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Oilers bring Minard aboard, add defenseman Nickerson

General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today that the Edmonton Oilers, parent club of the AHL’s Springfield Falcons, have agreed to terms with forward Chris Minard (right) and defenseman Matt Nickerson.

Minard, 27, split the 2008-09 season between the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins and AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. In 20 games with Pittsburgh, Minard collected one goal and two assists for three points.

In 54 games with Wilkes-Barre, he recorded 34 goals and 23 assists for 57 points, setting AHL career highs in all three categories, and ranked second in the league with 21 power play goals. Minard also led Wilkes-Barre in goals and finished fourth on the club in scoring, and he participated in the 2009 AHL All-Star Classic.

The Owen Sound, Ont., native has scored 25 or more goals in each of his last three AHL seasons, including 25 goals with Wilkes-Barre during the 2007-08 campaign and 32 markers with the Lowell Devils during the 2006-07 season. In 213 career AHL games, Minard has totaled 98 goals and 69 assists for 167 points, and he reached the 2008 Calder Cup Finals with the Penguins.

Through his seven-year professional career, Minard has played 35 career NHL games recording two goals and three assists for five points.

Nickerson is returning to North America after splitting the previous two seasons playing professionally in Finland and Sweden. The Old Lyme, Conn., native was originally drafted by the Dallas Stars in the third round (99th overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

The 6-foot-4, 235-pound defenseman made his AHL debut with the Iowa Stars during the 2006-07 campaign collecting three points and 97 penalty minutes in 40 games.