Each week during the offseason the Checkers PR staff will highlight news, notes and other various things to keep you in the loop.

NEWS

Checkers Sign Goalie Jamie Phillips: The Checkers fleshed out their stable of goalies by inking 25-year-old netminder Jamie Phillips to a one-year AHL deal. The former seventh-round pick has split his two pro seasons thus far between the AHL and ECHL, appearing in 16 games for both the Manitoba Moose and Jacksonville Icemen last year. The addition of Phillips gives Charlotte’s goalie corps some experience, as Phillips joins second-year pro Callum Booth and incoming rookie Jeremy Helvig in the battle for the Checkers’ number two slot behind Alex Nedeljkovic, presumably. The two odd-men-out will more than likely make up the Florida Everblades’ goaltending dup in the ECHL.

2018-19 Schedule Released: The wait is finally over as the AHL announced the entire slate of games for the upcoming 2018-19 campaign. The Checkers’ schedule is once again heavy on home games during the back half, with 12 of their final 19 contests being played at Bojangles’ Coliseum.

The promotional schedule is currently being worked on and should be announced over the coming weeks, but in the meantime you can lock in your seats with one of our flexible ticket packages now! Just call (704) 342-4423 and one of our ticket reps will get you all set up for the season.

Checkers Sign Dennis Robertson To AHL Deal: Dennis Robertson is slated to return to Charlotte for the fifth straight season, signing an AHL deal to remain with the team. The 27-year-old is tied for sixth among franchise defensemen in games played heading into this season and should continue to be a dependable depth blue liner for a Checkers squad that continues to grow younger, especially on the back end.

McKegg Signs Two-Way Deal: One of Charlotte’s most dangerous offensive weapons is back in the fold for next year as Greg McKegg inked a one-year, two-way contract with Carolina. A deadline acquisition last season, McKegg was an offensive juggernaut for the Checkers and a driving force behind the team’s run to the postseason and beyond. Now heading into a full campaign with the organization, McKegg would bring a wealth of AHL experience and scoring prowess to the Checkers while also boasting NHL experience as recently as last year with Pittsburgh if called upon by Carolina.

Wallmark Returns For Two Years: The final free agency piece fell into place on Friday as Carolina reached an agreement with restricted free agent Lucas Wallmark. The new deal is of the two-way nature this season before switching to a one-way deal in year two. Wallmark, who led Charlotte in scoring a season ago, has proven to be dominate in the AHL, boasting the highest points-per-game average among all players with at least 10 games played, and now continues to battle for a full-time NHL position. While Wallmark remains right on the cusp of the NHL, anytime spent in the AHL this season will be a huge boost for the Checkers, as the Swede will certainly stand as one of Charlotte’s biggest offensive threats night in and night out.

Prospect Spotlight: Steven Lorentz

Steven_Lorentz_71618.jpg
Taken by Carolina in the seventh round of the 2015 draft, Steven Lorentz wrapped up his OHL career with a breakout 2016-17 season before making the jump to the pros last season. With the Charlotte roster fairly stacked, Lorentz played out the majority of his rookie year in the ECHL and stood out amongst what proved to be a very good Florida Everblades team. Lorentz ranked second among team rookies with 35 points (12g, 23a) in 62 regular season games before adding another 10 (5g, 5a) during the Everblades’ run to the Kelly Cup Final. Lorentz, who appeared in three games for the Checkers last season, will have another chance at this year’s training camp to crack what is once again shaping up to be a very strong lineup, especially up front.





Whatever Happened To: Bobby Sanguinetti

Bobby_Sanguinetti_71618.jpg
In his three seasons with the Checkers, Bobby Sanguinetti established himself as a lethal scorer from the back end, setting the gold standard with the franchise’s only 50-point campaign by a defenseman in 2011-12. Following the 2012-13 season, one that saw him log a career-high 37 games at the NHL level, Sanguinetti made the jump overseas, but played just 15 games in the KHL that year before returning to North America in 2014-15.

Starring for the Utica Comets, the blue liner showed no signs of rust as he set a career high in goals to earn a spot in both the AHL All-Star Game and the year-end Second All-Star Team. Sanguinetti rode that success to a deal with the Rochester Americans the next season but couldn’t replicate those impressive numbers and headed back to Europe for the 2016-17 season.

Playing in Switzerland’s top league for the first time, Sanguinetti paced all team blue liners in scoring and led Kloten to a league championship. He then signed with Lugano this past season (playing alongside Hurricanes’ prospect Gregory Hoffman) and continued to torch opponents offensively, leading all defensemen league-wide in goals and again leading his club’s blue liners in scoring.

This offseason Lugano chose not to retain Sanguinetti, making the 30-year-old a free agent as it stands today.

Number of the Week: 13

Ethan Werek holds the franchise record for most shots on net in a single game. The forward, who spent the 2015-16 season with the Checkers, fired 13 of Charlotte’s 42 shots in a 4-3 win over the Grand Rapids Griffins on Jan. 13, 2016, scoring once. That eclipsed Jerome Samson’s previous record of 12 from the team’s inaugural 2010-11 season, and no player since Werek has recorded more than 10 since Phil Di Giuseppe in 2016-17.
Nicholas Niedzielski
Author: Nicholas NiedzielskiEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Director of Communications Nicholas Niedzielski joined the Checkers in the summer of 2014. A Texas native, he previously worked for the AHL's Texas Stars.