Big Rapids, Mich. - One of professional hockey's most miraculous comebacks was rewarded over the weekend as former Ferris State University men's ice hockey standout defenseman Zach Redmond (Traverse City) inked a new deal with the National Hockey League's (NHL) Winnipeg Jets.
Redmond agreed to terms with the Jets' organization on a one-year, two-way contract worth $715,000. The deal was announced by the team on Saturday.
The 24-year old Redmond, who had a goal and three assists in eight games with the Jets this past season, sustained a severe injury when his femoral artery was lacerated during a practice session on Feb. 21. It was speculated that he might not be able to ever play again.
However, following an immediate surgery and lengthy recovery period, Redmond miraculously returned to play in two games with the Jets' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the St. John's IceCaps, at the end of the year before being recalled by the NHL club.
This past season, Redmond made his NHL debut with the Jets in late January, played in his first NHL game on Jan. 31 in Florida and scored his first goal on Feb. 7 versus Toronto prior to the injury and subsequently making one of the greatest in-season comebacks in league history.
In addition to his time with the Jets, Redmond played 38 games with St. John's this past year, recording 19 points (8G,11) and 34 penalty minutes. In his AHL career, Redmond has collected 50 points (16G, 34A) and 67 penalty minutes in 113 games with the IceCaps and Chicago Wolves.
This past year, Redmond was named to the 2013 Dunkin' Donuts AHL All-Star Classic in January for his efforts with the IceCaps. The Traverse City native played in 72 games for St. John's in 2011-12 and notched 31 points on eight goals and 23 assists along with a plus 9 rating.
Before turning pro, Redmond played four seasons at Ferris State from 2007-11 and served as the Bulldogs' team captain as a senior in 2010-11. A 2010-11 All-Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) First-Team performer, Redmond registered a team second-highest 20 points on a career season-best seven goals with 13 assists in 26 contests for the Bulldogs in the 2010-11 season.
Redmond concluded his four seasons (2007-11) as a Bulldog with 90 points on 22 goals and 68 assists in 141 contests. The 2009-10 second-team All-CCHA skater chalked up 12 power-play goals, seven game-winning tallies, one short-handed lamplighter, 217 blocked shots, and a plus 22 efficiency rating.
A 2008 seventh-round NHL Entry Draft pick (184th overall) by the Atlanta Thrashers, Redmond originally inked a contract with Atlanta and began his career skating for their top affiliate, the Chicago Wolves, of the AHL before moving to the IceCaps.
With his NHL debut this season, Redmond officially became the 10th former Bulldog player to play in the NHL for at least one game and among three FSU alums to see action on hockey's biggest stage this season.
Redmond becomes at least the sixth 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), Derek Nesbitt (Oklahoma City Barons) and Blair Riley (St. John's IceCaps).