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IceHogs Add Blueline Depth and Leadership in Defenseman Cliff Watson

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The Rockford IceHogs today announced that defenseman Cliff Watson has signed an American Hockey League contract with the club for the 2021-22 season.

Watson, 27, skated in eight games with the IceHogs last season, adding one assist and two penalty minutes and became a reliable defenseman for the club, averaging 15:47 of ice time. Joining the IceHogs from their ECHL affiliate, the Indy Fuel, the Sheboygan, Wisconsin, native served as team captain of the Fuel last season and totaled 17 points (1G, 16A) in 45 games.

IceHogs Head Coach Derek King on Cliff Watson's Return for the 2021-22 Season

“He’s a solid player,” said IceHogs Head Coach Derek King. “He’s one of our veterans. He came in and did the job right. I expect him to push the pace coming into training camp and earn the job again. With Watty (Waston), Ozzy (defenseman Dmitri Osipov) and Mitchy (team captain Garrett Mitchell), having those guys around helps these young guys come through and guides them the right way.”

During the 2019-20 season, Watson split time between the Fuel and Kansas City Mavericks (ECHL), totaling 31 points (5G, 26A) in 53 games. Over his four-year career, Watson has seen AHL action with Rockford, Chicago, Ontario, Unica, Hershey, Stockton and San Jose adding eight points (2G, 5A) in 45 games.