Vernace back on Beast’s blue line

BRAMPTON, Ontario – The Brampton Beast, ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens and AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps, announced that defenseman and 2015-16 team MVP Mike Vernace has re-signed with the club for the 2016-17 season.

Vernace enjoyed one of his finest seasons as a professional while with the Beast last year. The Toronto native appeared in 56 games for the Beast recording 36 points (5g-31a) to accompany his 117 penalty minutes.

Vernace is no stranger to Brampton as he also suited up in 138 games for the Ontario Hockey League’s Brampton Battalion from 2003-06, notching 124 points (23g-101a). During the 2005-06 season, he led all OHL defensemen with 62 assists.

As a professional, Vernace spent the majority of his career in the American Hockey League appearing in 443 AHL contests with the Albany River Rats, Lake Erie Monsters, Chicago Wolves, Hamilton Bulldogs, Norfolk Admirals, San Antonio Rampage, Connecticut Whale and Stockton Heat.

Vernace reached the peak of the hockey world in the 2008-09 season, appearing in five NHL contests with the Colorado Avalanche. He returned to the NHL in 2010-11, appearing in 10 games and recording one assist with the Tampa Bay Lightning.