When injuries and recalls cause the need to add a player, the Checkers often go with those they know well.
A.J. Jenks, who played 63 games for Charlotte over the last three seasons, is the latest to rejoin the team on a professional tryout contract after starting the season in the ECHL ranks. Jenks, who went scoreless in one game with Toledo last weekend, is available to play in the Checkers’ back-to-back road games in Iowa starting Friday.
The addition of the 24-year-old forward, who initially joined the team in a Carolina Hurricanes trade with Florida in January of 2012, gives Charlotte 12 healthy forwards for their first meeting with the Wild. They had been one short since the Hurricanes recalled Brody Sutter on Wednesday.
This marks the second consecutive season in which the Checkers have signed Jenks (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) to a PTO since his NHL contract with Carolina expired following the 2012-13 campaign. He played 24 games for the club last season, scoring five points (2g, 3a) and logging 20 penalty minutes before rejoining his ECHL club, the Florida Everblades.
Other former Checkers to rejoin the team on professional tryout contracts include Matthew Pistilli, who made brief cameos in each of the last two seasons, and current goaltender John Muse, who has since earned a pair of AHL contracts.
In 151 total AHL games with Rochester, San Antonio and Charlotte, Jenks, Florida’s fourth-round draft pick (100th overall) in 2008, has 38 points (15g, 23a). He set ECHL career highs with 35 points (18g, 17a) in 41 games for the Everblades last season.