The Peoria Rivermen kick off their eighth season in the American Hockey League, and the 31st season of professional hockey in Peoria, Friday when they visit the Abbotsford Heat at 9 p.m. The proud affiliate of the St. Louis Blues has announced their opening roster which is comprised of 14 forwards, eight defensemen and two goaltenders.
Out of the 24 players on the active roster, 16 have previously worn a Rivermen sweater. Of the eight newcomers, five have NHL experience including rookie Jaden Schwartz. The 20-year-old winger was drafted by St. Louis 14th overall in 2010. He burst onto the professional scene with two goals in seven games for the Blues last year after completing his sophomore season at Colorado College.
Schwartz, also the youngest player on the team, is one of 11 former Blues draft picks on the Rivermen roster this season and one of nine players selected in the first three rounds of their respective NHL Entry Drafts.
The roster has seven players born in the United States and 14 born in Canada. Evgeny Grachev and Sergey Andronov are both Russian natives while Sebastian Wannstrom hails from Sweden. Both Andronov and Wannstrom are expected to play in their first North American game on Friday.
Listed below is Peoria’s opening night roster:
Forwards (14): Sergey Andronov, Jay Barriball, Chris Bruton, Adam Cracknell, Stefan Della Rovere, Evgeny Grachev, T,J, Hensick, Phil McRae, Andrew Murray, Derek Nesbitt, Anthony Nigro, Anthony Peluso, Jaden Schwartz, and Sebastian Wannstrom.
Defensemen (8):Taylor Chorney, Ian Cole, Mark Cundari, Cade Fairchild, Scott Ford, Brett Ponich, Brent Regner, and David Shields.
Goaltenders (2): Jake Allen and Mike McKenna
Friday's game will be shown live on the televisions inside Hooters Peoria as well as be available on CD Country 107.9 FM, SiriusXM’s NHL Network Radio, and streamed through www.rivermen.net and the TuneIn Radio app for your smartphone or tablet.
After three games on the road, the Rivermen return to Carver Arena for their home opener on Friday, Oct. 19 against the Rockford IceHogs. The first 5,000 fans in attendance will receive a magnetic schedule, courtesy of Heritage Bank. For tickets or more information call 309-676-1040 or visit www.rivermen.net.