Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Saginaw extends Paliafito's contract

The Saginaw Spirit have announced that assistant general manager and director of scouting James Paliafito has agreed to a contract extension with the hockey club for an additional three years.

“We are happy to extend Jim’s contract so that he can continue to help us draft top-flight players in addition to recruiting elite free agents that allow us to build upon this year’s success of winning our first ever West Division title, as well as reach our bigger goal of an OHL championship and a Memorial Cup berth,” stated Spirit GM and head coach Todd Watson.

Paliafito has played a critical role in the team’s participation in the last three OHL Priority Selections and in two CHL Import Drafts. In 2009, the Spirit added talent like Anthony Camara and Vincent Trocheck in the Priority Selection and Tadeas Galansky and Ivan Telegin in the Import Draft.

Paliafito directed the team’s 2010 draft class, arguably one of the strongest in the team’s nine year history that included Justin Kea, Jake Paterson, Jacob Ringuette, Terry Trafford, Ray Huether and Ryan Tuffin. All six rookies saw action in Spirit uniform this past season.

Most recently the Spirit tabbed top tier prospects Nick Moutrey, Sam Povorozniuk, Jimmy Lodge, Alexander Smith and more in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection.

Paliafito was also instrumental in getting free agents Garret Ross and Dalton Young to commit to the program, as well as signing top NHL prospect and Saginaw’s 2008 first round pick Brandon Saad.

“I am very pleased to continue my employment with the Spirit for another three years,” said Paliafito. “We are excited to continue building towards our goal in bringing a Memorial Cup championship to Saginaw.”

Spirit president and partner Craig Goslin echoed Watson’s thoughts on Paliafito’s extension.

“After three solid drafts and several strong free agent signings, we are pleased with the results and look forward to the continued success of Jim and his staff,” said Goslin.

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