Jackals Add NHL Experience in Nathan Oystrick
Veteran Defenseman Brings Over 500 Professional Games to Elmira
ELMIRA, NY - July 9, 2015 - The Elmira Jackals, ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres and the AHL's Rochester Americans, announced today that the club has signed veteran defensemanNathan Oystrick to a Standard Player Contract for the 2015-16 season.
Oystrick, 32, joins the Jackals as a player assistant coach after spending the previous decade playing in the NHL, AHL and KHL. The 6-foot 210-pound blueliner spent last season with the Springfield Falcons of the AHL after playing the previous two years in Russia with Prague Lev of the KHL. Over the previous 10 seasons, Oystrick dressed in 65 NHL games combined between the Atlanta Thrashers, Anaheim Ducks and St. Louis Blues. His longest stint in the NHL came with Atlanta during the 2008-09 season. Oystrick recorded 12 points (four goals, eight assists) and 50 penalty minutes in 53 games with the Thrashers. Overall, he logged 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) and 61 penalty minutes in his NHL career. Oystrick was originally drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the seventh round (198th overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
"Our organization took a great step in our development on the ice and off," said Jackals head coach Jamie Russell. "With the addition of Nathan as a player assistant coach, we have added a lot of dimensions that will make us better. Nathan brings the experience of almost 600 professional games at a variety of elite levels."
In addition to his NHL tenure, Oystrick has appeared in 338 AHL games with the Chicago Wolves, Peoria Rivermen, Portland Pirates and the Springfield Falcons, registering 206 points (64 goals, 142 assists) and 553 penalty minutes. He was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team and the AHL Second All-Star Team in 2006-07 with Chicago in addition to being named to the AHL All-Star Game in 2010-11 as a member of Peoria. The Regina, Saskatoon native also won a Calder Cup championship with Chicago in 2007-08.
"He has played a significant number of games in the NHL and was a standout in the AHL," said Russell. "He has also been exposed to some different styles of play in the KHL. I coached against Nathan and he has a great understanding of the game and will be a terrific mentor for our younger defensemen. We want to help Nathan grow on the coaching side of the game and he will be instrumental in our game preparation, game review, practice planning, recruiting, systems play as well as being great ambassador in the community."
Before turning pro, Oystrick spent four years at Northern Michigan University. The two-time captain had a prolific collegiate career, tallying 89 points (26 goals, 63 assists) and 269 penalty minutes in 151 NCAA games. Oystrick also accrued a plethora of awards and accolades, including being named to the NCAA West Second All-American Team as a senior in 2005-06 and earning the award as the CCHA Best Defensive Defenseman as a junior in 2004-05. He was also named to the CCHA First All-Star Team in 2004-05 and the CCHA Second All-Star Team in 2003-04.
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