CHICAGO, IL — It’s a special edition of the Weekly One Timer, as the Chicago Wolves signed defenseman Nolan Valleau to a Professional Try Out on January 31, 2018. Valleau played with the Wolves during their home games on February 2nd and 3rd.
The Weekly One Timer introduces you to one member of the Chicago Wolves organization with five facts about and five quotes from that person.
- Valleau played a year of college hockey for Bowling Green State University in 2014-15 before turning pro, amassing 19 points (2G, 17A) in 39 games. He was named to the NCAA (WCHA) All-Rookie Team.
- His first professional contract was signed with the Rockford IceHogs, who he played 108 games for between 2015 and 2017. He only recorded 20 points during that span, four goals and 16 assists.
- Before signing a PTO with the Wolves, Valleau spent this season playing in the ECHL for the Orlando Solar Bears, where the defenseman has tallied 30 points (8G, 22A) in 36 games.
- He was named to the ECHL’s 2018 All-Star Classic, where he won the hardest shot contest with a 97 MPH shot.
- Valleau played with fellow Wolves player Mackenzie MacEachern for the Chicago Steel of the USHL.
6. MacEachern was surprised when his old teammate told him he was coming to Chicago, according to Valleau.
“He didn’t believe me at first. But, he gave me nothing but good things about Chicago. Said nothing bad. But it’s exciting just being here, getting a chance, so let’s see if I can fill in.”
7. Valleau is looking for a way to better utilize his shot during his second stint in the AHL.
“I’ve got to find enough time. The game’s a little faster in the American League compared to the East Coast League, so we’ll see if I can figure out a way to shoot faster.”
8. The defenseman’s second game in a Wolves sweater was against his former team, the Rockford IceHogs, who the Wolves downed 7-4. When asked about how it felt to help defeat his former team, Valleau said,
“It cost me a little bit of money on the board, but it was good. It’s good seeing those guys, too. I’m still pretty close with a decent amount of guys on the team so it’s good to see them.”
9. Valleau sees his time in Orlando as a positive experience which improved his development.
“[I was] just trying to find more offensive production for myself. The coaching staff down there [in Orlando] is very encouraging and helping me develop as more of an offensive defenseman.”
10. Rocky Thompson was encouraged by his play Friday and Saturday, saying,
“He’s played two seasons in the American Hockey League, he’s been there before, he’s done it. From our perspective, we wanted to free him up to play – we didn’t want to overload him with systems. We just wanted him to play hard and to show us why he’s a good defenseman. Why he had 30 points in 36 games down in the East Coast Hockey League. I thought he came in and did a great job.”