The Calgary Flames, parent club of the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat, announced today the signing of forward Ben Walter and defenseman Clay Wilson to NHL contracts, as well as forward Jon Rheault to an AHL contract.
Walter, 27, was originally drafted by Boston in the fifth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Last season with the Lake Erie Monsters, Walter finished ninth in the AHL with a team-leading 70 points and ranked fifth in the league with a plus-26 rating while skating in 77 games.
In 423 career AHL games with Lake Erie, Lowell, Bridgeport and Providence, Walter has recorded 125 goals and 226 assists for 351 points. He also has one goal in 24 career NHL games played for New Jersey, the N.Y. Islanders and Boston.
Wilson, a Second Team AHL All-Star in 2009-10 and an AHL All-Star Classic participant in 2008 and 2011, joins the Flames following the previous two seasons with the Florida Panthers organization. In 66 games with Rochester in 2010-11, Wilson notched 12 goals and 36 assists for 48 points. He added three goals and two assists in 15 NHL games with Florida.
A 28-year-old native of Sturgeon Lake, Minn., Wilson has played 421 career AHL games with Rochester, Chicago, Syracuse, Portland and Grand Rapids, notching 73 goals and 207 assists for 280 points. He also has four goals and four assists in 31 career NHL matches with Florida, Atlanta and Columbus.
Rheault signed as a free agent with the Flames organization in 2010 and played 79 games with the Abbotsford Heat, recording 12 goals and 22 assists for 34 points. He originally joined the Heat on a tryout agreement late in the 2009-10 season, playing the final five games and notching five points. In 13 playoff games that season for the Heat, he recorded six goals and two assists.
Originally drafted by Philadelphia in 2006, Rheault has played 147 career AHL games with Abbotsford, Providence and Manchester, registering 20 goals and 30 assists for 50 points.