ECHL – The Cincinnati Cyclones Re-Sign Captain and Assistant Captian

The Cincinnati Cyclones announced that the team has re-signed forward and team captain Justin Vaive for the 2023-24 ECHL season. Justin Vaive becomes the first player to sign with the team ahead of next season.

Justin Vaive, who recently turned 34, enters his 13th professional season and ninth in Cincinnati. The veteran winger has played 360 of his 700 professional games with the Cincinnati Cyclones. Over the course of his tenure with the Cyclones, the captain has amassed 134 goals and 102 assists for 236 points.  

“I’ve made it clear, both publicly and in my own mind, that this is the only team I’m going to play for (moving forward),” said Vaive. “Time will tell on whether that’s a couple years or ten years, but I don’t see myself ever putting on a different jersey. This has been my home away from home for so many years, and you would think with age that you get used to it, but each year I get more and more excited when I re-sign here.”

The Buffalo, New York native began his professional career in a Cincinnati Cyclones jersey back in 2010 following a four-year collegiate run at Miami University. Justin Vaive entered college, having been previously drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. 

“Justin is a character person who exemplifies what it means to be a captain for the Cyclones,” said Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations, Jason Payne. “He’s coming off a tremendous season and helped lead our team to a division banner. He experienced team and individual success, and that stems from not cheating the game. Justin plays our brand of hockey the right way. He sets the tone and shapes the culture of our dressing room. We couldn’t ask for a better leader.”

Justin Vaive will embark on what is expected to be yet another milestone season. The captain is 55 points shy of Jesse Schultz as the franchise’s all-time points leader, while he sits 14 goals and 99 games back of Don Biggs of the IHL-Cyclones for most goals and games played of anybody to have ever worn a Cyclones jersey. Ironically, Biggs had his #22 retired with the Cyclones; the same number Justin’s father, Rick Vaive, wore throughout his illustrious 13-year NHL career.

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The Cincinnati Cyclones announced today that the team has re-signed center Louie Caporusso for the 2023-24 season. Louie Caporusso joins Jalen Smereck and Justin Vaive as the first trio of players that have signed with the Cyclones ahead of next season. 

Louie Caporusso, 34, enters his third consecutive season in Cincinnati after spending the previous seven seasons overseas. Last year, the Toronto, Ontario native scored 24 goals and posted 71 points in 68 regular season games with the ‘Clones, establishing career highs in goals, assists (48), and points. He finished second in team scoring and was tied for the 16th most points by a player across the ECHL.

“It’s funny; I don’t know what it is, but I’ve just been feeling better as I’ve gotten older,” said Caporusso; coming off the most productive season of his 11-year professional career. “I’ve been able to play with some great players over the last couple of years, and Coach (Jason) Payne has given me a good opportunity to succeed here. On top of that, this city and this arena is a great environment to play in. I’m older now, so I’m just trying to enjoy and savor every moment playing here because I know it doesn’t last much longer.”

A former NHL Draft selection of the Ottawa Senators in 2007, Caporusso has played over 500 professional games in AHL, DEL, Italy, and ECHL. He’s scored 175 and tallied 276 assists for 451 points over that time. Since joining the Cyclones in 2021, Caporusso has been one of the team’s alternate captains. He will continue to wear an “A” for the 2023-24 season. 

“He’s a leader on and off the ice,” said Payne. “Louie’s been an important part of our team and our culture over the last two years. His compete level motivates those around him. I see some of our younger players gravitate towards him and try to emulate his energy and work ethic. As much as Louie’s success can be touted from an individual standpoint, I think it’s even more impressive to see how much he’s helped our young talent blossom and develop into top contributors at this level.”

John Cadwallader

Hello my name is John Cadwallader. I write articles on the Cincinnati Cyclones Hockey Team for the Inside The Rink. I have been a Cincinnati Cyclones fan since the early 1990’s.

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