Thrashers assign 14 to Chicago

The Atlanta Thrashers have assigned 14 players to the Chicago Wolves, including goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who was named The Hockey News minor pro prospect of the year last season.

In addition, the Thrashers assigned forwards Stephen Baby, Kevin Doell, Tommi Santala, Brad Schell, Karl Stewart and Colin Stuart; defensemen Jeff Dwyer, Paul Flache, Lane Manson, Brian Sipotz and Libor Ustrnul; and goaltenders Adam Berkhoel and Michael Garnett to Chicago.

Lehtonen paced Wolves netminders with 20 wins, a 2.41 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage in 39 regular-season appearances last year, was a perfect 4-0-0 in his NHL debut with Atlanta, was voted to start in the 2004 AHL All-Star Game and represented runner-up Finland in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

Berkhoel led the University of Denver to the 2004 NCAA championship and was named the Frozen Four MVP. The 23-year-old goaltender recorded a 24-11-4 mark with a 2.45 goals-against average in 39 games for the Pioneers.