Hershey’s roster for this weekend features 17 players who skated with Hershey during the 2016-17 season, including Travis Boyd, who led the Bears with 63 points last year. Veteran and five-time AHL All-Star Chris Bourque has returned to Hershey for his ninth season with the Bears. Chris Bourque, the son of NHL hall of famer Ray Bourque, is coming off a 60-point season and is the AHL’s active leading scorer with 639 career points. Hershey’s Team captain Garrett Mitchell has also returned on the forward line and will wear the captain “C” for the third consecutive season. Goaltenders Pheonix Copley and Vitek Vanecek will once again be the goaltending tandem in Hershey. The problem for the time being is both goaltender suffered injuries during Washington Capitals training camp, and are being replaced for the time being by the South Carolina Stingrays tandem of Parker Milner, and Adam Carlson.
Rookies on the roster include forwards Hampus Gustafsson and Mason Mitchell, as well as defenseman Kris Bindulis, Connor Hobbs, and Lucas Johansen. For the time being we can add goaltender Adam Carlson to this list. Johansen was a first round selection, 28th overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft by the Washington Capitals, while Hobbs scored 85 points, including 31 goals, in a record-setting season with the WHL’s Regina Pats last season.
Hershey is dealing with quite a few losses on the roster as well the season. Forwards Jakub Vrana, and Nathan Walker have made the big club in Washington as well as defenseman Christian Djoos, and Aaron Ness. Other losses from last season include brother of current bear Chris Bourque, Ryan Bourque, Christian Thomas, Stan Galiev, Zach Sanford, Paul Carey, Darren Dietz, Tom Gilbert, and Joey Leach.
There are a ton of points from many players gone from last season. Who steps up this season? How well can the Bears compete in the strong division? Only time will tell. Game one was a 7-2 loss to the Lehigh-Valley Phantoms. That is over and done with. Its time to move on to the Hershey Bears home opener this Saturday night at the Giant Center!
Hershey’s Roster is as follows:
Forwards (15): John Albert, Riley Barber, Mathias Bau, Chris Bourque, Travis Boyd, Dustin Gazley, Hampus Gustafsson, Jeremy Langlois, Garrett Mitchell, Mason Mitchell, Liam O’Brien, Anthony Peluso, Chandler Stephenson, Zach Sill, Wayne Simpson
Defense (8): Kris Bindulis, Madison Bowey, Connor Hobbs, Lucas Johansen, Hubert Labrie, Tyler Lewington, Jonas Siegenthaler, Colby Williams
Goaltenders (4): Adam Carlson, Pheonix Copley, Parker Milner, Vitek Vanecek
The puck drops this Saturday is set at 7:00 p.m. and the game may be heard on the Bears Radio Network as Zack Fisch has the call from Chocolatetown. Expect the puck drop to be delayed 15-20 minutes with opening ceremonies for the Bears eightieth season.
Lets Go Bears!!