By Josh Kaskinen | Image: NM Ice Wolves
The New Mexico Ice Wolves have quietly been retooling their roster over the past month. They have made several transactions, including releasing players, signing players who were recently released by other teams, and making trades. With the exception of two trades, both made with the Maryland Black Bears, the team has not announced many of these moves on their website or via social media. In fact, the team’s own smartphone app had several players who were recently released still listed on the roster for several days after the transactions were made.
It can be difficult for fans to keep track of who these new players are and where the old players went. You might find yourself at an Ice Wolves game or following along on Twitter wondering “where the heck did that kid come from?” In order to try to put all of that information in one place, here’s a quick look at each transaction made by the Ice Wolves recently.
Dylan Hadfield (D)– Hadfield appeared in five games for the Ice Wolves this season before being released on October 5. He was officially added by the Kenai River Brown Bears on October 18, and appeared in both of their games against the Minnesota Magicians this past weekend. Hadfield has yet to register a point this season.
Andrei Golikov (D)– Golikov was also let go from the Ice Wolves on October 5th. As of this writing, Golikov has not been picked up yet by another team. He was named as an alternate captain of the Ice Wolves, and he appeared in eight games, failing to record a point.
Riley Cooley (F)– Cooley was released on October 14. He appeared in eight games, while failing to pick up a point and earning a -3 rating. Cooley has not been claimed by another team as of now.
Tom Paradise (F)– One of three players released by the Ice Wolves on October 18, Tom Paradise appeared in nine games, earning a single assist in the second game against the Shreveport Mudbugs. The grandson of the “Miracle on Ice” coaching legend Herb Brooks has not been signed by another team at the time of this writing.
Joe Paradise (F)– The other half of the Paradise Twins was released from the Ice Wolves on the same day as his brother. He appeared in nine games, picked up four penalty minutes, earned a -3 rating and took 12 shots during his brief stay in New Mexico. Joe has also not been picked up yet by another team.
Shamil Khadizhalov (F)– The 6’5” tall Moscow native had two goals in his short Ice Wolves career that saw him appear in eight games. He was released on October 18 and quickly found himself on the roster of the Louisiana Drillers of the lower tier NA3HL, where he appeared in both games this weekend. He earned an assist and a game misconduct penalty for slashing on Sunday in a loss to the Atlanta Capitals. Fans will remember Khadizhalov for his game-tying goal to force overtime in the home opener against Odessa.
Peter Philippov (F)– Philippov was the first player that the Ice Wolves acquired after the season started. In 51 games with the Fresno Monsters of the Western States Hockey League last season, the Russian forward recorded 33 goals and 42 assists. He has dressed for seven games for New Mexico since the home opener, and has yet to record a point this season.
Emil Gabrielson (F)– New Mexico has made two trades this month with the Maryland Black Bears. In both trades, they gave Maryland a player development fee in exchange for a forward. The first of these trades involved the left-shooting Swede Gabrielson, who appeared in two games for the Black Bears before coming to New Mexico. A season ago, he played for the Malmö Redhawks J20 of the Swedish SuperElit, scoring 4 goals and 19 assists in 42 games played. If he can continue being a solid playmaker in North America, he should contribute nicely to New Mexico’s offense. At the time of this writing, he has scored two goals this season, one for each team.
Josh Langford (G)– Langford was added by the team on October 4th and became the third goaltender on the roster. He also became the first play in Ice Wolves history to be committed to play college hockey, even though he made that commitment to play for the University of Maine well before he got to New Mexico. Langford appeared in 42 games for the Chippewa Steel last season before playing in a single playoff game for the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede en route to their Clark Cup Championship. Langford’s strong year of junior hockey experience a season ago should be incredibly valuable for the Ice Wolves this season.
Sean Henry (D)– Henry played in 32 games last season for the Maryland Black Bears, notching three assists and 22 penalty minutes. He found himself on the Minnesota Magicians roster to start the season, where he appeared in a single game before being released on September 26. He was added by New Mexico on October 4, and has already had two assists in five games played for the Ice Wolves. He should be a key contributor on defense this season if he can stay out of the penalty box.
Philip Ekberg (F)– The most recent acquisition for the Ice Wolves was the second trade with Maryland, again for a Swedish forward. Ekberg has one assist this season over 8 games split between the Black Bears and the Ice Wolves. A year ago, he had 14 goals and 17 assists for the Connecticut Jr. Rangers of the National Collegiate Development Conference. If he can score at that pace against NAHL competition, he will be a strong addition to the Ice Wolves offense.