Phantoms Sign Zengerle, Ouellette to AHL Contracts

Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Martin Ouellette is back in 2016-17. Photo: Nina Weiss
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms have seen the Flyers load up their roster over the first few days of free agency, but that hasn't stopped them from adding some more depth by their own doing. The Phantoms announced today they've signed forward Mark Zengerle and goaltender Martin Ouellette to AHL contracts for the 2016-17 season.

This comes just hours after the Flyers announced the signing of defenseman TJ Brennan to a multi-year contract. There's no doubting the Flyers organization is putting Lehigh Valley in position to be a serious contender in the AHL in 2016-17.

More on Zengerle and Ouellette, and a look at the depth on the AHL roster after the jump.

The Phantoms re-signed Ouellette to an AHL deal for 2016-17 for the third straight year, getting some goaltending depth for the Phantoms and their ECHL affiliate Reading Royals. Last year Ouellette bounced back and forth between Reading and Lehigh Valley, playing some of his best hockey late in the season in the AHL with the Phantoms - posting back-to-back shutouts in April.

Zengerle, 27, is coming off his second straight 47-point AHL season with Grand Rapids last season as a teammate with newly signed Andy Miele. The 5-8 forward from Rochester, New York has two years of pro experience under his belt following four productive NCAA seasons with the University of Wisconsin (37G-125A in 151GP).

I mentioned at the beginning of the month that the Phantoms needed a 2nd line center. Zengerle fits the bill. He was one of Grand Rapids' leading scorers last season as a top-six center, so there's no reason why he can't transfer that play-making ability to the Lehigh Valley in 2016-17.

Here's a look at a much-improved Phantoms projected lineup currently:

Taylor Leier - Andy Miele - Chris Conner
Greg Carey - Mark Zengerle - Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Danick Martel - Cole Bardreau - Colin McDonald
Tyrell Goulbourne - Steven Swavely - Petr Straka*/Radel Fazleev

Sam Morin - Mark Alt
Travis Sanheim - TJ Brennan
Will O'Neill - Robert Hagg

Depth D: Max Lamarche, Jesper Pettersson and Reece Willcox

Anthony Stolarz - Alex Lyon/Martin Ouellette


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