The Toledo Walleye made a significant upgrade to their roster Monday with the signing of former NHL forward T.J. Hensick.
Hensick, a 32-year-old veteran, has played in 112 games in the NHL. The former University of Michigan center has been a proven point producer at the higher levels during his 11-year pro career.
The native of Howell, Mich., was selected in the third round of the NHL draft by the Colorado Avalanche in 2005.
Hensick made the NHL as a rookie in 2007-08 and skated in 31 games for Colorado, tallying six goals with five assists. In 2008-09, Hensick played in 61 games for the Avalanche and produced 17 assists and 21 points. He also had a stint later in his career with the St. Louis Blues.
“He will provide leadership and an offensive presence,” Walleye coach Dan Watson said. “He will be able to share his experiences to help make us better.”
Overall at the NHL level, Hensick has produced 12 goals and 26 assists for 38 points to go along with 18 penalty minutes.
Hensick has played the past seven seasons in the American Hockey League. In his career, Hensick has skated in 630 games in the AHL and has racked up 568 points (166 goals, 402 assists), making the all-star game four times.
The 5-foot-10, 190-pound forward appeared in 60 games last year for the Ontario Reign of the AHL and had 11 goals and 34 assists.
Hensick spent four years at Michigan, where he played in 164 contests and amassed 222 points (75 goals, 147 assists). As a senior in 2007, Hensick led the nation with 46 assists and 69 points in 41 games. He finished as a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, which goes to the top collegiate player in the country.
The Walleye open the season Friday at Greenville. Toledo hosts Fort Wayne in the home opener Oct. 27.
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