Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates add depth with latest additions

PORTLAND – With Portland Pirates’ training camp less than six weeks away, team general manager Ray Edwards added depth to the lineup, re-signing defenseman Joel Hanley and signing forward Eric Selleck to one-year AHL contracts for the 2014-’15 season.

Hanley, 23, joined the Pirates last season, signing an Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO) after finishing his collegiate career with the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA. He made his pro debut with the Pirates on March 12, 2014 in St. John’s, Newfoundland against the St. John’s IceCaps. Hanley appeared in 15 games with Portland including the final 13 games of the regular season, recording five assists.

His first professional point came at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston on March 29 against the Manchester Monarchs.

Hanley played four years with the Minutemen, scoring 17 goals, 58 assists for 75 points in 131 games, earning Hockey East All-Academic Team honors in 2012 and 2014.

The addition of Hanley addresses a depth issue the Pirates had last season on its backend especially after the team’s NHL parent club, Arizona Coyotes made a number of deals at the NHL trade deadline and promoted several players to the NHL, leaving Portland with a skeleton blueline.

At 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, Hanley adds depth to the Pirates’ blueline with potentially 12 players that could spend some time patrolling the defensive zone in Portland this season including Brandon Gormley, Connor Murphy and Chris Summers, who will all be competing for full-time positions in Arizona.

The Keswick, Ontario native’s contract is a two-way AHL contract, allowing Hanley to play for the Pirates’ ECHL affiliate, Gwinnett Gladiators.

In addition to re-signing Hanley, the Pirates added some grit and toughness to its lineup, signing Eric Selleck to a one-year standard player’s contract.

Selleck, 26, is entering his fifth season in the American Hockey League, having appeared in 258 AHL games with Rochester, San Antonio, and Chicago, scoring 58 points (21G, 37A) and recording 762 penalty minutes.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound forward split time between the San Antonio Rampage and Chicago Wolves last season, scoring six goals, six assists for 12 points with a plus-8 rating in addition to 163 penalty minutes in 60 games.

Selleck made his NHL debut during the 2012-’13 season with the Florida Panthers, recording one assist and 17 penalty minutes. He was acquired from the Florida Panthers last March by the St. Louis Blues organization in exchange for former Pirates’ forward Mark Mancari.

The gritty forward has also appeared in 18 Calder Cup playoff games with San Antonio and Chicago, scoring an assist and 21 penalty minutes.

Selleck, who made his professional debut with the Rochester Americans during the 2010-‘11 season, adds a sandpaper to a roster lacking toughness. With the likes of Worcester, St. John’s and Providence, Selleck could see hefty ice time in a division-based schedule.

The Spencerville, Ontario native took an unconventional route to the AHL and NHL by playing NCAA Division III hockey. Selleck played two seasons with the Oswego State Lakers where he appeared in 54 games, scoring 34 goals, 46 assists for 80 points. As a freshman, Selleck finished third in team scoring with 26 points and was named State University of New York Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year in 2009 as the Lakers fell short of a berth in the NCAA Division III tournament, losing 5-4 in overtime in the SUNYAC Championship game to Plattsburgh State. The following season, in 2010, Selleck led the team in scoring with 54 points, earning honors as SUNYAC Most Valuable Player, winning the SUNYAC Championship, 6-3, in a rematch against Plattsburgh St.

Selleck and the Lakers knocked off Brunswick’s Bowdoin College, 9-2, in the NCAA Division III Quarterfinals before losing in the semifinals to eventual national champions St. Norbert in Lake Placid, New York.

The Coyotes announced on Monday that training camp will open for rookies on Sept. 12, with veterans reporting a week later on Sept. 18. It’s expected the Pirates will open its training camp on Sept. 29; roughly two weeks after the Coyotes’ open its main camp, with the Pirates first exhibition game against the Manchester Monarchs to take place on Oct. 4 in Portland, followed by game on Oct. 5 at St. Anselm College’s Sullivan Arena in Goffstown, NH.