Entering their inaugural season in the American Hockey League, the Stockton Heat announced three players signed to AHL deals. Forwards Blair Riley and Ryan Lomberg were signed to one-way AHL deals, while forward Michael Kirkpatrick was signed to a two-way AHL/ECHL deal.
Blair Riley is the lone veteran of the group, entering his sixth season as a professional. For the last two seasons, the 29-year-old Riley played for the St. John’s IceCaps under an AHL contract. In 141 games for the IceCaps, Riley scored 39 points, while adding six points in the IceCaps playoff run during the 2013-14 season. In each of the last three seasons, Riley has hit the 100+ penalty minute mark while playing for the IceCaps and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Ryan Lomberg enters his first professional season after playing for the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL last season, captaining the team to the playoffs. Lomberg led the Phantoms in penalty minutes with 146, while adding 43 points in 46 games. Prior to Youngstown, Lomberg played for the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL before spending two seasons at the University of Maine.
Michael Kirkpatrick is also entering his first professional season, joining the Heat after spending four years at St. Francis Xavier University. Kirkpatrick has an extensive resume to his name, having been a part of the Memorial Cup-winning Saint John Sea Dogs in 2010-11. In four seasons in the QMJHL, Kirkpatrick was just shy of scoring a point per game, earning 251 points in 266 games. Kirkpatrick’s point production stayed consistent in the college game as well, earning 102 points in 108 total games with the X-Men (coolest hockey nickname ever, by the way). Kirkpatrick is likely to see some time with the Adirondack Thunder of the ECHL, being on a two-way AHL contract.
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