Veteran Jeff Nelson Joins Evansville



EVANSVILLE, IN.--- Staying in tune with what it will take to make their inaugural campaign in the newly-created and expanded Central Hockey League a highly-successful one both on and off the ice, the Evansville IceMen have masterfully completed another major step forward to bring some exciting, competitive results to the upcoming 2010-11 season.

On this date, General Manager/Head Coach Rich Kromm has announced that the IceMen have solidified a contract agreement with one of minor pro hockey’s all-time legends and scoring greats. Arriving on the Evansville pro hockey front is talented center JEFF NELSON who has assented to terms on a one-year contract for the rapidly-approaching season. Adhering to club policy, terms of the pact were not disclosed.

NELSON, 37, will be embarking on his 18th pro season overall, coming to southern Indiana after a brief one-year retirement from the pro game. Recognized as one of the most decorated players in minor pro hockey annals, the former second round draft choice of the Washington Capitals in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft, is a veteran of 1,123 professional games including several stints in the NHL with Washington and the Nashville Predators.

During his extraordinary pro career, the western Canada native from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan has amassed a prolific 1,073 scoring points through a kinetic combination of 351-goals and 722-assists. His rich resume embodies point-producing proficiency and prowess. He has composed two seasons of over 100-points including his last one with the UHL Muskegon Fury in 2005-06 when he captured both the UHL league scoring crown with a career high 116-points on 33-goals and league-best 83-assists as well as being acclaimed the UHL league Most Valuable Player. His Muskegon success was majestic as one year earlier in 2004-05, he spearheaded Muskegon to its second consecutive UHL Colonial Cup Championship and Tarry Cup Regular Season crown by finishing a lofty third in the league-wide scoring derby with 94-points on 23-goals, 71-assists while adding 17-points in 17-playoff games; 17(4-13-17).

Nelson has actually performed his mystical, magical on-ice act for the preponderance of his career in the AHL and IHL as well as the NHL, though, he was last seen in his last act in 2008-09 in the CHL with the Mississippi RiverKings. Once again, he averaged over a point a game, composing 58-points in 55-games on 19-goals, 39-assists and adding 13-more points in 12-playoff contests; 12(2-11-13).

GM/Coach Kromm is elated with the IceMen’s landing of such a consummate, experienced professional as his new veteran center. “It goes without saying that we are excited to have Jeff come out of his brief retirement to come here to Evansville and bring his long, successful pro career to our organization. He will provide us some outstanding veteran stability and ultimate character leadership. Throughout his tremendous career, he has been the perfect definition of a team workhorse who plays effectively in any situation. He will be a very valuable member of our forward unit.”

The latest member of the IceMen growing cast has fostered a flourish wherever he has played no matter what league it has been. In the AHL, he fueled the Grand Rapids Griffins scoring machine for over three seasons and did the same for five other seasons with the Portland Pirates. In fact, in 1993-94, Nelson, one more time, finished in the top three in league-wide point-productivity, garnering 107-points on 34-goals, 73-assists before contributing another 15-points in 17-playoff encounters; 17(10-5-15) in leading the Portland club to the AHL Calder Cup coronation.

Previous to his introduction to the pro game, he achieved a stellar four-year major junior ‘A’ career with his hometown Prince Albert Raiders. In those four seasons, he attained the century-point plateau in two seasons while authoring over 90 and over 80-point seasons two other years.

Nelson’s pro career number read; 1,123 games; 351-goals, 722-assists, 1,073-points. His major junior ‘A’ totals are; 279-games; 152-goals, 265-assists, 417-points. He averaged a prodigious 1.50 points per game during his magnificent junior career.

The new Evansville hockey-playing resident comes from a hockey family of exemplary repute as older brother, Todd Nelson is currently the Head Coach of the NHL Edmonton Oilers new, principal AHL affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons who are set to make their debut next month.

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