August 26, 2013, Kennewick, WA (ISN) – Tri-City Americans Governor/General Manager Bob Tory announced today that the team has signed 16-year-old prospect Austyn Playfair to a standard WHL Players Contract.
Playfair, a 6'4 200-pound forward from Scottsdale, Arizona, recently concluded his first season with the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes of the Tier 1 Elite Midget Hockey League. In 41 games this season, Playfair compiled 4 goals, 11 points and 16 penalty minutes. Austyn, the younger brother of current Spokane Chiefs' forward, Jackson Playfair, was originally listed by Tri-City in October of last year.
"(Austyn) had just a tremendous training camp this season and earned the opportunity to compete for a roster spot this year," explained Tory. "We are happy that Austyn and his family have chosen our program and the WHL for his hockey development and pursuit of his goals."
Austyn and Jackson are the sons of current Phoenix Coyotes Associate Coach, Jim Playfair. Jim was a former WHL defenseman for the Portland Winter Hawks and Calgary Wranglers from 1981-84. The elder Playfair was selected in the first round (20th overall) of the 1982 NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers and would go on to appear in 21 NHL games between Edmonton and the Chicago Blackhawks. Jim retired from playing after the 1991-92 season and has been coaching ever since. After his first opportunity came with the ECHL's Dayton Bombers in 1993-94, Jim has served as head coach on 8 separate occasions, including in the ECHL, the AHL and the NHL with the Calgary Flames (2006-07). He is now entering his third season as the Coyotes' Associate Coach under Head Coach Dave Tippett.
The Tri-City Americans are in the midst of training camp, eagerly preparing for their first pre-season games this weekend. The Americans will, once again, participate in the Everett Silvertips Pre-Season Classic, presented by Holiday Inn Downtown Everett starting Friday, August 30 and running through Sunday, September 1. Tri-City will open the tournament on Friday against the Seattle Thunderbirds, followed by Saturday's contest against the Portland Winterhawks and Sunday's match-up vs. the Victoria Royals. All game times are 11:30 AM at Comcast Arena in Everett.