March 10, 2011

Zolnierczyk Signs with NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers

Brown senior men's hockey captain and 2011 Ivy League Player of the Year Harry Zolnierczyk (Toronto, ONT) has signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday. The Bears' leading goal scorer with 16 this year, Zolnierczyk shared the team lead with 31 points and also led Brown with six power play goals, three game-winning goals and two short-handed goals. He is expected to report to the Flyers' AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms, later this week.

"It's a long dream come true," said Zolnierczyk. "I felt that Philly was my best opportunity to make it to the NHL and then give myself a chance to stay there and prove myself."

A 5-11, 180-pound speedy left wing, Zolnierczyk, 23, will play out the remainder of the 2010-11 season on an amateur tryout agreement, as his contract with Philadelphia is for the 2011-12 campaign.

After posting five points (1g, 4a) in his first two seasons with the Bears, Zolnierczyk put up back-to-back 30-point seasons, including a career-high 33 (13g, 20a) in 2009-10 and 31 (16g, 15a) in 2010-11. An aggressive player, Zolnierczyk led the team and the League with 41 penalties/128 minutes, setting a new Brown season record for penalty minutes. A two-time ECAC Hockey Player of the Week, some of Zolnierczyk's more memorable goals this season were against Yale and Cornell.

In Brown's 3-2 upset over then #1 Yale, Zolnierczyk lifted Brown to the victory with the game-winner, scored on a breakaway, in the final minute of play. Against the Big Red, Zolnierczyk tallied two goals, the second of which was highlight reel worthy. After collecting the puck in the neutral zone, Zolnierczyk angled sharply towards the net. With a Cornell defenseman coming in from the other side, Zolnierczyk leapt into the air, around the defenseman, while maintaining control of the puck, and back-handed it past the goalie.

In 114 career games, Zolnierczyk registered 69 points (30g, 39a) and 238 penalty minutes.

Pictured: Harry Zolnierczyk '11. Photo by DSPics.net.