Ex-CHL'er Schlemko: Part of Another Playoff Run


One of the top stories in the National Hockey League and the Stanley Cup Playoffs is the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Coyotes, playing in the post-season for the third straight year, disposed of the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round in six games and now find themselves with a 2-0 series lead over the Nashville Predators in the conference semifinals.

One of the working parts of the team that has made Dave Tippett’s bunch so formidable is former CHL defenseman and Presidents’ Cup champion David Schlemko.

 schlemko head shot.jpg
 Defenseman David Schlemko

During the first half of the regular season, the Edmonton native was a staple on the blue line for the ‘Yotes pairing with all-star Keith Yandle to make one of the top defensive duos in the west. 

Schlemko had a goal, 10 assists and was a +7 in 41 games before an injury put him on the shelf in early January.

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Schlemko had 11 points in 46 games during regular season

In three of the four games prior to his injury on January 7, the former Arizona Sundogs defenseman had logged more than 20 minutes of ice time becoming one of the go-to guys for the Coyotes.

Once he returned from the injury, Schlemko played in just five games and saw his minutes decrease (he was an even and did not register a point).

With Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Adrian Aucoin, Derek Morris, Michel Rozsival, Rostislav Klesla and Yandle, the Coyotes defensive group seemed set for their post-season run but as is the case when the games mount up in April and May, injuries occur, players wear down and now Schlemko has cracked the line-up twice in the last three games and could be seeing more action.

The ex-CHL champ played nearly 19 minutes in the Coyotes clinching Game 6 in the Chicago series and was a part of a defense that blanked the 2010 NHL Champs, 4-0.

Then in Game 2 of the series against the Predators, the 6-1, 196-pounder played close to 16 minutes in his team’s 5-3 victory recording a pair of shots on goal.

Schlemko’s rookie season (2007-08) was split between the Sundogs and the San Antonio Rampage (AHL) and with the Sundogs he scored 10 goals with 29 assists in 58 games.  In 14 playoff games, Schlemko scored three times and had five helpers as the Sundogs went on to win the Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup beating the Colorado Eagles in a four-game sweep.

At just 24-years-old (turns 25 on May 7), Schlemko has a bright future and could be one of the more successful CHL alums in the NHL and who knows, may even get his name on the Stanley Cup one day, maybe even this June.




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