Big Rapids, Mich. - The National Hockey League (NHL) Free Agency period opened on Tuesday and former Ferris State University defenseman Zach Redmond (Traverse City) made a big splash by signing with the Colorado Avalanche.
Redmond, who spent most of the past three seasons with the American Hockey League's (AHL) St. John's IceCaps in the Winnipeg Jets' system, signed with the Avalanche on a two-year, $1.5 million contract. The contract worth $750,000 per season is a one-way deal.
"The one-way was huge, of course, but also the fact that they showed such real interest in me," said Redmond, who played more than 150 games with the IceCaps and 18 with the parent Jets since turning pro in 2011.
Redmond, 25, appeared in 10 games for the Winnipeg Jets at the NHL level this past season, tallying three points on a goal and two assists. He spent most of the season with the IceCaps, where he had 25 points on six goals and 19 assists in 40 regular-season games and 14 points with two goals and 12 helpers in 21 playoff contests as the IceCaps reached the AHL Calder Cup Finals.
For his career, Redmond has 22 goals and 53 assists for 75 points in 153 AHL games with St. John's and Chicago, along with two goals and five assists in 18 career NHL games with Winnipeg. This past year, he also became the IceCaps' all-time leading scorer among defensemen.
A Traverse City native, Redmond made his NHL debut in 2012-13 when he appeared in eight games with the Jets and recorded four points on a goal and three assists before suffering a significant and life-threatening leg injury which ended his NHL season.
After the injury a year ago, Redmond capped one of professional hockey's most miraculous comebacks when he returned to play in two games with the IceCaps at the end of the year before being recalled by the NHL club. Last year, Redmond was also named to the 2013 Dunkin' Donuts AHL All-Star Classic in January for his efforts with the IceCaps.
Before turning pro, Redmond played four seasons at Ferris State from 2007-11 and served as the Bulldogs' team captain as a senior in 2010-11. A 2010-11 All-Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) First-Team performer, Redmond registered a team second-highest 20 points on a career season-best seven goals with 13 assists in 26 contests for the Bulldogs in the 2010-11 season.
Redmond concluded his four seasons (2007-11) as a Bulldog with 90 points on 22 goals and 68 assists in 141 contests. The 2009-10 second-team All-CCHA skater chalked up 12 power-play goals, seven game-winning tallies, one short-handed lamplighter, 217 blocked shots, and a plus 22 efficiency rating.
A 2008 seventh-round NHL Entry Draft pick (184th overall) by the Atlanta Thrashers, Redmond originally inked a contract with Atlanta and began his career skating for their top affiliate, the Chicago Wolves, of the AHL before moving to the IceCaps.