Avs announce several signings

The Colorado Avalanche announced today that the club has agreed to terms with goaltenders Peter Budaj, Tom Lawson and Vitaly Kolesnik, along with defenseman Brett Clark and forward Paul Healey.

The Avalanche are a parent club of the AHL’s Lowell Lock Monsters.

Budaj, 22, was Colorado’s second-round selection (63rd overall) in the 2001 Entry Draft. He has spent the last three seasons with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, where he played in a combined 133 games. He appeared in 59 contests for Hershey in 2004-05, posting a 29-25-2 record with a 2.65 goals-against average.

Budaj, who represented Slovakia at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, owns a career record of 56-55-10 with 10 shutouts in the AHL.

Lawson, who turned 26 this week, signed with the Avalanche as a free agent on June 3, 2003. He spent all of 2004-05 with Hershey, where he compiled a record of 10-14-0 in 27 games while splitting the duties with Budaj.

Brett Clark served as Hershey’s captain in 2004-05.

In 60 career AHL contests, Lawson owns a record of 23-26-2 with six shutouts. He was MVP of the 2003 UHL Playoffs as he led Fort Wayne to that league’s championship.

Kolesnik, 25, has been the top goaltender for the Kazakhstan National Team since 1999. He ranked third among all goaltenders with a .952 save percentage at the 2005 World Championships in Austria.

Clark, 28, was acquired by Colorado from Atlanta in exchange for Frederic Cassivi on Jan. 24, 2002. He spent all of 2004-05 with Hershey, tallying seven goals and 38 assists in 67 games. A veteran of 308 AHL games with Hershey, Chicago and Fredericton, Clark has also played in 158 career NHL games, including 12 with the Avalanche in 2003-04.

Paul Healey has nearly 600 AHL games to his credit.

Healey, 30, spent 2004-05 in the American Hockey League, splitting the season between San Antonio and Edmonton. In 569 career AHL games, Healey has totaled 185 goals and 181 assists foro 366 points. He played in the AHL All-Star Classic in 2001, and won a Calder Cup championship with Philadelphia in 1998.

Healey has also played in 75 career contests at the NHL level, scoring six goals with 14 assists.

The Avalanche also announced they have agreed to terms with goaltender David Aebischer, who played two seasons (1998-2000) in the AHL with Hershey.