ECHL: Heartlanders Give Qualifying Offers to Goaltending Duo, Six More

Image Credit: Jason Rubin, Iowa Heartlanders Official Website

Coralville, Iowa- On July 7, ECHL teams had to make their eight qualifying offers. This allows teams to re-sign choice players and further protect the rights of players on ECHL contracts from the previous season.

Iowa has tendered the following offers:

Goaltender (2): Drew DeRidder, Peyton Jones

Defensemen (3): Ben Brinkman, Louka Henault, Hunter Lellig

Forwards (3): Nick Campoli, Jake Durflinger, Dakota Raabe

These 8 players have until July 22 to decide if they want to re-sign with the team. During that time, their rights cannot be traded. Even if these players do not return to the Heartlanders, Iowa will retain their rights for the 2024-25 season.

DeRidder and Jones were two of the team’s leaders this season, each winning a Goaltender of the Week award. Many fans believe Ben Brinkman was the Heartlanders’ best defender last season, and his call-ups to the AHL’s Iowa Wild offer their argument some quality merits.

Durflinger, now the second-longest tenured Heartlander with the departure of Hunter Jones, will likely continue to wear the “A” on his jersey if he chooses to return. He is slated to have an impactful role on the team if he stays and can stay healthy, as injuries derailed his 2022-24 season.

Lellig, the first Iowa-Native Heartlander, and Henault, a quality defenseman, will be offered the opportunities to play pivotal parts in the new season.

Campoli had a very hot start to the 2023-24 season, but unfortunately, his season was ended early due to a nasty injury, much like his 2022-23 season. If he stays on the ice, he has the chance to be a points leader in the upcoming season.

Dakota Raabe was a midseason pickup from the Utah Grizzlies in a deal that saw Defenseman Robbie Stucker head out to Salt Lake. Raabe tallied four goals and four assists in 12 games for Iowa and will look to return to the quality of his 2022-23 season, where he tallied 11 goals and 25 assists in just 55 games.

These players will be given the chance to join Will Calverley, Yuki Miura, and Jonny Sorenson on Derek Damon’s upcoming squad.

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