Aaron Palushaj Signs AHL Contract With Monsters
CLEVELAND – The AHL’s defending Calder Cup Champions, the Cleveland Monsters, proudly powered by Constellation, announced Friday that the team signed 27 year-old forward Aaron Palushaj to an AHL contract for the 2016-17 season. A 6’0”, 188 lb. right-handed native of Livonia, MI, Palushaj was selected in the second round by the St. Louis Blues (44th overall) in the 2007 NHL Enry Draft and contributed 11-17-28 with 44 penalty minutes and a -18 rating in 57 appearances for the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms last season. Palushaj is currently participating in training camp with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets on a professional tryout (PTO) contract.
Palushaj posted 3-11-14 with 18 penalty minutes and a -1 rating in 68 NHL appearances for the Montreal Canadiens, Colorado Avalanche and Carolina Hurricanes spanning parts of four seasons from 2010-14 and supplied 87-135-222 with 253 penalty minutes and a -5 rating in 315 AHL appearances for the Peoria Rivermen, Hamilton Bulldogs, Charlotte Checkers and Lehigh Valley spanning parts of seven seasons from 2009-16. Palushaj also contributed 7-14-21 with 48 penalty minutes and a +1 rating in 53 KHL appearances from Medvescak Zagreb and Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg during the 2014-15 season.
Prior to his professional career, Palushaj tallied 23-71-94 with 48 penalty minutes and a +36 rating in 82 NCAA appearances for the University of Michigan spanning two seasons from 2007-09. While at Michigan, Palushaj earned CCHA First All-Star Team and NCAA (West) First Team All-American honors in 2008-09 and helped the Wolverines claim the 2008 CCHA Championship. In the junior ranks, Palushaj helped the Des Moines Buccaneers claim the 2006 Clark Cup as USHL playoff champions and produced 32-68-100 with 115 penalty minutes and a +16 rating in 114 USHL appearances for Des Moines spanning two seasons from 2005-07.
Additionally, Palushaj twice represented Team USA in international competition, posting 2-3-5 with 10 penalty minutes and a +2 rating in six appearances at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championships and supplying 1-1-2 with 12 penalty minutes and a -1 rating in nine appearances at the 2013 IIHF World Championships en route to a Bronze Medal finish for the Americans.
The Monsters drop the puck on their 10th Anniversary Season and begin their defense of the Calder Cup with a “Championship Celebration Weekend” when they take on the Rockford IceHogs in back-to-back games on Friday, October 14th at 7:00 pm and Saturday, October 15th at 5:00 pm at Quicken Loans Arena. The historic weekend celebration will begin at Friday’s opening night game when fans in attendance will experience the raising of the Monsters’ Calder Cup Championship banner. On Saturday, the first 10,000 fans will receive a magnetic Calder Cup 2016-17 Monsters regular-season schedule. There will also be an outdoor Fan Fest on Gateway Plaza prior to each game (starting at 5:00 pm on Friday and 3:00 pm on Saturday) with the opportunity for fans to take a photo with the Calder Cup. Full coverage of the Monsters’ “Championship Celebration Weekend,” live from The Q, begins at 7:00 pm on Friday, October 14th on 99X.
Tickets for every Monsters home game start at just $10 and are on sale now! Full and partial season ticket memberships are also available and provide you with the best seat locations, custom member benefits and the lowest ticket prices. Group outing and birthday bash packages for 10 or more people are also on sale now. All tickets can be purchased by visiting ClevelandMonsters.com, calling (216) 420-0000, visiting The Q Box Office or any Northern Ohio Discount Drug Mart. Be sure to follow the Monsters on Twitter @monstershockey, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/monstershockey, and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/monstershockey.