A third member of the Checkers’ defense from last season is headed to Europe.

Defenseman Bobby Raymond, who signed an AHL contract with Charlotte in January, has agreed to a one-year deal with the Iserlohn Roosters in Germany (DEL). In moving overseas, he joins former Checkers teammates Marc-Andre Gragnani, who joined a Czech-based team in the mostly Russian KHL, and Justin Krueger, who signed with a Swiss club.

Bobby Raymond
This will mark Raymond’s second stint in Europe, as the 5-foot-10, 185-pound blueliner spent one season in France following the conclusion of his collegiate career at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Since then, he had split the following three campaigns between Charlotte and Binghamton in the AHL and in Florida of the ECHL, where he played last season prior to joining the Checkers.

Last season, Raymond (27), Gragnani (26) and Krueger (26) were the three oldest defensemen on a Checkers’ unit that already seemed to be trending in a younger direction with the likes of Danny Biega, Austin Levi, Keegan Lowe and Ryan Murphy all candidates to start the upcoming season, their first full campaigns as professionals, in the AHL.

Even with the departures of those three, the parent Carolina Hurricanes still have six defensemen signed to two-way contracts for next season, with Brett Bellemore (unrestricted free agent) and Michal Jordan (restricted free agent) both candidates to re-sign. As an AHL signee, Raymond was an unrestricted free agent.

Beginning with his Checkers debut on Dec. 30, Raymond played in all 49 of Charlotte’s remaining games. During that time, he scored 22 points (6g, 16a), including four points in five playoff games that tied for third-most on the team. He finished the season on his most productive stint as an AHL player, recording 11 points in his last 13 games as a Checker.

A native of Lucknow, Ontario, Raymond made a mark in his relatively short time with Charlotte, becoming the first Checker to score game-winning goals in back-to-back games in the club’s three-year history in late January. His four playoff points tied a team record for most by a Charlotte defenseman in a single postseason.

More updates on Checkers players from last season can be found here.
Paul Branecky
Author: Paul BraneckyEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The Checkers' vice president of communications, Paul Branecky has been covering hockey in North Carolina since 2006, including five seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes.