HERSHEY, Pa. – The HERSHEY BEARS announced today that the club has signed forward Joel Champagne to an American Hockey League contract for the 2012-13 season. The announcement was made by BEARS President/GM Doug Yingst.
Champagne, 22, comes to Chocolatetown after completing his first professional season last year. In 55 games with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals, he posted 12 points (six goals, six assists), 20 penalty minutes and a plus-4 rating. Champagne also recorded five goals and three assists in six games with the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones.
The 6-4, 214-pound native of LaSalle, PQ had his most successful year in his final season of junior hockey. Playing under the guidance of Hall of Fame coach Patrick Roy with the 2010-11 Quebec Remparts (QMJHL), Champagne finished second in team scoring with 82 points in 68 regular-season games. His 58 assists led the team, and his plus-31 rating ranked second. Champagne also tied for the team lead in playoff goals (11) and ranked second with 20 points.
Over five QMJHL seasons with Chicoutimi, Prince Edward Island, Victoriaville and Quebec, Champagne has totaled 284 points (110 goals, 174 assists) in 317 career games.
Champagne was originally selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fifth round (129th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.