Edler earns rave reviews from Canucks

ADAM WAZNY -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

HOUSTON -- The Manitoba Moose rolled out the welcome mat for yet another new player yesterday, and will probably keep the carpet out until the end of the week.

Defenceman J.F. David, recently of the Texas Wildcatters, was signed to a professional tryout contract and skated with the Moose yesterday. The Montreal-native had 22 points in 16 games in the ECHL this season.

What the club is going to do with the 24-year-old defenceman is vague, however. David had been on the Moose radar for a while now and with just six defenceman travelling in Texas, the team figured they might as well get a look at him now.

Plus, Manitoba could get even better news on the defensive-front.

With injured all-star hopeful Rory Fitzpatrick expected to rejoin the Vancouver Canucks blue-line tomorrow, signs are pointing to 20-year-old Alex Edler heading back to Manitoba.

But not without some glowing endorsements from the NHL level.

"I'm a big fan of what this young man has done for us," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault told the Vancouver Province. "He sees the ice real well and it doesn't seem like he gets intimidated or rattled against physical teams."

Said fellow Swede and Vancouver captain Markus Naslund:

"He's going to be a good defender in this league for a long time."

Edler has two points in 11 games with the Canucks and is one of a few plus-players on the Vancouver team.

Also expected to join the Moose on this trip is forward Alexandre Bolduc.

Bolduc has been away from the club for the past week due to personal reasons, but is expected to meet up with his Moose teammates in San Antonio tomorrow.

KNIGHT TIME: Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights netminder Curtis McElhinney was selected the AHL player of the week.

McElhinney displayed some nerves on steel in the Knights net, leading his team to a pair of victories over the Houston Aeros last week.

Thursday, the Calgary-native made 29 saves and held the Aeros scoreless over 65 minutes for his third shutout of the season. In the shootout, he stopped four of five Houston attempts to give Omaha a 1-0 win.

Two days later, McElhinney made 28 saves and endured a 13-round shootout to register a 4-3 victory over the Aeros.

The 23-year-old has allowed just four goals in his last four games, lowering his goals-against average to 1.89 this season (good for second in the AHL).


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