Aces bring back Mazzolini and re-sign Ruegsegger
The 2011 Kelly Cup Champion Alaska Aces have signed former Aces star-forward Nick Mazzolini and re-signed second-year forward Tyler Ruegsegger for the upcoming season, Aces Head Coach, Rob Murray announced on Tuesday.
Mazzolini, 27, returns to the Aces after leading the team in goals, assists and points as a rookie in 2009-2010. Last season, the 6'2", 210 lbs. forward played in Italy where he averaged nearly a point per game. He finished second on the Bolzano HC club with 38 points (15g-23a) in 39 games. He now comes home for his third pro season as the Anchorage native returns to glacier blue. Two seasons ago Mazzolini had 64 points (27g-37a) in 63 games to pace Alaska in all three major offensive categories. He finished fifth in rookie scoring, and was selected to the 2010 All-Star Game where he tallied a goal and two assists. Prior to his first stint with the Aces, he played four seasons of college hockey at Providence College. His return to the Last Frontier makes him the second Alaskan-born player on this season's roster, joining Eagle River native Brian Swanson. Overall as a pro, Mazzolini has 102 points in as many career games.
Ruegsegger, 24, was a huge mid-season addition to the Aces last season. He was acquired by the Utah Grizzlies in January in exchange for Maxime Tanguay, and chipped in 15 points (9g-6a) in 23 games. He also earned a 12-game call-up to the AHL's Abbotsford Heat late in the season, where he tallied a goal and added four assists. With his combined stats among three teams, Ruegsegger finished his rookie campaign with 34 points (17g-17a) in 70 games. He also added four goals and four assists in 13 playoff games. The 6'0", 200 lbs. Lakewood, Colo. native is a former sixth round selection (#166 overall) of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2006 NHL Draft, and played college hockey at the University of Denver. While with Denver, Ruegsegger finished third all-time with 28 power play goals. In his senior year, he finished second on the Pioneers with a career-high 41 points, while serving as an alternate captain. He was named to 2010 All-WCHA Second Team, and was a co-recipient of Denver's award for top scholar athlete in 2007, 2008 and 2010. He was named to All-WCHA Academic Team three times, and majored in business administration. Ruegsegger represented the U.S. at 2008 World Junior Championships, helping the club to a fourth-place finish. Prior to college, he won a national championship at Shattuck-St. Mary's in 2005.