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Anchorage defenseman might play for the Aces

Doyle Woody

Best-case scenario for William Wrenn -- he makes the cut with Worcester Sharks coming out of training camp and begins his pro career with the American Hockey League club.

Best-case scenario for the Alaska Aces -- the NHL's San Jose Sharks, who drafted Wrenn in the second round in 2009, decide he needs seasoning and ship him back home to the Aces of the ECHL.

The Aces on Thursday announced they have signed Wrenn, a defenseman from Anchorage, to an ECHL deal.

Wrenn, 21, is currently in Worcester, Mass., where the AHL Sharks open training camp Friday. If he doesn't survive the cut there -- Worcester has 12 defensemen in camp -- he will begin his pro career with Alaska.

"Obviously, my main priority is to make Worcester in the American League,'' Wrenn said by cellphone. "If not, it would be cool to play with the Aces.''

Wrenn last season captained the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League to Game 7 of the Memorial Cup, the championship of major-junior hockey (Portland fell to fellow WHL member Edmonton).

In 60 regular-season games, the 6-foot-1, 205-pounder who shoots right produced 3-13--16 totals and a plus-20 rating. He backed that up in 22 playoff games with 0-4--4 totals and a plus-4 mark.

Aces head coach Rob Murry said he contacted San Jose management and inquired whether he could sign Wrenn, who is not under contract to San Jose, to an ECHL deal. San Jose's ECHL affiliate is expansion San Francisco.

"To my surprise, they said, 'We'd like to have him there -- our farm team is in San Francisco and we can see (Wrenn) play when your team travels there,' '' Murray said.

Prior to a season and a half with Portland, Wrenn played a season and a half at the University of Denver. Before college, he played two seasons in USA Hockey's National Team Development Program.

"He's kind of a solid guy,'' Murray said. "He's not a high scorer. He captained Portland, so he's a good leader, and he comes out of the national program, and to do that you have to have something good going for you.''

Wrenn, who spent the summer in Anchorage working out here under the guidance of Louis Mass, the Aces assistant coach who runs a training business, said he would be happy to start the play-for-pay game in his hometown.

"I grew up watching the Aces,'' Wrenn said. "I'm comfortable there, and I love the city. It would be a great experience.''

Shuffling the deck

The Aces on Thursday announced they have signed defenseman Corey Syvret to a contract -- they previously announced they had agreed to terms with the blueliner after acquiring his ECHL rights from Trenton. Syvret is currently in training camp with AHL Toronto.

When the Aces open training camp at 10 a.m. Friday morning at Ben Boeke Arena, Wrenn and Syvret will be among six of their signed players who will not be present because they are at AHL training camps.

Defenseman Kane Lafranchise is with Lake Erie, and forwards Tyler Ruegsegger, Garry Nunn and Jordan Kremyr are with Abbotsford.

Find Doyle Woody's blog at or call him at 257-4335.

Anchorage Daily News