Thursday, September 28, 2006

Flint adds two forwards, plus a goaltender

The Flint Generals announced the acquisition of three more players today.

Forwards Jeff Zehr (pictured) and Josh Piro were picked up through trades and goaltender Jason Churchill signed his first professional contract.

Zehr, 27, comes to the Generals in a trade with Port Huron for Greg Bullock. He was a second-round draft coice in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders. This will be his seventh season of professional hockey and first in the UHL. In 1999-00, his first season, he played 12 games for the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League. During that season he was called up to the NHL by the Boston Bruins and appeared in four games. Zehr’s best season statistically was 2002-03 with Columbus in the ECHL when he had 58 points on 23 goals and 35 assists in 58 games with 229 penalty minutes.

“Greg is a veteran center who we can count on to be responsible and leader in practice," Port Huron head coach Stan Drulia said. "He’ll give us depth up front and he’s basically one of the key guys that we’ve been talking about getting here."

Piro, 27, was acquired by the Generals in a trade with Bloomington for future considerations and is a former member of the Motor City Mechanics. Piro played four seasons at Elmira College before beginning his professional career in 2003 with his hometown Johnstown Chiefs in the ECHL. Last season he played 49 games for Elmira and recorded nine points on three goals and six assists.

Churchill, 20, was a fourth-round selection of the San Jose Sharks in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He has played the last four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, three years with the Halifax Mooseheads and last season with the Saint John Sea Dogs. Churchill’s best season statistically was 2004-05 with Halifax. In 54 games he posted a 28-18-8 record with a 2.59 goals against average and a .905 save percentage.

“Zehr is a first line forward for us. He has NHL and AHL experience and brings character and leadership to our team.” stated Generals' GM Al Sims. “We’re also excited about getting Piro from Bloomington. He is a good two-way center that can play on all three lines. And Churchill was a NHL draft pick. He is a big kid that takes up a lot of the net and he comes with high credentials having been drafted.”


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