Peoria Rivermen head coach Jean-Guy Trudel announced Monday that forwards Parker Stanfield (left) and Garrett Vermeersch (right) have each been called up to the ECHL for the second time this season. Vermeersch, Peoria’s leading scorer, has been loaned to the Fort Wayne Komets, while Stanfield has been signed by the Florida Everblades. In response, center Dean Yakura has been activated from the injured reserve, where he spent more than a month.
To view a full list of Peoria's transactions this season, click here.
Vermeersch, 23, appeared in all 22 games for the Rivermen this season and led the team in both goals (14) and points (27). He was named the SPHL’s Easton Player of the Week for Dec. 16-22 after producing eight points (4g, 4a) in three games against Bloomington that weekend. In addition, his 27 points was tops in the league amongst rookies, while his plus-8 rating was second-best on the Peoria roster. At the time of his call-up, Vermeersch was on a 10-game point streak (8g, 8a).
A native of Macomb, Michigan, Vermeersch was initially called up to ECHL Greenville on Dec. 10, where he played one game for the Road Warriors. The 6’0, 180-pound rookie center was returned to the Rivermen Dec. 17.
Prior to turning pro, Vermeersch spent the last four years at Northeastern University in Boston, where he recorded 23 goals and 50 assists over 130 colligate games. During his junior season in 2011-12, he tied for the team lead in goals (10) and was third overall in team scoring (24 points).
Like Vermeersch, Stanfield also skated in every game for the Rivermen this season and recorded four goals, with a team-leading 16 assists (20 points). Additionally, his 49 penalty minutes were second-most on the team.
A native of Orange County, California, Stanfield was initially called up to ECHL South Carolina on Dec. 10, where he notched points in each of his three appearances with the Stingrays (1g, 2a) before he returned to Peoria on Dec. 18.
Stanfield is currently in his third season of professional hockey. Last year, he played 33 games for ECHL Bakersfield, where he recorded six goals and seven assists following an eight-game endeavor with Poprad HK SKP in Slovakia’s top professional league. In addition, Stanfield collected 30 points (13g, 17a) in 47 games for Bakersfield during the 2011-12 season.
Yakura, 28, was initially placed on the 30-day IR with a knee injury on Nov. 11. Previously, he appeared in three games with the Rivermen and registered one point (assist), which came Nov. 9 against the Mississippi RiverKings. A native of West Vancouver, British Columbia, Yakura 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.
The Rivermen conclude their four-game road trip on New Year’s Eve with a 7:15 p.m. puck drop against the Bloomington Thunder at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum. The game can be heard locally on CD Country 107.9 FM or online at www.cd1079.net. Fans can also follow along via the live video and audio stream at www.americaonesports.com.