We are a day away from the beginning of the ECHL regular season. While 12 teams get started tomorrow, the Thunder will have to wait until Saturday to begin their season in Maine against the expansion Mariners.
Before the games can begin, it’s time to set the season opening roster:
Goaltenders: Colton Phinney, Alex Sakellaropoulos
Defensemen: Desmond Bergin, Matias Cleland, Jake Linhart, Jordan McNaughton, Kelly Summers, Blake Thompson
Forwards: Cullen Bradshaw, Shane Conacher, John Edwardh, Shane Eiserman, James Henry, Dennis Kravchenko, Peter MacArthur, Daniel Perigo, Jakob Reichert, Conor Riley, Matt Salhany, Mike Szmatula, Brian Ward
Reserve: Nikolas Olsson, Michael Sdao
A closer look at the roster:
-11 players have played at least one game in a Thunder uniform.
-3 players are former NHL draft picks.
-7 players have at least one game of AHL experience.
-14 players are U.S. born, representing 10 different states: Massachusetts (3), California (2), New York (2), Rhode Island (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), Colorado (1), Wisconsin (1), Illinois (1), and New Jersey (1).
-The rest of the roster are all Canadian born, with 4 from Ontario, 2 from Alberta, and 1 each from Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia.
To get to this roster, the following moves were made once the preseason slate was completed on Saturday:
-Released from camp were forwards Al Graves and Nolan Sheeran, and goaltender Ian Sylves.
-After backing up Cam Johnson in Binghamton–including a brief appearance in Saturday’s opener against Toronto–Colton Phinney returns to the Thunder now that Mackenzie Blackwood is back from traveling with the parent Devils to Europe.
Only one game on my agenda this weekend, as I will be traveling to Syracuse for their home opener against Charlotte on Saturday.