Winnipeg Jets' Top Affiliate Signs Former Bulldog Skater Blair Riley
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Riley: FSU Highlight Reel
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey program had another alum sign a professional hockey contract this week as former skater Blair Riley agreed to terms with the St. John's IceCaps, the top affiliate of the National Hockey League's (NHL) Winnipeg Jets.
Terms of the free agent deal with the American Hockey League (AHL) squad were not disclosed per club policy. Riley, who is expected to receive an invitation to the Jets' preseason camp, becomes at least the fifth former Bulldog player within the last three weeks to ink either a new or extended NHL and/or AHL contract, joining Chris Kunitz (Pittsburgh Penguins), Greg Rallo (Florida Panthers), Chad Billins (Calgary Flames) and Derek Nesbitt (Oklahoma City Barons).
Riley, 27, played in 74 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL last season after inking a one-year, two-way deal with the NHL's New York Islanders last summer. The Chase, British Columbia, native recorded 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) and 165 penalty minutes. He has played in 144 career AHL games between Springfield, San Antonio, Peoria and Bridgeport for 29 career points (15 goals, 14 assists) and 251 career penalty minutes.
Riley spent most of two seasons with the Sound Tigers as he initially scored 11 points (seven goals, four assists) and added 77 penalty minutes in 55 games during the 2011-12 season. Before joining the Sound Tigers, the Kamloops, British Columbia, native began his second pro season with the Chicago Express of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), recording 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in 15 games.
Prior to his professional career, Riley played four seasons of collegiate hockey at Ferris State. In 147 career games with the Bulldogs, he scored 42 goals and had 45 assists. At the end of his senior season in 2009-10, Riley made his AHL debut with the Springfield Falcons. He spent most of the 2010-11 season with the ECHL's Las Vegas Wranglers, while also seeing brief stints with the AHL's San Antonio Rampage and Peoria Rivermen.
Riley received the Bulldogs' Most Valuable Player Award after registering his most productive season as a Bulldog during his senior campaign in 2009-10. He paced Ferris State in scoring his final season with 38 points on 18 goals and 20 assists in 40 games, which all represented career single-season highs. The left wing also produced nine multiple-point games while tallying four power-play goals, two short-handed markers, and a pair of game-winning lamplighters in addition to generating a plus 12 efficiency rating.
The former FSU skater played a pivotal role in helping the Bulldogs post a 21-13-6 overall record and a third-place finish in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) with a 13-9-6-4 mark (49 league points) during the 2009-10 season. The Bulldogs also made their first appearance in the CCHA Championships his final season since the 2002-03 campaign and were among the nation's top 15 teams in the final national rankings.
Riley concluded his four-year (2006-10) Bulldog career with 42 goals and 45 assists for 87 points in 147 outings. He produced 15 power-play goals, two short-handed tallies, and four game-winning lamplighters during his collegiate career.