SUN Hockey Pool

Demotion did Wolski a world of good

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:19 AM ET

DENVER -- What a difference a year makes.

The last time Wojtek Wolski faced the Edmonton Oilers - at the Pepsi Center on Oct. 25, 2005 - he was playing on borrowed time and destined to be returned to the Brampton Battalion of the OHL by the Colorado Avalanche.

Last night when the Oilers came calling again, Wolski was in no danger of getting a ticket out of the Mile High City any time soon.

Wolski, 20, took the demotion - he was sent back right after scoring a goal in a 5-3 win over the Oilers - and turned it into honours as OHL player of the year and a third-place finish in league scoring.

"It was tough to take, but they had to make a decision," said Wolski, who opened the scoring last night. "I think they made the right one. They were trying to make sure I developed the right way."

Wolski, born in Poland and raised in Toronto, played nine games with the Avs before he was sent back to Brampton, thus allowing Colorado to avoid using a year of eligibility toward the day he becomes a free agent. A 10th game would've used up a year. With a 2-4-6 in the nine games he played, Wolski, drafted 21st overall by Colorado in 2004, likely deserved to stay in Denver. Instead of sulking over a tough call, he made the most of it.

Wolski tallied 47-81-128 in 56 games with Brampton.

That was enough to earn a call back for playoffs.

"It worked out, I'd say, perfectly," said coach Joel Quenneville. "You never know how guys are going to react. You're upset. You go back to junior and take things for granted.

"They can sulk, hang their heads and feel sorry for themselves. He did the opposite. He had something to prove."


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