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Wild sign All-Star defenseman Foster

The Minnesota Wild, parent club of the AHL’s Houston Aeros, announced on Thursday that the club has signed free agent defenseman Kurtis Foster to a contract.

Foster, 23, spent the 2004-05 season with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, posting 42 points in 78 games and placing second among all AHL defensemen with 17 goals. Foster ranked fourth on the Mighty Ducks in scoring while posting a plus-16 rating.

Foster also added five points (2g, 3a) to go along with 28 PIM in nine playoff games.

As a participant in the 2003 Dodge AHL All-Star Classic, Foster established an American Hockey League record by hitting 101.0 mph in the Hardest Shot event at the annual All-Star Skills Competition.

In 259 career AHL games with Cincinnati and Chicago, Foster has recorded 49 goals and 80 assists for 129 points. He has added 14 points (4g, 10a) in 42 games over the last four Calder Cup postseasons.

The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Foster was a member of the Chicago Wolves’ 2002 Calder Cup championship team, and in 2004 was awarded the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award as the AHL’s Man of the Year for his community efforts.

He was selected in the second round (40th overall) by the Calgary Flames in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, and has tallied one assist in five career NHL games.