Photo Courtesy: Allen Picard
Monday, October 07, 2013
Boise, ID (10/7/13) - Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Brad Ralph announced Monday that the Idaho Steelheads have agreed to terms with forwards Tommy Grant and Justin Mercier. Both reported to Boise in time for the start of training camp Monday morning.
Ralph also announced that the Steelheads have invited forwards Jeremy Yablonski
and Nick Prockow to training camp along with defenseman Jay Taylor.
In Grant and Mercier (pronounced mer-SEER), Ralph has added a pair of skilled forwards with 349 games of American Hockey League experience between them. Mercier's 220 games represents the most a player has ever played with the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL. The AHL is the highest level of minor-league hockey played in North America.
Mercier, 26, scored at least 12 goals in each of his three seasons in the AHL and also spent nine games in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche during the 2009-10 season. He netted his first NHL goal on February 4, 2010, when he beat Nashville's Pekka Rinne for an Avalanche goal.
Grant, 27, had 21 points (ten goals, eleven assists) in 40 AHL games last season, splitting the campaign between the Connecticut Whale and Worcester Sharks. Grant also appeared in five games with the ECHL's San Francisco Bulls at the end of the regular season, where he had five points in five games.
Yablonski is no stranger to Steelheads fans, having done two previous stints in Idaho and living in Boise year-round with his family. As an enforcer, Yablonski has 491 penalty minutes in 113 games with the Steelheads and another 939 at the AHL level in a career that dates back to 2000. Like Mercier, Yablonski got a taste of the NHL in 2003 with the St. Louis Blues, picking up a fighting major along the way.
The 24-year-old Prockow skated in 39 games for the Bakersfield Condors last season, his first pro campaign, netting a pair of goals, one against Idaho on January 11 in Bakersfield. Taylor, who lives in Boise, was invited after attending Idaho's Free Agent Camp in September.
With Monday's announcements, here is a complete list of players in training camp with the Steelheads as of Monday:
Goaltenders (2): Josh Robinson, Pat Nagle
Defensemen (8): Colin Dueck, Connor Goggin, Dalton Reum, James Isaacs, Mike Beck, Tyler Elbrecht, Etienne Boutet, Jay Taylor
Forwards (12): Anthony Nigro, Brett Robinson, David deKastrozza, Gaelan Patterson, Grant Blakey, Justin Mercier, Tyler Gron, William Rapuzzi, Tommy Grant, Jesse Todd, Nick Prockow, Jeremy Yablonski.
Forward Mitch Wahl is expected to join camp later this week while forward Taylor Vause (Texas) and defenseman Carl Sneep (Iowa) are currently on AHL rosters.