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16 November 2007

Wojtek Wolski - The Forgotten Soph

The unabashed and highly deserved love-fest for all things Stastny has ramped up in Colorado, along with the buzz around the sudden re-emergence of a not-totally-putrid Jose Theodore, and the discussions of the flowing mullets of Smyth and Hannan. One thing many people have overlooked is the play of the OTHER super sophomore in Colorado’s lineup, Wojtek Wolski (pronounced VOY-teck WOHL-skee). He’s been overshadowed by the phenomenal play of Paul Stastny, but has quietly improved upon the pace (7G/8A/15P in 17 games) of his stellar numbers from last season (22G/28A/50P in 76 games). Opponents who overlook his contributions tend to do so at their own peril.

He started the season on the 3rd line with Marek Svatos, but has spent time with Brunette and Sakic on the 1st line, and lately Wolski has found a home on the 2nd line with Son of Stastny and the Duke (Milan Hejduk). Apparently, Paul has some kind of Eastern European fetish, which compared to taking pictures of your junk and then posting it on the intra-webs, isn’t that bad!

Wolski, the 21st pick in the absolutely LOADED 2004 Entry Draft, is a talented skater and has great hands. He’s defensive work seems to have improved this season, and he doesn’t look or play as small as he did in his short run in the 05-06 playoffs after jumping directly from his 128 point season in the OHL. He de-jocked Kipper in a shootout this year (see above) and has had an immediate impact on every line he’s played on this year. He currently leads the Avalanche and is tied for first in the league with three game-winning goals, is tied for the team lead with a +10 rating, ranks 3rd in both goals and points, and has points in nine of his last 10 games (5G/7A). He seems to be heating up just as the Avs enter an important (some would say “must-win”) road trip. The Avalanche faithful (including myself) are excited to see if Wolski can continue his development into a dangerous NHL sniper.

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