Getting to know the New Checkers:
While many are familiar faces to Charlotte Checkers fans, the team has a number of new faces this year, so here’s a brief bio on the new faces. (As the photographer, I’m allowed to call the pictures horrible, but there were too many things to watch and people to talk to at practice without being distracted by my camera!)
Returning to the 2011/12 team from last season:
|31 – Mike Murphy – Goaltender
34 – Brett Bellemore – Defense
29 – Michal Jordan – Defense
5 – Kyle Lawson – Defense
6 – Bobby Sanguinetti – Defense
26 – Nicolas Blanchard – LW
19 – Drayson Bowman – LW
11 – Zach Boychuck – C
10 – Jonathan Matsumoto – C
12 – Mike McKenzie – LW
23 – Cedric McNicoll – C
15 – Matt Pistilli – RW
16 – Jerome Samson – RW
22 – Jared Staal – RW
14 – Brett Sutter – C
25 – Chris Terry – LW
New to the Checkers in 2011/12, including FOUR Justin’s:
Muse joins the Checkers as a first-year professional. He spent four-years at Boston College, where he won two NCAA championships. He was the starting goaltender during all four seasons he played at Boston College, and was a teammate of Hurricanes prospect Brian Dumolin. Muse is on a two-way contract with the Charlotte Checkers. You can follow him on Twitter at @ImTheMoose01
60 – Justin Peters – Goaltender
Peters was a four-year veteran of the AHL, with ECHL experience as well, prior to becoming Cam Ward’s backup in Raleigh last season. As a Hurricane, he played 12 games, with a record of 3-5-1 (.875 SV%, 3.98 GAA). Returning to the AHL this year, he will share time between the pipes with Mike Murphy.
4 – Ryan Donald – D
Donald joins the Checkers this year as a second-year pro. He spent four years at Yale University. Last season, he split time between the Providence Bruins and Reading Royals. Donald is a hulking defenseman, who is listed at only 6’3”, was easily the largest player on the ice during camp sessions.
3 - Justin Krueger – D
Krueger was a teammate of Riley Nash at Cornell. He was drafted by the Hurricanes in 2006, and played in the Swiss elite league last season in the first professional year of his career. He’s a big, defensive-minded defenseman, weighing in at 205 pounds and 6’2″ on the height charts. He’s played for his native country of Germany at the IIHF World Championships the past two years.
21 – Chris Murray – D
Murray spent four years at the University of New Hampshire, and was a teammate of former Checker Jacob Micflikier. Murray, 26, is an American-born Defenseman, who has spent time in the ECHL and AHL since turning pro, including a stint with the ECHL Checkers in 2008-09. Murray signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Checkers this summer.
2 – Rasmus Rissanen – D
Rissanen, 20, played one regular-season game with the Checkers, and was with the team during the playoff run. Rissanen was a 2009 Hurricanes draft pick, and spent the past two years in the WHL, playing for the Everett Silvertips.
33 – Mathieu Roy – D
Roy, 28, has spent the majority of his career in the AHL, though he did spend nearly half the season with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2009-10 before being traded to the Florida Panthers, and in turn being assigned to the Rochester Americans. Last season, in 45 games with the Norfolk Admirals, he had 22 points (4G, 18A) and was a +9. In four games against the Checkers, Roy was a -3 (0G,1A). He had 10 PIM after a fight with Brad Herauf on February 25 in Norfolk, and then with Brett Sutter at TWCA on April 4.
16 – Matt Beca – RW
Beca spent last season with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL, though he was contracted by the Checkers, he didn’t play in any AHL games. He appeared in 62 games, and scored 50 points (22G, 28A) with the Everblades. He is a 2010 graduate of Clarkson University, where he spent four seasons playing for the Golden Knights. He is under contract with the Checkers this year on a two-way AHL/ECHL contract.
14 – Chris Durno – RW
Durno, 30, is an NHL and AHL veteran. Last season, he served as the captain for the Norfolk Admirals, and amassed 36 points (19G, 17A) in 73 games. His veteran leadership will be a huge boost to Charlotte’s young core of players.
24 – Justin Shugg – LW
Shugg, who is only 19, completed his fourth season in the OHL in 2011, and made three-Memorial Cup appearances, winning the championship in two of them. He spent time with CHL clubs in Oshawa, Windsor and Mississauga. He was a fourth-round draft pick of the Carolina Hurricanes in 2010.
18 – Justin Soryal – LW
Soryal was a UFA signing this summer by the Hurricanes. The 6’3” winger is a big, physical forward and spent the past three seasons in the Rangers organization, with their AHL club. Last year, he was 11th in the league in PIMs, racking up 220 of them. (He was second on his team in that category though, Devin DiDiomete led the Whale with 303 PIMs). You can follow him on Twitter at @JustinSoryal47