The Idaho Steelheads, ECHL affiliate of the NHL?s Dallas Stars, announced today that former winger Derek Nesbitt has signed a two-way NHL contract with the Phoenix Coyotes and that former winger B.J. Crombeen has signed a two-way NHL contract with the Stars.Entering his fourth professional season, Nesbitt racked up 81 points in his lone regular season with the Steelheads back in 2006-2007, including a Steelheads? ECHL record 51 assists. A member of the Steelheads? 2007 Kelly Cup Championship squad, Nesbitt began last season in Gwinnett of the ECHL before signing an AHL contract midway through the campaign with the Rockford IceHogs, where he totaled 35 points in 46 regular season outings. He will report to Coyotes training camp in mid September. ?It?s rewarding,? Nesbitt, 26, said of his first NHL contract. ?I stuck around the ECHL for a few years and finally got a shot. There are a lot more steps to take before I play in the NHL but hopefully some day that happens.?With 201 professional games under his belt, including his NHL debut last season with the Stars, Crombeen accepted his NHL qualifying offer to remain with the organization that drafted him 54th overall back in 2003. The 22-year-old recorded 10 Kelly Cup playoff points in 2007 en route to his first professional championship and he competed in 43 games overall with the Steelheads from 2005-2007.?It?s pretty exciting to sign and get a chance to go up there and earn a full-time spot with the Dallas Stars,? Crombeen said.Nesbitt and Crombeen become the fourth and fifth former Steelheads to receive a contract offer from an NHL team this summer. Fellow 2007 Kelly Cup Championship team member Francis Wathier was tendered a qualifying offers by the Dallas Stars on June 26, while 2004 Kelly Cup winner Dan Ellis signed a multi-year deal with Nashville Predators two weeks ago and Jeremy Yablonski inked a two-year, two-way NHL contract with the Ottawa Senators last week.The Steelheads sixth ECHL campaign and 12th overall begins at home on Saturday, October 18 versus the Utah Grizzlies. Ticket packages, including a NEW premier level flex plan are on sale now by calling 383-0080 or by visiting www.idahosteelheads.com.
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