ECHL: Utah Grizzlies Re-Sign Rookie Forward, Extend Qualifying Offers to Eight Players

The Utah Grizzlies announced the re-signing of rookie forward Luke Manning. Last Season, he finished up school at St. Thomas University and then got signed by the Grizzlies on March 16 of last season. He then went on to play 14 games, where he scored two goals and added six assists for eight points, along with a -5 rating.

Manning played one year of hockey at the Air Force Academy in the 2019-2020 season, where he played 35 games, grabbing 12 points (8G, 4A). The Native of Stillwater, MN, then transferred to St. Thomas University to play four years there. In that four-year span, he racked up 45 points (24G,21A) in 117 games played. Throughout his college days, Manning had pretty even stats every year.

The Grizzlies also extended qualifying offers to eight players: Quinn Wichers, Bryan Yoon, Kade Jensen, Nathan Burke, Cody Caron, Mick Messner, Cole Gallant, as well as fan-favorite Kyle Betts.

Let’s take a look at how each of those eight players fared last year. Wichers played 52 games, scoring two goals, adding 14 assists, and racking up 28 penalty minutes. Yoon scored 17 points (3G, 14A) in 35 games played while adding only 11 penalty minutes. He also played 18 games with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, scoring two goals.

Jensen played just four games with Utah, not getting any points, having a plus one rating. Prior to his time in Utah, Jensen played five years at Mount Royal University in Canada, having the 2020-21 season off due to Covid. His time there consisted of five goals and 11 assists in 89 games played. Nathan Burke. Nathan Burke played 64 games last year for Utah, racking up 18 goals and 20 assists while also receiving 57 penalty minutes. He also played one game with the AHL’s Ontario Reign.

Caron had 13 games with Utah last year, grabbing three assists. Prior to last season, Caron played the last part of the 21-22 season, as well as the entire 22-23 season with the Cincinnati Cyclones, playing 64 games while having three goals and 11 assists. One of the Iron Men from last year, Messner played all 72 games, scoring 15 goals and 23 assists. He scored his first career point in the 2023 playoffs as he got one assist in his only playoff game played.

Gallant had 68 games played last season, where he scored 12 goals and 35 assists. Gallant was traded from the Trois-Rivieres Lions before the season started. A fan favorite, Kyle Betts, last season, he played just five games with the Grizzlies, scoring a goal and adding four assists before heading to Belleville, where he played in the AHL for 56 games, adding five goals and four assists.

As a reminder, Manning is the first player signed by the Grizzlies this season as they prepare for their 30th season in Utah. We will have to wait to see if any more signings come out of these offers.

Elijah Webb

I am Elijah. Hockey is my biggest passion, however I have love for all sports. I got into hockey from day one of my life. I currently am the writer for the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL, and one day, I hope to become a broadcaster

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