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Charlotte Checkers sign Zack Stortini, Nick Schilkey, Martin Ouellette to AHL contracts

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The Canes’ AHL affiliate adds a trio to next year’s roster.

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Rangers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Charlotte Checkers on Wednesday announced that three players have signed one-way AHL deals for the 2017-2018 season. Forwards Zack Stortini and Nick Schilkey and goaltender Martin Ouellette will join the Checkers for the start of their season in October.

Stortini is a veteran of 257 games with the Oilers and Predators over six seasons, and has played an additional 556 games in the American Hockey League. Best known as a tough guy, Stortini has racked up 725 penalty minutes in his NHL career to go with more than 1,700 in the AHL.

Schilkey was a non-contract invitee to the Hurricanes’ prospect development camp last week, and joins the Checkers after four years with the Big Ten’s Ohio State Buckeyes. He finished third in the NCAA with 27 goals last season, and totaled 130 points in his Ohio State career.

Ouellette joins the Checkers from the Philadelphia Flyers organization, where he spent most of last season in the ECHL but made three regular-season appearances and four playoff starts for Lehigh Valley in the Calder Cup Playoffs. He went 5-2-0 in his seven AHL games last season.

Players with one-way AHL deals are not eligible for a callup to the NHL without signing an NHL contract. The one-way designation indicates that the player will be paid the same amount in the AHL or ECHL. Since the deals do not include provisions for the players to be added to an NHL roster, they do not count against the team’s 50-contract limit.

The release from the Checkers is below.

CHECKERS SIGN STORTINI, SCHILKEY AND OUELLETTE TO AHL CONTRACTS
Trio agree to one-way deals for 2017-18 season

The Charlotte Checkers today announced that they have signed forwards Zack Stortini and Nick Schilkey and goaltender Martin Ouellette to one-way AHL contracts.

Stortini, a 31-year-old veteran of 12 full professional seasons, has scored 108 points (54g, 54a) and amassed 1,705 penalty minutes in 556 career AHL games with Toronto, Milwaukee, Iowa, Hamilton, Springfield, Oklahoma City, Norfolk, Lehigh Valley, Binghamton and San Jose. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound native of Elliot Lake, Ontario, split last season between Binghamton and San Jose, recording four points (3g, 1a) and 116 penalty minutes in 48 games.

Stortini, who has ranked among the AHL’s top 10 in penalty minutes four times, including a league-high 299 with Norfolk in 2013-14, also played 257 NHL games with the Edmonton Oilers and Nashville Predators between 2006-12, recording 41 points (14g, 27a) and 725 penalty minutes in 257 games. The Oilers drafted Stortini with the 94th overall pick in the third round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

Schilkey, 23, begins his first professional season after scoring 130 points (69g, 61a) in 141 games over a four-year career at the Ohio State University, including a senior season that saw him rank third in the country with 27 goals. The 5-foot-10, 173-pound native of Marysville, Michigan, who recently attended the Carolina Hurricanes’ prospect development camp as a free agent invite, previously played junior hockey with the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers, totaling 108 points (48g, 59a) in 118 games and capturing a Clark Cup in 2014.

Ouellette, 25, enters his fourth professional season after splitting the most recent campaign between Lehigh Valley (AHL), where he posted a 3-0-0 record, 1.06 goals-against average and .968 save percentage in four games, and Reading (ECHL), where he went 15-13-1 with a 2.82 GAA and .907 SV% in 32 outings. He also played four playoff games for Lehigh Valley, going 2-2-0 with a 2.20 GAA and .920 SV%.

For his career, Ouellette, a 6-foot-2, 194-pound native of Saint-Hippolyte, Quebec, owns a 2.30 GAA and .927 SV% in 21 AHL games, all with Lehigh Valley. In the ECHL, he boasts a 2.60 GAA and .912 SV% in 92 career games, all with Reading. The Columbus Blue Jackets selected Ouellette, a University of Maine product, in the seventh round of the 2010 draft.