WOLF PACK SIGN FIVE TO PTO’S, RECALL BRASSARD AND BERZOLLA FROM LOAN, ELMER REASSIGNED BY RANGERSDec 29, 2021
HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack announced several transactions on Wednesday afternoon. The club has recalled goaltender François Brassard and defenseman Zach Berzolla from loan to the ECHL’s Jacksonville Icemen. The New York Rangers (NHL) have also reassigned forward Jake Elmer from the Icemen to the Wolf Pack.
In addition, the Wolf Pack have signed forward Aaron Luchuk and defenseman Michael Brodzinski of the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears, goaltender Brandon Kasel of the ECHL’s Adirondack Thunder, defenseman Mike Lee of the ECHL’s Indy Fuel, and defenseman Brandon Fortunato of the Icemen to professional tryouts.
Brassard, signed by the Wolf Pack on September 22nd to a one-year AHL contract, is 5-1-1 with an .886 save percentage and 2.53 goals against average this season with the Icemen. The 166th overall pick by the Ottawa Senators in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Brassard is 16-15-3 in 36 career ECHL appearances. He has yet to make his AHL debut.
Berzolla, signed by the Wolf Pack on September 20th, has skated in 24 games with the Icemen this season, scoring eleven points (2 g, 9 a). The captain of Colorado College during the 2020-21 season, Berzolla has scored 14 points (3 g, 11 a) in 39 career ECHL games with the Icemen and Florida Everblades. He has yet to make his AHL debut.
Fortunato joins the Wolf Pack after skating in 13 games with the Icemen this season, scoring nine assists. The former Quinnipiac Bobcat attended Wolf Pack training camp on a PTO this past October and has skated in 13 career AHL games with the Cleveland Monsters and Belleville Senators. Fortunato won a bronze medal with Team USA at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championships.
Elmer, signed as an undrafted free agent by the Rangers on March 15th, 2019, has scored 14 points (10 g, 4 a) in 23 games with the Icemen this season. He has skated in seven career AHL games, all with the Wolf Pack, and scored four points (2 g, 2 a). He was named to the ECHL All-Star Game in 2019-20 while with the Maine Mariners.
Luchuk, signed to a PTO by the Wolf Pack, has scored 27 points (12 g, 15 a) in 21 games with the Solar Bears this season while wearing an “A” for the club. Named the ECHL’s ‘Player of the Month’ in October, Luchuk has scored 173 points (69 g, 104 a) in 171 career games in the league. His 74 points (28 g, 46 a) led the league during the 2020-21 season, a year in which he was also named an ECHL First Team All-Star. Luchuk has appeared in 33 career AHL games with the Senators, Toronto Marlies and Laval Rocket.
Brodzinski, the 141st overall pick by the San Jose Sharks in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, has skated in 26 games with the Solar Bears this season and scored 18 points (5 g, 13 a). An ECHL All-Star while with the Solar Bears in 2019-20, Brodzinski has skated in 176 career ECHL games and scored 101 points (25 g, 76 a). The younger brother of Wolf Pack captain Jonny Brodzinski, Michael has appeared in 61 career AHL games with the San Jose Barracuda during his professional career.
Kasel, 25, has appeared in two games with the Thunder this season while posting a record of 2-0-0, a .983 save percentage, 0.50 goals against average and one shutout. The rookie netminder played four NCAA seasons with Skidmore College, posting a career-high .928 save percentage as a senior in 2019-20. Kasel signed a PTO with the Providence Bruins earlier this season but has yet to make his AHL debut.
Lee, a native on Hamden, Connecticut, has appeared in 25 games with the Fuel this season while scoring a career-high 25 points (5 g, 20 a). A four-year NCAA defenseman who played his Junior and Senior seasons at Sacred Heart, Lee was named the Atlantic Hockey Association’s Best Defenseman at the conclusion of the 2019-20 season after he scored a career-high five goals, 28 assists and 33 points. He has yet to make his AHL debut.
The Wolf Pack return to game action tonight at 7:00 p.m. when they visit the Bridgeport Islanders. The Pack is back at the XL Center on Friday, December 31st, when they host the Providence Bruins on ‘Teddy Bear Toss’ day. Puck drop is set for 3:00 p.m. For tickets, please visit www.hartfordwolfpack.com
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ABOUT THE HARTFORD WOLF PACK: The Hartford Wolf Pack has been a premier franchise in the American Hockey League since the team’s inception in 1997. The Wolf Pack are the top player-development affiliate of the NHL's New York Rangers and play at the XL Center. The Wolf Pack has been home to some of the Rangers newest faces including Igor Shesterkin, Filip Chytil, and Ryan Lindgren. Follow the Wolf Pack on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.