Brampton 29 March 08 - With the Brampton Battalion's Ontario Hockey League season over, two members of the Troops are set to embark on professional hockey careers.
Cory Emmerton is off to join the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League, while Bobby Sanguinetti will be with the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack. The Griffins and Wolf Pack are affiliated with the National Hockey League's Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers respectively.
Left winger Emmerton and defenceman Sanguinetti met Friday with the coaching and training staffs after the Battalion was eliminated from the playoffs Thursday night in a 2-0 loss to the visiting Barrie Colts, who won the teams' best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal four games to one.
A second-round pick by Detroit in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Emmerton signed a three-year entry-level contract with the club last April. He is expected to be in the lineup Sunday when the Griffins visit the Chicago Wolves.
Sanguinetti, a first-round pick of the Rangers in 2006, signed an entry-level contract last April.
Emmerton, who turns 20 on June 1, will see his first pro action, while Sanguinetti played five regular-season and seven playoff games with Hartford last season.
"I had some great years in the OHL," said Emmerton, who played four seasons, totaling 97 goals and 158 assists for 255 points in 218 games, after being a fifth-round pick of the Kingston Frontenacs in the 2004 OHL Priority Selection. "It was fun, but pro hockey is a job and it'll be a big change. I'm excited about it, but I'll never forget my years in the OHL. Coming to the league was the best decision I could have made."
Sanguinetti had three regular-season assists and one in the playoffs with Hartford last year.
"You need to go out and earn a job," said Sanguinetti, a resident of Lumberton, N.J., who turned 20 on Feb. 29. "Nobody hands you anything in pro hockey. I'm going to use these games to grow accustomed to the pro game again and get used to playing at that level. I'll see where I fit in. I have to prove myself."
Acquired from Kingston on Dec. 5, Emmerton had four points, including one goal, in his first three games with the Battalion. He then missed nine games after being diagnosed with mononucleosis at the Canadian national junior team's selection camp at Calgary. Emmerton eventually produced 12 goals and 18 assists for 30 points in as many games with the Troops, adding two assists in five playoff games.
"It started off as I expected it to. We were playing well at the time. But going through the mono turned everything upside down for me. I wasn't 100 percent when I came back. It was kind of a crazy season for me. I'll take this as a learning experience. But I enjoyed my time here. We had a great group of guys, and the coaches gave me every chance to succeed.
"There's always pressure, but I tried not to dwell on it. I wanted to have a good playoff after what I felt was a tough season. But now I'll get to continue my season with Grand Rapids, and hopefully I can do something there."
Sanguinetti joined the Battalion from the Owen Sound Attack last June. He had a career-high 29 goals as well as 41 assists for 70 points in 61 regular-season games and added one goal and three assists for four points in the playoffs. Sanguinetti led OHL defencemen in goals and was second in points, one behind Ryan Wilson of the Sarnia Sting.
"There were highs and lows throughout the season, but I thought I did pretty well," said Sanguinetti, who broke Rostislav Klesla's single-season record for goals by a Battalion defenceman. "I worked on my defensive game, and the coaches helped me out a lot. I thought we had a pretty good regular season."
A fourth-round choice by Owen Sound in 2004, Sanguinetti had 70 goals and 142 assists for 212 points in 263 games over four seasons.
"It hasn't set in yet that I won't be coming back. But I really enjoyed my time in the OHL, especially this season. The guys were great and it was a lot of fun, even if it was disappointing how it ended."