PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League announced that they have signed former Bakersfield Condor and ECHL All-Star right wing Connor James.
The Wheeling Nailers are the ECHL affiliate for Pittsburgh of the NHL and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.
Selected in the ninth round (279th overall) by Los Angeles in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, the 24-year-old spent the majority of his first professional season in the ECHL with Bakersfield and he tied for the ECHL rookie lead with four shorthand goals and six shorthand points while ranking third among league rookies in plus-minus rating with +25. Selected to the ECHL All-Star Game, James had 46 points (21g-25a) in 51 regular season games and four points (3g-1a) in five Kelly Cup Playoff games for the Condors. He also played 14 games with Manchester in the AHL where he had three points (2g-1a) and 10 penalty minutes.
In 2006-07 with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL, James had 32 points (12g-20a) in 70 regular season games and played in all 11 playoff games tying for the team lead with a plus-minus rating of +6 and tying for fourth with eight points (4g-4a).
In his second professional season in 2005-06, the 5-10 and 170-pound native of Calgary, Alberta had 42 points (17g-25a) in 77 regular season games and played seven games in the Calder Cup Playoffs for Manchester while also playing two games in the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings, making his NHL debut on Jan. 7 at San Jose.