Houk, MacDonald Return to Elmira
ELMIRA, NY - June 29, 2015 - The Elmira Jackals, ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres and the AHL's Rochester Americans, announced today that defensemen Joe Houk and Jacob MacDonald have re-signed with the Jackals for the 2015-16 season.
Houk, 25, returns to Elmira for his second professional season after splitting his rookie campaign between the Jackals and the Toledo Walleye. The 6-foot 205-pound blueliner was acquired by Elmira on March 9, 2015 in exchange for forward Justin Daniels. Houk tallied six points (one goal, five assists) in 14 games with the Jackals in addition to seven points (one goal, six assists) and a plus-13 rating in 25 games with Toledo.
"Joe joined us at the trade deadline last year and fit into our culture extremely well," said Jackals head coach Jamie Russell. "We want to see Joe take the next step in his development after completing his rookie season. Joe skates well and we want him joining the rush at every opportunity. We want Joe to be more consistent as a second year pro and be a guy that opposing forwards do not want to be matched against."
Prior to turning pro, Houk skated for two seasons at Hamilton College (NCAA III) from 2009-2011 and recorded 52 points (21 goals, 31 assists) and 84 penalty minutes in 51 games. Following his second season at Hamilton College, Houk transferred to UMass-Lowell and registered 19 points (four goals, 15 assists) and 90 penalty minutes in 74 NCAA games. The Richboro, Pennsylvania native helped lead UMass-Lowell to the 2013 Hockey East Championship.
MacDonald, 22, rejoins the Jackals after skating in eight contests at the end of last season following the conclusion of his collegiate career at Cornell University. The Fernley, Nev. native recorded his first professional goal on April 11, 2015 against the Wheeling Nailers and added two assists during his first taste of professional hockey.
"Jake joined us at the end of last year after concluding his collegiate career and steadily improved each game," said Russell. "He has great feet and wins his 1 vs.1 battles. I look for him to join our attack by activating into the rush."
The 6-foot 200-pound blueliner recorded 21 points (four goals, 17 assists) in 104 NCAA games. Prior to attending Cornell, MacDonald skated in 87 games with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League and posted 40 points (12 goals, 28 assists).
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