Five Western Hockey League Alumni have claimed the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers.
The Checkers, an affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes, defeated the Chicago Wolves, an affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights, 5-3 Saturday to win the series in five games
Playing a part in the team’s regular season and playoff success were Jake Bean (Calgary, Alta. / Tri-City Americans), Haydn Fleury (Carlyle, Sask. / Red Deer Rebels), Morgan Geekie (Strathclair, Man. / Tri-City Americans), Stelio Mattheos (Winnipeg, Man. / Brandon Wheat Kings), and Dustin Tokarski (Watson, Sask. / Spokane Chiefs).
Geekie contributed Charlotte’s second goal of the game Saturday and then earned the lone assist on the game-winning goal. The former Tri-City American finished tied for second in team scoring during the playoffs with 18 points (8G-10A) in 19 games. Geekie also led all rookies in scoring during the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs, edging Wolves forward Cody Glass (Winnipeg, Man. / Portland Winterhawks) who had 15 points (7G-8A) in 22 games.
Bean was selected 13th overall by the Hurricanes in the 2016 NHL Draft. Bean appeared in 219 WHL regular season games, posting 196 points (49G-147A) with the Americans and Calgary Hitmen. He also had 28 points (3G-25A) in 30 WHL Playoff games.
In addition to being a Calder Cup Champion, Bean was named to the AHL’s All-Rookie Team. Internationally, Bean has won silver and gold with Canada’s National Junior Team at the IIHF World Junior Championship.
Fleury was selected seventh overall by the Hurricanes in the 2014 NHL Draft. In 259 WHL regular season games, all with the Rebels, he posted 134 points (30G-104A). He also contributed 13 points (5G-8A) in 32 WHL Playoff games. Fleury appeared in the 2016 Memorial Cup with the host Rebels and was named to the tournament all-star team.
Geekie was selected in the third round, 67th overall, by the Hurricanes in the 2017 NHL Draft. In 216 WHL regular season games, all with the Americans, Geekie posted 202 points (78G-124A). He also recorded 28 points (18G-10A) in 20 WHL Playoff games.
Mattheos was a late-season addition to the Checkers. The first-overall selection from the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft, was selected by the Hurricanes in the third round, 73rd overall, of the 2017 NHL Draft. In 253 WHL regular season games, all with the Wheat Kings, Mattheos collected 278 points (127G-151A). He also recorded 25 points (12G-13A) in 45 WHL Playoff games.
Tokarski is a Calder Cup Champion for the second time in his career, having previously won the trophy with the Norfolk Admirals in 2012. He spent the entirety of his WHL career with the Spokane Chiefs, winning a WHL Championship and Memorial Cup in 2008. Tokarski was named the recipient of the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as the Most Valuable Player at the Memorial Cup that year. That summer, Tokarski was selected in the fifth round, 122nd overall, by the New York Rangers at the NHL Draft.
In 129 WHL regular season games, Tokarski has compiled a 77-39-1-6, 2.18 goals-against average, 0.925 save percentage, and 15 shutouts. In 39 WHL Playoff games, he has a 25-8-6 record, 1.69 GAA, 0.939 SV%, and four shutouts.
Internationally, Tokarski won gold with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship.