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Lowell signs five, including former Calder Cup champion Robitaille

Lowell Devils general manager Chris Lamoriello today announced the signings of five players to American Hockey League contracts. Signed were defensemen Matt Cohen, Chris Murray and Matt Taormina, and forwards Trevor Kell and Louis Robitaille.

Cohen, 23, returns for his third year with the organization after splitting the past two seasons between Trenton (ECHL) and Lowell (AHL). In 2008-09, he finished second among ECHL Devils defensemen with 47 points, including a team-leading (tie) 12 goals and plus-22 mark in 58 appearances. He also skated in the league’s All-Star Game.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound defenseman also saw action in five contests with the AHL Devils. Cohen joined the organization by appearing in nine ECHL games upon the conclusion of his collegiate career in 2006-07. He played four seasons at Yale University (ECAC), where he totaled seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points and 134 penalty minutes in 118 appearances for the Bulldogs.

The New York City native also spent two seasons with the United States Development Program.

Murray, 24, enters his first season with the organization and third professional season overall.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound defenseman spent time in 2008-09 with both Hartford (AHL) and Charlotte (ECHL), picking up three assists in 13 games with the Wolf Pack. In 30 career AHL games with Hartford, Albany, Springfield, Lake Erie and Peoria, Murray has registered one goal and six assists.

A native of Dover, Mass., Murray played four seasons (2003-07) at the University of New Hampshire (HE), where he was named to the league’s Second All-Star Team as a senior. Murray’s four-season collegiate totals show 11 goals and 24 assists for 35 points and 191 penalty minutes in 112 appearances for the Wildcats.

Taormina, 22, will enter his first full pro season after recording two goals and three assists for five points and four penalty minutes in 11 games with Binghamton (AHL) in 2008-09. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound defenseman joined the AHL Senators at the conclusion of his senior season at Providence College. While with the Friars, Taormina posted 20 goals and 45 assists for 65 points and 50 penalty minutes in 141 appearances.

A native of Washington Township, Mich., Taormina was named to the Hockey East Second All-Star Team as a junior.

Kell, 23, has split each of the last two seasons between Trenton and Lowell, finishing fifth on the ECHL Devils in scoring each year. The 6-foot, 185-pound wing recorded 20 goals and 30 assists for 50 points and 71 penalty minutes in 65 regular-season ECHL games last year, while adding three goals and two assists for five points and six penalty minutes in seven postseason contests.

A native of Thunder Bay, Ont., Kell scored one goal in two games with Lowell in 2008-09, and has eight points (3g, 5a) in 11 career AHL matches. He joined the organization after spending four seasons in
junior hockey, including three years with London (OHL). He was originally Chicago’s fifth-round choice in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Robitaille, 27, joins the Devils organization after spending the 2008-09 season with St.-Hyacinthe (LNAH) and Cortina (Italy). The 6-foot-2, 225-pound forward played five seasons in the AHL with Portland and Hershey, winning a Calder cup championship with the Bears in 2006.

In 317 career AHL games, Robitaille has recorded 20 goals, 36 assists and 1,227 penalty minutes. The Montreal native made his NHL debut by appearing in two games with Washington during the 2005-06 season, recording five penalty minutes.