Fresh off of last week’s momentous, monumental signing of star-studded center Todd Robinson, the Evansville IceMen of the Central Hockey League have continued to generate evengreater mountains of momentum with their most recent player signing; this time lassoing a “T. Rob”teammate.
On this date, the IceMen General Manager / Head Coach Rich Kromm has announced that All-Stardefenseman MATT GENS has assented to terms and signed a one-year contract with the club effective forthe upcoming 2011-12 CHL season. Adhering to club policy, terms of the pact were not disclosed.
GENS (Jens), 28, is in the midst of approaching his sixth full pro campaign and his second as a cardcarrying member in good standing with the CHL. The rugged 6-0, 190lb right-hand shooting rearguard willbe making his Evansville pro hockey premiere with a dossier that smacks of perennial All-Star recognitionand invaluable experience.
The former 2002 ninth round choice, 278th overall of the NHL Vancouver Canucks has made his majormark through a career which embodies the rare combination of offensive skills and talents along with aphysical presence and prowess in the defensive side of the game.
Recovering from a major wrist injury which required significant surgical repair, Gens joined the CHLOdessa Jackalopes for 26-regular season games as well as 7-playoffs appearances in the 2010-11 season.In 26-games clad in the “Jacks” colors, the American-bred from Baudette, Minnesota, engineered 17-points on 3-goals, 14-assists with 18-PIM. Moreover, he injected that all-important touch-in-the-clutchthrough his propensity for point production as 2 of his 3-goals were categorized as GWG with one ofthose propelled in OT. A fluid fixture on the power play, Gens essayed 7 of those 17-points through theextra man band on 1-PPG and 6-PPA. He also fashioned a perfect personified 1/1 in the CHL OTSOcompetition. Evansville’s newest member of its blue line brigade especially elevated his efforts in theplayoffs, recording 5-points in those 7- games on 2-goals, 3-assists with 1-PPG, 2-PPA and a stellar +5rating with the latter output ranked runner-up best on the Odessa club.
GM / Coach Kromm exuded much enthusiasm regarding the IceMen’s latest player acquisition. “We’reextremely excited to sign Matt for the IceMen. He brings a tremendous resume of accomplishments to ourorganization. Being quite familiar with him from Muskegon, Matt is an outstanding offensive defenseman
with strong skating ability and puck skills. He will also add a major physical presence on our back end. Welook for Matt to provide good, solid offense from our defensive corps while being a solid overall presencein our lineup.”
Gens last full season of pro competition came back in the 2008-09 season with the IHL MuskegonLumberjacks. It was his best season thus far in the pro ranks as he finished a lofty second in CHL scoringamong defensemen, collecting a prolific 53-points in 73-games on 9-goals, 44-assists with 83-PIM and +3rating. In the playoffs of that same season, he was 11(1-2-3).
After a superb four-year collegiate career at Division I St. Cloud State of the highly-prestigious WCHAConference, Gens launched his pro career in the UHL where he achieved All-Star status with the RockfordIceHogs. In his second season with the Illinois-based contingent, he spurred the ‘Hogs to the 2006-07 UHLColonial Cup Championship, topping all league defensemen in point-scoring with 13-points in 17-gameson 2-goals, 11-assists. During the regular season, he, again, finished in the top 10 in league-wide scoringamong defensemen with 39-points in 75-games on 8-goals, 31-assists, 79-PIM and sterling +21 rating.
Gens has also seen service in the AHL with the Milwaukee Admirals and the ECHL with the ElmiraJackals. He missed the entire 2009-10 season with the aforementioned wrist injury.
His pro career totals read: 285-games; 28-goals; 126-assists; 154-points; 290-PIM. His pro playoffsnumbers: 45-games; 5-goals; 21-assists; 26-points; 47-PIM.
Today’s signing of defenseman MATT GENS brings to 5 the total number of players currently undercontract for the upcoming 2011-12 CHL season. Currently under contract for the new season; defensemenJORDAN LITTLE; JAKE OBERMEYER; left wing MARK CODY; center TODD ROBINSON.