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).
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 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 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.
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