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On the Wings of Tomorrow

Gylander excels in the AJHL, Tuomisto racks up awards in Finnish Junior League, Kivenmäki leaves the hospital and more in the March prospect report

by Bob Duff @asktheduffer / Special to

Many an NHLer has found a path to the show by following in his brother's footsteps.

If Detroit Red Wings prospect Carter Gylander makes it to the big-time, he just might owe a debt of gratitude to his sisters.

His sisters were both ringette players, and Carter's parents made the decision to start him in the same sport when he first took to the ice.

"I actually started off playing ringette," Gylander explained. "I have two older sisters and having three different minor associations wouldn't really fit into the schedule, so I started playing ringette with my sister Brittaney."

Ringette is a game similar to hockey, where players use a stick with a blade to propel a rubber ring toward the net. Ringette got him on the ice on skates, and it's how he ended up between the posts.

"I started playing goalie in my last year in ringette and never looked back," said Gylander, who made the switch to hockey in his novice season. "At first, I could never see myself as a goalie. I always loved scoring goals. It's kind of weird how it happened."

Like a lot of kids, the intrigue of strapping on the pads was a pull that ultimately, he could not resist.

"It kind of just caught my attention," Gylander said. "Halfway through the ringette season, my coach asked if I wanted to play goalie. I said, 'Yeah, sure. Why not?' "Obviously the gear was pretty cool. That was one of the factors that influenced me just to try it out. Ever since then I loved it.

"That's when it started."

Where it's gone to has put Gylander, 18, into a position where he's a legitimate NHL prospect. The Wings selected the 6-foot-4, 170-pound Edmonton-born netminder 191st overall in the 2019 NHL entry draft.

This season with the first-place Sherwood Park Crusaders of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, Gylander led the league in wins (34), goals-against average (2.07) and save percentage (.924).

Gylander and goalie partner Jordan Frey won the AJHL Top Team Goaltending Award. Gylander was awarded the Friends of AJHL Trophy as the league's top goaltender.

Tweet from @SPcrusaders: Carter Gylander and Jordan Frey have been named the CCM Top Team Goaltenders for the 2019/20 season!Congratulations to Carter, Jordan, and their families on this incredible achievement!#OneCrU | #AJHL 🔗

"It's obviously nice to get recognized for that," Gylander said. "Myself and my team, we put together a pretty solid season, and that's kind of what our goal was at the start of the year, to finish first in the regular season.

"It was a pretty tight race all season for first overall. We're pretty thrilled to have that outcome."

Currently in the midst of the AJHL playoffs, Gylander hopes to one day don the red and white of the Red Wings. Next season will also see him donning red and white. He's destined to play NCAA hockey with the Colgate Raiders.

"I was kind of leaning toward going to junior A and then trying to make the NCAA at a young age," Gylander said. "I was still pretty set on going the NCAA route. I'd say when I was 15, I kind of had my mind set."

The chance to spend as many as four years in college hockey is an element that Gylander believes will provide him the opportunity to hone his skills and to allow his game to evolve.

"That was pretty much the biggest factor that allowed me to make my decision," Gylander said. "Goalies do tend to take longer to develop. Having that however long you want in junior and then getting an additional four years if need be at college, that was definitely an attractive piece which influenced my decision of going to Colgate."

There was another attraction to Colgate that helped make it Gylander's school of choice.

"Colgate has a golf course right on campus," Gylander said. "I can get a membership there, so that's a pretty sweet deal.

"That's one of my biggest hobbies in the summer."

In fact, Gylander was on the golf course when he got the call last year that he'd been drafted by the Red Wings.

"It was actually a funny story," he said. "I wasn't even watching the draft. I was actually surprised with a phone call from my advisor breaking the news.

"I was at work."

An eight handicap, Gylander has worked the past couple of summers at Red Tail Landing Golf Course in Edmonton.

"You can't really beat the perks of free golf all the time," Gylander said. "It's definitely a bonus."

As was getting drafted by the Wings.

"It was a nice surprise, and obviously I'm happy that I was drafted by such a great organization as Detroit," Gylander said.

All this success is helping Gylander make a name for himself, and that's a good thing. Often, his surname does to people what he does to opposing shooters -- stops them in their tracks.

"I get Gee-lander, Jill-ander, Gill-ander," Gylander said. "With (Toronto Maple Leafs forward) William Nylander in the league, most often people pronounce it Gee-lander.

"Guy-lander is the right way."

TUOMISTO PILES UP POINTS: Playing for the Ässät U20 team in the Finnish Junior League, defenseman Antti Tuomisto (35th, 2019) placed himself into select company.

Tuomisto finished with 15-34-49 numbers in 48 games. He led all defenseman in scoring and was 14th overall in the league.

The Finnish U20 league announced that Tuomisto won the awards for best player and best defenseman for the 2019-20 season. He was also name to the first All-Star team.

Tweet from @PorinAssat: Nuorten SM-liigan MVP Antti Tuomisto ja vuoden valmentaja Jere H��rk��l�� palkittiin ennen ottelun alkua!#Patanuoret aloittaa puoliv��lier��t keskiviikkona!#��ss��t #YHDESS��

A Denver University commit, Tuomisto posted the second-best season by a Finnish junior defenseman since the millenium. Current Dallas Stars defenseman Esa Lindell collected 21-30-51 totals for Jokerit U20 in 2011-12.

Tweet from @PorinAssat: Antti Tuomistolta melkoinen sweep🧹 Nuorten SM-liigassa!🏆Paras pelaaja🏆Paras puolustaja🏆All Stars valintaNuorten SM-liigan pudotuspelit k��yntiin 11.3. ja kotona 14.3.#��ss��t #Patanuoret #YHDESS��

KIVENMÄKI HOSPITALIZED: Center Otto Kivenmäki (191st, 2018) was hospitalized after absorbing a vicious hit from David Nemecek in a Feb. 29 SM-Liiga game between Kivenmaki's club Ässät Pori and Nemecek's Lukko Rauma.

Tweet from @TelialovesLiiga: Nemecek taklaa Kivenm��ke�� ja l��htee suihkun puolelle. 😬 #Liiga #��ss��t #Lukko

Nemecek's shoulder caught Kivenmäki's head with such force that the latter's helmet flew off. He hit the ice and lay in a prone position.

Ässät Pori said in a statement that Kivenmäki was stable and conscious after absorbing the hit. It will be 2-3 weeks before a full prognosis can be made in terms of Kivenmaki's recovery time.

In a post on Facebook, Kivenmäki's mother tweeted that her son has no recollection of the hit and has a large cut on his head.

Nemecek was suspended seven games by the league. Kivenmäki has collected 5-16-21 totals in 53 games this season.

On March 2, Kivenmäki was released from the hospital.

Tweet from @DRWProspects: Some positive news: Otto Kivenm��ki was discharged from the hospital today, according to ��ss��t. Link:

HE SHOOTS AND SCORES: In his 22nd game of the season and 36th of his Swedish Hockey League career, Malte Setkov (100th, 2017) finally got on the board.

The 6-foot-6, 192-pound Danish defenseman tallied for the Malmo Redhawks, netting his first SHL career goal in a Feb. 25th 4-3 loss to Linköping.

Tweet from @cmoresport: Malte Setkov trycker in kvitteringen f��r @Malmo_Redhawks - 2-2! #twittpuck #SHL

Setkov also drew an assist during the game.

PETRUZZELLI DOUBLES DOWN: Quinnipiac goaltender Keith Petruzzelli (88th, 2017) collected his second straight ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week award the week of Feb. 10.

Tweet from @ecachockey: Week 1������7������ @MACGoaltending Goalie of the Week: Keith Petruzzelli.The @QU_MIH picked up his 17th win of the season this past weekend, posting a 1.92 GAA and .929 save percentage on the way to three #ECACHockey points.

He posted 25 saves in a 3-2 victory at Yale. Petruzzelli followed up with a 25-save performance during a 2-2 tie with Brown.


Petruzzelli finished the weekend with a 1.92 goals-against average and .929 save percentage. He also was named ECAC goaltender of the week on Feb. 3 and Nov. 19.

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