Duco brings NHL experience to Jackals

ELMIRA, N.Y. – The Elmira Jackals, ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres and AHL’s Rochester Americans, announced the team has signed veteran forward Mike Duco to a contract for the 2016-17 season.

Duco joins the Jackals for his ninth professional season and his eighth in North America. Duco has played parts of three seasons in the NHL, most recently in 2012 with the Vancouver Canucks. He also saw action in two seasons with the Florida Panthers. Between the teams, the 29-year-old logged 18 NHL games and had two assists, both coming during his six-game stint with Vancouver.

The Toronto native brings strong leadership capabilities to the Jackals. He served as the inaugural captain for the Indy Fuel in 2014-15, while also contributing 36 points (17g-19a) in 63 games. Duco enters the season with 392 professional games played in North America, including 107 in the ECHL. Between the Fuel, Evansville Icemen and Orlando Solar Bears, Duco has 59 points (32g-27a) in the ECHL.

The majority of Duco’s pro experience has come in the AHL, where he spent three seasons with the Americans from 2008-11. He played in 194 games for Rochester and contributed 78 points (43g-35a). He has also seen ice time with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves and Toronto Marlies, combining for 267 games between the three clubs. In his AHL career, Duco has 107 points (57g-51a) and 475 penalty minutes.

Prior to turning pro, Duco played four full seasons for the Ontario Hockey League’s Kitchener Rangers from 2004-08. In 242 games with the Rangers, he had 191 points (99g-92a) and was a member of the Rangers team that won the OHL championship and advanced to the Memorial Cup Final in 2008.