Boise, ID (7/21/16) – Steelheads Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Neil Graham announced on Thursday afternoon that the Idaho Steelheads have agreed to terms with defenseman Zach Bell on an ECHL contract, bringing the blue-liner back to Boise.
Bell, 23, was acquired last season by Idaho from the Orlando Solar Bears on February 19th. Bell became an immediate presence on the back end for the Steelheads, playing in 16 games and putting up a goal and six points. The St. John’s, Newfoundland native also provided a physical edge, registering 39 penalty minutes in the regular season with Idaho.
Bell played 49 games between the Solar Bears and Steelheads in 2015-16, totaling three goals and 11 points with 107 penalty minutes. In seven playoff games, Bell logged 14 penalty minutes and was a plus-1 in a physical seven game series against the Allen Americans.
“We’re very excited that Zach is returning this season. He is an outstanding teammate and a leader both on the ice and in the locker room,” said Graham. ”He brings size and physicality every night, but he also sees the ice very well and makes smart decisions both with and without the puck.”
Bell has played parts of three professional seasons, all in the ECHL, with the Steelheads, the Orlando Solar Bears, and the Ontario Reign. In 91 career professional games, Bell has tallied six goals and 19 points to go along with a plus-2 rating and 209 penalty minutes.
Prior to turning pro, the 6-foot-2, 215 pound defender played parts of five seasons of junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League. Bell played four seasons with the Brampton Batallion and finished in 2014 with the London Knights, recording 20 goals and 82 points in 274 junior games and playing in the Memorial Cup tournament with London.