Thrashers Sign 2006 First-Round Pick Bryan Little
Atlanta, GA -- The Atlanta Thrashers have signed forward Bryan Little, the team's first-round selection, 12th overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell.
Little, 19, tied for sixth in the Ontario Hockey League with 107 points (41 goals, 66 assists) in 57 games with the Barrie Colts last season. The 5-10, 190-pound center led the club and finished 15th overall in goals, shared the league lead with 10 game-winning goals and tied for third in the OHL with a team-high six short-handed goals. He also led the Colts and ranked sixth in the league in assists, placed third on the squad with 13 power-play goals, and ranked second on the team and tied for 15th in the OHL with a plus-31 rating.
"Bryan is a talented player and a high-character individual who we are excited to add to our organization," said Waddell. "He's enjoyed a successful junior career and represented Canada in several international competitions, and we look forward to his continued development at the professional level."
The native of Edmonton, Alberta, topped the Colts with five assists and nine points, and ranked second with four goals in eight post-season games this season. In the 2006-07 OHL Coaches Poll, Little was selected as the hardest worker, the player with the best shot and the best on faceoffs for the Eastern Conference. In that annual poll, Little was also chosen second in the playmaker category, and was third in both the hardest-shot and most dangerous in the goal area categories.
Little helped Canada capture the gold medal at the 2007 World Junior Championships, scoring a goal in the 4-2 win over Russia in the championship game on Jan. 5, 2007. He notched two points (one goal, one assist) in six games to help Canada post a perfect 6-0-0 record in the tournament, which was held in Mora and Leksand, Sweden.
Little wrapped up his OHL career with 342 points (153 goals, 189 assists) in 247 games over four seasons from 2003-07. Little, who grew up in Cambridge, Ontario, set OHL career highs with 42 goals, 67 assists and 109 points and matched his career best with 64 games in 2005-06, sharing sixth in the league in points, tying for 11th in goals and ranking seventh in assists. He finished with more than 50 points, including consecutive 100-plus point campaigns, and scored over 30 goals in all four of his OHL seasons.
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