The American Hockey League’s Houston Aeros have signed left wings Adam Courchaine and Josh Olson and re-signed left wing Bill Kinkel. Courchaine and Kinkel are currently participating with some of the Minnesota Wild’s top prospects in the NHL Center I.C.E. Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich.
Olson, 24, joins the Aeros after spending much of the past three seasons with their I-10 rivals, the San Antonio Rampage. The 6-foot-5, 236-pound native of Grand Forks, N.D., split last season between the Rampage and the AHL’s Hershey Bears. He notched a combined 19 points (10g, 9a) in 76 games.
Olson’s best season as a pro came in 2003-04, when he totaled 38 points (22g, 16a) in 73 games for San Antonio. That performance earned Olson a five-game stint with the Florida Panthers, and he scored one goal for the NHL club.
Olson was Florida’s sixth-round pick in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. He has 32 goals and 26 assists in 173 career AHL games with Hershey, San Antonio and Utah.
Courchaine, 21, totaled 78 points (28g, 50a) and 32 penalty minutes in 71 games for the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League in 2004-05. In four WHL seasons with Medicine Hat and Vancouver, Courchaine racked up 283 points (131 goals, 152 assists) and 104 PIM in 285 games.
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound native of Winnipeg, Man., was Minnesota’s seventh-round draft pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He was a Second-Team WHL All-Star in 2002-03, when he notched 85 points (43g, 42a) in 71 games for Vancouver.
Kinkel, 21, spent 12 games in Houston in 2004-05, with three goals and 41 penalty minutes. All three goals came in a memorable game versus Cincinnati on March 30, the same day he was recalled from ECHL Pensacola. He became the first Aeros rookie with a hat trick in more than three seasons.
The 6-foot-5, 239-pound native of Buffalo, N.Y., added four points (3g, 1a) and 180 penalty minutes in 30 games for Pensacola. He played three OHL seasons, splitting time between Kitchener and Kingston. New Jersey selected Kinkel with its ninth-round pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.