Solar Bears add rookie defenseman Danford

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 rookie defenseman Ben Danford for the 2016-17 season.

Danford spent last season overseas with Kristianstads IK of Sweden’s Hockeyettan, posting four assists and 20 penalty minutes in 26 games. The 27-year-old has also played professionally in France and patrolled the blueline for three games with the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL in 2013-14. In total, he has 19 points (7g-12a) and 34 penalty minutes in 48 pro games.

Prior to turning pro, Danford completed a four-year collegiate career with Canisius College. In 158 games with the Golden Griffins, the Stillwater, Minn. native recorded 84 points (10g-74a) and 114 penalty minutes, while helping Canisius capture the AHA conference title in 2012-13. Danford led all Canisius defensemen in scoring in each of his four seasons and never missed a single game in his career, the longest streak in the school’s history and also the 13th-longest in NCAA history.

Danford also played junior hockey in the NAHL with the Southern Minnesota Express, Motor City Machine, North Iowa Outlaws and Bismarck Bobcats, picking up the NAHL’s Robertson Cup championship with Bismarck in 2009-10. In 148 career NAHL contests the blueliner earned 50 points (18g-32a) and 100 penalty minutes.