Monday, June 15, 2009

Focus on a Thrasher: Joey Crabb

I like to think of the 2008-09 Thrashers season as the "Year of the Wolves." It's a lot better reference than some others that could apply to our last season. We are accustomed to getting several call ups a season from our AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves, when someone is injured. They play a few games and go back.

This year, we had a new head coach straight from the Chicago Wolves, John Anderson. Our goalie for a long stretch of the early season was Ondrej Pavelic. We are a little more accustomed to seeing him as he is the one who comes up when Kari is injured *insert glass Finn joke* This year we also got a few D men who made the jump and stayed around for a little while longer. Nathan Oystrick and Boris Valabik played with the Thrashers the entire season.

Another Wolf, Joey Crabb was called up in late November. He played in 29 games and became a fan favorite, or at least a favorite of this fan. He was sent back down to the AHL in late January, but made a few final appearances for the team in March. I was so glad he was back, I made him this sign. Any excuse for a sign!

Joseph "Joey" Crabb is my dog's favorite Thrasher because Joey was born in Anchorage, Alaska on April 3, 1983. My dog Igloo is an Alaskan Malamute mix and likes all hockey players from Alaska. He told me so. Joey is a right shooting right winger.

Joey played hockey while in high school and says that winning the Alaska High School State Championship was one of his favorite hockey memories.

In the 1999-00 season, Joey played 55 games with the NAHL's U.S. National Under 18 team. Joey scored 13 goals and 10 assists while racking up 69 penalty minutes.

The 2000-01 season saw Joey playing 21 games with the USHL's U.S. Jr. National Team. Joey stayed in the USHL for the 2002-03 season with the Green Bay Gamblers.

Joey decided to "get his learn on" and started Colorado College in 2002. He played for four seasons with Colorado meeting future Wolves/Thrashers teammates Colin Stuart and Brett Sterling.

While at Colorado College, Joey played in 158 games, scored 53 goals and 56 assists while amassing 145 penalty minutes.

Joey had a fantastic season in 2004-05, helping the Colorado College Tigers earn a trip to the Frozen Four. Joey finished the season third in scoring with 32 points. He was one of only five Tigers to play in ever game that season, 43 total. Joey was particularly effective in power play situations. Eleven of his 16 goals were on the power play, ranking him as #2 on the team in power play goals.

Another telling statistic for Joey in the 2004-05 season was his consistency, he posted at least 1 point in 26 of 43 games. Joey and teammate Trevor Frischmon accounted for 16.2% of the Tiger's goals and 13.7% of their points.

In the 2002 NHL Draft, Joey was selected in the seventh round, 226th overall, by the New York Rangers. Joey did not agree to terms with the Rangers on either an NHL or AHL deal, and signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Thrashers in 2006.

In 2006, Joey started playing for the Chicago Wolves. In his first season with the Wolves Joey played 63 games and had 7 goals and 15 assists. What a gentleman, he only had 25 penalty minutes.

In 2007-08 Joey played 72 games in the regular season. He had 9 goals and 26 assists. More importantly, he helped the Chicago Wolves win the Calder Cup! During the playoff run, Joey played 24 games, had 1 goal and 4 assists.

Joey's first NHL goal came on December 10, 2008 in a game against the Dallas Stars. In his 29 games with the Thrashers, Joey scored 4 goals and 5 assists. He scored the game winning goal once and even had a shorthanded goal.

Hopefully we see a lot more of Joey next season...especially at Casino Night. He was lucky for us at blackjack!



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