Defenseman Jake Chelios gets Wolves tryout
BY BRIAN SANDALOW For Sun-Times media April 4, 2014 11:36AM
Updated: April 4, 2014 8:31PM
The Wolves signed a player with a familiar last name.
Defenseman Jake Chelios, a son of Hockey Hall of Famer and former Blackhawks star Chris Chelios, signed a professional-tryout agreement with the Wolves on Friday. Jake, 23, appeared in seven games for Toledo of the ECHL this season after turning pro. He played four seasons at Michigan State.
“I’m very excited,” Chelios said. “Obviously the last couple weeks I’ve been on a few different teams with Michigan State and then Toledo and now I’m here for the next few days, but it’s awesome.”
When Jake plays his first game for the Wolves, he will become part of the first father-son combination to suit up for the franchise. Chris played in 60 regular-season and playoff games for the Wolves in 2009-10.
Jake is used to carrying the Chelios name — and he relishes what it means to the sport.
“You don’t take it for granted at all,” he said. “Especially in the Chicago and Detroit areas, people have been respectful, and the way they treat our family has been unreal.”
Wolves coach John Anderson has experience with that family.
He coached Steve Chelios, Chris’ brother, to the 1996-97 Colonial Hockey League title. And in 2010 with the Atlanta Thrashers, he was Chris’ last NHL coach.
But the younger Chelios isn’t in Chicago because of his name. The Wolves are short on healthy defensemen, and Chelios likely will debut Saturday at home against the Milwaukee Admirals or Sunday when the Wolves host the Iowa Wild.
“He looked really good in practice,” Anderson said. “Very poised, a good skater that moves the puck quickly. We’re down to the bare bones, so a warm body’s good.”
On a tryout, Chelios might not be with the Wolves for long. He said he was brought in to help the team’s thin defense and then would finish the season in Toledo.