With the season underway fans are finally getting the chance to see the players on the ice doing what they do best. Still though, some of the guys might be unfamiliar to fans, so we want to continue our Meet the Heat segment and keep putting names to faces for you, the fans.
This time around we feature one of the highest rated prospects in Calgary’s system, defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon.
Entering his third season as a pro, Wotherspoon has high expectations for himself and wants to, as anyone on this roster does, break onto the Calgary roster and make his home in Alberta.
However, he will have to prove himself in Stockton first.
In his last two seasons in the Calgary organization, the 22-year-old has collected 33 points in 109 AHL games, while making 15 appearances for the Flames and earning 4 assists.
As a former second-round pick of the Flames, Wotherspoon is seen as a guy that could be an integral part of Calgary’s blueline sooner rather than later. However, Calgary’s surplus of defensive talent at the NHL level has been both a roadblock and a potential blessing in disguise for Wotherspoon.
Of course he would love to be in Calgary playing for the big club, but there is such a thing as ruining a prospects chances of success by expecting too
much too soon.
The depth of Calgary’s defensive corps affords Wotherspoon the opportunity to truly hone his game at the AHL level, so that when the call does come he is as ready as possible to step up and make a big difference.
The Burnaby, BC native spent his junior career in the WHL with the Portland Winterhawks where he became a star blueliner with one of the top junior teams in recent memory.
His last year with the Winterhawks in 2012-13, Wotherspoon played with Seth Jones (Nashville Predators), Troy Rutkowski (Colorado Avalanche) and Derrick Pouliot (Pittsburgh Penguins) to form one of the best bluelines in major junior and finished just shy of a Memorial Cup Trophy, losing in the championship to the Halifax Mooseheads.
In his 239 games played in Portland, Wotherspoon amassed 82 points and 166 penalty minutes, establishing himself as a solid, steady defensive prospect.
Now he suits up every night for the Stockton Heat and his pairing with Jakub Nakladal in the first game last Saturday proved a good fit, as the two earned the starting nod and combined for 3 assists.
Read the other Meet the Heat’s:
Jon Gillies – Goaltender
Hunter Smith – Forward
Bill Arnold – Forward
Brett Kulak – Defenseman
Morgan Klimchuk – Forward
Kenny Agostino – Forward
Austin Carroll – Forward
Ryan Lomberg – Forward
Colton Orr – Forward