about the prospects of playing here this season."

The Wolves acquired Vienneau's rights last season from the Guelph Storm as part of the Dan Maggio trade which saw the Wolves receive two second round picks, a fifth round pick and the rights to Vienneau, who was originally selected in the seventh round of the 2008 OHL Priority Selection by Guelph.

"Joel was a goaltender that we were very high on in his draft year," said Wolves' GM Blaine Smith. "We are pleased that he has made the decision to report to Sudbury and provide us with another excellent goaltender and depth at our goaltending position. He is a big goaltender that uses his size and challenges shooters. Joel has a positive attitude and excellent character.”

Vienneau's decision to leave the USHL for the OHL was a difficult one, but he’s glad that he did.

"The OHL is a better league and NHL scouts watch every OHL game," said Vienneau. "At this point of my hockey career, my goal is to play hockey as long as I can, attend college and graduate from university down the road. I believe that the OHL is the best fit for me at this point of my career. I look forward to the challenge of earning a job with the Wolves and concluding my junior career in Sudbury."

Muskegon Chronicle (Aug. 30): Muskegon Lumberjacks cut ties with goaltender Joel Vienneau

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