Heat sign former first-round pick Foster, Nemisz traded to Hurricanes

With Markus Granlund recalled by the Calgary Flames on Sunday, the Abbotsford Heat signed a forward with ties to head coach Troy Ward on Monday.

Granlund, summoned by the NHL parent club due to injury uncertainty surrounding Heat alum Mikael Backlund, watched the Flames' 2-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday from the press box as Backlund ended up playing.

The recall was well-earned, though, as the 20-year-old Finnish rookie centre has lit it up to the tune of 13 goals and 11 assists in 29 games in Abbotsford, fashioning an 11-game point streak along the way.

In Granlund's absence, the Heat signed Adrian Foster, recently of the ECHL's San Francisco Bulls, where he'd posted 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 15 games.

Foster is a former first-round draft choice of the New Jersey Devils (28th overall in 2001), but has not played an NHL game in a career which has seen him suit up for 200 AHL games along with stints in Austria, Germany, Sweden and Russia.

Foster and Ward crossed paths in 2007-08 with the Houston Aeros – Ward served as an assistant coach and assistant GM for the AHL club, and Foster posted 15 goals and 23 assists in 70 games.

The Heat, currently on a three-game winning streak, host the Hamilton Bulldogs in a Friday-Saturday set this week, with games beginning at 7 p.m. both nights at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.


Later in the day, longtime Heat forward Greg Nemisz was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes in a deal with saw the Flames land enforcer Kevin Westgarth.

Nemisz, the Flames' first-round draft choice (25th overall) in 2008, was in his fourth season in Abbotsford and was second on the club's all-time games played list with 206. He was a steady producer during his first two pro seasons, posting 14 goals and 19 assists in 68 games in 2010-11 and 13 goals and 16 assists in 2011-12.

The Courtice, Ont. native's career hit a major speed bump in 2012-13, though, as he began the campaign injured and never really found his groove, finishing with just 10 points in 55 games. He'd been somewhat more productive this fall, with five goals and four assists in 32 games.

During his tenure in the organization, Nemisz got into 15 NHL games, registering one assist.

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