The Hershey Bears announced they are bringing back a familiar face for the 2022-23 season.
The Bears signed veteran defenseman Aaron Ness to a one-year AHL deal. This means that if the Capitals had interest in promoting Ness during the season, they would have to sign him to an NHL contract.
Here is your first look at Aaron Ness in a Bears jersey ⬇️🎨 pic.twitter.com/qHXiItT9Kl
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) July 5, 2022
The 32-year-old Ness spent four seasons in the Capitals organization from 2015 through 2019, including the team’s Stanley Cup year of 2018. Ness made 18 appearances for the Caps during that time and played 239 games for the Hershey Bears.
Ness left the organization in 2019 after signing a two-year deal with the Arizona Coyotes. After that deal expired1, Ness signed a one-year AHL deal with the Providence Bruins. Midseason, he suited up on the United States’ national team that competed at the Beijing Olympics. NHL players were unable to participate due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
AARON NESS RETURNS TO HERSHEY, SIGNS AHL DEAL FOR 2022-23 SEASON
Veteran defender, US Olympian returns to Hershey after previously skating four seasons for the Bears
(Hershey, PA- July 5, 2022) – The Hershey Bears announced today that the club has signed defenseman Aaron Ness to an American Hockey League contract for the 2022-23 season.
Ness, 32, returns to the Bears after playing four seasons with the club from 2015-2019. The Roseau, Minn. native has appeared in 239 games with the Chocolate and White, scoring 128 points (20g, 108a). In his first season with the Bears, Ness helped Hershey to the 2016 Calder Cup Finals, leading the AHL with 12 postseason assists over 21 games.
His best season with Hershey came in 2018-19. Ness, one of the club’s alternate captains, collected a career-high 55 points (5g, 50a) over 71 games, registering a +24 rating. He led AHL defenders in assists and points, and was named to the AHL Second All-Star Team. He ranks tied for 18th all-time in scoring among defenders in Hershey’s team history.
Ness spent the 2021-22 season with the Providence Bruins. He was named the team’s best defender, and registered 19 points (3g, 16a) in 55 games. He also represented Team USA in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, notching one assist in four games.
The 5’10”, 188-pound defender has skated in 591 career AHL games with Bridgeport, Hershey, Tucson, and Providence, scoring 279 points (48g, 231a). He served as captain of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2014-15, tallying a 45-point season, and skating in the 2015 AHL All-Star Classic.
Ness was selected in the second round of the 2008 NHL Draft by the New York Islanders. He’s appeared in 72 career NHL games with the Islanders, Capitals, and Coyotes, scoring seven points (1g, 6a).
The Bears will return to the ice for the club’s 85th season in the American Hockey League in October. A schedule will be released later this summer. Season ticket information may be found at HersheyBears.com.
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk/RMNB
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