The Albany River Rats announced today that defenseman Brad Ference has been assigned by the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League following a trade that sent former River Rats Pascal Rheaume, Ray Schultz and Steven Spencer to the Phoenix Coyotes organization.
Ference, 26, topped all San Antonio Rampage defenders and ranked third with 11 points (2g,9a) in 19 games this season. The 6-3, 220-pound defenseman has four goals and 30 assists in 245 NHL games with the Florida Panthers and Phoenix Coyotes, while also skating in 129 American Hockey League match-ups with Louisville and San Antonio. He was originally drafted by the Vancouver Canucks with their first choice (10th overall) in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.
Rheaume, 32, has scored two goals in nine games during his third stint in Albany after going scoreless with a minus six rating in 12 games for the Devils this season. The Quebec native is among Albany franchise leaders in: games played (339/5th), goals (110/2nd), assists (133/4th), points (243/2ND), power play goals (29/2nd) and was a member of the 1995 Calder Cup championship squad. He has NHL totals of 39 goals, 52 assists for 91 points in 305 career games with St. Louis, Chicago, Atlanta, the New York Rangers and New Jersey.
Schultz, 29, has posted five assists along with 22 penalty minutes in 18 games for Albany this season. He led all River Rat defensemen with a career-high 19 (5-14) points in a personal best 77 games during the 2004-05 campaign. He was originally drafted by the Ottawa Senators with their eighth choice (184th overall) in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft and shows four assists in 45 NHL match-ups with the New York Islanders. Schultz was captain of the 2004 Calder Cup champion Milwaukee Admirals.
Spencer, 23, went scoreless in 15 games with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL this season. He recorded one goal and one assist in 40 contests for Albany during the 2004-05 regular season and was originally drafted by Nashville with their eighth choice (266th overall) in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.