02/24/2024

STL:

1

DET:

6

Final

MTL:

3

NJD:

4

Final

TBL:

4

NYI:

2

Final

NYR:

2

PHI:

1

Final

WSH:

2

FLA:

3

Final

TOR:

4

COL:

3

Final

VGK:

3

OTT:

4

Final

BOS:

2

VAN:

3

Final

DAL:

2

CAR:

1

Final

CGY:

6

EDM:

3

Final

MIN:

5

SEA:

2

Final

NSH:

4

SJS:

2

Final

ANA:

2

LAK:

3

Final

02/25/2024

TBL:

4

NJD:

1

Final

PHI:

6

PIT:

7

Final

CAR:

2

BUF:

3

Final

NYR:

2

CBJ:

4

Final

DET:

3

CHI:

2

Final

ARI:

3

WPG:

4

Final

NSH:

4

ANA:

2

Final

02/26/2024

OTT:

3

WSH:

6

Final

NYI:

3

DAL:

2

Final

LAK:

2

EDM:

4

Final

BOS:

3

SEA:

4

Final

02/27/2024

WSH:

3

DET:

6

3

11:03

BUF:

1

FLA:

2

3

16:53

ARI:

1

MTL:

3

3

13:27

TBL:

1

PHI:

2

3

18:05

VGK:

3

TOR:

1

3

11:44

CAR:

1

MIN:

2

2

15:30

OTT:

1

NSH:

2

2

15:15

STL:

1

WPG:

3

2

13:29

LAK:

0

CGY:

0

1

16:57

DAL:

0

COL:

0

Final

PIT:

0

VAN:

0

10:00 ET

NJD:

0

SJS:

0

10:30 ET

02/28/2024

CBJ:

0

NYR:

0

07:00 ET

STL:

0

EDM:

0

08:30 ET

02/29/2024

VGK:

0

BOS:

0

07:00 ET

CAR:

0

CBJ:

0

07:00 ET

NYI:

0

DET:

0

07:00 ET

MTL:

0

FLA:

0

07:00 ET

BUF:

0

TBL:

0

07:00 ET

ARI:

0

TOR:

0

07:00 ET

WPG:

0

DAL:

0

08:00 ET

MIN:

0

NSH:

0

08:00 ET

COL:

0

CHI:

0

09:00 ET

PIT:

0

SEA:

0

10:00 ET

LAK:

0

VAN:

0

10:00 ET

ANA:

0

SJS:

0

10:30 ET

03/01/2024

ARI:

0

OTT:

0

07:00 ET

PHI:

0

WSH:

0

07:00 ET

NJD:

0

ANA:

0

10:00 ET

ECHL Season Preview: Adirondack Thunder

The Adirondack Thunder are poised for a big year after a strong second half last season, which saw them sneak into the last Kelly Cup Playoff Spot in the North Divison with a 32-29-9-2 record. However, they would lose to the Newfoundland Growlers in five games during the opening round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Most of Adirondack’s key players joined the team for the second half of last season, which played a huge part in their run. Now that a lot of these players not only have playing time under their belt but get to start with a 0-0 record, and Pete MacArthur is now heading into his second season as the team’s head coach, and has shown that he has the tools to help put together a successful team. Let’s take a look at how this team is shaping up as we are less than a month away from the pre-season. Adirondack’s roster currently sits at 17 as of the time of this article.

Key Departures:

Before we take a look at what additions the Thunder made to the roster, let’s take a look at the biggest loss at each position for the Thunder heading into next season:

Sebastian Vidmar

This is hands down the biggest loss for Adirondack, as he was playing top-line minutes and was a guy who found spending a lot of time on the Thunder’s second line as he also had an injury-shortened season playing in 47 games, putting up 15 goals and 21 assists for 37 points. Vidmar also gave the Thunder some size up front as he was 6’4, but Adirondack did go out during the off-season to address that need, and I’ll touch on that more later in the article.

Jeff Taylor

Last season, the Thunder brought in Jeff Taylor as someone who would bring both experience and offense to the blue line, and that’s exactly what he did, as when he was in the lineup, he was playing top-pairing minutes. In 43 games last season, Taylor had five goals and 20 assists for 25 points in 43 games as his season was cut short due to a long-term injury.

Jake Theut

Jake Theut joined the Thunder last season and was expected to be the third goaltender but would end up being the starter and playing in 34 games last season, putting up a 16-13-4 record with a 2.98 GAA, .907 SV%, and two shutouts. Theut was a staple for the Thunder, which was huge with how often Isaac Poulter was getting called up to Utica and with the early season-ending injury to Mereks Mitens, who only played in one game for Adirondack last season.

Forwards

There’s a lot to like about the moves the Adirondack Thunder made upfront last season, as they brought back a few key names and filled the holes left by those who left. Adirondack brought back Grant Jozefek, Patrick Grasso, Travis Broughman, Shawn Weller, Ryan Smith, and Yannick Turcotte, all bringing different aspects of the game to the Thunder lineup. Patrick Grasso is the most notable name returning, as you tend to see a lot of guys who have the amount of success Grasso had last season take their talents overseas, but Adirondack will have their leading scorer back for next season. Grant Jozefek and Travis Broughman both joined the Thunder during the season, as they each, at one point, saw top-line minutes for the Thunder as Broughman would end up filling the top-line center role for the Thunder and should find himself back in that position to start the 2023-24 season. Expect a lot of the scoring next season to come from Jozefek, Grasso, and Broughman. Ryan Smith has always played a solid two-way game for Adirondack and is always a guy who is overlooked, while Shawn Weller is a guy who missed some time with an injury last season but proved to be a huge part of the Thunder down the stretch.

Adirondack added four new faces up front in: Jake Fletcher, Lucas Herrmaan, Andy Willis, and Zach Walker. Fletcher, Herrmann, and Willis are all rookies heading into the 2023-24 season; however, Herrmann spent seven games in the SPHL last season after finishing his collegiate career, and Willis spent ten games with the Fort Wayne Komets. The most impactful signing for the Thunder, in my opinion, has to be Zach Walker. The 25-year-old forward has spent the past two seasons with the Idaho Steelheads, where he put up 16 goals and 25 assists for 41 points, along with 130 penalty minutes in 119 games. Adding Walker to the roster will take some of the pressure off of Yannick Turcotte to drop the gloves and allow both of them to play their game while still keeping that physicality part of their games.

AHL Two Ways/Players Who Might Come Down From Utica: Yushiro Hrino, Eric Cooley, Erik Middendorf,

Defense

The Adirondack Thunder blueline is going to have a different feel for it heading into the 2023-24 season as only three members of the 2022-23 blueline will be returning; those players are Ryan Orgel, Matt Stief, and Bryce Martin. Orgel began his season in the SPHL and ended up signing with the Thunder, where he’d played 49 games putting up a goal and 19 assists, and added two goals and an assist in five Kelly Cup Playoff games and was a key part of the Thunder blueline and is one of two big pieces of that blueline returning for the 2023-24 season. The other big name returning to the blueline is Matt Steif, who led all Thunder defencemen last season in points as he had four goals and 22 assists for 26 points in 66 games with Adirondack and will likely see time with on the top pairing with Ryan Orgel. Bryce Martin joined the team at the end of February but, due to injury, only saw ten games with the Thunder.

One of the biggest needs Adirondack needed to address on the blueline was size, and they did that by signing rookie Devon Becker, a 6’4, right-handed shot who spent last season in the Italy2 league. Adirondack would round out their defensive core by bringing in Brendan Less and Ryan Wheeler, who both have prior experience in the ECHL. The Utica Comets also signed Will MacKinnon to a two-way AHL contract. However, the 23-year-old defenseman spent the entirety of last season with the Reading Royals, where he put up seven goals, and 19 assists for 26 points in 71 games, so I wouldn’t be shocked if he seems a good chunk of time in Adirondack this season.

AHL Two Ways: Will MacKinnon

Goaltending

As previously mentioned in my article looking at the goaltending throughout the New Jersey Devils organization, the Adirondack Thunder are expected to get two guys sent down to Adirondack from Utica, barring any injuries. However, Adirondack did go out and re-sign Vinnie Purpura, who signed with the team at the end of last season and made four appearances for the team, went 2-0 with a 3.46 GAA and .906%, and with Nico Daws out to start the season, I would expect Purpura to be on Adirondack’s active roster come opening night. However, the question will be who the other goalie will be. I would expect it to be Jeremy Brodeur, seeing that he is on a two-way deal with Utica and has 99 ECHL games under his belt, as he’s put up a 32-39-10 record with a 3.36 GAA and .907 SV%. Tyler Brennan, who’s still on his entry-level contract, and Isaac Poulter, who spent the majority of his time in Adirondack, are both options for the Thunder.

AHL two-ways/Goalies That Could Be Sent Down Jeremy Brodeur and Issac Poulter

Armand Klisivitch

Inside The Rink ECHL Manager | Senior Editor Credentialed Reporter for the Adirondack Thunder & Worcester Railers.

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