KENNEWICK, WA - Tri-City Americans Governor/General Manager Bob Tory announced today that the club has signed 17-year-old prospect Matthew Gelinas (pron. Jel-in-aw) to a standard WHL Players Contract.
Gelinas, a 6'3 205-pound left wing from Calgary, Alberta, is currently playing his second season with the Calgary Royals of the Alberta Midget Hockey League. Through 24 games this season, Gelinas leads the Royals in both goals scored (18) and points (30) to go along with his 30 penalty minutes. Gelinas also sits just outside the top-5 in the race for the AMHL scoring title. Last season, Gelinas finished his rookie season with the Royals by totaling 4 goals and 13 points in 34 games.
Matthew is the son of longtime NHL veteran, and current Calgary Flames assistant coach, Martin Gelinas. Martin, a former first round pick by Los Angeles in 1988, played in 1,273 NHL games between Edmonton, Quebec, Vancouver, Carolina, Calgary, Florida and Nashville, combining for 309 goals, 660 points and 820 penalty minutes. Martin, the former Canadian Hockey League Rookie of the Year (1988), won a Stanley Cup championship with Edmonton in 1990 and made three more Stanley Cup Final appearances with Vancouver (1994), Carolina (2002) and Calgary (2004).
"Matthew is a skilled player, with very good size, and comes from a talented family," explained Tory. "He has a nose for the net and excellent vision and we see him developing into a nice offensive player. We are happy that Matt and his family have committed to the WHL and to being a part of our program."
Gelinas will join the club this Wednesday and Friday, when the Americans play on the road against the Kamloops Blazers and Kelowna Rockets respectively, and then will return to Calgary to continue his second season with the Royals.
Fresh off a weekend split with the Victoria Royals, Tri-City rounds out their four-game road swing this week. Before wrapping up the swing on Friday in Kelowna, the Americans will visit Interior Savings Centre on Wednesday for their third meeting with the Blazers this year. The series is currently knotted at one, with each team earning a home-ice victory thus far. Game time is 7:00 p.m. Fans can catch all the action live, via WHL Live, at the Americans' home away from home, Kimo's, in Richland. The game will also air live on NewsTalk 870 AM, starting with the Sterling Bank Warm-up Show at 6:45 p.m.