Wolves ink first-rounder Little to ATO

The Chicago Wolves have signed center Bryan Little, the Atlanta Thrashers’ first-round pick (12th overall) in the 2006 National Hockey League draft, to an amateur tryout contract (ATO).

The 19-year-old forward, who joins defenseman Boris Valabik as the second first-rounder on the Wolves current roster, ranked sixth in the Ontario Hockey League with 66 assists and shared sixth with 107 points in 57 games with the Barrie Colts in 2006-07. Little paced the Colts with nine points (4g, 5a) in eight postseason contests before the squad was eliminated in the East Division Final.

The Edmonton, Alta., native helped Canada capture the gold medal at the 2007 World Junior Championships in January, notching two points (1g, 1a) in six games to help the squad post a perfect 6-0-0 record in the tournament, which was held in Mora and Leksand, Sweden.

Little, who was named the 2003-04 OHL Rookie of the Year, racked up 153 goals, 342 points and 228 penalty minutes in 247 career regular-season games with Barrie spanning four seasons (2003-2007). He notched career highs in goals (42), assists (67) and points (109) in 64 tilts in 2005-06.