Boise, Idaho – Idaho Steelheads Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Neil Graham announced that defenseman Aaron Harstad will be back in Boise, with the Steelheads agreeing to terms with the third-year defenseman on a contract for the 2017-18 season.
The Steelheads are the ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Dallas Stars and the American Hockey League’s Texas Stars.
Harstad, 25, joined the Steelheads last season as part of a trade on Feb. 8 with the Norfolk Admirals, after having represented the Admirals in the ECHL All-Star Classic earlier in the season. A seventh-round draft pick of the Winnipeg Jets in 2011, Harstad scored 13 point (3g-10a) , and earned a +13 rating, in 20 regular-season games with Idaho, also earning a two-game call-up to the American Hockey League’s Texas Stars.
In 53 ECHL games last season with Norfolk and Idaho, the Stevens Point, Wis. native totaled 25 points (5g-15a). He also scored two goals in five playoff games, earning his first professional multi-goal game in Game 4 of the Mountain Division Semifinals against Colorado.
Harstad posted a minus rating in only one of his 20 games with the Steelheads. Following his arrival in Idaho, Harstad scored more points than any other Steelheads defenseman and the team held a record of 18-6-0.
Harstad spent his rookie season in 2015-16 split between the Tulsa Oilers and the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, playing 14 games with the Oilers and 26 games with the Moose. Harstad also played five games with AHL St. John’s at the end of the 2014-15 campaign, following his senior season at Colorado College. Harstad has registered four assists in 33 career AHL games with St. John’s, Manitoba, and Texas. He has totaled 33 points (7g-26a) in 67 ECHL games with Tulsa, Norfolk and Idaho.
Prior to turning pro, Harstad played four seasons of college hockey at Colorado College where he recorded 30 points (9g-21a) in 127 games.