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Photo: Morning CallPhoto: Morning Call

Monsters ink forward Palushaj

The AHL’s defending Calder Cup champions, the Cleveland Monsters, announced that the team has signed forward Aaron Palushaj to an AHL contract for the 2016-17 season.

A 6-foot, 188-pound native of Livonia, Mich., Palushaj was a second-round draft choice by St. Louis (44th overall) in 2007. Last season, he contributed 11 goals and 17 assists for 28 points in 57 appearances for Lehigh Valley (AHL).

Palushaj is currently participating in training camp with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets on a professional tryout contract.

Palushaj has played 315 AHL games with Lehigh Valley, Charlotte, Hamilton and Peoria, tallying 87 goals and 135 assists for 222 points. He has added three goals and 11 assists in 68 NHL games with Montreal, Colorado and Carolina.