Three Blue Jacket prospects agree to tryout contracts

By Aaron Vickers

In recent weeks, the Columbus Blue Jackets have signed a variety of prospects to amateur try-out contracts. With both Seattle Thunderbird Steven Goertzen and Peter Zingoni of Providence College already playing with Columbus’ AHL affiliate Crunch, it was announced yesterday that Greg Mauldin would also join his fellow prospects in Syracuse.

University of Massachusetts forward and Blue Jacket prospect Greg Mauldin has signed an amateur try-out contract this past week.

Mauldin, who stands at 5’11” and 180lbs, signed the contract on April 7th, after spending some time with the Columbus Blue Jackets, also on a try-out basis, making his debut on March 26th. A seventh round selection of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2002, Mauldin has played the last three seasons playing college hockey with the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

This season, Mauldin finished second on his club in both goals and points, registering 15 goals and 29 points. In his previous season, Mauldin led UMass-Amherst in both categories, posting marks of 21 goals and 41 points. Through his previous three seasons with UMass-Amherst, Mauldin had totals of 48 goals and 46 assists in 98 career games.

Mauldin earned the opportunity to join the Columbus Blue Jackets after injuries struck the club. It was also his hard work and the vast improvement in his game that caught General Manager Doug MacLean’s eye.

“We signed Greg Mauldin who was a sixth or seventh round pick out of UMass-Amherst, so he’s moved up our depth chart a long way too,” mentioned MacLean.

Mauldin has yet to dress for the Syracuse Crunch. Through six games with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Mauldin recorded no points and four minutes in penalties.

The signing of Mauldin comes three weeks after the Syracuse Crunch announced that Seattle Thunderbirds forward Steven Goertzen and forward Peter Zingoni of Providence College had signed amateur try-outs as well.

Zingoni, Columbus’ eighth round selection (231st overall) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, appeared in 36 games for Providence College this season, scoring 13 goals and registering 32 points. Through his 127 career games with Providence, Zingoni has recorded 34 goals and 81 points.

A native of Newtown, Connecticut, Zingoni has recorded two points, both assists, in four games with the Syracuse Crunch.

Steven Goertzen of the Western Hockey League’s Seattle Thunderbirds was also signed to an amateur try-out. Goertzen, who finished up his third season with the Seattle Thunderbirds, set career highs in goals (15), assists (18), points (33) and minutes in penalties (115). The Stony Plain, AB native played both forward and defense for the Thunderbirds this season, displaying his versatility. A leader on the squad, Goertzen was named associate captain before the season began.

Goertzen, drafted 225th overall in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, is another that will get an excellent chance to showcase his abilities at the professional level after impressing Columbus Blue Jackets management at training camp.

“He had a good camp,” explained MacLean. “You know, we look at him as a good checking forward who has a chance at that third and fourth line because he can skate.”

Goertzen has suited up for seven games with the Syracuse Crunch since signing his amateur try-out, registering three assists and two penalty minutes, while going –3.