The Barons have been loading up this off-season, and it is continuing with the signings of Derek Nesbitt and Matt Ford.
Nesbitt, a 31-year-old winger who spent last season with the Peoria Rivermen, has been an everyday AHLer for the past two and a half seasons. Aside from suiting for one game with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Nesbitt has spent the last few years in Peoria, where he was able to put together back to back 20-goal seasons, including a career high 26 in 2012-13.
A native of Egmondville, Ont., Nesbitt has a good sized frame — he stands 6’0″ and weighs 185 lbs. — and can contribute on a fairly consistent basis. Brought in primarily for the Penguins playoff run last season, Nesbitt had six assists in 14 playoff games, but failed to find the back of the net himself.
Ford, 28, is also a winger, and brings a bit more size. An inch taller and twenty pounds heavier, Ford has been in the AHL since 2009-10, but has failed to recapture the production he had in his third AHL campaign. In 2011-12, as a member of the Hershey Bears, Ford had 29 goals and 30 assists in 74 games that season, besting his career highs in both scoring categories. Last season, Ford struggled, only tallying nine goals and adding 15 assists. His 28 points were the least of his career as a full-time AHLer, but his production was slowed by an injury that saw him sidelined for nearly a third of the season.
The Barons announced that both deals were one-year AHL contracts.