Hello again Tampa! I'm back to introduce you to the non-affiliated Adirondack Thunder signings. Meaning, those not coming down from Binghamton or Syracuse.
But...you may want to learn some of these names. The assumption would be that since New Jersey is the main affiliation, Binghamton would likely get the first choice. However, if the Lightning need callups from Syracuse, or heaven forbid injuries strike the Crunch, a few of these players may just get the call via a professional tryout.
Since there are a total of 16 players, I will split the introductions up by position. Today's post is about the forwards. Tomorrow, defense.
Wallin returns to the Thunder after splitting 2016-17 in two leagues and three locations: Adirondack, Rapid City (ECHL), and Peoria (SPHL). In 49 ECHL games, the Pennsylvania native scored 12 goals and assisted on 19 others, and picked up 9 points (2 goals, 7 assists) in 10 appearances with the Rivermen. After finishing up four years with UMass-Lowell, Wallin split his first pro season between the Rivermen and the Thunder, with 12 goals and 11 assists in 33 games with Peoria, then after joining Adirondack he picked up 11 points (4 goals, 7 assists) in 25 games, and one assist in 9 Kelly Cup playoff appearances. He was invited to Crunch training camp, only to be cut on Friday before the preseason schedule began.
This will be Campagna’s first full professional season, after he came to the Thunder in March upon completing his second season at St. Thomas University in Canada. The Texas native picked up 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) in 16 games with the Thunder. Before joining the college ranks, Campagna spent five seasons in Canadian juniors, with stops in Sarnia, Peterborough, Cape Breton, Shawinigan, Quebec, and Moncton.
Since turning pro following one season with the University of Manitoba following the 2012-13 season, Henry has spent his entire professional career in a ECHL Thunder uniform, spending two full years with Stockton before making the move east. Last season, the native of Winnipeg appeared in 65 games and notched career highs in goals (20), assists (34), and points (54), which ranked him second on the team. He also had a goal and three assists in six playoff games.
This will be Orszulak’s first full pro season, after joining the Thunder on an amateur tryout last season upon finishing a four year collegiate career at American International College. The native of Springfield, MA appeared in 14 games with the Thunder down the stretch, scoring three goals and picking up 4 assists. He made two playoff appearances, going scoreless.
Ward will be starting his second professional season after a successful rookie campaign with Adirondack. In 49 games, he scored 27 goals, which ranked first among all Thunder skaters, and assisted on 22 others. He also had a 8 game stint with the Albany Devils, picking up one assist. The Massachusetts native signed an amateur tryout with the Charlotte Checkers in 2016 after three years with St. Lawrence, appearing in one game and going scoreless.
Mercier will be starting his professional career in Glens Falls this season after finishing a four year collegiate career at Bowling Green State University. The Montreal native scored six times and had 13 assists during his senior season. Mercier was a consistent presence in the lineup, not missing a game during his freshman season and only missing two games overall. He is currently in Binghamton's training camp on a tryout.
Neiley is coming off a career year in 2016-17, his second full pro season. In 61 games, the Pennsylvania native scored 27 goals and assisted on 20 others for Atlanta. Neiley made his professional debut at the end of the 2014-15 season with the Providence Bruins after finishing a four year collegiate career with Dartmouth. He would split 2015-16 between the Gladiators (47 games) and Providence (6).
Harrison will be starting his first full professional season in Glens Falls. He joined the Thunder for four games at the end of last season, picking up two assists. Prior to that, the Duxbury, Massachusetts native played four years for Colgate, scoring a career high 11 goals in his senior season. He was drafted by Calgary in the sixth round of the 2013 NHL Draft prior to starting his college career. He was also invited to Binghamton's training camp.
Rodrigues will be starting his fifth professional season after spending 2016-17 with Norfolk. In 57 games he scored a career high 12 goals and added 20 assists. The Ontario native turned pro in 2014 following a four year career with SUNY Oswego, splitting time between Pensacola (SPHL) and South Carolina. Rodrigues would go back and forth between the Ice Flyers, the Stingrays, and the Greenville Road Warriors for 2 seasons before joining the Admirals in 2016. He is also the older brother of the Sabres’ Evan Rodrigues.