The Washington Capitals yesterday announced the signing of left wing Tim Coulis to a multiyear contract, thus securing both of their first-round choices from the 1978 amateur draft.
Center Ryan Walter, taken by the Capitals on the second pick of the draft, already has signed with them.
Coulis was chosen 18th overall, after playing injured much of last year with the Hamilton Fincaps of the Ontario Hockey Association.
Coulis scored 21 goals in his first 20 games before breaking his left wrist.
"I was supposed to let it heal a while," said the 20-year-old from Kenora, Marnitoba, "but being stupid, I was back in the next game, playing with a cast on. After four months it finally got to the point where I couldn't hold the stick, so I took a month off."
Coulis finished with 27 goals, 25 assists and 52 points in 46 games. He still is receiving treatment on the wrist, which he said had shown no sign of healing after the first eight weeks.
Coulis also racked up 203 penalty minutes.
"I wanted to make a name for myself and earn a little respect," said Coulis, who is 6-feet, 197 pounds. "When the time arises, I back up my teammates, and myself. But over the years I've learned the difference between a stupid penalty and a good one."
Coulis spent the previous two seasons with Sault Ste. Marie and St. Catharines.
Coulis was traded to St. Catharines last year, partly, he said, because losing had begun to affect him.
"I'm not a loser. I really can't handle it," said Coulis."You start doing stupid things. I was going crazy, trying to do everything myself, and that's one reason I was traded."
Coulis said he is "concerned in a way" about joining a losing team, but added, "I just can't believe the atmosphere around here. Everywhere I go, everything seems ready to explode and blossom."