Phantoms Sign Ben Stafford & Eric Betournay
Wednesday, July 24, 2002
By Al Cohen
The Philadelphia Phantoms today announced the signings of centers Ben Stafford and Eric Betournay to American Hockey League contracts. Per team policy, terms of the deals are not disclosed.
Stafford, 23, appeared in 26 AHL games as a rookie in 2001-02, including one with the Phantoms on Jan. 5 vs. Rochester. He also played in one game for the Saint John Flames and in 24 contests with the Providence Bruins, collecting four goals and 12 assists for 16 points. Between AHL stints, Stafford earned East Coast Hockey League All-Rookie Team honors by registering 22 goals and 39 assists for the Trenton Titans. His 61 points ranked second on the Titans.
The Edina, Minn., native led Yale University to the Ivy League title as a senior in 2000-01. In 122 career collegiate games, Stafford totaled 38 goals and 72 assists for 110 points.
Betournay recorded 103 points (38G, 65A) and a plus-18 rating in 72 games for the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season before signing an amateur tryout contract with the Phantoms on March 30. He played in three of Philadelphia's last five regular-season games, as well as four playoff contests.
In 216 games over three seasons with Chicoutimi, the 21-year-old accumulated 69 goals and 141 assists for 210 points. Betournay was originally selected in the eighth round (229th overall) of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks.
"Ben Stafford is a kid who put up great numbers in Trenton last season and was probably their best player at the end of the year," said Phantoms head coach John Stevens. "The people in Providence were also very happy with the way he played. He is a little guy with lots of energy. Eric Betournay joined us late last year from juniors and stepped right into the playoffs, much like Guillaume Lefebvre did the season before. He plays and competes hard and has a good sense for the game."
The Phantoms are now accepting payments and deposits for 2002-03 season ticket plans. Call the Phantoms sales staff for more information at 215-465-4522.
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