NHL Draft Pick Garrett Klotz and Steady Blueliner Brad Richard Join the Jackals
ELMIRA, NY - August 21, 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 forward Garrett Klotz and defenseman Brad Richard to Standard Player Contracts for the 2015-16 season.
Klotz, 26, brings 337 professional games of experience and 764 career penalty minutes with him to Elmira. The 6-foot-6 250-pound enforcer was signed to an offer sheet by the Jackals earlier this month, which was unmatched by the Wichita Thunder, who owned Klotz's ECHL rights at the time.
"We worked hard on the deal to land Garrett," said Jackals head coach Jamie Russell. "There were lots of negotiations and we got our guy by signing him to an offer sheet. Garrett will bring a lot of experience and a heavy weight presence to our lineup. He is a terrific teammate and is a guy that can play a regular shift and help out on the penalty kill."
Klotz was drafted out of the Western Hockey League as a member of the Saskatoon Blades in the third round (66th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers. He played four seasons with the Flyers' AHL affiliate, registering 11 points and 191 penalty minutes in 155 games. He also skated in two games with the Norfolk Admirals during the 2012-13 season.
Klotz spent most of last season with the Indy Fuel, logging four points and 80 penalty minutes in 30 games, before he was sent to Wichita where he collected a goal and seven penalty minutes in eight contests. His other ECHL tenures came in 2012-13 with the Fort Wayne Komets, where he posted seven points and 98 penalty minutes in 35 games, and a three game stint in 2010-11 with the Greenville Road Warriors. The Regina, Saskatchewan native also notched 38 points and 386 penalty minutes in 104 Central Hockey League games with the Allen Americans and the Bloomington PrairieThunder.
Richard, 26, had his ECHL rights acquired by Elmira in a summer trade with the Alaska Aces in exchange for the ECHL rights to Brodie Reid. Richard spent his first two professional seasons with Alaska and helped them win the 2013-14 Kelly Cup Championship while earning ECHL All-Rookie Team honors. The New Bedford, Mass. native recorded six goals and 24 assists as well as a plus-20 rating in 62 games during his rookie campaign. Last season, the 5-foot-10 195-pound blueliner registered eight goals and five assists in 24 games with the Aces plus two points in 12 games in the AHL with the Iowa Wild.
"Brad brings a Kelly Cup ring with him to Elmira," said Russell. "He is a former ECHL All-Rookie Team honoree and will be a key component to our D-core. We want to see Brad joining the rush at every opportunity as he will use his strong skating ability to augment our attack from the back end."
Prior to turning pro, Richard played four seasons at nearby Hobart College, where he served as team captain during his final two seasons. He recorded 22 goals and 42 assists in 97 NCAA III games and was named to the NCAA III East All-American Second Team in 2012-13.
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