Canes GM Ron Francis and Josh Wesley (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
Josh Wesley may play defense like his Stanley Cup-winning dad Glen, but the Plymouth Whalers blueliner also has a great offensive dimension, which he proved by scoring an amazing goal in the Ontario League.
If Erie Otters goaltender Devin Williams is looking for someone to blame after he was victimized by Josh Wesley, perhaps he should write a terse letter to Colin Muldoon.
See, defensemen don't usually have moves like the ones Wesley pulled off against Erie, but there's an explanation for that.
Muldoon was Wesley's coach with the under-14 Carolina Jr. Hurricanes and the reason the son of retired Stanley Cup-winning defenseman Glen Wesley went from playing forward to back on the blueline. Soon after, Wesley joined the Ontario League's Plymouth Whalers as a rearguard, but as you can see here, his offensive instincts are still pretty honed:
At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Wesley has the size to be a deterrent in his own end, but clearly Muldoon was onto something when he asked the teen to switch positions.
"My coach knew that I was big and that I liked to skate backwards, so he put me out there on 'D,' " Wesley said. "At first I didn't really know what to do; I was standing on the blueline. But he grabbed my cage when I was sitting on the bench and said 'go out there and do what you know how to do, just play like a fourth forward.' From there, it's been a process of learning the position and I think it's all coming to me now."
Wesley was selected 96th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes this summer and skated with the team – not to mention his dad, who now works for the organization he spent most of his playing career with – at the Traverse City rookie tournament, where they finished fourth out of eight teams. The big blueliner is one of a growing number of prospects coming out of the American South and it's worth noting that the All-American Prospects Game last week featured players from Georgia and Texas, plus Washington, D.C., where the Capitals used to represent the Southeast Division. Still, there's a ways to go before those markets become Michigan or Minnesota.
"It's definitely growing," Wesley said. "It was a little harder finding the ice time to work on your skills, but once you got out there, you knew it was practice time."
And as the Erie Otters found out on Wesley's goal, sometimes it's also Snipe time.
(Highlight video first found by Neate Sager of Buzzing the Net)