Rivermen Make Pair of SPHL Swaps, Sign Three Additional Players

November 7, 2016 - 06:25 pm

Photo Credits: Michael Ananea/Mississippi RiverKings, Jason Vorhees/The Telegraph (Macon.com)

Rivermen Make Pair of SPHL Swaps, Sign Three More

Daniels, Olivieri join Rivermen in deals with Evansville, Mississippi respectively


PEORIA, IL – The Peoria Rivermen announced a pair of trades and a trio of signings late Monday, sending defenseman Luke Eibler and forwards Geordie Wudrick and Josh Harris to the Evansville Thunderbolts in exchange for center John Daniels, and swapping veteran blueliner Joe Sova to the Mississippi RiverKings for second-year defender Donald Olivieri. Additionally, the Rivermen have signed winger Ryan Keller to a full contract after his three-game tryout expired, in addition to bringing back returners Alec Hagaman and Ben Oskroba, who had been recovering from offseason injuries, on full deals.


Daniels comes to the Rivermen after posting three goals and assisting on three others in eight games for the expansion Thunderbolts this season. Last year, as a rookie, Daniels scored 19 goals and 14 assists in 49 games for the Louisiana IceGators, adding a pair of tallies in Louisiana’s two playoff losses to Mississippi.


“We’re excited to get Johnny Daniels here with us in Peoria,” said Rivermen head coach Jean-Guy Trudel of the 23-year-old. He’s got tons of speed and quickness, and (Rivermen center) Jake Hauswirth played with him in Louisiana last year and had nothing but good things to say about him as a player on and off the ice.”


In exchange for Daniels, the Rivermen send the Thunderbolts experienced forwards Wudrick and Harris and rookie defenseman Eibler. Wudrick, who skated in his 100th professional game over the weekend, has notched a goal and two assists in seven games for Peoria this season after he notched 16 goals and assisted on eight others over 49 games for Louisiana the past two years, adding two goals and five helpers in 26 games for ECHL Missouri in 2014-15.


Harris, meanwhile, was Peoria’s leading scorer in 2014-15 with 23 goals and 25 assists in 56 regular season games. Last year, Harris suffered a preseason injury that kept him out of action until late March, when he returned to play in Peoria’s final eight games, logging a goal and two assists before playing in five playoff games. This season, Harris has posted three assists in seven games, including a pair of helpers in last Friday’s 4-1 over Pensacola.


Eibler heads to Evansville after skating in all seven games for the Rivermen this season, notching four assists to go with a +2 rating. Eibler began his pro career last season with FHL Berlin, skating in five games after he wrapped up a four-year collegiate career at Northern Michigan University and Northeastern University.


In a separate deal Monday afternoon, the Rivermen shipped veteran defenseman Joe Sova to the Mississippi RiverKings in exchange for second-year blueliner Donald Olivieri. Olivieri began his pro career last season in the Federal Hockey League with Berlin, posting six goals and nine assists in 16 games while earning a 29-game call-up to Mississippi, where he scored four goas and assisted on eight others. This season with the RiverKings, Olivieri had a goal and three assists in six games, adding four penalty minutes and a -1 rating.


Sova departs the Rivermen after registering four assists in seven contests. Before joining Peoria, Sova had skated in 290 regular-season ECHL and AHL games, posting 16 goals and assisting on 51 others, also logging six helpers in 18 ECHL postseason games.


Keller remains with the Rivermen after he posted a goal and an assist in his pro debut last Wednesday in Evansville. The Michigan State product played four seasons for the Spartans, racking up 18 goals and 21 assists in 111 games.


Hagaman and Oskroba rejoin the Rivermen after playing for Peoria in each of the last two seasons, with the former posting 27 goals and assisting on 25 others while totaling 228 penalty minutes in 102 games. Oskroba, meanwhile, has played in 112 SPHL games over parts of three seasons with the Rivermen, posting nine goals and assisting on 28 more.


The Rivermen return to action this Saturday at home when they host the Huntsville Havoc at 7:05 P.M. Saturday will be Peoria’s Military/Veteran Appreciation Night, with the Rivermen wearing specialty camo-themed jerseys to be auctioned off after the game.


Group, Season, and single-game tickets for Peoria's 35th season of professional hockey, presented by Midwest Orthopaedic Center, are on sale now at the Rivermen office, located at 201 S.W. Jefferson Street, or over the phone at (309) 676-1040. For the latest Rivermen news and notes, follow online at www.rivermen.net or through Facebook (www.facebook.com/PeoriaRivermen) - Twitter (https://twitter.com/Peoria_Rivermen)