PLYMOUTH, MI — Plymouth Whalers President, General Manager and Head Coach Mike Vellucci announced the signing of 16-year-old defenseman Nick Malysa, who was selected by the Whalers in the fifth round (99th overall) of the 2009 Ontario Hockey League Draft.
Malysa – who is from Bridgewater, NJ – scored a goal with 10 assists for 11 points in 21 games last season for the North Jersey Avalanche. The Central Scouting Bureau describes Malysa (pronounced Muh-LEE-sah) as "a puck moving defenseman who also plays very solid defensively. He is effective in all three zones, displays a high level of composure while possessing a combination of size, tools and hockey sense. Malysa is an excellent skater with a very smooth and effortless stride that provides him with quickness and great mobility. He is very good moving laterally, showing the ability to take away time and space very effectively."
"I like to play a stay-at-home style of 'D'," Malysa said. "I like to style myself after Tom Poti."
The Whalers saw some of Malysa’s talent during Plymouth’s Rookie Orientation Camp in May.
Malysa was already familiar with Plymouth and Compuware Arena, having played in a friendship tournament here last season with his North Jersey team against the Compuware, Belle Tire and Little Caesars programs.
“I’m very, very happy and very excited,” Malysa said today about signing. “At Rookie Camp, I got to see more of the rink and more behind the scenes about the program. The Whalers are a well-run organization. My education package helps out my family, so you get excellent hockey with the education. It’s a good deal. I’m happy to get started.”
Malysa will be attending school this fall at the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park.
Malysa is the third selection signed from the Whalers’ 2009 draft class and the fifth player signed by Plymouth this off-season. Earlier, Vellucci signed Garrett Meurs (first round, 13th overall, 2009) and Stefan Noesen (fourth round, 64th overall, 2009), along with free-agent right-wing Austin Mattson (Livonia) and defenseman Colin MacDonald, who was taken by the Whalers in 14th round (270th overall) in the 2008 OHL Draft.
Malysa is expected to report to Plymouth’s training camp in late August. Plymouth’s first preseason game is Saturday, August 29 against Saginaw in Brighton, MI. The Whalers open the season on Thursday, September 17 in Windsor, with the home opener on Saturday, September 19 at Compuware Arena against Oshawa.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)