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Zherdev, Fritsche assigned to Crunch

The Syracuse Crunch today announced 12 player moves, including the assignment of seven players from the parent Columbus Blue Jackets.

Forwards Nikolai Zherdev, Dan Fritsche, Steven Goertzen, Joe Motzko and Geoff Platt, defensemen Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and goaltender Pascal Leclaire are heading to Syracuse from the Blue Jackets, who do not play their next game until Thursday, Dec. 8.

Four players — defenseman Mark Flood and forwards Tyler Kolarik, Brian Gornick and Brett Nowak — are heading back to Dayton (ECHL), and the Crunch have recalled forward Wes Rypien from Dayton.

Zherdev, 21, has played in 25 games with Columbus this season, recording four goals and seven assists for 11 points. In 82 career NHL games, all with Columbus, Zherdev has tallied 17 goals, 28 assists and 74 penalty minutes.

The fourth overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Zherdev earned a gold medal with Russia at the 2003 World Junior Championships.

Fritsche, 20, has appeared in 22 games with Columbus this season, tallying two goals and one assist. He finished the 2003-04 season with Syracuse, recording two goals in four games. In 44 career NHL games with Columbus, Fritsche has registered three goals and one assist.

A native of Parma, Ohio, Fritsche was selected by Columbus in the second round, 46th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He won gold with the United States at the 2004 World Junior Championships.

Platt, 20, made his NHL debut on Thursday against St. Louis, registering two penalty minutes. He has appeared in 19 games with the Crunch this season, tallying a team-high 23 points and 14 goals. In the American Hockey League, Platt ranks third with eight power-play goals, fifth in goals scored, seventh with two short-handed goals and 11th in overall scoring (including third among AHL rookies).

Goertzen, 21, has skated in 20 games with the Blue Jackets this season, his first career NHL action.

Motzko, 25, has 12 points in 15 games for the Crunch in 2005-06.

Tollefsen, 21, made his NHL debut with Columbus last month and appeared in five games for the Blue Jackets.

Leclaire, 23, is 2-3-0 in six appearances for Syracuse this year, and earned his first NHL victory on Wednesday vs. Minnesota.