NHL FORWARDS SCOTT GOMEZ, JOEY CRABB & NATE THOMPSON OPEN CAMP WITH ACES
The Alaska Aces opened their 2012 training camp on Friday morning, and made a splash with the addition of a trio of hometown, NHL forwards to their training camp roster. Two-time Stanley Cup winner Scott Gomez signed a professional tryout agreement (PTO), Washington Capitals forward Joey Crabb signed a standard player contract, and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Nate Thompson signed a PTO for the 2012-2013 season, Aces Head Coach Rob Murray announce Friday. All three players are originally from Anchorage, and currently under NHL contracts, but are not playing due to the recent NHL lockout. The transactions were part of a busy day of roster moves as the Aces opened camp. Alaska signed a total of five players to a PTO, as well as a pair of players to amateur try out agreements (ATO), in addition to the contract signed by Crabb. The Aces have two upcoming exhibition games on October 8 & 9 as part of their “Paint the Rink Pink” fundraising games against the Las Vegas Wranglers. For more information, please call the Aces at 907.258.ACES or visit them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/alaskaaceshockey.
Gomez, 32, is a veteran of more than 900 NHL games, and is the most decorated Alaskan-born hockey player ever. Gomez has 686 career NHL points (169g, 517a) and won Stanley Cups in 2000 and 2003 with the New Jersey Devils. In 2000 he won the NHL’s Calder Trophy, presented to the Rookie of the Year. A current member of the Montreal Canadiens, Gomez is making his second appearance with the Aces. During the last NHL lockout in the 2004-2005 season, the 5’11”, 200 lbs. center returned home to suit up for the Aces. Gomez was outstanding with Alaska, leading the league in scoring with 86 points (13g, 73a) in 61 games. He led the Aces to a division championship and was voted the ECHL’s Most Valuable Player. Before his pro career Gomez was twice names the Alaska High School Player of the Year, and as a sophomore, won a state championship with East. The year after he left the Aces, Gomez had a career-best season with New Jersey, tallying 84 points (33g, 51a) in 82 games. Gomez is a two-time NHL All-Star and member of Team USA in the World Cup and the 2006 Olympic Games.
Crabb, 29, signed with the Washington Capitals this offseason after the most productive NHL season of his career. Last season the 6’1”, 190 lbs. Crabb earned a call-up to the Toronto Maple Leafs where he notched a NHL career-high 26 points (11g, 15a) in 67 games. Prior to his call to the Leafs, Crabb was on a torrid pace in the AHL with the Toronto Marlies, where he registered 15 points (7g, 8a) in 9 games. He represented Team USA in the 2012 World Cup this past summer. In 2008 Crabb won an AHL Championship with the Chicago Wolves. Crabb has played in 144 career NHL games for the Maple Leafs, and Atlanta Thrashers and has 50 points (18g, 32a). He has played in 299 AHL games for the Wolves and Marlies and has 172 points (73g, 99a). Crabb was a seventh round pick (#226 overall) of the New York Rangers in the 2002 NHL Draft and attended Colorado College before turning pro. Prior to leaving Anchorage at the age of 16, Crabb played one season at Dimond High School.
Thompson, 27, is in his eighth season of pro hockey, split between the AHL and NHL. Since 2008 the 6’0”, 210 lbs. Thompson has played exclusively in the NHL for the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning. In 265 career NHL games, Thompson has 54 points (23g, 31a) and 155 PIM. He has 80 points (35g, 45a) in 216 AHL games. Thompson was a 2003 sixth round pick (#183 overall) of the Boston Bruins in the NHL Draft. He spent two seasons playing for the Providence Bruins, under Rob Murray who was an assistant coach with the club. Thompson captained the P-Bruins in 2006-2007, the same year he made his NHL debut with four games with Boston. Prior to turning pro, Thompson played four years in the WHL with the Seattle Thunderbirds. He was an alternate captain this summer for Team USA in the World Cup, where he scored two goals in eight games. He is currently under contract with the Lightning.
Before training camp officially opened Alaska also signed defenseman Dustin Molle and forwards Jacques Lamoureux and Phillip Ischi to PTO agreements and forward Justin Jokinen and goaltender Micah Perletti to amateur tryout agreements (ATO).
Molle, 26, is from Anchorage and played collegiate hockey at the University of Alaska – Fairbanks. The 6’2”, 225 lbs. defenseman is in his third year as a pro. He has played 18 games for the Idaho Steelheads, and spent the last two years with the Fort Wayne Komets of the CHL. Dustin’s younger brother Bryant played two games with the Aces as an amateur in 2011. The brothers played together in college and then again last year in Fort Wayne.
Lamoureux has played 14 games with the Aces over the last two years as an active member of the United States Air Force, stationed in Anchorage. He has three goals and two assists with Alaska. Ischi is from Kenai, AK and in his third consecutive training camp with the Aces. He played 17 games with the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees in the CHL last season and has played six games against the Aces over the last two seasons as a member of the Las Vegas Wranglers. He has two assists in those games.
Jokinen, 23, is turning pro after a four year collegiate career at Minnesota State University – Mankato. The 6’3”, 180 lbs. forward from Carlton, MN had 39 points (18g, 21a) in 124 college games. His most productive year came as a junior when he had 17 points (9g, 8a) in 38 games. He played in 80 consecutive games over his final three seasons to close out his Mavericks career. Jokinen was selected in the fourth round (#101 overall) by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2008 NHL Draft. Before college, Jokinen was a high-scoring threat in three seasons of Minnesota High School Hockey where he combined for 137 points (65g, 72a). As a senior he was selected to the CCM All-Star Game and was a Mr. Hockey Finalist for the state of Minnesota.
With the additions, the Aces opened camp with 23 total players under contract and seven additional players signed to try out agreements. Six players opened camp in the AHL, and goaltender Gerald Coleman remains inactive, leaving the Aces with 23 players skating in Friday’s training camp opener.
2012-2013 Alaska Aces Roster
Gerald Coleman , G (Inactive)
Mark Guggenberger, G
James Reid, G
Micah Perletti, G (ATO)
Sean Curry, D
Danny Markowitz, D
Dustin Molle, D (PTO)
Todd Orlando, D
Russ Sinkewich, D
Steve Ward, D
Matt Ambroz, F
Joey Crabb, F
Scott Gomez, F (PTO)
Tim Hall, F
Zach Harrison, F
Bobby Hughes, F
Phillip Ischi, F (PTO)
Justin Jokinen, F (ATO)
Jacques Lamoureux, F (PTO)
Nick Mazzolini, F
Tommy Mele, F
Matt Robinson, F
Jarred Smith, F
Nate Thompson, F (PTO)
Players Under Contract in AHL
Garry Nunn, F (Abbotsford Heat)
Tyler Ruegsegger, F (Abbotsford Heat)
Jordan Kremyr, F (Abbotsford Head)
Kane Lafranchise, D (Lake Erie Monsters)
Corey Syvret, D (Toronto Marlies)
William Wrenn, D (Worcester Sharks)
The Aces 2012-2013 season begins on the road and the club will return home on Friday, October 19 at Sullivan Arena. Season ticket and sponsorship packages are currently available through the Aces office at 15th & Gambell. For more information, please call the Aces at 907.258.ACES or visit them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/alaskaaceshockey.