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By: Chris Etheridge
Nesbitt has 54 points in 100 career AHL games

Rockford, Ill.- Chicago Blackhawks General Manager of Minor League Affiliations Mark Bernard announced Monday that the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League have signed Right Wing Derek Nesbitt to a one-year AHL contract.

The Egmondville, Ontario native returns to Rockford after a season split between the San Antonio Rampage and Manitoba Moose.  He was on the Moose roster as the squad beat Houston this spring to take the 2009 Western Conference Championship.

“I’m very happy to have Derek Nesbitt back in an IceHogs jersey, knowing the kind of success he had here during our inaugural American Hockey League season,” Bernard said. “He is a forward that has great offensive instincts and is capable of playing with our top two lines.  He will be a great addition to this years’ team and a player the fans can identify with.”

Nesbitt skated in 46 games with the IceHogs in 2007-08, finishing eighth on the squad with 35 points (17g-18a) as a mid-season call-up from the Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL) in Dec. 2007.  His six PIMs in 46 games was the lowest penalty minutes per game on the IceHogs roster.  The winger was also fifth on the IceHogs with six points (3g-3a) in 12 postseason contests in 2008.

That performance earned him the attention of the Phoenix Coyotes (NHL), who signed him to a National Hockey League contract in the summer of 2008.  He played in 49 games (6g-9a-15pts) with San Antonio in 2008-09 before being reassigned to Manitoba as the Moose (0g-4a-4pts in five games) made a late-season playoff push.  He was held scoreless in one postseason game with Manitoba.

Before joining the IceHogs, Nesbitt played 163 games (90g-153a-243pts) in the ECHL between the Idaho Steelheads and Gwinnett Gladiators, making a trip to the Kelly Cup Finals in both of his first two professional seasons.  He won the Kelly Cup with the Steelheads in 2007.

Before turning pro, Nesbitt played four seasons for Ferris State University, accumulating 141 points (59g-82a) in 154 games.

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