Alex Friesen
Image: NHL

Alex Friesen

Hometown:

Niagara on the Lake Ontario

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1991-01-30

Position:

C

Eligible for draft:

2009

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2010

Height:

5-10

Acquired:

6th round (172nd overall), 2010

Weight:

186 lbs.

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History

2008-09: Alex Friesen skated in 64 games for the Niagara IceDogs and led the team in assists in the playoffs in his second OHL season. Friesen scored 11 goals with 22 assists and was -12 with 94 PMs during the regular season. The IceDogs reached the second round of the OHL playoffs after finishing with a sub-.500 record. In 12 playoff games Friesen scored 3 goals with 7 assists and was -2 with 25 PMs.

2009-10: Friesen was the Niagara IceDogs’ second-leading scorer and finished with a team-high +18 plus/minus in his third season with the club. In 60 games he scored 23 goals and led the IceDogs with 37 assists while racking up 94 PMs. The IceDogs slipped into the OHL playoffs with a losing record for the second season. In Niagara’s five-game series with the Ottawa 67’s Friesen scored 1 goal with 6 assists and was -5 with 8 PMs. In his second year of eligibility, Friesen was not ranked among the 210 North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings but was selected by the Canucks in the sixth round (172nd overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft.

2010-11: Friesen had his best offensive season in his fourth year with Niagara as the IceDogs added several high profile prospects and finished with the OHL’s second-best record. He scored 26 goals with 40 assists and was +29 with 61 PMs in 60 games during the regular season. Niagara reached the third round of the OHL playoffs and Friesen was +7 and scored 2 goals with 8 assists and 19 PMs in 14 playoff games.

2011-12: Friesen returned to Niagara for a fifth season in the OHL as a 20-year-old. Playing on a loaded Ice Dogs team that finished first in the Central Division and reached the OHL finals, Friesen was Niagara’s fourth-leading scorer with 26 goals and 45 assists in 62 games and led the team in penalty minutes (106). He was one of five players for the Ice Dogs with 20 or more points in the playoffs – scoring 8 goals with 14 assists in 20 games and was plus-seven with 18 penalty minutes.  Friesen was named to the OHL’s third all-star team and signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Canucks in May of 2012.

2012-13: Friesen played in 42 games for Vancouver’s AHL affiliate in Chicago in his first pro season and also spent time with the ECHL’s Kalamazoo Wings. Seeing limited time in a lower line role for the Wolves he scored 1 goal with 4 assists and was +4 with 22 penalty minutes. Chicago finished fourth in the Midwest Division and missed the AHL playoffs. In 10 ECHL games he had 4 assists and was -2 with 2 penalty minutes. Kalamazoo finished four points behind Greenville for the final playoff spot.

2013-14: Friesen skated in 54 regular season games for Vancouver AHL affiliate Utica in his second pro season. He scored 6 goals with 14 assists and was +5 with 32 penalty minutes. The Comets finished third in the North Division, four points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. 

Talent Analysis

Friesen, despite his small stature, is a heart-and-soul type player willing to throw his body around — sometimes to his own detriment. He loves to bang and crash and displays skill and determination in the faceoff circle. After missing time in each of his first three pro seasons he is learning to better pick his spots for aggressive plays and throwing body checks. He was a consistent scorer at the junior level on some powerful Niagara teams but has been more of an energy, checking line player during his pro career.

Future
Friesen was given a one year contract extension for 2015-16 and will spend most of, if not all of the season with Utica. His aggressive style and rambunctious nature make him an ideal AHL forward and he will be a leader on a much younger Utica team. Long-term Friesen's upside appears limited but his willingness to do whatever it takes to help his team, regardless of his size, suggests he can play an effective lower line role.

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