NHL first round pick joins Bulldogs


St. Catharines native Daultan Leveille is one of three players to ink contracts with the American Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs.

Also signing on the dotted line were Stefan Chaput and Olivier Fortier. The trio signed one-year, two-way AHL/ East Coast Hockey League contracts for the 2012-13 season.

Leveille, 22, played four seasons with Michigan State University of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, recording 69 points (26 goals, 43 assists) and 50 penalty minutes in 131 regular season games. In 2008-09 as a rookie with Michigan State, Leveille was second in team scoring with 19 points (nine goals, eight assists) while also being an Honourable Mention selection to the CCHA All-Rookie Team.

He played two seasons with the St. Catharines Falcons of the Golden Horseshoe Jr. B Hockey League of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League from 2006-08. In 93 games, the 6’0”, 175-pound centre had 101 points (48 goals, 53 assists) and 38 penalty minutes. Leveille was originally selected by the Atlanta Thrashers in the first round, 29th overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

Chaput, 24, has played 164 regular season games over five seasons in the AHL for the Providence Bruins, Syracuse Crunch, Charlotte Checkers and Albany River Rats, registering 71 points (24 goals, 47 assists), 51 penalty minutes and a +11 rating. The native of Montreal spent four seasons with the Lewiston MAINEiacs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League posting 168 points (71 goals, 97 assists), 145 penalty minutes and a +51 rating in 196 games.

The 6’0”, 190-pound centre was second in scoring for the MAINEiacs in 2007-08 with 69 points (33 goals, 36 assists) while also ranking in goals. Chaput was originally selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the fifth round, 153rd overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

Fortier, 23, has played 106 regular season games over parts of three seasons with the Bulldogs, registering 35 points (17 goals, 18 assists) and 46 penalty minutes. In 2010-11, the 5’11”, 181-pound centre tied for third on the ‘Dogs in rookie scoring with 20 points while ranking second in goals scored by a rookie with nine.

The Quebec City native played three seasons with the Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL notching 161 points (65 goals, 96 assists) and 107 penalty minutes in 205 games. Fortier was originally selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the third round, 65th overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.