Inching closer to rounding out their training-camp roster, the Alaska Aces have acquired the ECHL rights to a third-year defenseman and also signed a rookie forward.
Aces coach Rob Murray on Wednesday said he gained the rights to defenseman Corey Syvret from the Trenton Titans for "future considerations'' -- that's usually not much, often nominal cash, in the low minor leagues. Murray said Syvret has agreed to terms with the club.
Murray also announced the signing of Jarred Smith, fresh out of Brown University.
Those additions give the Aces 17 announced players for the upcoming season -- nine forwards, five defensemen and three goaltenders. The club opens training camp Sept. 28.
Syvret, 23, last season earned 4-6--10 and minus-19 totals in 59 games with Trenton, and also played three games for Portland of the American Hockey League. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder was a sixth-round NHL draft pick by Florida, and Murray hopes Syvret will lend depth to a blue line crew that has been thinned by the retirements of stalwarts Bryan Miller and Chad Anderson.
Hockey teams generally dress six defensemen for games. A blueliner is often referred to by a number -- one through six -- that reflects his status on the depth chart.
"I'm not looking to hit a home run,'' Murray said. "I'm looking to get a solid, experienced guy to add to our group. Is he a top-four D-man? I don't know. Is he a five or a six? We'll see. If he is, we'll be in good shape.''
Smith, 24, last season for Brown earned 4-2--6 totals in 32 games. In 125 career games, he furnished 15-15--30 totals.
Those numbers won't drop any jaws, but it is sometimes difficult to gauge how a player with modest college statistics will do in the ECHL.
Sometimes, his college numbers turn out to be an accurate reflection of his pro potential, and a guy like the 6-foot, 195-pound Smith turns out to be a third-line role player.
On the other hand, a couple of current Aces, center Nick Mazzolini and winger Jordan Kremyr, raised their numbers significantly as pros following careers at Providence College.
Mazzolini averaged .52 points per game in four years at Providence, yet in two seasons with the Aces has averaged .91 points per game. And while Kremyr averaged .26 points per game at Providence, he then averaged .46 per game for the Aces as a rookie last season.
Find Doyle Woody's blog at adn.com/hockeyblog or call him at 257-4335.Blog: Woody on Hockey
By DOYLE WOODY
Anchorage Daily News