RED DEER REBELS ACQUIRE THE RIGHTS TO COYOTES'
FIRST ROUND DRAFT CHOICE MARTIN HANZAL
HANZAL TO PLAY FOR BRENT SUTTER & REBELS IN 2006-07
GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Michael Barnett announced today that the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League (WHL) have acquired the rights to Coyotes' first round draft choice Martin Hanzal (1st round, 17th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft). Hanzal will play for Red Deer in 2006-07 and will be coached by Brent Sutter, who is also the president and general manager of the Rebels.
Sutter, who played 18 seasons in the NHL with the New York Islanders and Chicago Blackhawks, won two Stanley Cups in 1982 and 1983 with the Islanders. He also was a member of Team Canada, winning the Canada Cup in 1984, 1987, and 1981.
Sutter has guided the Rebels to three consecutive Eastern Conference Championships from 2001-2003 and won the Memorial Cup in 2001. Sutter was also the head coach of the Canadian National Junior Team in 2005 and 2006, winning the gold medal both times. He is unbeaten behind the bench as the Head Coach of the Canadian National Junior Team.
Last season, the 6-foot-5, 210-pound Hanzal played 22 games with Omaha (USHL), registering 4-15-19 and 34 penalty minutes. Hanzal also represented the Czech Republic at the World Junior Championship, playing 6 games and recording 2 assists and 4 penalty minutes.
The Coyotes also announced today that Martin Latal (5th round, 131st overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft) has been drafted by the Prince Edward Island Rocket of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). The Rocket now own the rights to Latal, who posted 16-10-26 and 64 penalty minutes in 30 games for Kladno of the Czech Junior League in 2005-06. NHL Central Scouting ranked the 5-11, 174-pound Latal 21st among European skaters in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.