MACON, Ga. – Everything will be new in Danville, Ill. this fall when the expansion Vermilion County Bobcats take the ice. That’ll include the roster, and a possible look at who some of those players may be was revealed Wednesday with the release of the team’s selections from the SPHL expansion draft.
The available players were comprised of players of which were left off respective protected lists by each team in the league.
All told, Vermilion County claimed two defensemen, a goalie, and seven forwards. Of those forwards, three are officially listed as centers, although by nature, forward positions tend to be interchangeable.
The most attention-grabbing name on the list is among the forwards by way of Jason Tackett. Playing with Macon this past season, he was one of the top rookie scorers with 32 points (10 goals, 22 assists), and that came after joining the Mayhem 15 games into the season. If he’s part of the Bobcats roster on opening night, he’ll provide an instant scoring threat.
Another forward en route is Marcel Godbout. In nine games this past season, he had four points. Another winger is Anthony Collins coming off of a solid 11 points in 22 games with Birmingham. He’ll be joined by the final player listed at the wing position, Brendan van Riemsdyk. Like Collins, he’ll come to the Bobcats with his new team hoping that his per capita performance leads to big things. In 16 games with Knoxville, he had 11 points.
Other front-liners for the Bobcats on their list of expansion draftees include a trio of centers, all of which did not play for their respective teams this past year due to their clubs opting out. Tim Kielich scored seven goals and had 14 assists for Fayetteville in 2019-20. Zach White, left unprotected by Peoria, netted 13 points in 17 games for Carolina in the FPHL this past year while Joe Molinaro, left unprotected by Roanoke, comes aboard with his most recent action being 14 points in 24 games as a senior at SUNY-Oswego, just before the Railyard Dawgs signed him before play was suspended in 2020.
Nathan Bruyere was invited to Evansville’s training camp in 2019-20 and should have the same opportunity with the Bobcats. In 2018-19, he had 26 points in 46 games, and Vermilion County is expected to bank off that two-way effort playing dividends. The other defenseman on the list for the Bobcats is Kyle Rhodes from Huntsville. He is coming off of a plus-five plus-minus rating, 27 penalty minutes, and ten points in 21 games this past year for Huntsville.
Thomas Proudlock, invited to Quad City’s training camp in 2019-20, is aboard the list as a goalie. He also raked in collegiate accolades the same year, gaining ACHA first-team honors with UM-Dearborn as he went 19-5-3 with a 2.07 GAA.