P.E.I. Rocket signs younger Phaneuf

Marcel Vander Wier sports@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on October 18, 2011
P.E.I. Rocket

The P.E.I. Rocket have brought in a young defenceman with a big name for a tryout.

Dane Phaneuf, the younger brother of Dion Phaneuf, was claimed on waivers last week from the Western Hockey League's Prince George Cougars.

Phaneuf's agent Don Meehan called Rocket president and governor Serge Savard Jr. and asked if he'd be interested in giving the youngster a chance in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

"He asked me that favour, and I said yes," Savard Jr. told the Guardian.

"He's only 17. We don't know the kid very much, but so far he's impressed us in practices. We'll see when he's going to play."

The Edmonton-born Phaneuf, who has family living on P.E.I., was a third-round draft pick by the Cougars in 2009.

"He's not like his brother," Savard Jr. added. "I don't want people to compare him to Dion. We see him as a steady defenceman that can just do the simple plays."

Phaneuf played one game last season with the Cougars, and was minus-3.

The 5-foot-10, 178-pound right-handed rearguard said he was excited for a change of scenery.

"I'm really happy with it," he said. "I'm ready to go, and am just waiting to get my chance. This is a fresh start and I'm happy to be here.

"I just want to contribute everything I can and develop to be a better player.

"I like to play offensively, but I play defence, so that's my first goal. But whatever they need me to fill in here, I'm ready to do."

In November 2009, Phaneuf became a YouTube sensation when he rubbed out Hayley Wickenheiser behind the net during a non-contact exhibition game between his bantam club and the women's national team.

The 31-year-old Wickenheiser took exception to the hit at the time and tried to wrestle the 15-year-old to the ice.

Other Rocket news

Eighteen-year-old defenceman Dylan Capstick of Verdun, Que., has left the team for personal reasons.

"Dylan wants to do something else in life," said Savard Jr.

On Monday, goalie Maxime Lagacé was named the league's second star of the week.

Friday, Lagacé stopped 35 shots to lead his team to a 2-1 victory over Moncton.

He was named first star of the game.

On Sunday, he was named third star of the game after stopping 44 of 48 shots in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Drummondville Voltigeurs.