Left wing Kyle Bonis, a rookie out of Ferris State University, has signed an AHL two-way contract with the Checkers for next season .
Bonis, 24, completed a four-year career with the Bulldogs last season, tying his collegiate career high with 19 goals in 37 games over the course of his senior campaign. He also appeared in five AHL games with the Norfolk Admirals on a late-season tryout, scoring two points (1g, 1a) in his first six professional contests.
“He came recommended from different people and this is a chance for him to contribute at the AHL level,” said Checkers coach Jeff Daniels. “He scored some goals in college, and we’ll get him into camp to see where he’s at.”
During the most recent season, Ferris State named Bonis, a former-walk on who worked his way up to team captain, its male athlete of the year, an award previously won by the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Chris Kunitz in 2003. Bonis also picked up a Frozen Four All-Tournament Team nod for helping to lead the Bulldogs to the NCAA national championship game in his junior year.
A native of Lindsay, Ontario, Bonis (5-foot-11, 175 pounds) becomes the second player to join the Checkers from the college ranks in the last week. Fellow forward Adam Brace (Robert Morris University) signed a one-way AHL contract on Aug. 19. Other players signed to AHL contracts this summer include returnees Sean Dolan and Matt Marquardt (one-way contracts) and goaltender Jesse Deckert (two-way contract).
Bonis, who played junior hockey with Bancroft and Port Hope of the OPJHL, with Indiana in the USHL and with Traverse City in the NAHL, totaled 77 points (47g, 30a) and 48 penalty minutes in 136 games during his time with Robert Morris. He finished his career with back-to-back 19 goal seasons and posted a career-best 31 points over 43 games during his junior year in 2011-12.