INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – The Kansas City Mavericks made of pair of signings in defenseman Cliff Watson and forward C.J. Eick, announced Friday by head coach John-Scott Dickson.
The duo had been teammates in both the ECHL with Utah and in college at Michigan Tech, playing together in total for parts of four seasons before joining up once again in Kansas City.
Watson, 24, is coming off a season in which he won the Kelly Cup with Colorado and made stops with three AHL teams. He began the season with the Utah Grizzlies, playing in 36 games and posting 25 points (9g, 16a) in that span, before finishing the campaign with the league champion Colorado Eagles. Between the regular season and playoffs, Watson recorded 11 points (5g, 6a) in 30 games with the now-AHL club.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound defenseman played in eight total AHL games during the 2017-18 campaign, skating in six with the Utica Comets, and one each with the San Jose Barracuda and Mavericks affiliate Stockton Heat. He recorded one assist and four penalty minutes in his eight AHL contests.
The left-handed Sheboygan, Wisconsin native was a sixth-round pick (168th overall) by the San Jose Sharks in the 2012 NHL Draft. He skated for Michigan Tech while in college, wearing the ‘C’ during his junior and senior campaigns. Throughout his collegiate career, Watson totaled 42 points (8g, 34a) and a plus-29 rating in 162 contests and led the club to a WCHA conference championship in his senior season.
“I’m excited to sign with Kansas City and am looking forward to the upcoming season,” said Watson. “From the coaching staff to the city, fans and organization as a whole, I knew it would be a great place to play.”
Eick, 26, rejoins the Mavericks after finishing the 2017-18 season in Kansas City. In 22 games with the Mavericks, the Appleton, Wisconsin native tallied six points (1g, 5a), lighting the lamp against his former club in a road game at Utah.
The 5-foot-7, 161-pound forward began his professional career with the Utah Grizzlies, skating in 105 games for the team out of West Valley City between the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons and registering 26 points (13g, 13a). He began last season as the team’s captain and donned the ‘C’ until his trade to Kansas City in February.
The left-hand shot was a teammate of Watson at Michigan Tech, playing for the Huskies from 2012-13 through 2015-16. Eick claimed 52 points (14g, 38a) and a plus-25 rating in 145 collegiate games.
“I’m extremely happy to be back in Kansas City this season,” said Eick. “I love the organization and atmosphere within the organization. With the coaching staff and players we have coming in, we have all the tools to have a very successful season.”
Season tickets for the 2018-19 season remain on sale.
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