St. John’s IceCaps alumni growing

Brendan McCarthy
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The St. John’s IceCaps are just over a year old, but depending on how wide-encompassing you want to be, the contingent of ex-IceCaps could be seen as fairly large.

Only about 10 players who could have ever been deemed St. John’s regulars have moved on, but if you count every player who played for the IceCaps in 2011-12, the number grows to 24, which would qualify as a full roster.

Here, along with their IceCaps stats, is a rundown of almost everyone who appeared in a regular-season game for St. John’s last season. You can determine for yourself who should be included in the unofficial IceCaps’ Alumni Association

Note: We did not include three players who still are under contract to the IceCaps or Winnipeg Jets: Forward Mark Scheifele (Barrie, OHL), defenceman Jake Marto (Colorado, ECHL) and goalie Chris Carrozzi (Ontario, ECHL).

Still in the AHL

D Jason DeSantis (66GP, 11-32-43 last season) — DeSantis became a free agent after his first full AHL season with St. John’s, but with so many young defenceman in the Jets’ system turning pro this fall, Winnipeg wasn’t likely to give him the two-way NHL contract he was seeking. He did get it from the Florida Panthers and is now playing for Florida’s farm team, the San Antonio Rampage.

F Riley Holzapfel (29GP, 8-7-15) — Holzapfel was sent to the Anaheim Ducks’ organization in a mid-season trade for Maxime Macenauer. He became a free agent in the off-season and signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Now playing for the AHL Pens in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

G Peter Mannino (4-5-0, 2.77 GAA) — At one time early in the 2011-12 season, Mannino could have been deemed the IceCaps’ No. 1 netminder and even got into an NHL game with Jets. But with three goalies in St. John’s, he eventually got squeezed out of the picture and was loaned to the Portland Pirates towards the end of the season. He also became a free agent and is now with the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs.

See PLAYING, page B3

Playing overseas

Across the Pond

G David Aebischer (15-12-2, 2.86 GAA) — A veteran of six NHL seasons and a former Stanley Cup winner with Colorado, Aebischer was one of the bigger names on the IceCaps after coming over from Europe to give North American hockey another shot, this time with the Jets organization. However, by season’s end, he was the backup to Eddie Pasquale. Signed with Rapperswil in his native Switzerland in the off-season. Ottawa Senators’ star Jason Spezza is his teammate during the lockout.

F Danny Dries (9GP, 1-2-3) — Dries joined the IceCaps after finishing his collegiate career at Ohio State. Recently signed with Tampere in the Finnish Elite league.

D Brett Festerling (52GP, 3-15-18) — Festerling was a solid and probably underappreciated performer for the IceCaps. He became a restricted free agent in the off-season and the Jets made him a qualifying offer. However, the B.C. native decided to sign in Germany with the DEL’s Nurmberg Ice Tigers. His twin brother, Garrett, a forward, was already playing in the DEL, where he doesn’t qualify as an import; the Festerlings’ paternal grandfather is from Germany.

D Mark Flood (11GP, 1-5-6) — Flood scored the first-ever goal in IceCaps history, but within a month after the start of the season, he was promoted to Winnipeg and never returned. After getting his foot in the NHL door by appearing in 33 games for Winnipeg and becoming a free agent in the off-season, Flood surprised some by signing to play in the KHL for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, which is re-entering the Russian-based league after the tragic 2011 plane crash which claimed all but one of the team’s players and one coach.

D Arturs Kulda (63GP. 6-14-20) — Kulda led the IceCaps with a plus-18 rating last season. Like Festerling, he had a short stint with the Jets and like Festerling, he was given a qualifying offer by Winnipeg after he became a restricted free agent. And like Festerling, chose instead to sign in Europe. The affable Latvian is with Novosibirsk Siber of the KHL, where through 20 games, he shared the team goal-scoring lead with six tallies.

F Marco Rosa (31GP, 6-21-27) — Rosa was St. John’s leading scorer when he suffered a concussion just before Christmas. He did return for the playoffs, but wasn’t able to get back to the form he had before the injury. This season, he’s with the Espoo Blues in Finland.

On the Coast

F Shawn Weller (41GP, 10-14-24) — More ex-IceCaps can be found in the ECHL than in any other league, although most of them were fringe players for St. John’s. Weller is the biggest exception. He was a popular and useful member of the ‘Caps before a deal at the AHL trade deadline that saw him sent to the Texas Stars in exchange for the rights to Ray Sawada. Weller is now with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays and is that team’s captain.

D John Negrin (14GP, 0-3-3) — Came to St. John’s after being acquired for Akim Aliu in a mid-season trade with the Calgary Flames organization. Playing with the Kalamazoo Wings this season.

F Shayne Wiebe (12GP, 0-4-4) — The former captain of the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings couldn’t find a way to earn a regular spot with the IceCaps and at Christmas, decided to leave the pro ranks and attend the University of New Brunswick, where he played for the Varsity Reds. But he’s a pro once again, having signed a contract with the AHL’s Connecticut Whale. After one game with the Whale, he was assigned to the ECHL’s Greenville Warriors.

F Josh Lunden (11GP, 0-1-1) — Lunden attended the IceCaps’ training camp earlier this month, but is back with the Las Vegas Gamblers, with whom he spent most of last season.

F Scott Zurevinski (8GP, 0-0-0) — Joined St. John’s after finishing his collegiate career at Quinnipac. Signed with Wilkes-Barre of the AHL in the off-season and is now with the Pens’ ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers.

D Kyle Bushee (8GP, 1-2-3) — Tried out with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins this fall, but was cut and is now with the ECHL’s Elmira Jackals.

F Tommy Maxwell (4GP, 0-0-0) — Maxwell actually can be seen sitting in the front row of the IceCaps’ official 2011-12 team picture, but he spent almost the entire season with the Jets/IceCaps ECHL affiliate, the Colorado Eagles. Now with the Utah Grizzlies.

F Dániel Koger (3GP, 0-0-0) — One of the few Hungarians to play pro hockey in North America. Koger played for six different teams last season. Now a teammate of Weller’s in South Carolina.

F Michael Forney (3GP, 0-0-0) — Played most of last season with ECHL Eagles, but also got into 11 AHL games with Texas after being included in the Weller-Sawada deal. Is back with Colorado, but is not under contract to the Jets or IceCaps.

F Kyle Rogers (2GP, 0-0-0) — The big (6-3, 215-pound) winger has returned to the Toledo Walleye

F Trent Daavettila (2GP, 0-0-0) — After spending most of the last four seasons with the Kalamazoo Wings, signed with the Colorado Eagles.

Still Good in Junior

F Zach O'Brien (1GP, 0-0-0 — The St. John’s native, who had the briefest of stays with the IceCaps after a 50-goal season with the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan, is back with the Titan for an overage season. He had 11 goals and 10 assists in his 14 games and has yet to pick up a single penalty minute through 140 major junior games.

Not Playing

F Garth Murray (63GP, 3-10-13) — The first-ever winner of the IceCaps’ fans’ choice award and St. John’s penalty-minute leader (112) last season, Murray retired and is currently taking an extended tour of Europe. In fact, Murray and some of his former teammates met at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport as Murray was heading overseas, and the IceCaps were returning from their season-opening road trip.

F Brock Trotter (2GP, 0-0-0) — Acquired in the AHL trade-deadline transaction that sent Mannino and Kenndal McArdle to the Portland Pirates, Trotter had a shoulder injury that kept him from playing all but a couple of regular-season games for the IceCaps, but he did have five goals and 11 points in the playoffs. He hasn’t played this season and is said to be rehabbing the troublesome shoulder, although reports say he could soon sign a deal to play in Europe. He was with Riga Dynamo of the KHL in 2010-11.

F Kenndal McArdle (35GP, 7-5-12) — The Jets retained McArdle’s NHL rights after loaning him to Portland, but didn’t make thje former first-round pick of Florida an offer after he became a free agent in the off-season. He tried out for the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals, but was released just before the start of this season.


Organizations: IceCaps, Winnipeg Jets, NHL Portland Pirates Florida Panthers Pittsburgh Penguins North American Jets organization Ottawa Senators Texas Stars Calgary Flames organization University of New Brunswick Jets/IceCaps ECHL Pearson International Airport

Geographic location: Winnipeg, Colorado, Europe Florida Wilkes-Barre Ontario Anaheim Switzerland Ohio State Germany Grand Rapids Griffins North America Toronto Portland

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Recent comments

  • dickey
    November 11, 2012 - 11:47

    One year old and you are writing an article like this. I guess you and Mr. Short can't come up with anything better to write about. What a lame Sports dept

  • beddy
    October 28, 2012 - 18:17

    Andy, many teams in the AHL have multi-affiliates with NHL clubs...hope is a good thing

  • Andy Dufresne
    October 28, 2012 - 10:06

    Why is Carrozzi on loan to the KIngs' affiliate in the ECHL? Shouldn't he be with the Jets' affiliate?

  • beddy
    October 27, 2012 - 18:55

    Any news that is non-IceCap related? Ex. Osmond at the Skate Canada in Windsor, ONT or James Melindy from Gould, NL playing for Moncton Wildcats picked to play for team QMJHL in the CHL Subway Series? Keep it local, just more local.

  • beddy
    October 27, 2012 - 16:30

    Are there any headlines that headline your sports section that isn't about the Ice Caps? Maybe a piece about James Melindy (Goulds) being selected to play with team QMJHL in the Subway Super Series versus Russia , or the Gold medal-winning performance by NFLDer Kaetlyn Osmond. Even a preview of the Senior Hockey League. People all over can get AHL/Ice Caps news from AHL.COM or the Caps website but other stories of NFLD achivements are being overlooked.