Big Rapids, Mich. - Worcester Sharks General Manager Wayne Thomas has announced the signing of former Ferris State University All-America goaltender Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) to an American Hockey League (AHL) contract for the 2012-13 season. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Nelson, 23, turns pro after four seasons in Big Rapids where he compiled a career 35-20-10 record. Last season, he led the Bulldogs to their first-ever Frozen Four appearance and the program's second Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) regular season championship with a terrific senior season campaign by posting a 21-7-3 record with a 2.10 goals against average and a .924 save percentage.
The 6-1 goaltender from Saskatchewan ranks fifth all-time in wins (35) and first all-time in career goals against average (.917) in Bulldog history. In addition, he claimed 2011-12 CCM Hockey All-America First Team accolades and was named the Dean Davenport "Bulldog Of The Year" recipient as the school's outstanding male student-athlete.
Nelson will report to Worcester Sharks training camp in late September.
Earlier this summer, Nelson received an invitation to participate in the 2012 San Jose Sharks Development Camp this week. He was tabbed as the Bulldogs' 2011-12 team Most Valuable Player Award recipient.
The standout wrapped up his senior year in the college ranks listed among the nation's top 20 players in every goaltending statistical category and put together one of the top individual single-season performances by a goaltender in school history. He also claimed MVP honors at the NCAA Midwest Regional as FSU secured the regional crown to advance to the Forzen Four in Tampa, Fla. Nelson was a first-team All-CCHA representative.
For his efforts at the end of the year, Nelson was named the March/April Gongshow Goaltender of the Month in the CCHA after leading the Bulldogs on a historic NCAA Tournament run.
In addition to ranking among the school's career leaders in victories and save percentage, Nelson's also among the top 10 performers in saves, goals against average, winning percentage, shutouts and games played by a goaltender.