The Jacksonville Icemen continue to make roster changes in the 2023 offseason, making a pair of moves on Tuesday. The team announced the acquisition of forward Michael Turner from the Atlanta Gladiators, with the Gladiators receiving future considerations in return. Those future considerations are typically a player’s signing rights. Veteran defenseman Mackenzie Dwyer has also been dealt in a trade. The move, which the team says is in relation to the trade that moves Turner to Jacksonville, sends Dwyer to the Maine Mariners in exchange for cash considerations.
27 year old Turner comes to the Icemen roster after spending the last two seasons with in-division opponents the Atlanta Gladiators. If the name rings any bells for Icemen fans, it could be because Turner has had his fair share of run-ins with the Icemen over the past couple of years. Fans may remember him as the unlucky contestant in a November 2021 bout with Icemen tough guy legend Travis Howe. More recently, he scored the overtime winning goal against Jacksonville in a March 2022 game.
A 6’2” 207 pound left handed shot forward, Turner played in 103 games for the Gladiators over the course of the previous two seasons. In those 103 games the forward registered 17 points, including five goals and 12 assists, and racked up 176 total penalty minutes. Unafraid to get involved in the grittier parts of the game, Turner ended the 2021-22 season tied for second place in the league for major penalties, with 10 of his 11 major infractions being fighting majors.
Before joining the Gladiators line up for the 2021-22 season, Turner had taken two years away from the game from 2019-2021. Prior to the break he spent the 2018-19 season with the Rapid City Rush and Wichita Thunder, and the 2016-17 season with the Orlando Solar Bears and Wheeling Nailers. His first professional season, 2015-16, was split between three teams in the SPHL and the ECHL. In total, Turner garnered 98 games of ECHL experience and 25 games of experience in the SPHL before his two season reprieve. In those three seasons he registered 35 points.
With the addition of Michael Turner we see the departure of Mackenzie Dwyer. Dwyer was one of the many names expected to make a return to the Jacksonville defensive group this year. Dwyer will now join the Maine Mariners of the ECHL’s North Division, a team that is currently in need of some defensive power. Dwyer’s ability to command the defensive zone and direct play will be missed on the Jacksonville blueline, however, the team has recently acquired a new surplus of defensive talent that should add more toughness and physicality to the defensive core.