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Avs Re-Sign Rycroft; Add Jillson, Purinton

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced Tuesday the signings of forward Mark Rycroft and free agent defensemen Jeff Jillson and Dale Purinton to one-year contracts.

“Mark is a hard-working player who provides energy to our roster,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President and General Manager Francois Giguere.

Rycroft, 27, heads into his fifth NHL season. He appeared in 66 games last season and recorded 12 points (6g/6a), exceeding his point total from the previous year in St. Louis (10 pts.). He ranked second among Colorado forwards in hits (80).

Jillson, 26, was a first-round draft choice of the San Jose Sharks (14th overall) in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. The 6’3”, 220-pound native of North Smithfield, Rhode Island is a veteran of 140 NHL contests with San Jose, Boston and Buffalo. As a three-year letterman at the University of Michigan from 1998-2001, Jillson earned second-team All-American honors in 2001 and first-team All-CCHA honors in 2000 and 2001. He led all CCHA defensemen in points during his 2000-01 collegiate campaign. In his rookie NHL season with San Jose in 2001-02, he led NHL rookies with 12 power-play assists and ranked second with 15 power-play points. 

Purinton, 30, is a veteran of 181 NHL games, all with the New York Rangers from 1999-2004 where he amassed 578 penalty minutes. The 6’3”, 226-pound native of Fort Wayne, Indiana appeared in 55 games with the Hartford Wolfpack (AHL) last season, recording 240 penalty minutes. Purinton was originally drafted by the Rangers (117th overall) in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft.
“Dale adds a measure of size and toughness to our organization’s depth chart and Jeff brings offensive ability from the blue line,” said Avalanche Assistant General Manager Greg Sherman. “They each have a solid balance of experience both at the American Hockey League and NHL levels.”

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