Tuzzolino signs one-year deal to return to Heat

The Abbotsford Heat have signed defenceman Nick Tuzzolino to a one-year AHL contract.

The Abbotsford Heat have signed defenceman Nick Tuzzolino to a one-year AHL contract.

Tuzzolino played well enough during a late-season audition with the Heat to earn the new deal. He’d attended training camp in Abbotsford before being assigned to the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies, where he was named team captain.

The Buffalo, N.Y. native was called up by the Heat for a short stint in December, then rejoined the team for good in March. He ended up playing 13 regular season games and seven playoff contests.

The 6’5″, 225-pound blueliner’s most memorable moment came in the regular season finale against the Toronto Marlies – he scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime as the Heat won 5-4.

“Nick’s consistent play with the Utah Grizzlies during the 2011-12 regular season put him in a position to be with us on a full-time basis from the end of March through the conclusion of last season’s playoffs,” Heat head coach Troy Ward stated in a press release.

“Nick uses his size well and provided us with steady play over the final two months of the season. We are extremely excited about Nick being back with us.”