Flames Re-Assign Watt To Wranglers, Goalie Houle Added
LAS VEGAS, NV -The Las Vegas Wranglers announced today that goalie Martin Houle has agreed to terms for the 2008-09 season. The team also announced that the National Hockey League's Calgary Flames have re-assigned forward J.D. Watt from the American Hockey League's Quad City Flames to Las Vegas. The Wranglers host Ontario at 7:30 pm in the team's Opening Night on Thursday at the Orleans Arena.
Watt is in his first professional season after playing the last five years in the Western Hockey League with Vancouver, Regina and Red Deer. The Calgary Flames drafted Watt in the fourth round (#111 overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. The 21-year old attended training camp in Calgary and with the American Hockey League's Quad City Flames. Watt appeared in five games this year with the Baby Flames. The Cremona, AB native had no points, but was the team leader with 28 penalty minutes.
The right wing split last season between the Regina Pats and Red Deer Rebels. In 58 total games, Watt scored 13 goals and set up 24 others for 37 points. Watt racked up 87 penalty minutes with Red Deer and 82 in Regina for 169 on the season. For his WHL career, Watt suited up in 255 games, scoring 61 times and gathering 140 points. The feisty forward also racked up 763 penalty minutes. Watt's best junior season came with the Vancouver Giants in 2006-07. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound forward scored 34 goals and had 53 points, to go along with 182 penalty minutes.
Martin Houle comes to Las Vegas after spending the last three years in the AHL, with a stint in the NHL and ECHL. The fourth-year netminder split last season between the Philadelphia Phantoms (AHL) and the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL). In ten games with Philadelphia, Houle posted a 2-5-0 record with a 2.85 goals against average and a .892 save percentage. The 23-year old goalie spent the rest of the season in Wheeling. In 26 appearances with the Nailers, the Montreal, PQ native posted a 5-13-3 record with a 3.73 goals against average and a .889 save percentage.
Houle was drafted in the eighth round (#232 overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers. In 2006-07, Houle made an appearance with the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers. The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder played in one game, allowing a goal on three shots in ten minutes of play. The bulk of Houle's career has been spent with the Philadelphia Phantoms. In 87 appearances, Houle has a 32-40-3 mark with a 2.89 goals against average and a .903 save percentage.
Las Vegas will open at home on Thursday, October 23rd at 7:30 pm at the Orleans Arena against the Ontario Reign. The Wranglers and Reign will also play again on Friday, October 24th at 7:30 PM at the Orleans Arena.
2008-09 season seat packages are on sale now at (702) 471-PUCK. The Wranglers play all 36 regular season home games at the Orleans Arena, located at the Orleans Hotel and Casino at 4500 W. Tropicana Avenue.
Individual game tickets are on sale now at (702) 284-7777.
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