Boise, ID (8/9/16) – Steelheads Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Neil Graham announced on Tuesday afternoon that the Idaho Steelheads have agreed to terms with forward Joe Basaraba on an ECHL contract. Basaraba will be returning for his second season with the Steelheads.
Basaraba, 24, joined the Steelheads last season during training camp when the Steelheads acquired him from the Orlando Solar Bears. The second-year pro would go on to be one of Idaho’s most effective scoring threats by season’s end, finishing the year with 12 goals and 32 points in 47 games. The Fort Frances, Ontario native also tied for the team lead in scoring during the playoffs, notching three goals and seven points in seven games against the Allen Americans.
“Joe played a pivotal part in our team’s success last season,” said Graham. “He is a power forward who can play in all situations.”
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound forward missed 25 games mid-season due to injury, but was one of the hottest scorers in the Western Conference upon his return. After rejoining the lineup on January 23rd, Basaraba recorded 12 goals and 26 points over the Steelheads’ final 32 games, tied for the team lead in points over that stretch.
“He uses his size and speed well, and he’s tough to defend down low,” said Graham. “He was excellent for us down the stretch last year, and I expect him to pick up where he left off.”
Basaraba enters his third full professional season. He has played 118 professional games, 96 of them in the ECHL with the Steelheads and the Cincinnati Cyclones. Basaraba has scored 26 goals and 63 points in the ECHL. He also recorded an assist in 22 American Hockey League games with the San Antonio Rampage during the 2014-15 season.
Basaraba is a former third-round NHL draft pick (69th overall, 2010) of the Florida Panthers. Prior to turning pro, he played four seasons at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, winning a National Championship in 2011 and serving as captain during the 2013-14 season.