With just over a month until the start of the Federal Hockey League season, the action around team rosters is almost as hot as the takes on this website!
And today, we have a trade to announce between the Carolina Thunderbirds and the Cornwall Nationals!
Carolina Thunderbirds send D Ryan Wilkinson and F Eric Witzel to Cornwall Nationals for F John Schiavo and D Stanislav Vlasov.
Wilkinson is a defenseman who has spent the majority of his pro career in the SPHL with three teams before suiting up for 11 games with the Danbury Titans of the FHL last year. In those 11 games he recorded eight assists. Witzel has also bounced back and forth from the FHL and the SPHL, playing 22 games last year for the Danville Dashers and netting 24 points.
Vlasov played for the now-defunct Berlin River Drivers last season, appearing in 17 games and totaling 14 points. Schiavo was taken by the Nationals earlier this year in the Disperal Draft, and Schiavo and suited up for two FHL teams last season, Danbury and Watertown, collecting 25 points in 32 games, including 10 goals. Schiavo also has ECHL and SPHL experience, playing 33 games between the two leagues and scoring 14 points in that span.
On paper, this seems like a very fair trade with Carolina getting the slightly higher-scoring defenseman and Cornwall netting a slightly higher scoring forward. Good trade that helps both teams.
In addition to that trade, we have a boatload of new signings across the league to announce.
North Shore Knights sign two
The Knights announced Wednesday that they have re-signed defenseman Dominik Fejt, who played last year for the team when it was the St. Clair Shores Fighting Saints. Fejt brings size at 6-foot-4, 227 pounds, racking up 74 penalty minutes in 36 games last season to go with four assists.
The Knight also inked international goalie Christian Pavlas from Slovakia. Pavlas has experience in the KHL and at the World Junior Championships with Slovakia. The 21-year-old netminder spent last season with Martin MHC of the Slovakian league, appearing in seven games, posting a 3.05 GAA and a .901 SV%.
Watertown Wolves add RW Tyler Gjurich
Gjurich has three seasons of professional experience under his belt, spending most of that team split between the ECHL and SPHL. He also has one season of FHL experience, in 2015-16, when he lit up the scoreboard to the tune of 100 points in 49 games, netting 50 goals and 50 assists in that span with the Danbury Titans. Last season Gjurich played 42 games in the SPHL with Roanoke and Evansville, scoring 30 points in those games. This is a big signing that gives the Wolves a major offensive threat in their lineup.
Nationals add veteran F Alex Mentink
Earlier this week the Nationals were able to nab an ECHL and SPHL veteran, Alex Mentink, as their 14th signing. According to HockeyDB.com, Mentink has been out of pro hockey since the 2013-14 season when he played 19 games between the ECHL and SPHL. He last played for the Peoria Rivermen, where he had 6 points in 12 games, while adding 17 penalty minutes.
Defending champions add two
The Danville Dashers were also busy this week, adding a defenseman and a forward to the roster, in Dustin Henning and Ryan McDonald.
Henning is a veteran defenseman whose pro career dates back to the old MAHL in 2007-08. He has spent the last five seasons in the FHL playing for seven teams, including St. Clair Shores and Porth Hurton last season. Henning could be described as a stay at home defenseman, braking into double-digit points just once in his FHL career, in 2013-14 with Danville when he had 18 points in 46 games.
McDonald had a successful college career at Framingham State College whre he average more than a point per game over his career before playing with the EHC Zweibrücken Hornets in Germany.