Wild acquire Locke from Habs for Belle, sign Kolanos

locke1_200.jpgThe Minnesota Wild, parent club of the AHL’s Houston Aeros, announced today that they have acquired center Corey Locke from the Montreal Canadiens, parent club of the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs, in exchange for defenseman Shawn Belle.

Locke, 24 (5/8/84), has spent the last four seasons with the Bulldogs, totaling 229 points (85-144-229) in 313 games. He is the franchise leader in goals, assists, and points, and paced Hamilton with 22 points (10-12-22) in 22 playoff games en route to the 2007 Calder Cup championship.

Locke posted career highs and led the Bulldogs in all three major offensive categories during the 2007-08 campaign, finishing with 30 goals, 42 assists, and 72 points in 78 games. His performance earned him a spot at the 2008 AHL All-Star Game.

A native of Newmarket, Ont., Locke also made his NHL debut with the Montreal Canadiens last season, appearing in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 8, 2008. The 5-foot-9, 171-pound center was originally drafted by Montreal in 2003.
Locke led the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with 151 points (63-88-151) in 2002-03, when he won the first of his two league Most Valuable Player awards.

Belle, 23 (1/3/85), posted three points (1-2-3) in 63 games on the blue line for the AHL’s Houston Aeros last season.

A former first-round draft pick (30th overall), Belle has totaled 26 points (7-19-26) in 181 career AHL games with Iowa and Houston.

The 6-1, 235-pound Edmonton native has also appeared in nine NHL contests with Minnesota and shows one assist.

kolanos_400.jpgMinnesota also announced on Friday the signing of forward Krys Kolanos to a contract for the 2008-09 season.

Kolanos, 26 (7/27/81), recorded 63 points (30-33-63), including 11 power play goals and three game-winning goals, in 63 games with the AHL’s Quad City Flames in 2007-08. He ranked tied for first in goals and second in scoring for Quad City and his 272 shots on goal ranked tied for second in the AHL.

Kolanos has totaled 136 points (66-70-136) in 154 career AHL games with Springfield, San Antonio, Lowell, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Grand Rapids, and Quad City.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Calgary native has also notched 35 points (17-18-35) in 115 career NHL matches with Phoenix and Edmonton.

Kolanos scored the game-winning goal for Boston College in a 3-2 overtime win against North Dakota in the 2001 NCAA hockey championship game and was named to the All-Tournament Team.

He was originally selected by the Coyotes in the first round (19th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.