The Jacksonville Icemen’s roster building is not slowing down for anybody. Today the team announced another addition to the Icemen’s defensive corps, signing Mackenzie Dwyer to a one-year deal for the 2023-24 season. The news of Dwyer’s re-signing follows yesterday’s trade facilitated between the Icemen and the Adirondack Thunder, bringing defender Ivan Chukarov to Jacksonville for future considerations.
Dwyer will be re-joining the team for his second season in Jacksonville. The 6’3” 201-pound blueliner joined the team last season on loan, playing 32 games for the Icemen. In those 32 games, Dwyer posted one goal and seven assists. Dwyer saw 62 games of action last season, collected with three different teams. Before joining the Icemen roster, Dwyer saw playing time with the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL’s Central Division and the Birmingham Bulls of the SPHL. He played in 30 games between the two teams and collected 11 points – a pair of goals and nine assists with Birmingham.
With just a handful of professional seasons under his belt, the defenseman has amassed quite the hockey resume. Prior to the start of his ECHL career with the Norfolk Admirals in the 2021-22 season, Dwyer played his debut professional season with the Bulls, collecting six points in 41 games. He also has one season of experience at the collegiate level, playing 26 games for the University of Manitoba during the 2018-19 season.
As expected, with the forward core almost complete, the team is now looking towards adding more pieces to the defensive side of the puck. The return of Dwyer means more size and grit will be returning to the Icemen blueline. A sizeable defender, Dwyer has the skills to deliver big body checks and enforce the law of the land on the ice. The tenacity Dwyer brings to the table is a complimentary piece to more mobile, puck-moving defensemen such as Jacob Panetta. Additionally, Dwyer is excellent at applying pressure and finding ways to hem players in. His puck control at the point while in the offensive zone is a strength of his game the Icemen can use to smother opponents in their own zone. With his re-addition to the line-up, the Icemen now have 16 players signed on for the upcoming 2023-24 season.