BOISE, Idaho – Big transaction news out of the Treasure Valley today, as the Idaho Steelheads have acquired a much-needed defenseman from the Manchester Monarchs.
Idaho, who ran with five defensemen in two games against Tulsa this past week, have shored up their blue line with the addition of gritty defenseman Colton Saucerman. The Steelheads have shipped off forwards Joe Pendenza and Jack Nevins to the Monarchs, bringing Idaho’s total roster number down from 23 to 22. Forwards Mitch Moroz and Avery Peterson are still on injured reserve, and therefore do not count towards the 20-man roster Idaho needed to be at by the November 11 league deadline.
The Steelheads were beginning to feel the trickle-down effect from their NHL affiliate, the Dallas Stars, concerning injured defensemen. With Dallas calling up blue liners from the AHL’s Texas Stars, Texas needed to replace those gone, calling upon Steelheads rookie sensation Brady Norrish to join the club on November 10. Idaho had placed their own d-man Nolan Gluchowski on injured reserve effective October 27, activating him from IR on November 10 when Norrish departed. His re-activation brought the club’s official defenseman total to five.
Saucerman, 26, joins the Steelheads as a physical d-man who can facilitate on the scoring end. He has played in 126 ECHL games in three plus seasons with South Carolina and Manchester, notching 69 assists, 80 points, and 170 penalty minutes in that span. In 12 games played this year, he’s accumulated three assists, four points total, and 23 PIMs.
The Colorado Springs, Colorado native has been to the postseason three years in a row (44 games played), making the Eastern Conference Final (2015-16) and Kelly Cup Final (2016-17) in consecutive years with South Carolina. The trade also reunites Saucerman with forward Steve McParland, as the two played together with the Stingrays in 2016-17.
The forward-heavy Steelheads had some solid trade bait with Pendenza and Nevins, packaging together a proven scorer with a bruising power forward in their deal with Manchester. Pendenza, 27, was tied for fourth on the team in goal-scoring for Idaho (three), notching seven total points in eleven games played. Nevins, 25, was acquired from Greenville on March 7 last season before re-signing with the Steelheads this offseason. He compiled 11 penalty minutes in eight games played this year.
The Steelheads will host the Rapid City Rush in the first game of a six-game series, beginning Wednesday night at Centurylink Arena.