Everblades announce the signings of Baker, Nicholson and Metcalf
Florida Everblades president and general manager Craig Brush, along with head coach Malcolm Cameron announced the signings of 2008-09 captain Kevin Baker, Colin Nicholson and defenseman Peter Metcalf at a press conference at Germain Arena last week. All three players will be returning for their second season with the Everblades. They become the fourth, fifth and sixth players to sign with Florida for the upcoming 2009-10 season.
2008-09 ECHL MVP Kevin Baker enters his sixth professional season in 2009-10 and second with blue and green. The Everblades captain led the ECHL in goals scored and points a year ago with 57 markers and 102 points. He was the only player in the ECHL to score more than 100 points in 2008-09 and first player since 2001 to score 50 goals in a season. He also became the first Everblades player in team history to score more than 50 goals and tied the mark for power play goals in a season with 27. Of his league-leading 57 goals, nearly half were scored on the power play (27).
The 30-year-old right winger also topped ECHL lists in power play goals scored (27), game-winning goals (10) and shots (344). Not only were these league highs but individual career highs for Baker as well. The seventh round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft enjoyed one promotion to the American Hockey League with Rochester, in which he appeared in one game but was held scoreless.
Baker’s five-year professional career has seen him average over a point a game. He has appeared in 269 regular season games (AHL, ECHL and Europe) and scored 157 goals, 150 assists for 307 points, while accumulating 307 penalty minutes. In addition, the Kingston, Ontario native has 18 goals and 12 assists for 30 points and 46 penalty minutes in 35 ECHL playoff games. Baker’s amateur career started in the Ontario Hockey League with the Belleville Bulls where he won an OHL champion (1998-99) and he also played at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. He was the Canadian Interuniversity Sport player of the year in 2005-06.
Nicholson enters his fourth full professional season in 2009-10. The Nova Scotia native set professional career highs in the following categories last season: games played (67), goals scored (14), points (24) and penalty minutes (38). He received an AHL call-up to Everblades affiliate Albany and appeared in two games with the River Rats scoring one assist. Prior to joining with the Blades last season, Nicholson enjoyed two seasons in Beaumont, Texas with the ECHL’s Texas Wildcatters. In two seasons with Texas, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound forward scored 14 goals and 21 assists for 35 points and 47 penalty minutes.
Nicholson’s amateur career began and ended with the Lake Superior State University Lakers of the CCHA. From 2002-06, the right-handed shooting forward played in 115 games scored 25 goals and 22 assists for 47 points, while also racking up 22 minutes in penalties.
Veteran defenseman Peter Metcalf returns for his eighth season of professional hockey and second in Southwest Florida. The Toronto Maple Leafs ninth round selection (267th overall) in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft appeared in 57 regular season games with the Everblades last season, scoring nine goals and 51 assists for 60 points while accumulating 127 minutes in penalties. In the 2009 Kelly Cup Playoffs, the steady blue-liner scored two goals and 15 points with 10 penalty minutes in 11 games.
During his professional hockey voyage, he has made stops in five ECHL cities (Atlantic City 2002-03, Trenton 2003-04, Idaho 2004-05, Alaska 2005-08 and Florida 2008-present) and two American Hockey League cities (Providence 2002-04 and Utah 2004-05). He is a two-time Kelly Cup Champion, hoisting the Kelly Cup in 2003 (Atlantic City) and 2006 (Idaho).
Prior to turning pro in 2002, Metcalf enjoyed a stellar four-year career at Hockey East power University of Maine. He appeared in 148 games for the Black Bears, accounting for 24 goals and 84 assists for 108 points with 200 minutes in penalties.
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