July 22, 2011 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Evansville IceMen
EVANSVILLE, IN.--- As the dog days of the summer off-season inch ever so closer to the opening of another exciting pro hockey season, the Evansville IceMen of the Central Hockey League remain very proactive in developing their player roster for the upcoming 2011-12 season.
Certainly demonstrating that they are not afraid to trade, the IceMen, through General Manager/Head Coach Rich Kromm have announced on this date the completion of a two-player deal with CHL Turner Conference rivals the Rapid City Rush. In the transaction, the IceMen have obtained the services of left wing JOSH BEAULIEU from the Rush in exchange for the rights to left wing MIKE VASKIVUO. The trade takes effect immediately with both trading teams now having the exclusive CHL rights to negotiate contracts with each respective player.
BEAULIEU (BOH-lee-ooh), 24, has the significant experience that the IceMen have been looking for on a key position with the club. A former 5th round choice of the NHL Philadelphia Flyers in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, the 6-1, 190lb left wing actually launched his pro career in the AHL where he plied his craft for Philadelphia's principal affiliate, the Philadelphia and later the Adirondack Phantoms for three full seasons from 2007 to 2010, totaling 136-games.
The 2010-11 campaign represented his initial venture into the CHL as a member in good standing with the Rapid City club, which as defending CHL Champions, captured a share of the CHL Turner Conference crown through a masterful mark of 66(40-22-4) totaling 84-points. A virtual model of durability and reliability, Beaulieu played in 65-games, registering 26-points on 11-goals, 15-assists with 79-PIM and a stellar +5 rating. The Comber, Ontario native was especially effective with the seemingly magic touch in the clutch, topping his title timber team in shorthanded scoring points with 4 on a team-high 2-SHG and 2-SHA. One of those 2-SHG strikes was stoked at the expense of Evansville. Included in his offensive numbers were 3-GWG, 5-FG and a team-best 3-UG. Playoff time was Beaulieu time as well as he collected 7-more points in 15-games with 3-goals, 4-assists, 15-PIM and +1 rating. He led the Rush in GWG in the post season with 2 while adding yet one more SHG.
GM/Coach Kromm is thrilled over the prospects of having Beaulieu on the IceMen side. "Josh was an important part of Rapid City's overall success last season. He has the promise of being an excellent addition to our club. He has many attributes that can serve us especially well. He has good size, strong and plays with lots of grit and jam and he can also score for us."
Evansville's newest player acquisition arrived on the pro scene following a solid four-year career in the major junior `A' with the London Knights of the OHL. In 210-games with the London squad, he recorded 37-goals, 37-assists, 74-points.
As far as Vaskivuo is concerned, the IceMen originally acquired his playing rights from the Dayton Gems back on June 7th as the final compensation of the February 7, 2011 CHL trade deadline deal that saw Evansville send center Damian Surma to the Gems in exchange for left wing Erik Boisvert and a player to be named at the conclusion of the 2010-11 season.
Coach Kromm commented on the latter being the trading chip for the IceMen in this deal. "As much as we liked Mike, there was some real concern and uncertainty as to his signability with us."
For Beaulieu,in the 2010-11 campaign, he attained some special personal achievements. He played in his 200th pro game on March 25th at Arizona, registered his first 2-goal game on New Year's Day against Wichita and notched his first-ever pro playoff goal which was the GWG on April 16th in Game #2 of the Turner Conference Semi-Finals against the Fort Wayne Komets.
Moreover, it is interesting to note, in a true touch of irony, that his best individual premium, positive, plus performance was attained on January 21st against the IceMen as he engineered a magnificent +4 masterpiece.