The Hershey Bears announced their final 26-man Opening Night roster on Friday a day before they’re set to open their regular season at home against the Utica Comets.
The 2022-23 Bears will feature top Capitals prospects Hendrix Lapierre and Vincent Iorio in their first full professional seasons. They’ll be joined by several strong, veteran players including local product Sam Anas.
Per a press release from the Bears:
Forwards (15): Sam Anas, Henrik Borgstrom, Ethen Frank, Shane Gersich, Kale Kessy, Hendrix Lapierre, Beck Malenstyn, Mason Morelli, Julian Napravnik, Garrett Pilon, Henrik Rybinski, Mike Sgarbossa, Matt Strome, Riley Sutter, Mike Vecchione
Defensemen: (9): Gabriel Carlsson, Logan Day, Martin Has, Vincent Iorio, Lucas Johansen, Jake Massie, Dylan McIlrath, Bobby Nardella, Aaron Ness
Goaltenders (2): Zach Fucale, Hunter Shepard
Forward Kody Clark, defenseman Alex Alexeyev, and goaltender Clay Stevenson have been assigned to the Bears by the Washington Capitals to continue their injury rehabilitation, but cannot be officially added to Hershey’s roster until they are healthy.
And via their Twitter in graphic form:
Our Opening Night Roster is HERE! 🐻
We drop the puck on our 85th anniversary season tomorrow night!
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) October 14, 2022
The Bears also announced on Friday that defenseman Dylan McIlrath has been named the 45th captain in team history. He played in 74 games for Hershey last season, recording ten points (4g, 6a) and providing a tough presence from the blueline in his first year with the club.
McIlrath will be joined on the roster by AHL veterans Henrik Borgstrom and Lucas Johansen after the two successfully made it through the NHL waiver process after being part of the final Capitals cuts.
Other major names to look out for this season include Mike Sgarbossa, Shane Gersich, Beck Malenstyn, Garrett Pilon, Mike Vecchione, Gabriel Carlsson, Bobby Nardella, Aaron Ness, and Zach Fucale.
The Bears will kickstart their season with the return of their Home Opener Red Carpet Event before the Saturday matchup with the Comets. Festivities there will start outside the main entrance of GIANT Center at 3:30 pm with players set to hit the red carpet at 4 pm. It will also be PNC Bank Magnet Schedule giveaway night at the rink for the first 8,000 fans in attendance.
The Bears will be led by new head coach and former Capital Todd Nelson who was hired over the summer to replace new Capitals assistant Scott Allen. The team will look to bounce back from a first-round playoff exit last May.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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