The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed goaltender Dan LaCosta, right wing Petr Pohl and defenseman Kyle Wharton to three-year Entry Level contracts, club President and General Manager Doug MacLean announced Thursday. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited about these signings as think all three players have a chance to develop into solid contributors at the professional level,” said Blue Jackets Executive Vice-President and Assistant General Manager Jim Clark. “Dan LaCosta was one of the top goaltenders in the OHL this past season. Petr Pohl has been a consistent goal scorer and point producer in the Quebec Major Junior League and Kyle Wharton is a defenseman who skates very well, can move the puck and plays a solid two-way game.”
LaCosta, 20, posted a 36-17-1 record with a 2.55 goals against average, .915 save percentage and six shutouts in 59 games with Barrie of the Ontario Hockey League during the 2005-06 season. He ranked among the top five in the OHL in wins, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts, setting career highs in each of those categories except save percentage. He also played in 11 OHL playoff games and had a 5-2-3 record (W-L-OTL) with a 3.12 goals-against average and .896 save percentage.
A native of Labrador City, Newfoundland, LaCosta has appeared in 170 career OHL games and posted an 86-49-9 record with a 2.84 goals-against average, .905 save percentage and 11 shutouts. He was the Blue Jackets' third pick, 93rd overall, in the 2004 Entry Draft.
Pohl, 19, registered 27 goals and 43 assists for 70 points with 44 penalty minutes and a +12 plus/minus rating in 62 games for Acadie-Bathurst of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2005-06. He set career highs in assists, points and plus/minus rating and tied his personal best in goals. He also played in 17 post-season games and collected 6-10-16 and 12 penalty minutes.
Born in Prostejov, Czech Republic, Pohl has recorded 77-102-179 with 76 penalty minutes and a +28 plus/minus rating in 194 career QMJHL games. He was the Blue Jackets' fifth pick, 133rd overall, in the 2004 Entry Draft.
Wharton, 20, spent the 2005-06 season with Sault Ste. Marie and Guelph of the OHL, where he combined to record eight goals and 30 assists for 38 points with 96 penalty minutes and a +5 plus/minus rating in 58 games. He set career highs for goals, assists, points and penalty minutes during the regular season and then added 4-8-12 and 20 penalty minutes in 15 playoff games.
A native of Ottawa, Ontario, Wharton has played in 197 career OHL games and scored 20-69-89 with 205 penalty minutes and a +10 plus/minus rating with Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie and Guelph. He was the Blue Jackets' second pick, 59th overall, in the 2004 Entry Draft.