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 Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs

Roanoke Releases 2024-2025 Protected List

May 9, 2024 - SPHL (SPHL)
Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs News Release

ROANOKE, VA. - The Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs have announced the team's protected list for the upcoming 2024-2025 season.

The SPHL allows each team to protect 13 players who finished the previous season on their roster. Players claimed on protected lists are only able to sign tryout agreements with the SPHL team that has protected them.

"With no expansion teams entering this offseason, protected lists end up being very different," said Rail Yard Dawgs head coach Dan Bremner. "We hosted exit meetings with all of our players to see what their careers in the game look like moving forward."

Nine forwards made Roanoke's protected list, including several major producers. Core pieces like Alex DiCarlo, Nick Ford, Jacob Kelly, Dom Marcinkevics, Owen McDade, and CJ Stubbs all made the list, in addition to younger talent like Savva Smirnov and Matteo DiGiulio. Binghamton Black Bears captain Tyson Kirkby rounds out the list of forwards.

Stubbs led the team with 20 goals and 46 points this season, and ended the year as Roanoke's all-time career assists leader while ranking among the top three in every other category during his Dawgs career. Ford was leading Roanoke in points with 29 in the first 26 regular season games before departing for Poland, and ranks among the franchise's top 10 in every major statistical category. McDade was tied for fourth on the team with 39 points, and had the second-most goals on the team with 19 in his first season in Roanoke. Marcinkevics has been one of the league's fastest skaters in the last two years, and the young winger managed 17 goals and 37 points in just 42 games this year. DiCarlo had the second-highest assists total on the team with 25, and finished with 36 points on the campaign. Kelly had 18 goals in his first season in the SPHL to go along with 13 assists. Smirnov had three goals and three assists in 12 games for the Dawgs after he was called up from the FPHL, and DiGiulio had three goals in four regular season games after joining the Dawgs from Adrian College. Kirkby is still battling for the FPHL Commissioner's Cup title for Binghamton, but Roanoke held his rights after Kirkby and former Dawg Jesse Anderson filled in for three games for the Dawgs earlier this season.

Roanoke will return four defensemen as well, led by the SPHL's Defenseman of the Year Brendan Pepe. Pepe is joined by John Macdonald, Aidan Girduckis, and Troy Quinn.

Pepe was tied for the league lead among blue-liners for goals (13) and points (41), and his plus-24 rating was second-best for the Dawgs. Pepe was the first Dawg to ever win the Defenseman of the Year award. Macdonald had an excellent year, recording six goals and 16 assists in just 36 games. Girduckis and Quinn joined late in the year from the college ranks, with Girduckis tallying four assists and a plus-11 rating in 12 games and Quinn adding six assists in 13 games during the regular season.

"We have a really strong core group of players, both on and off of this protected list, that have stated their desires to play here in Roanoke," Bremner said.

Bremner still awaits some big decisions from a few of the players left off of the protected list regarding their futures as players in the sport, but some of these players have assured Bremner that they intend to return or will only play in Roanoke. The following players that ended the season with Roanoke are not on the protected list: Captain Mac Jansen, alternate captains Josh Nenadal and Matt O'Dea, goaltenders Austyn Roudebush and Tyler Roy, defensemen Stephen Alvo, Billy Roche, C.J. Valerian, and forward Tommy Munichiello. Roanoke also holds the SPHL rights to forwards Xavier Filion, Jimmy O'Kane, and Greg Smith, as well as defensemen Jesse Anderson and Dan Barry. Forward Brenden Stanko is technically not eligible to be protected after he was placed on waivers during the 2024 President's Cup Playoffs.

The Rail Yard Dawgs are open during the summer at their offices at Berglund Center from Monday through Thursday from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. and Friday 10:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. Merchandise pick-up and shopping will be available during normal business hours both during the summer and the season, and you can contact Andrew, Warren, or Cyrus for more information about 2024-2025 season tickets.

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