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Solar Bears Offseason Update: Hello, My Name Is...

Five more sign on the dotted line, including two returnees.

Fernando Medina/Orlando Solar Bears

Hello mid-September. We are getting ever closer to the start of hockey season. Let there be ice!

Since the last update, the Orlando Solar Bears have continued to add on to their 2021-22 roster, which is good with training camp slated to open in just about a month.

Two familiar faces and three new players have signed on, putting the current roster at 11 skaters (7 forwards, 4 defensemen):

-On August 23rd, rookie forward Luke Boka signed a standard ECHL contract and will be making his professional debut come October. He sat out the 2021-22 season after his first collegiate season with U Sports’ Queen’s University was canceled due to the pandemic. Before that, the Michigan native spent five seasons with Windsor in the OHL, where in 2019-20 he served as team captain and appeared in 59 games, with 17 goals and 19 assists. He helped lead the Spitfires to the 2017 Memorial Cup title.

-Two days later, Orlando picked up a Tampa native, forward Zach Remers. He will be making his North American pro debut in the fall after spending 2020-21 overseas with Kalmar HC in Sweden’s HockeyEttan. He had 8 goals and 8 assists in 37 appearances. Before turning pro, Remers played for 4 years with NCAA Division III Buffalo State of SUNYAC.

-Orlando kicked off the month of September by bringing back a familiar name to Solar Bears fans, signing forward Dylan Fitze. He will be starting his second stint with the team after sitting out the 2020-21 season. He split the 2019-20 season between Orlando and Kansas City, appearing in 37 games for the Solar Bears with 4 goals and 4 assists, and one goal in 2 games for the Mavericks.

-On Tuesday, Orlando picked up veteran defenseman Chad Duchesne. The Ontario native spent 2020-21 with Wheeling, where he had 1 goal and 2 assists in 28 games. Before that, he spent four seasons with Greenville.

-On Monday, the team brought back forward Fabrizio Ricci for a second season. Signing on in mid-February, the Toronto native appeared in 28 games for the Solar Bears, with two goals and three assists. He will be starting his third pro season in October.

Solar Bears Represent at Prospects Showcase

As Justin mentioned earlier this week, the Lightning rookies are currently participating in a prospect showcase, culminating in matchups against prospects from Nashville, Carolina, and Florida. Four players who skated for Orlando at different points the last two seasons are participating in this camp: forwards Jimmy Huntington and Alexei Lipanov, and defensemen Alex Green and Dmitri Semykin. Keep an eye on both goaltenders in camp, Hugo Alnefelt and Amir Miftakhnov, as one or possibly both may see time in a Solar Bears sweater this season.