Berthoud Recorder Staff
Veterans Riley Nelson and Aaron Schneekloth will be back with the Colorado Eagles for the 2009-10 Central Hockey League season, the team announced Thursday.
Nelson, entering his seventh season with the defending Governors’ Cup and Northern Conference champions, and Schneekloth, in his fourth season with the club, were both named to the All-CHL team this past season. Nelson was voted the league’s best overall player while Schneekloth was named the CHL’s Most Outstanding Defenseman.
Nelson is the franchise’s leader in points (496), short-handed goals (20) and plus/minus rating (+178). Schneekloth is the second-highest scoring defenseman in Colorado history with 161 points. He has a team-best 50 goals for a defenseman.
The team followed that Monday by announcing that forward Ed McGrane would also be back. McGrane finished the 2008-09 season with 81 points — one point behind Nelson and four off the team lead. This will be his fifth season with the Eagles.
The announcements came just two days after the team traded defenseman Erik Adams to the expansion Allen Americans for future considerations. Adams, a University of Denver alumnus, tallied 105 points in four seasons with the Eagles.
“Playing in Allen will offer me a great opportunity to further my career, and it’s something that could be a promising situation for me for years to come,” Adams said, according to a Colorado Eagles press release. “They’ve expressed interest in me coming in and establishing a leadership role with their franchise and that’s very exciting.”
The move was necessary because the CHL ruled that teams could have no more than four veteran players on their roster for the upcoming season. The Eagles had six prior to the Adams trade. With Schneekloth, Nelson and McGrane on board for the 2009-10, Colorado can only keep one of the two remaining veteran players on its roster — Greg Pankewicz or Ryan Tobler.
Colorado also announced last month that assistant coach Chris Hartsburg won’t be back. Hartsburg had been with the Eagles for five seasons, including four as a player.
“We appreciate everything that Chris has done for this team, both as a player and coach,” said Eagles President & General Manager Chris Stewart, “and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”