ECHL Notebook: Icemen Add Veteran Forward; Solar Bears Add Two from Crunch

By Mike Bonts

The Jacksonville Icemen, ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack host the Florida Everblades tonight.

Jacksonville has agreed to terms with veteran forward Kyle Blaney.

Blaney, 31, joins the Icemen after playing the past five seasons with the Kalamazoo Wings. Blaney has yet to play this season, but posted 43 points (13g, 30a) in 65 games played with the K-Wings last season. The 5-8, 180-pound forward has totaled 190 points (51g, 139a) in 279 career ECHL games from 2016-2022, all with Kalamazoo.

From 2012-2016, the Burlington, Ontario resident played three seasons at Ryerson University where he accumulated 48 points (15g, 33a).


The Orlando Solar Bears have announced that goaltender Jack LaFontaine and defenseman Tyson Feist have been loaned to the hockey club by the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League (AHL).

LaFontaine (luh-FON-tane), 24, has appeared in 11 games this season for the Solar Bears, posting a 4-5-1-1 record with a 3.34 goals-against average (GAA) and a .905 save percentage (SV%). He appeared in four games with the Crunch this season posting a 1-2-0 record with a 2.43 goals-against average and .919 save percentage.

Prior to his pro career, LaFontaine played in 96 NCAA games for the University of Michigan from 2016 to 2018 and the University of Minnesota from 2018 to 2022. During the 2021-22 season, LaFontaine was named the Mike Richter Award winner as the NCAA’s top goaltender and a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as the Nation’s top collegiate player.

Feist, 21, has appeared in eight games this season for the Solar Bears, scoring two goals and three assists. Feist scored his first professional goal on Dec. 21 at Florida and notched his first professional multi-point game two nights later in Savannah.

Prior to his professional career, the 6-foot-3, 208-pound defenseman played in 65 games last season for the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League (Major Junior), scoring 39 points on 15 goals and 24 assists, with a plus-25 rating.


The Greenville Swamp Rabbits have acquired defenseman Lord-Anthony Grissom from the Allen Americans in exchange for goaltender Chase Perry. Grissom, 26, joins the Swamp Rabbits amidst his first full professional season where he appeared in 28 games for the Americans and recorded three (3) points (2g, 1a) over that span. The 6’4″, 205-pound, Detroit, Michigan native began his professional career with the Peoria Rivermen of the SPHL, appearing in 12 games during the regular season and an additional 10 games in the postseason. Grissom recorded three (3) goals and six (6) assists in the playoffs for the Rivermen, helping the team capture the President’s Cup as league champions. Before turning professional, Grissom spent five seasons at Aurora University and captained the Spartans for his final two seasons from 2020 until 2022.

The Ontario Reign announced today that forward Nikita Pavlychev has been recalled to the American Hockey League.

Pavlychev, 25, earns his second call-up to Ontario, this season, amidst his best statistical season of his ECHL career. In 31 games, the Yaroslavl, Russia native has tallied an ECHL-leading 20 goals, accompanied by 19 assists. His 39 points have put the Swamp Rabbits centerman into fifth in the ECHL in total scoring.

In the AHL, Pavlychev has appeared in 21 games for both the Reign and the Syracuse Crunch, totaling two goals and four assists. In his previous call-up this season, he did not appear in a game with Ontario.

(Mike Bonts covers hockey for SportsDay and the Florida Sports Wire)

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