Another week has gone by in the Federal Hockey League off-season, and it was one filled with player signings as the season gets ever closer to starting.
Let’s get you caught up on who is heading where.
Defending champs bring back Andrew Harrison
The Danville Dashers have re-signed forward Andrew Harrison, who is returning for his fourth season with the Dashers. Harrison, 30, has six seasons of professional experience across the SPH, ECHL, and of course, FHL. Harrison suited up in 20 games for the Dashers last season, netting 22 points, while also playing 13 games in the SPHL for the Evansville Thunderbolts. His biggest season as a pro came in 2014-15 with the Dashers when he scored 70 points in 48 games.
Port Huron re-signs veteran goalie Curtis Martinu
Martinu, who has four season of professional experience across the ECHL, SPHL, and FHL, returns for his third season with the Port Huron Prowlers. In his first two stints with the Prowlers Martinu has a 19-10-2 record with a GAA around 3.00 and a SV% in the neighborhood of .920. For his entire FHL career he has 45 appearances, amassing a 26-13-2 record in that span. Last season with Port Huron he was 14-8-2 with a 3.56 GAA and .913 SV%.
Watertown signs physical forward Stephen Gallo
The Watertown Wolves have inked their seventh player for the upcoming season in the form of Stephen Gallo, who is just one year removed from a 101-penalty minute season in his rookie year in 2015-16. Gallo racked up those penalty minutes in 51 games with the Berlin River Drivers, while also chipping in 33 points. Last season Gallo split time between two FHL teams and four SPHL teams. In 18 games split between the Danbury Titans and Watertown Wolves, Gallo had 28 penalty minutes and three assists.
Nationals bring back Sylvester Bzdyl
Bzdyl had a successful rookie campaign with the Cornwall Nationals in 2016-17, scoring 50 points in 53 games, doing most of his damage by setting others up with 37 assists, to finish second on the team in scoring. Bzdyl could be a breakout candidate this year with the chance to play alongside the FHL’s all-time leading scorer, Ahmed Mafouz, who was added earlier this off-season in a trade with Port Huron.
Prowlers sign junior star
The Prowlers continued their busy week and their attempts to replace the previously mentioned Mafouz by signing Norther Ontario Junior Hockey League start Yianni Liarkos. Liarkos had 39 goals and 39 assists last season for the Blind River Beavers, including 11 game-winning goals, which led the league. For his efforts, Liarkos was named to the First Team All-Stars for the NOJHL, and then netted 25 points in 16 playoff games. Liarkos also brings a big body to Port Huron, standing 6-foot-2 and weighing in at 200 pounds.
And that’s it for the week. Nothing major like a new team, or a schedule being finalized, but at this point teams are in full-on roster build mode, so expect to see more of this over the next 51 days until the season-opener on October 27.