The Alaska Aces today announced that Kane Lafranchise, a first-pairing defenseman who plays in all situations, will return to the team for his fourth pro season (well, third full pro season -- the former UAA blueliner joined the Aces for the second half of the 2010-11 season).
In any event, Lafranchise, 25, last year earned his first time in the AHL, getting a pair of promotions that netted him 10 games in that league.
In 52 games with the Aces last season, Lafranchise led the ECHL club's blueliners in assists and points with 5-28--33 totals, and bagged a +8 rating. He had six assists in 11 playoff games.
Lafranchise works the point on power plays and also logs serious penalty-killing time. Plus, when the situation is 4-on-4, he's a go-to guy because he skates so well and passes the puck accurately, which helps him exploit the extra ice available.
The Aces thus far have announced the signings of Lafranchise, veteran defenseman Sean Curry and winger Jordan Kremyr. All three are returners.
Look for more on the Lafranchise signing in Friday's dead-trees edition of the ADN -- that story will be posted on adn.com later today or early this evening on the Aces' page.