WORCESTER, MA – In recent weeks, the Worcester Railers HC have announced the signings of their first five players in Franchise history.
Here is a breakdown of the signings made by the team.
The Worcester Railers announced the signing of Joe Fallon on June 16th. Fallon was the first signed player in franchise history.
Fallon joins the Railers entering his 10th season as a pro. Fallon was a 6th round (167th overall) draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2005 NHL draft.
He had been called up to the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2009-10 season as a backup, but did not play a game. From 2010 onwards, he made appearances for the Rockford IceHogs, Peoria Rivermen (AHL), San Antonio Rampage, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, and the Houston Aeros, and the Las Vegas Wranglers. Fallon led the Wranglers to the Kelly Cup Finals after a career-best 30-win season in 2011-12.
Last season, Fallon played in 51 games with the Dundee Stars of the EIHL, with a 20-24-6 record, a 3.37 goals against average, and a .896 save percentage.
Fallon is expected to wear number 30 for the Worcester Railers.
Fun Fact: Fallon was coached by former Worcester Sharks assistant coach during his last season with the Las Vegas Wranglers in 2012-13.
“Joe is a big mobile goaltender that has a proven track record in the ECHL and the AHL,” said Railers head coach jamie Russell. “Fallon will bring experience between the pipes and will certainly help us win hockey games in Worcester right out of the gate.”
Signed on June 26, TJ Syner brings his experience of playing in over 250 games at the professional level.
Born and Raised in nearby Springfield, Massachusetts, the 28 year old went to college at UMass Amherst where he served as a Captain during his senior year and was named to the NCAA Hockey East All-Academic Team.
Syner joined the Hershey Bears right out of college on a try-out contract and was signed to a contract for the remainder of the 2011-12 season and for the 2012-13 season.
Syner was a part of the Reading Royals’ successful 2013 Kelly Cup run, recording 21 points (9-12-21) in 22 games. He later went on to play for the Utah Grizzlies with playoff runs in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.
Syner joins the Railers after spending last season playing for the Coventry Blaze of the EIHL.
Syner is expected to wear number 17 for the Railers.
Fun Fact: Barry Almeida is Syner’s cousin. They have played on the same professional teams together.
“Almeida and Syner provide veteran leadership and character while having a knack for finding the back of the net,” said Russell. “They have both won a Kelly Cup and provide a solid foundation for the Railers offensively to build around as we continue to grow our roster.”
Almeida was also a part of the Reading Royals’ successful 2013 Kelly Cup run, recording six points (4-2-6) in 15 games. He later went on to play for the Utah Grizzlies for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, having a career best 29 goals in 2015-16.
Almeida played for the Coventry Blaze of the EIHL and HC Gardena of the Alps Hockey League (ALPSHL) last season.
Almeida is expected to wear number 19 for the Railers.
Fun Fact: Almeida scored his first professional goal in his debut against the Worcester Sharks on April 9, 2012.
Monk joins the Railers after playing four years at Providence College (2013-17), racking up 42 points in 107 games for the Friars.
In his senior year, Monk served as team captain and scored career-highs with 3 goals, 17 assists, and 20 points in 28 games. He ranked second on his team with 34 shots and six multi-point games last season.
Monk brings experience with a National Championship and four seasons of British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), playing for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, Surrey Eagles, Cowichan Valley Capitals, Westside Warriors, and West Kelowna Warriors.
As of this writing, Monk is listed as wearing number 31. During his four years at Providence College he wore 27 so this number is subject to change.
Fun Fact: Worcester Railers’ coach and general manager Jamie Russell coached both Josh Monk and Kyle McKenzie during their freshman year at Providence College.
“Josh Monk can defend, move pucks quickly and will jump into the play to join the rush. Josh is a tremendous leader that is not afraid to sacrifice his body. I look forward to his continued development in professional hockey,” said Russell.
Like Monk, McKenzie joins the Railers after spending the last four seasons with the Providence Friars.
In four seasons, he played a in total of 153 games (second most in school history) and recorded 23 assists, 159 penalty minutes, and a plus-minus rating of +31.
In his last season with the Friars, he served as an alternate captain and appeared in 38 games, racking up five assists, a team-leading 54 blocked shots, 30 penalty minutes, and a +4 rating. He was also recognized as the recipient of the Ron Wilson Award as Providence’s best defensive player.
McKenzie also brings a National Championship to the table and championship experience with winning two championships the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL. During the 2012-13 season, he played a role in the team’s sweep over the Fargo Force to win the USHL’s Clark Cup, scoring two goals, six assists, and a +23 rating in 57 regular season games.
As of this writing, McKenzie is listed as wearing number 32. During his four years at Providence College he wore 5 so this number is also subject to change.
“Kyle is a proven winner. He won a championship in juniors in the USHL and he was an NCAA champion at Providence College. Kyle is a terrific defender who has great feet and an extremely high compete level. From day one in the NCAA ranks, he was matched against opponent’s top lines,” said Russell.
Fun Fact: Kyle McKenzie has three championships under his belt, currently the highest of any player on the Worcester Railers roster.
Stick with The Sin Bin for updates on ECHL signings as they’re announced throughout the summer.
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