Inside Rensselaer
Three Hockey Players Sign Pro Contracts

Three Rensselaer men’s hockey players recently have signed professional contracts. Chase Polacek and Jeff Foss have signed professional contracts with American Hockey League (AHL) teams, while goalie Allen York has signed a two-year contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Chase Polacek Allen York Jeff Foss

Senior forward Chase Polacek (#21) will play for the top affiliate of the St. Louis Blues (AHL), the Peoria Rivermen, for the remainder of this year and in 2011-12.

Goalie Allen York (#30) has signed a two-year contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL). York, who foregoes his final year of collegiate eligibility, has already played in several games for the Springfield Falcons.

Senior defenseman Jeff Foss (#7) will play for the Milwaukee Admirals (AHL), the top minor league team of the Nashville Predators.
Photos by Sara Melikian.

York, who foregoes his final year of collegiate eligibility, will be assigned to the Springfield Falcons of the AHL for the remainder of the 2010-11 season. Polacek, a forward, joins the Peoria Rivermen, while Foss, a defenseman, will play for the Milwaukee Admirals. Both senior assistant captains, they recently concluded their college careers having played the most games in Rensselaer hockey history.

“Attending RPI was the best decision I have made in my life so far. The program is in good hands, and I expect it to continue the national success we had. For me, getting a lot of playing time allowed me to gain valuable experience and develop while getting an education at a world-class institution.” — Jeff Foss

“I am excited to join such a great organization in Peoria to start my professional career,” said Polacek, who will play for the top affiliate of the St. Louis Blues for the remainder of this year and in 2011-12. “Hard work and dedication by myself, my teammates, and the coaches have allowed me this opportunity. The past four years have been the best of my life, playing with such tremendous teammates in front of the greatest fans in college hockey. It was such an honor to be able to play at RPI and wear the uniform that has so much history and tradition.”

“It is a great opportunity to prove myself at a very high level,” said Foss, who will play for the Admirals, the top minor league team of the Nashville Predators, the rest of the season. “Attending RPI was the best decision I have made in my life so far. The program is in good hands and I expect it to continue the national success we had. For me, getting a lot of playing time allowed me to gain valuable experience and develop while getting an education at a world-class institution.”

“It is a tremendous opportunity at a lifelong dream that I cannot pass up,” said York, a junior who was a sixth round choice, 168th overall, of the Blue Jackets in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. “The three years at RPI were the best of my life and I am very thankful to my teammates, Coach Appert, the rest of the staff, and the fans. I developed a lot in my time at RPI and am really excited with the direction of the program.”

“I am very happy to see both Chase and Jeff get these professional opportunities at the highest level of minor league hockey, just one step away from their dreams of playing in the NHL,” said head coach Seth Appert. “Both have meant a tremendous amount to our program as players and young men as they led us back to the NCAA Tournament. They will always be a huge part of the RPI Hockey family, and we look forward to watching their professional careers unfold.”

“I would like to congratulate Allen on signing an NHL contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets,” said Appert. “He has been a driving force in our program for the last three years, pushing us to back-to-back winning seasons and an NCAA Tournament appearance.”

Polacek, who along with Foss played every game over the last four years, leaves Rensselaer as a two-time ECAC Hockey Player of the Year and two-time Hobey Baker Award finalist. The Edina, Minn., native had 65 goals and 95 assists for 160 points to rank in the top 20 in school history in each category.

Foss, who hails from Moorhead, Minn., concluded his career with eight goals and 30 assists for 38 points. He had a career-high 14 points on three goals and 11 assists this year, in which he helped the Engineers to 20 wins and their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1995.

York was a two-time finalist for the ECAC Hockey Ken Dryden Award, presented annually to the league’s top goaltender. In three seasons, York had a career record of 37-34-8 with a 2.47 average and a .914 save percentage in 83 games, including 81 starts. He ranks in the top 10 in school history in every goaltending category, including first in goals against average.

This season Rensselaer had a 20-13-5 record, including 11-9-2 in ECAC Hockey. The Engineers were nationally ranked throughout the season and qualified for the NCAA Tournament.

To read the full press release, go to www.rpiathletics.com/.

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 5, Number 7, April 15, 2011
©2010 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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