ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears have agreed to terms with defenseman Nolan Valleau for the 2018-19 season.
Valleau (vah-LOO), 25, returns for his second season in the City Beautiful and the fourth season of his professional career. Valleau led Orlando’s defensive corps in scoring with 34 points (8g-26a) and 12 penalty minutes in 41 games during the 2017-18 campaign, and added three assists and six penalty minutes in seven playoff contests. Valleau’s 17 power-play points (6g-11a) during the regular season set a new Solar Bears single-season record for points generated by a defenseman on the man advantage.
“Nolan is an elite-level defender in the ECHL, and he showed it last season by earning several call-ups to the AHL,” Solar Bears head coach and general manager Drake Berehowsky said. “He makes an excellent first pass out of the zone and can quarterback our power play.”
The 6-foot-1, 177-pound defenseman served as one of Orlando’s alternate captains and represented the Solar Bears at the 2018 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic in Indianapolis, where he won the hardest shot competition with a 97 mph slapshot.
“I’m excited to re-sign with the Solar Bears for another year,” Valleau said. “Last season they gave me a chance to succeed and better my hockey career, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to come back. I’m also excited to make a deeper push into the playoffs this upcoming year and build off of what we started last season.”
Valleau also saw time in the American Hockey League last season, as he received Professional Try-Out Agreements from the Toronto Marlies, Chicago Wolves, Rockford IceHogs, Milwaukee Admirals and Utica Comets, appearing in 16 total AHL contests.
The Novi, Michigan native has skated in 165 career pro games, posting totals of 54 points (12g-42a) and 50 penalty minutes.
Valleau played one season of college hockey as a redshirt freshman at Bowling Green State University, where he received WCHA All-Rookie Team honors after he recorded 19 points (2g-17a) and 35 penalty minutes in 39 games for the Falcons program.
Valleau played junior hockey for the Des Moines Buccaneers and Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League, where he put up totals of 26 points (8g-18a) and 38 penalty minutes in 64 games. Prior to that, he posted 31 points (6g-25a) and 52 penalty minutes in 53 games with the North American Hockey League’s Port Huron Fighting Falcons and New Mexico Mustangs.
2018-19 Offseason Headquarters:
Keep up with league deadlines and player signings throughout the summer with our 2018-19 Offseason Headquarters. Use this page to stay informed on all of the latest news regarding departing, returning and new players to join the Solar Bears for the upcoming season!
Lightning Preseason Tickets Now on Sale:
NHL hockey returns to Orlando this fall when the Tampa Bay Lightning face off against the Florida Panthers at the Amway Center in a preseason clash on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. Get your tickets now – visit the Amway Center box office or visit orlandosolarbearshockey.com/lightning.
2018-19 Single-Game Tickets Now on Sale:
Single-game tickets for the Orlando Solar Bears 2018-19 regular season home schedule are now on sale. Fans can purchase single-game tickets for as little as $15 at the Amway Center box office, or online at Ticketmaster.com.
2018-19 Season Ticket Memberships:
Season Ticket Memberships for the seventh season of ECHL Orlando Solar Bears hockey are now on sale. Full and Half-Season memberships are both available, starting as low as $270. For more information, call (407) 951-8200 or visit orlandosolarbearshockey.com.
About the Orlando Solar Bears:
The puck drops on Saturday, Oct. 13 against the Atlanta Gladiators as the Orlando Solar Bears open the 2018-19 season, presented by XYMOPrint. The Solar Bears are the proud affiliate of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning and members of the ECHL, the premier “AA” hockey league in North America. In six seasons of operation, the team has qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs four times. The Solar Bears are owned and operated by the Orlando Magic and the DeVos Family, and play at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center, the 2012 Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal Sports Facility of the Year.
Officially licensed Orlando Solar Bears replica team jerseys, apparel, and headwear can be purchased at orlandosolarbearshockey.com/shop.