COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets signed defenseman Andrey Plekhanov to a two-year contract and defenseman Clay Wilson and left wing John Vigilante to one-year contracts, club General Manager Scott Howson announced July 8. All three contracts are two-way NHL-American Hockey League deals and in keeping with club policy, terms were not disclosed.
Plekhanov (pronounced pleh-KAN-awf), who turns 22 on July 12, was Columbus's third pick, 96th overall, at the 2004 Entry Draft. He spent most of last season with the Syracuse Crunch, the club's AHL affiliate, and notched nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points with 10 penalty minutes and a plus/minus rating of +18 in 40 games. He added 1-2-3 and two penalty minutes in eight Calder Cup Playoffs games to complete his first season in North America. The 6-foot-1,187-pound native of Nizhnekamsk, Russia spent the previous three seasons playing with his hometown club in the Russian Elite League. He registered 2-3-5 and 52 penalty minutes in 63 career games.
Wilson, 25, tallied 1-1-2, two penalty minutes and was +3 in seven games with Columbus last season. He also combined for 14-33-47, 35 penalty minutes and was +13 in 71 AHL games with Syracuse and Portland, including 11-28-39, 29 penalty minutes and was +15 in 57 games with the Crunch. Selected to play in the 2008 AHL All-Star Game, he has notched 33-94-127 and 127 penalty minutes in 210 career AHL games. He led all Portland defensemen in goals, assists and points (7th among AHL defensemen) with 9-34-43 and 52 penalty minutes in 79 games in 2006-07.
Signed by Anaheim as a free agent on July 11, 2006, he was acquired by Columbus with defenseman Aaron Rome from Anaheim in exchange for forward Geoff Platt on Nov. 15, 2007. Wilson played four seasons at Michigan Tech University of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association from 2001-05. The Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota native recorded 17-40-57 and 119 penalty minutes in 148 games during his college career.
Vigilante, 23, has spent the past two seasons as a member of the Nashville Predators organization. During that time, he registered 23-50-73 and 22 penalty minutes in 135 games with the Milwaukee Admirals, Nashville's AHL affiliate. In 2007-08, he tallied a career-high 15-31-46, 12 penalty minutes and was +4 in 73 games.
A native of Dearborn, Michigan, he played four seasons with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League, collecting 93-153-246 and 107 penalty minutes in 254 career games from 2002-06. He finished his junior career as Plymouth's all-time leader with 24 game-winning goals, while ranking third in franchise history in games played, fifth in assists, sixth in points and ninth in goals.
Deposits are now being accepted for Blue Jackets season tickets for the 2008-09 season. New 10 and 20 game plans also are available starting at $240. For information on season tickets, mini-plans or group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or 800-NHL-COLS.