Jackals add a pair of defensemen


ELMIRA, N.Y. – The Elmira Jackals announced that veteran defenseman J.D. Forrest and rookie blueliner Steven Shamanski have signed Standard Player Contracts for the 2014-15 season.

The Jackals are the ECHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League.

Forrest, 33, returns to the U.S. after spending eight of the last nine seasons in Europe. The Auburn, N.Y. native split his time overseas playing in the top Finnish, German and Swiss leagues. Forrest also skated in the Allsvenskan, the second-highest league in Sweden, for one season. The 5-9 180lb defenseman was the alternate captain for the Augsburger Panthers of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga in each of the last two seasons. He also won two silver medals in the top Finnish league, the SM-liiga. Forrest’s only professional season in the U.S. came in 2007-08. He split the season between the Florida Everblades and the Jackals in the ECHL as well as stints in the AHL with the Albany River Rats and the Worcester Sharks. In 418 career professional games, Forrest has recorded 45 goals and 152 assists.

Prior to turning pro, Forrest played 144 NCAA games with the Boston College Eagles. In his four years on Chestnut Hill, Forrest notched 24 goals and 73 assists. The two-time alternate captain for the Eagles was a member of the 2000-01 National Championship squad and was named to the NCAA Second All-American Team in 2002-03.

Shamanski, 24, rejoins new Elmira head coach Jamie Russell’s squad after completing his collegiate career at Providence College. The two teamed up the last three seasons as Russell ran the defensive unit and penalty kill as an assistant coach. Shamanski set career highs last year with six goals and 16 points in 39 games with the Friars. The 6-0 195lb blueliner scored 11 goals and added 25 assists in 141 career NCAA games. Shamanski also skated in three games at the end of last season with the Fort Wayne Komets.