Florida Everblades Trade Deadline Tidal Wave 03|21|2024

General manager and head coach Brad Ralph made a massive splash on the ECHL’s trade deadline. Ralph made trades with the Cincinnati Cyclones and the Fort Wayne Komets involving six players. The first trade involved Everblades forwards Kieran Craig, Luke Santerno, and Jimmy Soper going to the Cyclones for forward Zack Andrusiak. The trade also involved giving Florida the reassignment rights for defenseman Zach Berzolla and three future considerations for the Cyclones. The second trade of the day saw Andrusiak and defenseman Stanislav Demin going to the Fort Wayne Komets for forward Matthew Wedman. 

Kieran Craig signed his first professional contract with the Everblades on February 26; he played in eight games, scoring one goal and four assists. The Everblades and Kansas City Mavericks completed a trade that sent Luke Santerno to the Everblades for future considerations. Santerno had better success in the Everblades’ system, scoring four goals and six assists in 19 games; he had eight points in 34 games with the Mavericks. The Everblades received Jimmy Soper in a trade with the Rapid City Rush for Brett Davis. Soper never hit his stride with the team, as he had just one assist in six games. Zack Andrusiak was the leading scorer for the Cyclones, scoring 31 goals and 31 assists in 57 games. Zach Berzolla is with the Hartford Wolf Pack in the AHL. He’s played seven games for the Cyclones, scoring one goal and two assists. 

Photo by: Hector Urcia for Inside the Rink

Coach Ralph packaged Andrusiak with Stanislav Demin. In his first professional season, Demin was traded to the Everblades by the Allen Americans on December 19. He played 28 games for the Everblades, scoring two goals, five assists, and +13. Matthew Wedman played 39 games for the Komets, scoring 14 goals and 21 assists. He has played with three different AHL teams this year and is currently on loan to the Calgary Wranglers.

Photo by: Josh Gales for the Fort Wayne Komets

The Everblades also signed forward Craig Needham on an amateur tryout. Needham played the previous five seasons with Providence College, scoring 14 goals and 21 assists in 160 games.

Photo by: Providence College Friars Hockey Website

The Everblades are in third place in the South Division and on a 6-4-0-0 run. With eleven games left in the regular season, the outlook is good that the Everblades will make the playoffs, allowing them to try for a third straight Kelly Cup Championship. Chris Ordoobadi said in his interview on March 6 with On the Bench that Coach Ralph attempts to better the team in any moves he makes. With this new roster, the Everblades will be even more difficult to play in the playoffs. 

The Everblades continue their three-game series against the Savannah Ghost Pirates on Friday at Hertz Arena. Play starts at 7:30 p.m.

James Slemp

I write for and photograph the Florida Everblades for ITR. I am a retiree that has turned my hobby of photography into a business. I currently live in Sarasota, Florida with my wife, Christy, but I'm originally from California. My previous career has taken me all over the US and the world and I definitely enjoy traveling. I've played hockey for over 30 years, learning as an adult, and love the game.

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