The Syracuse Crunch and Crunch General Manager Julien Brisebois have announced the signing of Nick (Nicola) Riopel to an AHL contract. Riopel was signed to an AHL contract last March after goaltender Allen York announced his retirement from professional hockey. With the Lightning in need on a 5th goalie, Riopel was available while he played with the Norfolk Admirals of the ECHL.
Riopel had a decent season for Norfolk contributing a 2.56 GAA and .924 SV% while going 13-15-1. Prior to the 2015-16 season, Riopel spent three seasons overseas spending a season each in the EIHL (England), Denmark league, and French league. Prior to his European tour, Riopel split time between the AHL and ECHL over two and a half seasons after finishing his juniors career with the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL. He was originally drafted in the 5th round in 2009 by the Philadelphia Flyers.
Riopel will most likely spend the season with the Lightning’s new ECHL affiliate the Kalamazoo Wings and only spend time in Syracuse in the event of an injury to another goaltender further up the depth chart. Being on an AHL contract means Riopel will not count towards the 50 contract roster limit, but Tampa Bay will retain his NHL rights if there became a need to sign him to an NHL contract.
Read the Syracuse Crunch press release below for a little more information about Riopel.
SYRACUSE CRUNCH SIGN GOALTENDER NICK RIOPEL TO AHL CONTRACT
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Crunch have signed goaltender Nick Riopel to an American Hockey League contract for the 2016-17 season, Crunch general manager Julien BriseBois announced today.
Riopel, 27, appeared in 32 games with the Norfolk Admirals of the ECHL during the 2015-16 season, posting a 13-15-1 record along with a 2.56 goals-against average and .924 save percentage. He also had a 4.03 goals-against average and .843 save percentage in two games with the Rapid City Rush last season.
The 6-foot, 185-pound netminder has appeared in 97 career ECHL contests with Norfolk, Rapid City and the Greenville Road Warriors, compiling a 51-38-5 record. Riopel also earned a 7-13-0 record in 21 career AHL games all with the Adirondack Phantoms.
Riopel was selected in the fifth round, 142nd overall, by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
The Syracuse Crunch will hold their 23rd home opener on Oct. 15. Ticket packages for the 2016-17 season are on sale now and can be purchased either in person at the Crunch office located in the War Memorial Arena at 800 S. State St. in Syracuse or by calling the office at 315-473-4444. For the latest Crunch news, visit http://www.syracusecrunch.com or follow the club on Facebook (www.facebook.com/syracusecrunch), Twitter (@SyracuseCrunch) and Instagram (@syracusecrunch) using #SyrCrunch.