Ritten/Renon (Italy) announced Monday the signing of former Clarkson standout Chris Blight to a contract for the 2011-12 season. Blight, who spent the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons in Europe, joins former Golden Knights standout Mac Faulkner, who joined Ritten/Renon in June 2011.
Blight, who hails from Cambridge, Ontario, spent last season between the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) and American Hockey League (AHL), appearing in 46 games with Reading (ECHL) and 20 games in the AHL, representing Bridgeport (13 games), Hershey (five games), Portland (one game) and Worcester (one game). Blight amassed 66 points, including 26 goals. He accumulated 59 of 66 points with Reading, including 25 goals, in 34 games.
Blight's overseas experience began in Denmark with the Nordjaeslland Cobras where he picked up 27 points (11 goals) in 35 games before joining the Ravensburg Tower Stars late in the 2008-09 season. Blight finished that season with the Tower Stars and led the team with 10 points (three goals) in 11 playoff games. In 2009-10, Blight played only seven games for the Tower Stars in a season shortened by injury.
After an exceptional four-year college career at Clarkson, Blight kicked off his pro career in 2005-06 with the Toledo Storm of the ECHL, where he racked up 61 points (29 goals) in 65 regular-season games. Blight, who led all first-year pros in the league that season with seven game-winning goals, finished his rookie season with a flourish, scoring 20 points (seven goals) in 16 games in March of 2006 to earn the ECHL's Rookie of the Month award. That scoring onslaught continued through the playoffs, as he racked up four goals and eight assists (12 points) in 13 playoff games for the Storm, who went all the way to the American Conference Finals prior to being eliminated by the Gwinnett Gladiators.
Blight continued his scoring prowess for the Storm in 2006-07, when he was the team's second leading scorer with 54 points (26 goals) in 71 games.
In 2007-08, Blight scored 21 goals and assisted on 18 others (39 points) in 40 regular season games for Reading. During the 2007-08 season, Blight earned three separate call-ups to the AHL, including a 20-game stint with the Albany River Rats, but he returned to Reading late in the year and was integral member of the team's 2008 playoff run. In 13 playoff games, Blight picked up eight points as the Royals knocked off the Elmira Jackals in the North Division Semi-Finals, but fell in seven games to the Cincinnati Cyclones in the North Division Finals.
Prior to turning pro, Blight racked up 96 points (40 goals) in 144 college games for Clarkson. The highlight of Blight's collegiate career may have come in his junior season when he led the team with 19 goals in 41 games. In the ECAC playoffs that season, the Golden Knights became the first ninth seed in league history to reach the tournament finals by knocking off heavily favored Cornell and top-seeded Colgate in succession, before losing to Harvard in the finals. After the conclusion of his senior season at Clarkson, Blight received the Fran Neragin Memorial Award, which is bestowed upon a Clarkson hockey player for sportsmanship and academic performance.