The Jacksonville Icemen, proud affiliate of the NHL Winnipeg Jets and AHL Manitoba Moose, today announced the return of veteran forward Wacey Rabbit.
The 5-foot-9, 181-pound forward started last season in Jacksonville before heading overseas to play in Dukla Jihlava (Czech Extraliga). Rabbit skated in 17 Czech games recording 5 points (2G, 3A). The 31-year-old vet has spent several seasons overseas in his career including stints in Croatia, Norway, Italy, and Japan.
“We only saw Wacey a short time last year, but he’s a guy that just commands respect in the locker room. He plays hard, and he’s ready to go each and every night,” said coach Jason Christie.
The Lethbridge, Alberta native was drafted by the Boston Bruins in 2005 NHL Draft (round 5, pick 154) and spent the following three seasons with the club’s AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins. Rabbit has played in 309 AHL games between Providence, the Milwaukee Admirals, and San Antonio Rampage, notching a total of 95 points (36G, 59A). He’s skated in 33 playoff games between the three AHL clubs and a total of 58 playoff games in his career, having made the playoffs in each one of his 12 seasons as a pro.
“I’m excited to come back to Jacksonville. The culture and team that’s being built is something that I look forward to being a part of,” said Rabbit. “Being familiar with the city and fans made it an easy choice. I will be here the entire season and hopefully we can make a good push for the playoffs!”
Rabbit is the first veteran signed to an ECHL contract for the 2018-2019 season. Each team is limited to four veteran players (excluding goaltenders) on its active roster and reserve during the season.
The Icemen open their second season on Saturday, October 13th at Veterans Memorial Arena against the South Carolina Stingrays. The puck drop has been moved up to 7:00 p.m. ET for all games, except Fridays and Sundays, when the start time will remain at 7:30 p.m. ET and 3:00 p.m. ET, respectively.