Nashville Predators goaltender Dan Ellis set off a firestorm of conversation among Preds fans earlier today when he posted the following on Twitter:
I hear we are calling willy and yonks up. It will be good to see those guys again...been awhile.
"Willy", of course, is Colin Wilson, the 2008 1st-round draft pick who has gotten on a roll lately after injury concerns slowed him during the opening months of the season. "Yonks" is Nolan Yonkman, the captain of the Milwaukee Admirals, a 28-year-old defensive blueliner with 50 games of NHL experience across three seasons with Washington. He's in his fourth season with Milwaukee, but this is his first callup to Nashville. Click his name in the info box below to check out his scouting report:
#34 / Defenseman / Nashville Predators
Apr 01, 1981
This triggers all sorts of questions, naturally.
Will Wilson play on the wing, given the presence of Cal O'Reilly and Marcel Goc at center? Does Yonkman's callup mean that another defenseman is on his way out via trade (like Dan Hamhuis)?
UPDATE: Marcel Goc will not play tonight, so Wilson presumably fills a center spot.
The text of the team's press release follows after the jump. One very important point to note here is that Yonkman's recall is not related to a roster emergency, so if he plays 10 games or stays on the roster for 30 days, he would have to pass through waivers if sent back down to Milwaukee (hence the trade speculation).
UPDATE #2: We can probably set aside the trade speculation for the moment, as the team mentioned via Twitter that Dan Hamhuis' wife Sarah is about to deliver their 2nd child, so that would explain why they need an extra D on hand right now.
As the PR notes, defenseman Cody Franson has been placed on injured reserve due to his rib injury.
Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has recalled forward Colin Wilson and defenseman Nolan Yonkman from Milwaukee (AHL), and placed defenseman Cody Franson on injured reserve.
Wilson, 20 (10/20/89), started his rookie professional season with the Predators, posting a goal and an assist while averaging 13:57 of ice time in 10 games from Oct. 12-31. Assigned to Milwaukee on Nov. 22, 2009, the Greenwich, Conn., native has 29 points (12g-17a) in 35 games at the AHL level, including 24 points (9g-15a) in his last 17 outings. Nashville's first choice (seventh overall) in the 2008 Entry Draft was also recently named Reebok AHL Rookie of the Month for January.
Yonkman, 28 (4/1/81), has been exclusively with the Admirals since the start of the 2006-07 campaign, serving as captain for the past two seasons. He last dressed for an NHL game on April 18, 2006 with Washington (at Tampa Bay), and has eight points (1g-7a) and 90 penalty minutes in 50 career NHL contests, all which came with the Capitals between 2002-06. The Punnichy, Sask., native paces Milwaukee with 112 penalty minutes, in addition to posting nine points (2g-7a), in 52 games this season.