ELMIRA, N.Y. – The Elmira Jackals, ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres and AHL’s Rochester Americans, announced that veteran defenseman Nick Tuzzolino has signed a Standard Player Contract for the 2014-15 season.
Tuzzolino, 28, returns to Elmira after a brief stint with the Jackals during the 2013-14 season. The Buffalo, N.Y. native was acquired by the Jackals from the Fort Wayne Komets on Nov. 25 in exchange for defenseman Jordan Southorn. Tuzzolino was loaned to the Rochester Americans just days later and was returned to the Jackals for a brief stint in December. In total, the 6-foot-5 225-pound blueliner logged four games with the Jackals and 36 with the Americans. He also skated in 13 games with Fort Wayne to begin the season.
Tuzzolino split the 2012-13 season between the Utah Grizzlies and the American Hockey League’s Abbotsford Heat. With the Grizzlies, he was fourth in the league, and tops among defensemen, with 21 power-play assists and was second among defensemen in the league for power play points (23) in only 44 games. He ranked fifth and eighth, respectively, among defensemen in the league for assists (31) and points (36). For his efforts Tuzzolino was named to the 2012-13 All-ECHL Second Team. He also saw action in 14 games with the Heat and registered one goal along with 11 penalty minutes.
Tuzzolino was a seventh-round selection (196th overall) by the New York Islanders in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. In seven years as a pro, Tuzzolino has appeared in 300 ECHL games with Alaska, Utah, Wheeling, Fort Wayne and Elmira. He has totaled 153 points (35g-118a) and 745 penalty minutes in that time. He has also logged 86 AHL games between Abbotsford, Lake Erie, Portland and Rochester. Before turning pro Tuzzolino played five seasons in the Ontario Hockey League splitting time with the Sarina Sting and Sudbury Wolves with 70 points (13g-57a) and 338 penalty minutes in 168 games.