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Blake Wheeler

Blake Wheeler  #26

Winnipeg Jets  Right Wing
NUMBER: 26 BIRTHDATE: August 31, 1986  (AGE 27)
HEIGHT: 6' 5" BIRTHPLACE: Robbinsdale, MN, United States
WEIGHT: 205 DRAFTED: PHX / 2004 NHL Entry Draft
Shoots: Right ROUND: 1st   (5th overall)
<span class="txt18Strg">YoungStar Profile </span><br /> <br /> <a href="#quick"><b>QUICK FACTS</b></a><br /> <a href="#he"><b>HE SAID IT</b></a><br /> <a href="#they"><b>THEY SAID IT</b></a><br /> <a href="#news"><b>IN THE NEWS</b></a><br /> <a href="#video"><b>VIDEO FEATURES</b></a><br /> <br /> <a name="quick"></a><b>QUICK FACTS</b><br /> At 6-foot-5, 205-pounds, Wheeler has brought an immediate physical presence to the Bruins and with 24 points (13-11--24) in his first 40 games, he has also made an impact on their success this season. <br /> <br /> On Nov. 6, 2008 Wheeler recorded his first career hat trick, including the game-winner, in a 5-2 win over Toronto. In that same game he donned the number 26 for the first time after wearing number 42 to start the season. He commented on the success of the number: &quot;I always kind of knew I'd want to change, if they'd let me. No. 26 was always a number a lot of good guys at Minnesota wore. Thomas Vanek wore it, and Kess (Phil Kessel). It was just always a cool number. Numbers don't really mean that much to me, but I thought it would be a good one. So far, No. 26 has worked pretty well.&quot; <br /> <br /> A first round draft pick of the Phoenix Coyotes in 2004 (fifth overall), he signed as a free agent with the Bruins after three years of college hockey at the University of Minnesota. One of Wheeler's shining moments as a Gopher came in the 2007 WCHA Final Five, when in a race for the puck with a North Dakota defenseman he dove and swiped the game-winning overtime goal into the net for a highlight reel finish. <br /> <br /> <a name="he"></a><b>HE SAID IT</b><br /> On adjusting to NHL defensemen: &quot;I think 'smarter' is the best way to describe an NHL defenseman. Sure you've got guys out there that are big and tough and mean as hell, but at the same time they are all so positionally sound you have to try and think your way around them. They use their sticks so well and they play so smart out there. You have to try to outsmart them a little bit to get around them and get scoring chances. I think that's the biggest difference.&quot; <br /> <br /> On his philosophy about shooting the puck: &quot;I don't like to shoot the puck just to shoot the puck. I'd rather give it to somebody else who is in a better position if that is the better play. When I'm in a good spot to pull the trigger, I'll pull the trigger and I can do it pretty quick. At the same time I'm not going to go into the (offensive) zone and shoot the puck just because it's the easy thing to do. You have to have some kind of patience if you want to have success scoring goals.'&quot; <br /> <br /> On his decision not to sign with the Minnesota Wild: &quot;Being a hometown kid, I'd love to stay in Minnesota my whole life, but after my three years at the (University), I think it was important for me to get out of my comfort zone and experience new things. With Matt (Keator), my agent, and my family, we felt that getting into a different environment was a better option for me than the Wild.&quot; <br /> <br /> <a name="they"></a><b>THEY SAID IT</b><br /> Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli: &quot;I think with Blake, you're seeing a very mature rookie. He's adapted to the two-way game very well, which Claude (Julien) demands, and he's adapted from going from the middle to his off wing. All those things, he's handled well and that speaks to his maturity ... if you had asked me if he would have 11 (goals) before Christmas, I would have said no.&quot; <br /> <br /> Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien: &quot;Every time he's on the ice, he seems to make things happen. He's a smart player. Since training camp, he's been getting more and more confident. He's a good player, he's the real deal, and we've said that all along. That's why we kept him.&quot; <br /> <br /> Bruins center Marc Savard: &quot;He just came in here and really just looks like a veteran out there. He's played really well. Coach (Claude Julien) gave him a good opportunity to play a lot. ... I think he just keeps growing. He obviously has one of his best buddies in (Phil) Kessel (former Minnesota teammate) here, so that helps him out for the adjustment. The sky is the limit for him.&quot; <br /> <br /> <!--<a name="news"></a><b>IN THE NEWS</b><br /> <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?section=magazine&id=3604260">Regime Change</a><br /> <a href="http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=392391&cmpid=rss">Ovechkin Feeling Like Himself Again</a><br /> <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/19/AR2008121903172.html">Caps' 'Monster' is Scary Good</a><br /> <br />--> <a name="video"></a><b>VIDEO FEATURES</b><br /> <a href="http://bruins.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?&amp;id=29953">BruinsTV: Rock Band Competition</a><br /> <a href="http://bruins.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?&amp;id=27420">BruinsTV: Wheeler Profile</a><br /> <br />
Quote of the Day

A piece of scar tissue breaks off, pinches the nerve, and every time you move your leg it's almost like having a root canal in your stomach and groin.

— Detroit Red Wings center Stephen Weiss on his sports hernia surgery