24 year old defenceman Drew Schiestel, a native of Hamilton, has been signed to a one year AHL/ECHL contract by the Hamilton Bulldogs. The 6’1″ – 194 pound blueliner is a former second round draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres who’s career has been derailed or, at the very least, slowed up by a serious knee injury.
Schiestel suffered a ruptured right ACL while playing for Buffalo’s AHL Rochester affiliate in January of 2011. The injury came on the weekend before he was scheduled to appear in the AHL All-Star game. He underwent reconstructive surgery and missed the rest of the season.
Then in October 2011, with Rochester playing Hamilton in the season opener at Copps Coliseum he suffered a second-degree MCL sprain of the same knee. The ACL: was undamaged. He missed the first month of the season and never regained his form eventually becoming lost in Buffalo’s defence numbers game to the point where they used him as a left wing at times and at one stage demoted him to Greenville of the ECHL for three games. He was allowed to go to free agency in July.
Then in a sequence that reached Marlov-ian proportions, he suffered another knee injury while playing in Hamilton in January of this year which ultimately limited his season to 38 games and left him off Buffalo’s future plans.
When his knees are right, Schiestel can skate, shoot, and pass the puck. The Bulldogs and, by extension the Canadiens are taking a chance that he’ll bounce back to the form that made him only three years ago, one of Buffalo’s top prospects.
Stiestel joins forward Nick Tarnasky as the second member of last year’s Rochester Americans to sign with Hamilton as an unrestricted free agent.
With Jarred Tinordi expected to be part of the Canadiens to start next season, Schiestel will be part of a Hamilton defence that will include Nathan Beaulieu, Greg Pateryn, Darren Dietz, Morgan Ellis and Swedish rookie Magnus Nygren.
From Hamilton Bulldogs Communications
MONTREAL, QUEBEC – Montreal Canadiens and Hamilton Bulldogs General Manager Marc Bergevin announced today the signing of free agent defenceman Drew Schiestel to a one-year, two-way American Hockey League /ECHL contract for the 2013-2014 season.
Schiestel, 24, split the 2012-2013 season between the AHL’s Rochester Americans and the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors. In 35 regular season games with Rochester, he recorded three points (one goal, two assists) and 16 penalty minutes. He also played in three Calder Cup Playoff games, recording two penalty minutes. In three games with Greenville, he recorded no points and no penalty minutes.
In 191 career regular season AHL games with the Americans, Portland Pirates and Texas Stars, the Hamilton, Ontario native has registered 55 points (nine goals, 46 assists) and 87 penalty minutes. Schiestel was selected to participate in the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic, but was unable to attend due to injury.
The 6’1”, 197-pound defenceman was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the second round, 59th overall, in the 2007 National Hockey League Entry Draft. He played four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League for the Mississauga IceDogs (2005-2007) and Niagara IceDogs (2007-2009), recording 111 points (25 goals, 86 assists) and 197 penalty minutes in 237 regular season games.