Former NCAA forward Justin Pearson has signed an AHL contract with the Cleveland Monsters, the team announced on Twitter.
Pearson signed an amateur tryout contract for the remainder of this season, as well as a two-year AHL contract that begins in the 2023-24 season.
Pearson, 24, played since 2018-19 in the NCAA ranks. With the 2020-21 season canceled, Pearson played two years before that season and two years after at the college level.
He recorded 36 goals and 43 assists in 129 games played. His best seasons were a 14 goal, 10 assist season in 2019-20 for Yale University and this past season at the University of Connecticut, with 13 goals and 14 assists for 27 points in 35 games.
Pearson joins a Monsters team that currently sits in last place in the AHL’s North Division, and will have 16 games remaining in this season’s schedule to get his feet wet in professional hockey.
As an older player than most who are entering pro hockey for the first time, Pearson is further along in his development than younger prospects. He will likely be counted on to produce during his initial foray into the AHL, and will have the next two seasons to prove what he can do at the professional level.