Peoria Rivermen head coach Jean-Guy Trudel announced today that the team has signed center Dean Yakura to an SPHL contract. Yakura attended training camp with Peoria earlier this season and appeared in a pair of exhibition games against Bloomington, scoring one goal. He is expected to be in the lineup tonight.
Yakura, 25, is in his fourth professional season. The West Vancouver, British Columbia native spent last year playing in the Asia League for the Nikko Icebucks, where he notched six goals and 12 assists for 18 points over 41 games.
Prior to last season, the 6’0, 187-pound forward spent time between the SPHL, ECHL, and the Federal Hockey League, where he tallied a combined 13 goals and 13 assists for 26 points over 60 games. Yakura made his professional debut with the Pensacola Ice Flyers (SPHL) on December 22, 2010.
In addition, Yakura played four seasons at American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts from 2006-2010. In 71 collegiate games, he registered two goals and two assists.
The Rivermen return to action Saturday night for a re-match against the Mississippi RiverKings at Carver Arena. Peoria will wear special military-style, camouflage jerseys in celebration of “Illinois Air National Guard – Salute to Veterans Night.” Those jerseys will be auctioned off live after the game. The puck drops at 7:15 p.m. and you can follow all of the action locally on CD Country 107.9 FM or online at www.cd1079.net.