The Atlanta Thrashers have signed unrestricted free agent forward Anthony Stewart and unrestricted free agent defenseman Noah Welch, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Stewart, 24, has recorded 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in 105 career NHL games with Florida and 66 points (29 goals, 37 assists) in 130 American Hockey League games with Rochester and San Antonio. The 6-2, 240-pound center appeared in 59 games with the Florida Panthers last season, recording seven points (two goals, five assists).
Prior to his professional career, the La Salle, Quebec, native played four seasons of junior hockey with Kingston of the Ontario Hockey League from 2001-02 to 2004-05. He appeared in 248 regular season games with the Frontenacs, earning 238 points (118 goals, 120 assists) and added seven points (three goals, four assists) in six OHL post-season contests. He was originally selected by Florida in the first round, 25th overall, of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Welch, 26, has seen action in 73 career NHL games with Pittsburgh, Florida and Tampa Bay, recording nine points (four goals, five assists). The 6-4, 220-pound defenseman has earned 59 points (16 goals, 43 assists) in 122 AHL games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Rochester. The Brighton, Mass., native appeared in 40 NHL games last season with Florida and Tampa Bay, recording two points (one goal, one assist) and also tallied three assists in seven AHL games with the Rochester.
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