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Falcons sign Shane Willis to PTO contract

January 16, 2009 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Springfield Falcons News Release

Springfield, MA - The Springfield Falcons, proud members of the American Hockey League, announced today that they have signed forward Shane Willis to a Professional Tryout Agreement (PTO). Willis is expected to join the Falcons on Friday as they prepare to take on the Hartford Wolf Pack at the XL Center.

Willis made his 2008-09 debut on January 14, 2009 as a member of the ECHL's Wheeling Nailers where he collected one assist. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound native of Edmonton, Alberta was limited to just one game during the 2007-08 campaign after suffering a season-ending injury while he was with the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals.

Willis returns to Springfield after spending both the 2002-03 and 2004-05 seasons with the Falcons. Willis was captain of the Falcons during the 2004-05 campaign when he collected 18 goals and 16 assists for 34 points in 58 games.

Wilis is entering his 11th full season of pro hockey and in 287 career AHL games, he has collected 112 goals, 127 assists for 239 career points. In 174 career NHL contests, he has registered 31 goals and 43 assists for 74 points. Willis started his pro career in the Carolina Hurricanes organization after he was drafted by Carolina in the fourth round (88th overall) in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. He has scored at least 20 goals in a season five times in his pro career, including 20 markers with the Hurricanes during the 2000-01 campaign.

In 1999, Willis won the Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award as the top rookie of the American Hockey League, while playing for the Beast of New Haven.

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