HERSHEY, Pa. – The HERSHEY BEARS announced today that the club has signed center Jeff Taffe to an American Hockey League contract for the 2012-2013 season. The announcement was made by BEARS President/GM Doug Yingst.
Taffe, 31, enters his tenth professional season in 2012-2013 and has 180 games of NHL experience on his resume. He recorded 46 points (21 goals, 25 assists) while playing with the Phoenix Coyotes, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers, Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild.
The 6-3, 215-pound native of Hastings, MN picked up 53 points (18 goals, 35 assists) in 70 games last season with the Houston Aeros (AHL), his fourth consecutive 50-point season.
Taffe has amassed 429 points (185 goals, 244 assists) in 533 career AHL games with Springfield, Utah, Hartford, San Antonio, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Rochester, Rockford and Houston. Prior to turning pro, he racked up 113 points (56 goals, 57 assists) in three years at the University of Minnesota (WCHA).
Taffe was originally selected by the St. Louis Blues in the first round (30th overall) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.
DiSalvatore, 31, comes to HERSHEY after spending the last three seasons serving as team captain of the AHL’s Houston Aeros. During that time, he appeared in all but one regular-season game and recorded 174 points (77 goals, 97 assists), leading the Aeros in scoring with identical 61-point seasons (28 goals, 33 assists) in both 2010-11 and 2011-12.
The 6-1, 200-pound native of Bangor, ME was named to the AHL Second All-Star Team near the conclusion of last season. He also led the Aeros to the Western Conference Championship in 2011.
DiSalvatore has appeared in a total of 678 career AHL games with Cleveland, Worcester, Peoria, San Antonio, Lowell and Houston, and has accumulated 491 points (206 goals, 285 assists). He has scored at least 20 goals in all nine of his AHL seasons.
DiSalvatore has also appeared in six NHL contests with the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild.
Prior to turning pro, DiSalvatore spent four years at Providence College (HE), where he registered 142 points (59 goals, 83 assists). He was originally selected by the Blues in the fourth round (104th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.
Berry, 26, most recently saw American Hockey League action with the Norfolk Admirals in the 2010-11 season, where he recorded 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists), 150 penalty minutes and a plus-seven rating.
The 6-2, 212-pound native of Danvers, MA began his professional career with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies in 2008-09, and went on to post seven points (three goals, four assists) in 63 career regular-season games. He also spent part of the 2008-09 season with the ECHL’s Reading Royals, recording five assists in five regular-season games and adding six points in 16 Kelly Cup playoff contests.
Berry completed a four-year career at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (HE) prior to turning pro. He totaled 62 points (29 goals, 33 assists) while playing for the Minutemen.
Berry was originally selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fifth round (153rd overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
Oleksy, 26, comes to Chocolatetown following a successful season in 2011-2012 with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL). Following a recall from the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads, Oleksy contributed 15 points (one goal, 14 assists) in 50 regular-season games, finishing tied for third on the Sound Tigers with a plus-16 rating.
Olesky made his AHL debut in 2010-11 with the Lake Erie Monsters, where he recorded four assists in 17 games. He has played in a total of 107 games in the ECHL with Las Vegas, Toledo and Idaho, where he has recorded 38 points (nine goals, 29 assists).
The 6-0, 196-pound native of Chesterfield, MI played three years at Lake Superior State University (CCHA) prior to turning pro in the 2008-2009 season.