Columbia Signs Buffalo’s Boulton

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Columbia Inferno have announced the signing of Buffalo Sabres left wing Eric Boulton, who is expected to be in the lineup for the Inferno on Friday at Charlotte.

Boulton began his professional career with Charlotte, scoring 25 points (11g-14a) with 325 penalty minutes in 44 regular season games for the Checkers in 1996-97. Selected by the New York Rangers in the ninth round (234th overall) in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, Boulton also had an assist in three playoff games for Charlotte while also playing in the American Hockey League with Binghamton, scoring five points (2g-3a) with 67 penalty minutes in 23 regular season games and four penalty minutes in three playoff games.

Boulton becomes the third National Hockey League player in the ECHL, joining Scott Gomez of the New Jersey Devils, who is playing with the Alaska Aces, and Curtis Brown of the Chicago Blackhawks, who is playing with the San Diego Gulls.

Boulton returned to Charlotte in 1997-98, scoring 27 points (11g-16a) with 202 penalty minutes in 53 regular season games and one goal in four playoff games. Boulton last played in the ECHL in 1998-99 with Florida, scoring 22 points (9g-13a) with 143 penalty minutes in 26 regular season games.

In 2003-04, the 6-0 and 201-pound Boulton had 110 penalty minutes and scored three points (1g-2a) in 44 games with Buffalo. Signed to a multi-year contract by Buffalo on August 20, 2001, Boulton has 17 points (5g-12a) and 511 penalty minutes in 172 career NHL games, all with the Sabres.