(photo credit: Jamie Kellner)
CHARLOTTE, NC—Charlotte Checkers head coach and general manager Jeff Daniels and senior vice president of hockey business operations Derek Wilkinson announced today that the team has agreed to terms with goaltender Bobby Goepfert and forward Mike McKenzie on two-way AHL/ECHL contracts.
Goepfert, 27, returns to North America after spending last season with Hamburg of the German Elite League (DEL). In 25 games, he posted a 8-14-0 record while leading the team in goals against average (2.99) and save percentage (.914).
The Kings Park, N.Y. native played in 13 games for the South Carolina Stingrays (ECHL) in 2008-09, going 7-2-4 with a 1.81 GAA and .937 save percentage. In 46 career ECHL games, Goepfert is 23-17-5 and has also posted a 1-1-1 record in four American Hockey League games with Hershey and Portland.
Goepfert was a Hobey Baker Award finalist for NCAA Player of the Year in 2007 and was the starting goaltender for the United States at the 2003 World Junior Hockey Championships where he led the tournament with a .937 save percentage. He was chosen by Pittsburgh in the sixth round (171st overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
McKenzie, 24, completed his fourth season at St. Lawrence University in 2009-10, scoring 14 goals and 21 assists (35 points) in 41 games. He was named assistant captain and led the team with a +9 rating. He also skated with the Albany River Rats (AHL) following the season, where he recorded one assist in three games.
In 2008-09, the Whitby, Ontario native led St. Lawrence in points with 34 (16g, 18a) and tied for the team lead with six power-play goals. As a sophomore, McKenzie ranked second in the NCAA with seven game-winning goals, setting a school record. He attended the Carolina Hurricanes’ prospect camp in 2009.
“Goepfert is a very talented goaltender we’ve seen play at the ECHL level and we are looking forward to seeing what McKenzie can do in the pros,” said Wilkinson. “Both players will add great depth to the organization.”
The Checkers’ home opener is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 15 at Time Warner Cable Arena. Season tickets for the inaugural 2010-11 AHL season are now on sale and season ticket packages start as low as $10 per game. Ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com.