Solar Bears ink veteran defenseman DeSantis

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears have announced that the club has agreed to terms with defenseman Jason DeSantis for the 2016-17 season.

The Solar Bears are the ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Toronto Maple Leafs and the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies.

DeSantis joins the Solar Bears after spending the 2015-16 season playing for Klagenfurt AC of Austria’s Erste Bank Eishockey Liga, where he logged 24 points (8g-16a) and 51 penalty minutes in 47 games.

The 30-year-old blueliner broke into the professional ranks in the 2007-08 campaign with the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms, and has since gone on to accumulate 173 points (42g-131a) and 259 penalty minutes in 399 professional games games with the AHL’s Phantoms, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, St. John’s IceCaps, San Antonio Rampage and Hamilton Bulldogs; the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers; and overseas clubs Liberec Bili Tygri HC (Czech Republic),  HIFK Helsinki (Finland) and Klagenfurt.

Prior to turning pro, the native of Oxford, Mich. played at Ohio State University, where he amassed 60 points (16g-44a) and 150 penalty minutes in 144 games for the Buckeyes.

DeSantis was also a member of the United States National Development Team from 2002-04, posting 11 points (5g-6a) and 46 penalty minutes in 53 games with the program, and also helped Team USA to a silver medal finish at the 2004 IIHF U18 World Championship.