Postma could start in Chicago

I talked to Paul Postma during the Prospect Development Camp, along with Daulton Leveille and Eric O’Dell, earlier this month so we would have something to blog about this summer.

It looks like Postma should start the year in Chicago. He did have some standout moments at camp.

“I think I will be in Chicago probably,” Postma said. “We’ll see how long I have to play there for but whatever it takes I’ll do.”

Here are his stats from last season playing for Calgary in the WHL. He had 84 points, 23 goals, 61 assists in 70 games. He set team records for single-season goals and points by a defenseman. He was also a league-high plus-67. In 18 playoff games he had 13 points, five goals and eight assists. He was a plus-9.

He was named a WHL first-team all-star in the East.

He really fits the Thrashers’ future. He’s big – 6-foot-2 – and is an offensive defenseman. Like most of the Thrasher prospect, he needs to add some weight. He’s listed at 175 pounds.

“It’s awesome for me,” Postma said of the Thrashers’ system. “As good as I like to play defensively, I like to contribute a little bit offensively as well. The type of system they run here, they let their defense do that. That’s something that’s huge for me. I’m going to take the time to show off the best part of my game.”

The Thrashers thought enough of him to sign the 20 year old to a three-year deal in April after drafting him in the seventh round (205 overall) in 2007.

On his experience at the prospect camp – his second – he said: “It’s in the middle of summer and helps to get your legs back. Mentally, you have to stay in the mindset of working hard to get to the next level and this is a real reminder of what you need to do to get there.”

85 comments Add your comment

GaVaHokie

July 27th, 2009
10:09 am

First… good stuff.

GaVaHokie

July 27th, 2009
10:09 am

I like seeing guys excited about the Anderson system and working hard.

Tom

July 27th, 2009
10:42 am

Postma was the best player at Prospect Camp by far on the Sunday scrimmage. I could easily see him in a Thrashers uniform very soon.

Toby

July 27th, 2009
10:44 am

Those WHL stats are incredible. I’m really excited about this kid…hopefully he keeps up the numbers in Chicago

Brendan

July 27th, 2009
11:38 am

I know we never talk about it, but how do you assess the Chicago Wolves chances of winning the Calder Cup this year? That team, if it keeps the ‘tweers, looks to be pretty good. And will presummably have Pavelec in net.

Nice blog, Chris Vivlamore. I’d like to get Nathan Oystrick’s reaction to splitting time between the ice and the pressbox.

World Be Free

July 27th, 2009
12:32 pm

He may be pushing a vet for a job at training camp. Combination of size and offensive skill.

Jameson

July 27th, 2009
12:58 pm

Brendan- I agree. The Wolves look good this year. I’m sure all the fans in Chicago will be happy to see Krog playing along side Sterling, again.

GaVaHokie

July 27th, 2009
12:59 pm

He may be pushing a vet for a job at training camp. Combination of size and offensive skill.

He’s only 175 lbs.

Nouah

July 27th, 2009
1:01 pm

Late round draft pick could always create a surprise. Do we really need Valabik? If he can’t turn up as a Chara type player, I will get rid of him and use Postma instead. Our defensive squad will be really impressive in a near future, with a long term contract to Kovy, emergence of Little and Kane, without forgetting Morin and Klingberg we will be a threat really soon.

Keep an eye on Lasu, Denny (so mean!!!)and O’dell as well, they will have an impact in coming years

Nouah, the only Thrashers fan in Montreal

Sadtoseeitthisway

July 27th, 2009
1:47 pm

Can Postma clear oppposing forwards from the crease? Thrashers have a history of letting in too many goals from close in. We already have some lightweight Dmen. This is why everyone keeps talking about Boris making the final roster, he will play the physical style we need. This guy needs to put on some bulk, THEN see where his game is.

Chris Vivlamore

July 27th, 2009
2:03 pm

Just spoke to Don Waddell about Kari’s back surgery. It’s not a new injury. Lingering affects from the injury that cost him games last season. He started working out and complained of pain. I’m writing a little something now, but I know you guys were interested in whether it was an old or new injury. I’ll add the Forney signing to the story.

Brendan

July 27th, 2009
2:07 pm

Well, I’m just glad Kari is taking care of it now, so that he can return to the team in time for training camp. Or, at least, not miss much of it.

Brendan

July 27th, 2009
2:11 pm

Jameson, do you happen to have a rough configuration of the forward lines and defensive pairings for the Chicago Wolves? I’m interested in seeing how they stack up against the rest of the AHL. The Wolves may just turn out to be as competitive for hockey tix in Chicago as the Blackhawks surely will be this year. I do think Kevin Chevaldayoff benefits from having Don Waddell as the GM of the Thrashers. Waddell signs “depth” guys and puts them in Chicago, and almost every trade deadline, he acquires a minor league guy for Chicago. I hope Chevaldayoff sends Waddell a nice fruit basket every year at Christmas time.

polskidawg

July 27th, 2009
2:38 pm

Sounds promising and at least 2 years away. If he can keeps his numbers in the AHL to 50+% of his WHL numbers (especially +/-!) and eat lots of Italian food in Chicago, he may be a good find for DW.

Jameson

July 27th, 2009
4:06 pm

Brendan- They don’t have the roster posted on the team site, yet, so I’m not really sure how the lines will shape up. I would think the top line, which will probably look like Sterling-Krog-Machacek will be quite the force in the AHL, though.

Brendan

July 27th, 2009
4:57 pm

Jameson, I can’t argue about that. And they’ll have Grant Lewis on D, along with Chad Denny, with Pavelec in net. Krog, Sterling, Machaceck … if Holzapfel there? Who’s that player we got from the Leafs in the Exelby/C. Stuart trade? Will he be there, too? Was it Stapleton? Or some name like that? Imagine if the Wolves still had Darren Haydar.

The Earl of Bud (formerly Ice Dog)

July 27th, 2009
7:18 pm

Great article Chris. Given that Oystrick and Valabik are going to fight for the last spot, there’s no problem with this kid starting out in Chicago.

I think this guy will fit perfectly with Anderson’s puck moving defensemen. I will be very happy if a 7th rounder pushes some of these vets for their job. As Toby and Polskidawg said, let’s see him post some big numbers at the next level up.

I am mad that Lehtonen didn’t get the surgery sooner if it’s from/due to last year. But if that creates a window for Pavelec to shine, then it can be a good thing.

Brendan, Stapleton is not making this squad. He better be in Chicago. He is small to begin with and at 27 has less than a dozen career NHL games. He spent a couple years playing in Europe and I’m not sure of the story there but I don’t interpret it as a good sign when you are American born (vs. say Salmella or Nikulin). I think Waddudley took him to make it an even player exchange since in essence we were giving up two mediums to get one good one. He did average a point/game in his one year in the AHL though (79 pts in 70 games). Could be a good fit in Chicago then for them to make a run at the Calder Cup as you say.

The Earl of Bud

July 27th, 2009
7:22 pm

Brendan, I just double checked his stats to see if my memory served correct and while one source does have him at 79 pts in 70 games, another source has him at 54 pts in 51 games last year. Either way it is a pt/game.

Brendan

July 27th, 2009
10:49 pm

If there’s a hardcore AHL fan out there, I’d like you to post a ranking of the AHL teams, once one is published, for the 2009-10 season. I’d have to think the Wolves are at the high-end of that list. Postma, Kulda, Kaip, the names go on and on. And Stapleton, too. I think it’s been done when a Stanley Cup Champion and an AHL Champion have come from the same team in the same year. I can’t remember when it happened, though. I’m thinking Detroit Vipers and Detroit Red Wings?? Or Denver Grizzlies and Colorado Avalanche. Uhh, I could be wrong. I might be mixing a defunct IHL league Champion (Turner Cup) for a Calder Cup (AHL). Nevermind.

The segue I was looking for … is that the Blackhawks and Wolves might do it this year. I guess they’d hold TWO parades down Rush St.???

Brendan

July 27th, 2009
10:59 pm

Ay, ay, aye. I was going for … two hockey championships for the same city. Not same team/organization. The “literal crowd” will appear any moment now to ravage me. Speaking of which, how is the weather in Kalamazoo, Michigan, these days? Are they experiencing a lovely “Indian Summer?”

Toby

July 28th, 2009
8:13 am

Chris

Since you spoke with Dub the other day, any hints as to how the Kovy negotiations are going?

The Earl of Bud

July 28th, 2009
11:01 am

Brendan, the NBA and NHL champs have never come from the same city. But, in ‘04 the owner of the Pistons and Lightning was the same guy when they both won it. Given that there is no basketball in Canada (sorry Raptors) and major expansion didn’t come until the 70’s, Edmonton and Montreal pretty much eliminate the chance. You can go off of memory pretty much as to when you came close (one team won and the other lost from the same city). My guesses would be the year Keenan took the Blackhawks was right in the middle of the Bulls run, so that was once. I think Keenan did it again with the Rangers only to see the Knicks lose. I have to think all the years the Celtics won it that the Bruins at least once went when it was still an original 6 league. Or when the Bruins were winning it that the Celtics might have gone once.

The Earl of Bud

July 28th, 2009
11:04 am

Gotta remember to close that italic.

Smoothie

July 28th, 2009
12:27 pm

@ Chris V,

Would you mind asking Don Waddell next time you get the chance about the supposed open offer to Manny Malhotra that was reported by the Columbus Dispatch, who apparently got the information from his agent?

It would be nice to hear that DW is in fact interested in a player like MM or someone of his ilk. But then again, I guess Don very rarely tips his hand although he did not hide the fact that they had every intention of making a trade to get a top 4 blueliner.

Of course, the most interesting thing about the rumor is the amount of the offer (which is too high and too long in my opinion) and the ASG NEVER discusses anything of that nature.

The Earl of Bud

July 28th, 2009
1:00 pm

Smoothie, how much would you offer MM if he just finished a contract getting paid $1.5 mil? You have to offer him something extra to beat out the other teams who apparantley are interested in him and he probably wants a raise on the $1.5 mil on top of that. So $2 mil/year doesn’t seem like too much considering what his market value is. 4 years for a guy who hasn’t hit 30 yet isn’t too long either.

jared

July 28th, 2009
1:28 pm

vinny prospal was just bought out. weird, i would take him here, he’s a good veteran who will be cheap coming off of a bad year. Hes typically known for being like kozlov- good one year bad the other. maybe they could pick alternate bad years?

Toby

July 28th, 2009
1:32 pm

He doesn’t fix Atlanta’s problem which is constantly being out-shot and scored on. Last year he was a -20. No help there….

Smoothie

July 28th, 2009
1:46 pm

2 years at an avg of $1.75 M. He didn’t exactly live up to that last contract as he had one really good year after underperforming for 3 years. With that in mind, I’d give him 2 years at most, maybe three if he was okay with only a moderate raise to $1.6 M or so.

But anyway, I’d rather go after Pyatt because he is younger and cheaper with still more upside than his last season indicates.

The Earl of Bud

July 28th, 2009
2:12 pm

Toby, Altanta’s problem is the PK. MM can fix that as he was Columbus’ leading PK forward and they were in the top half of the league.

Smoothie, is $1.6 mil going to get MM here instead of the other teams that are seeking his service? Do you really think that he was not given at least a $100 thousand raise by them as well? Should we “outbid” the other teams?

Pyatt was on 3 teams so far and all 3 have decided to cut ties with him. They didn’t see the upside.

The Earl of Bud

July 28th, 2009
2:16 pm

Smoothie, I was also going to say, I think the reason we have to pay $2 mil instead of $1.6 mil is because we have to outbid Detroit, Edmonton, etc. When I reread my last post it was not as clear.

Smoothie

July 28th, 2009
2:49 pm

In that case, then we should be looking to our prospects and younger players who can do the job for less which is what I think we will do.

While we may have offered Malhotra a contract, I’m not so sure I am willing to take the 4 year, $8 M details as fact. Anyway, how in the world is a guy who has never scored more than 12 goals suddenly worth $1.5 M let alone $2 M??

Obviously CBJ overpaid for him coming out of the lockout. However, why would you overpay by that much even if you are at the bottom of the FA featured destination list when you have some young players ready to fill the void? I just don’t think we’re that desperate.

$1.75 M is more than FMV if you ask me. As to the whole overpaying argument, you are prolly right. My argument isn’t whether we might have to pay that, but more along the lines of why would you pay that when it’s not worth it? In this day and age of shrinking cap space, let’s hope that guys like Malhotra are forced to come back to earth w/r/t their lofty expectations in FA.

Toby

July 28th, 2009
2:55 pm

Bud

Sorry man…should of been more specific…I meant Prospal. I would take a pass on him.

On the other hand, I think MM would be an upgrade on the PK and would love to sign him. Then Kane can spend another year in juniors and pack on some more muscle. I feel like Dub has already granted him a spot on the team and is rushing him in. MM would look great as our third line LW

The Earl of Bud

July 28th, 2009
3:19 pm

“Anyway, how in the world is a guy who has never scored more than 12 goals suddenly worth $1.5 M let alone $2 M??”

Easy. You are a checking line forward, your job is not to score but stop the other team’s best line from scoring. And you do a fantastic job on the PK. Granted Jere Lehtinen probably gets around 20 goals, but he is also getting paid around $4 mil/year. Todd Marchant got 20 goals once in his career, but he is getting over $2.5 mil/year.

stendec

July 29th, 2009
12:15 am

Hugs all around. Hope all is well. I concede. Saw glorious photo on Thrasher page. Nice shot. Energetic looking player. I am sure he will do well this season. Seems to possess a world of potential. Surgery or no surgery. Wish him best on brain operation. What? Well, whatever kind of surgery it is. This guy is a future NHL Hall of Fame shoo in! Voted for Kari Lehtonen (even spelled his name right gol durn it) in poll. Know how much of a fan favorite this netminder is. Potential star if ever I saw one. Fans got what they by God wanted. Hockey intellectuals these fans! Hope these same folks will not be too disappointed when team fails to reach playoffs this season. Falcons will be there. Some solace. Thrashers will probably average around three goals per game but other teams will score at a 4.5 goals per clip average. Defense does win championships and equates to playoff appearances. Oh well. Sports is not life. I really do not give a LaLa Land petunia. Have officially switched allegiances to Pittsburgh Penguins! Should be another fantastic WINNING season. God bless. Peace. Amen. Good night.

dwayne

July 29th, 2009
6:22 am

Stendec….how boring, howewver, I did see your “rant” on the Falcon blog yesterday, enjoyed it. God Bless you too.

World Be Free

July 29th, 2009
8:14 am

EOB-Marchant would have been a perfect fir for the Thrashers.

dwayne

July 29th, 2009
8:43 am

Pronger would look good in Thrasher Blue, what kind of $$, player package deal would it take?

GaVaHokie

July 29th, 2009
12:19 pm

I’m interested in seeing what happens with Zherdev on Friday (arbitration hearing)… if the Rangers decide to walk away, there’s gotta be some teams willing to jump all over that.

I hope Atlanta is one of them.

Kovalchuk Antropov Zherdev… awww yeah!

World Be Free

July 29th, 2009
12:32 pm

GaVa-Zherdev; only if Kovy can movtivate him to play every night. Your suggested line combination is very interesting!

GaVaHokie

July 29th, 2009
12:38 pm

He played pretty hard in NY… can’t believe he’s not signed long-term already. Plus, he’s got a little experience playing with Antropov now (with the Rangers).

He’s among the league leaders in shots.

I’d give him 4 years $16 million in the blink of an eye.

The Earl of Bud

July 29th, 2009
12:38 pm

GaVaHokie, I am just as torqued to see Kov-Pev-Antro. World Be Free nailed it that Zherdev doesn’t show up night in and night out. Maybe an all-Russian line can change that. Although Peverley and Little together can be some magic. But I don’t want White on the 3rd line although he can log more PK minutes and may do quite well there.

dwayne

July 29th, 2009
3:22 pm

White and fill in the blank to rangers for Zherdev….maybe a sign and trade??

Brendan

July 29th, 2009
4:00 pm

So, what are Frank Kaberle’s plan, now that he’s been bought out by Carolina?

World Be Free

July 29th, 2009
7:11 pm

dwayne, good chance the Rangers will walk away from Zherdev’s abitration award, if he gets anywhere close to what he is asking for. Then we can potentially get him for nothing.

That’s if we want him.

Jeff

July 30th, 2009
6:12 am

Brandon:

This could be the Wolves defense this year:

Kulda, Postma, Vernace, Lewis, Welch and?

Denny and Lehman will be back with them. But I am not sure yet if either will be back playing forward or defense, or playing a bit at both positions. Denny and Lehman both played quite a bit at forward last season.

D-men not returning to the Wolves include: Wilson, Skinner and Rivers. Also possibly not returning is Brooks, Sipotz and Insana.

Jeff

July 30th, 2009
6:14 am

Excuse me, I meant “Brendan” instead of Brandon. Oops! :)

GaVaHokie

July 30th, 2009
9:00 am

Interesting if Jason Williams signs with Detroit… that’ll be 2 years in a row he’s been asked to replace Marian Hossa on a team.

The Earl of Bud

July 30th, 2009
10:34 am

GaVaHokie, Williams isn’t going there to replace Hossa though. Franzen will take Hossa’s top line RW spot with Datsyuk. Cleary will be the 2nd line RW. That leaves Williams going there to replace Samuelsson (free agent to Vancouver).

GaVaHokie

July 30th, 2009
11:17 am

… and Hudler.

World Be Free

July 30th, 2009
12:06 pm

Williams was a bust here, why would Detroit sign him? and Andy Delmore?

Delmore is a total stiff.