Winger Matt Robinson, who began his pro hockey career with the Alaska Aces six years ago, is headed back to Anchorage.
The Aces this morning announced Robinson, who turned 27 Monday and is entering his seventh season in the play-for-pay game, has signed with the club for the upcoming season.
Robinson will take up one of the four slots each ECHL team is allotted for veteran skaters – guys who enter the season with 260 or more regular-season pro games. Defenseman Steve Ward, whose signing was announced last season, takes up another vet slot, leaving the Aces with two to fill (if defensemen Bryan Miller and Chad Anderson return, they would fill the other two vet slots).
Robinson spent the last two seasons in the Central Hockey League, where he was among the circuit’s most prolific goal scorers. He racked 34-24—58 totals in 64 games last season for the Wichita Thunder to finish fourth in the league in goals. In 2010-11, with Laredo and primarily Wichita, his 40 goals in 65 games tied for second in the league.
He helped Wichita to the league finals last season, when he was a finalist for CHL MVP. The previous season, he was Wichita’s MVP.
Robinson’s first four seasons came in the ECHL. As a rookie for the Aces in 2006-07, he posted 21-13—34 totals in 59 games. The next season he went 19-18—37 in 58 games. In 2008-09, he played 14 games for ECHL Johnstown before a season-ending knee injury. In 2009-10, he started with Jonestown before heading to Stockton and earned 31-33—64 totals in 63 games.
Robinson was slated to return to Wichita – the team announced his return on June 15.
The Aces know how it feels to have a player scheduled to return and then go elsewhere. Earlier this season, they re-signed last season’s leading scorer, winger Dan Kissel, and announced his signing. But Kissel soon decided to play next season in Norway.
The Aces have announced seven players for next season, with Robinson being the only one who did not play for the club last season. Announced as returning are Ward, goaltender Gerald Coleman, center Nick Mazzolini, defenseman Kane Lafranchise and wingers Jordan Kremyr and Tim Hall.