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Eric Wellwood coaching at Memorial Cup, rebounding from horrible skate cut injury

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Two years after his career was ended by a terrible injury, Eric Wellwood is coaching in junior hockey's marquee event.

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

There's a great story on former Flyers prospect Eric Wellwood in the Toronto Star today. The 25 year old, who was drafted by the Flyers in the sixth round of the 2009 draft, is currently on the rebound from a life-threatening on-ice injury, coaching with the OHL's Oshawa Generals at the Memorial Cup.

Wellwood suffered a terrible skate cut injury two years ago while playing with the Adirondack Phantoms -- one that ended his playing career. He officially retired from hockey this time last year, turning down a job offer from the Flyers to get behind the bench with his old OHL club, the Windsor Spitfires. He then took another offer to join an old coach behind the bench in Oshawa, and it's working out great -- the team is currently in the midst of the 2015 Memorial Cup.

Here are a few quotes from the article. Highly recommend the full read.

"When you're a player, a young guy, and you see what this guy went through — overlooked, a late-round pick — he found away to get into the NHL," says Warren Rychel, co-owner and GM of the Windsor Spitfires where Wellwood played junior. "I fully believe he would be a regular NHL player right now."

"It still hurts. If I'm standing around pushing pucks, it's not too bad. Everyone once in a while I'll play three-on-three with the guys, just to get the competitive edge out. It will hurt after, but it's not going to get any worse."

He still feels the injury each day, he says: "The best way I can describe it: When you hit your funny bone and you get that vibrating feeling. I've become used to it. The range of motion isn't what it was prior to the cut, but it's good enough where I can walk and live a normal life."

"My biggest thing as a coach is trust," says [Generals head coach D.J.] Smith. "Welly is from back home. As a player, I knew him. He's got a great brain for the game. He has great passion for the game. The players can look at him, he just played two years ago. When he says something in practice, they realize it did work and it got him to the NHL."