Bulldogs bring another Courtnall into Canadiens family

bulldogsTwo American Hockey League hopefuls have inked contracts with the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Forward Justin Courtnall, 24, signed a one-year, two-way AHL/East Coast Hockey League deal and defenceman Matt Grassi signed a one-year AHL contract.

Courtnall, a 6’3”, 210-pound forward, split the 2012-13 season between the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays and the AHL’s Providence Bruins. In 44 games with South Carolina, he had five goals and four assists while accumulating 92 penalty minutes.

In five games with Providence, he recorded no points and no penalty minutes.

Before turning pro last season, Courtnall played three seasons in the National Collegiate Athletic Association with the Boston University Terriers (2009-12). In 92 games with BU, he recorded seven goals and six assists along with 104 penalty minutes.

The Victoria, B.C., native was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the seventh round, 210th overall, in the 2007 National Hockey League Entry Draft. He is the son of former NHL forward Geoff Courtnall and the nephew of ex-NHLer Russ Courtnall, who was a fan favourite during his years with the Canadiens.

Grassi, 24, a 6’4”, 220-pound undrafted defenceman, finished his 2012-13 season on an amateur try out contract with the Bulldogs after completing his collegiate career with the Michigan State University Spartans. In three games with Hamilton, he had no points and no penalty minutes. In 41 games with Michigan State last season, he recorded three points (one goal, two assists) and 22 penalty minutes.

In 121 career games (2009-13) with Michigan State, Grassi recorded 19 points (three goals, 16 assists) and 101 penalty minutes.