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Coyotes Sign Oystrick, Arsene and Watkins to One-Year Contracts

by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

GLENDALE, ARIZONA – Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have signed free agent defensemen Nathan Oystrick and Dean Arsene as well as free agent forward Matt Watkins to one-year (two-way) contracts. As per club policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Last season, the 6-foot, 210-pound Oystrick played nine games with the St. Louis Blues, recording 1-2-3 and nine penalty minutes. Oystrick also played 61 games with the Peoria Rivermen (AHL), registering 15-30-45 and 125 penalty minutes. It marked the third time in his last four AHL seasons that Oystrick reached at least 15 goals, 43 points and 105 penalty minutes (he recorded 15-32-47 and 106 PIM in 2006-07 and 15-28-43 and 112 PIM in 2007-08 with the Chicago Wolves).

During the 2008-09 season, the 28-year-old native of Regina, Saskatchewan, played 53 games with the Atlanta Thrashers, recording 4-8-12 and 50 penalty minutes. In addition, in 2007-08, Oystrick led the Wolves to a Calder Cup Championship, playing in 24 playoff games and recording 3-8-11 and 35 penalty minutes.

In 65 career NHL games with the Thrashers, Anaheim Ducks and Blues, Oystrick has collected 5-10-15 and 61 penalty minutes. Oystrick was originally drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the seventh round (198th overall) in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

Last season, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Arsene played 77 games with the Peoria Rivermen (AHL), collecting 1-10-11 and 137 penalty minutes. The 30-year-old native of Murrayville, British Columbia, also played 13 games with the Edmonton Oilers in 2009-10, recording 41 penalty minutes.

In 2008-09, Arsene helped lead the Hershey Bears to a Calder Cup championship, playing in 22 playoff games and collecting two assists and 14 penalty minutes.

Last season, the 5-foot-10, 187-pound Watkins played 64 games with the San Antonio Rampage (AHL), posting 15-20-35 and 45 penalty minutes. During the 2009-10 season, the 24-year-old native of Aylesbury, Saskatchewan, recorded 12-10-22 in 51 games with San Antonio.

Watkins was originally drafted by the Dallas Stars in the fifth round (160th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
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