Photo provided by Sam Iannamico/Grand Rapids Griffins
Rochester Americans General Manager Randy Sexton announced today that the team has signed defenseman Nathan Paetsch (pronounced PAYTCH) to a one-year American Hockey League contract.
“We’re excited to welcome Nathan back to the organization as he brings a wealth of playing experience at the American Hockey League level,” said Sexton. “Nathan is also a man of great character who is the consummate pro and we’re very confident he will play a leading role in creating a successful, winning culture for our young prospects here in Rochester.”
Paetsch returns for his third stint with the Amerks in 2017-18 after spending the last five seasons with the Grand Rapids Griffins. During his time in Grand Rapids, Paetsch helped the Griffins to five straight playoff appearances and two Calder Cup championships while also serving as team captain during the 2016-17 campaign. Last season, he recorded 18 points (1+17) in 73 regular-season games for the Griffins before adding seven points (2+5) in 19 playoff appearances, helping Grand Rapids to a perfect 10-0 record on home ice during the postseason and a Calder Cup championship.
A native of LeRoy, Sask., the 34-year-old Paetsch has appeared in 215 career games over parts of four seasons in the red, white and blue, recording 86 points on 21 goals and 65 assists. His best season as an Amerk came during the 2005-06 campaign when he posted career-highs in goals (11), assists (39) and points (50) to lead all Rochester defensemen and finish ninth among all AHL blueliners in scoring. His 86 points currently rank 33rd all-time among Amerks defensemen.
WATCH: PAETSCH ADDRESSES THE ROCHESTER MEDIA
In his AHL career, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound veteran blueliner has amassed 245 points (50+195) in 608 career AHL games with Rochester, Syracuse and Grand Rapids while also adding 34 points (5+29) in 103 playoff contests. Last season he became just the 18th player in AHL history to play in 100 or more Calder Cup Playoff games. Paetsch has also totaled 42 points (7+35) over 167 NHL games with the Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Originally a second-round pick (58th overall) of the Washington Capitals in 2001, Paetsch was later acquired by the Buffalo Sabres in the seventh round (202nd overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Rochester begins its 62nd season in the American Hockey League on Friday, Oct. 6 against the Syracuse Crunch at The Blue Cross Arena. Amerks Season Ticket Memberships for the 2017-18 campaign, which start as low as just $12 per game, are on-sale now. The Amerks are also offering a variety of partial plans, including Half-Season Memberships and Flex Season Memberships with vouchers good for best available seating to any home game. All memberships are up to 40% off Box Office day of game pricing. For more information, visit www.amerks.com/seasontickets or call 1-855-GO-AMERKS.