The Charlotte Checkers have wrapped up Ethan Werek for the rest of the season, signing the forward to an AHL contract.
Werek originally joined the team on a professional tryout contract on Dec. 26 to help shore up a thin forward corps for the Checkers. He immediately made his presence known with Charlotte, logging seven points in his first nine games, including a four-game stretch that saw him light the lamp five times. The 24-year-old has since become a mainstay in the lineup, totaling 11 points (8g, 3a) in 22 games.
Werek has plenty of AHL experience. The New York Rangers’ second-round draft choice (47th overall) in 2009, who played his first three pro seasons with the Portland Pirates before spending last season with the Providence Bruins, came into 2015-16 with 76 points (33g, 43a) in 235 career AHL games. Werek began this season in the ECHL with Florida, ranking second on the team and tied for 10th in the league in scoring at the time of his signing to a PTO.
With his PTO approaching the 25-game limit, the Checkers decided to lock up the forward for the rest of the season with a standard player contract as opposed to another PTO. He joins David Wohlberg as the second player this season to earn an AHL contract from Charlotte.
In another roster move, the Checkers assigned Anthony Peters to the Florida Everblades.
Originally recalled on Feb. 16, Peters dressed for four games for the Checkers, serving as a back up three times. The rookie made his AHL debut against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Feb. 20, making 44 saves in a losing effort. He now returns to Florida, where he has been turning in a strong campaign, holding a 20-10-0 record with a 2.09 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.
The move raises hopes that Drew MacIntyre will be ready to go for this weekend after missing the last two contests with an injury. The Checkers will resume practice here in Charlotte tomorrow before heading off to Manitoba for tilts with the Moose on Saturday and Sunday.