Nicastro returns to Solar Bears’ blue line

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears, ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and AHL’s Toronto Marlies, have announced that the club has agreed to terms with defenseman Max Nicastro for the 2016-17 season.

Nicastro began the 2015-16 season with the Solar Bears while under contract with the Toronto Marlies before being reassigned to the Rapid City Rush on March 10. Nicastro finished the year with 19 points (9g-10a) and 27 penalty minutes in 64 total games. The 26-year-old blueliner is preparing for his third season in Orlando, where he has accumulated 27 points (15g-12a) and 46 penalty minutes in 82 career games.

Nicastro has played in 214 professional games with Orlando, Rapid City and Toledo while also spending time with Grand Rapids (AHL) and HC Banksa Bystrica (Slovakia), logging 66 points (21g-45a) and 116 penalty minutes.

Prior to turning pro, the Thousand Oaks, Calif. native played three seasons of college hockey at Boston University, where he amassed 33 points (11g-22a) and 117 penalty minutes in 102 games for the Terriers. Before that, he played junior hockey for the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League, totaling 51 points (15g-36a) and 162 penalty minutes in 115 games.

Nicastro was a third round selection of the Detroit Red Wings (91st overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.