The Giants lost a lot of veteran leadership after least season, and Machacek has stepped into that role, serving as Captain and leading the team in scoring.
Jim McNally, a poster on the Thrashers message boards, is a Vancouver Giants fan and has followed Machacek's progress closely. Here is his background about the prospect:
"Since being selected by Atlanta in last years draft, Spencer Machacek has grown and improved as a player and is leading his defending Memorial Cup champion Vancouver Giants to another winning season in the WHL.
"At the beginning of the 2007/08 season, Machacek was named the captain of the Giants after his friend and billet mate and previously named captain, Milan Lucic achieved his hockey dreams by cracking the Boston Bruins lineup.
"It now fell to Machacek to grab the leadership reins in what was considered to be a rebuilding year for the Giants. "I think Spencer is a great choice in that he's been a key player in two long playoff runs and two Memorial Cup tournaments," said general manager Scott Bonner. "He has a lot of confidence and fire that will rub off on the other guys and make us a stronger team."
"Previously considered a second half type of player, Machacek started racking up the points early and set a blistering points pace. He leads the Giants in goals, assists, power play goals, short handed goals and game winning goals. He sits in 8th spot for top scorers in the WHL with 75 points in 65 games.
"The so called rebuilding year for the Giants see them 2 points out of top spot in the WHL with a handful of games remaining in the regular season. As for Machacek, his personal best season was just recently recognized when he was named the WHL Player of the month for February.
"The 19 year old forward from Lethbridge, Alberta recorded 27 points in 14 games through the month, netting eight goals and 19 assists all while maintain a plus minus rating of +13. Machacek picked up four goals and six assists through the first six games of February and ended the month on an eight game point scoring streak accumulating 17 points in eight games, including four goals; three power play markers and one game winner.
"For his efforts Machacek was named a game Star in seven contests during February, including five 1st Star and two 2nd Star selections.
"Never one to rest on his laurels, Machacek has his foot still firmly on the gas as he takes the Giants into the playoffs and perhaps ultimately to compete for the Memorial Cup for the third time in as many seasons."
Thanks go to Jim for that. Sounds like the Thrashers have a very good winger in the system with great leadership and scoring abilities.
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