BOISE, Idaho – The Idaho Steelheads has signed forward Zack Andrusiak to an ECHL Standard Player Contract (SPC) for the 2021-22 season, bringing back the forward for his second season in the Treasure Valley, Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Everett Sheen announced on Monday.“It was a tough year not being able to play [in Boise] last year,” said Andrusiak. “We were really excited to get the season going, so it was a tough pill to swallow. I’m pumped to get back there and in front of those fans.”Andrusiak, 23, played 22 games with the Orlando Solar Bears during the 2020-21 season, posting one goal and three assists for four points with 14 penalty minutes. The Armstrong, B.C. native began his professional career with the Steelheads during the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season and tallied 23 points (10-13—23) with two power play goals and 18 penalty minutes through 51 games played, finishing third among Steelheads rookies in all three major scoring categories.The 5-foot-11 forward is no stranger to moving around teams, playing with nine different teams since the beginning of his junior career in 2013-14 through last season, and more recently he’s seen action with four teams over a three-year span crossing through junior hockey into professional play. Though others can see it as a detriment, Andrusiak has focused on how multiple experiences can come together and help build a stronger player both physically and mentally.“It’s all different experiences that come up. You learn different things along the way; you see different things, learn from different coaches and skate with different players. You try to soak in as much as you can and learn from all your experiences to take that and use it going forward.“We’re looking forward to having Andy back,” said Sheen on Andrusiak’s return. “He took some great strides during his rookie season and will continue to grow this year. He takes pride in his off-season training, so I know he will come in ready for the season.”Prior to his professional career, Andrusiak played 202 games in the Western Hockey League (WHL) between the Everett Silvertips, Seattle Thunderbirds, Prince Albert Raiders and Tri-City Americans beginning in the 2014-15 season, tabbing 149 points (80-69—149) and averaging over one point per game during his final two seasons in Everett and Seattle. He served as an assistant captain with Seattle in his final season in 2018-19, and he was part of Seattle’s 2017 WHL Championship season.“I think it’s going to be awesome [in Boise],” said Andrusiak. “The city was deprived of hockey last year, and we have such passionate fans. They love their Steelheads. I’m really excited to get back in front of them and put on a good show.”Andrusiak is the third Steelheads player announced to an ECHL contract for the 2021-22 season, joining forwards Will Merchant and A.J. White, who were announced last week. Future announcements and signings will be announced throughout the summer, and you can follow who’s been added on the team’s Summer Signing Tracker.The Steelheads are back for the 2021-22 season! Season tickets and flex plans are available ahead of the Home Opener on Friday, Oct. 22 against the Utah Grizzlies at Idaho Central Arena. Call the Steelheads Front Office at 208-383-0080 to plan your seats for the return of hockey to Downtown Boise! Stay connected to the Steelheads all summer long on IdahoSteelheads.com or by following the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Zack Andrusiak Inks Deal to Return for 2021-22 Season
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