The Alaska Aces welcomed another couple of returning players today when they announced the signings of defenseman Kane Lafranchise and winger Jordan Kremyr for the upcoming season.
That brings to five the number of players, all returners, revealed for 2012-13 – previously announced were goaltender Gerald Coleman, last season’s leading scorer in winger Dan Kissel and scoring center Nick Mazzolini.
Lafranchise and Kremyr were both regulars as rookies last season, when the Aces racked their second straight ECHL Brabham Cup as regular-season champions.
Granted, Lafranchise played 22 games for the Aces two seasons ago, but that technically still made him a rookie (25 pro regular-season games is the cutoff). In any event, the former Seawolves blueliner ramped up his game considerably with 3-31—34 totals and a team-leading +20 rating in 69 games. His plus-minus ranked tied for eighth in the league, he was second to Bryan Miller in points by Aces defensemen and was sixth among ECHL rookie defensemen in points. Ten of his points came on the power play. Lafranchise, 24, will likely get more power-play time in the upcoming season.
Kremyr, 26, produced 14-10—24 totals in 52 games. His three short-handed goals tied for the team lead. He often played on a checking line and showed a willingness to drive the net and go to hard areas.
Oh, and in old-school Aces news, former Alaska blueliner Ryan Gaucher, 34, who helped the club to the 2006 Kelly Cup, has signed with Groden/Val Gardena in the Italian second division. He’s on a long-term tour of Europe – Gaucher has played the last four seasons in Germany and played in Denmark and Austria before that.