Worcester, MA — After over a year of getting settled, the Worcester Railers are gearing up for their first season in the ECHL. Head coach Jamie Russell has been busy, signing players every week since June 16.
Here’s a breakdown of the Railers’ signings to date and a preview of what’s to come in October.
Goaltender Joe Fallon – June 16, 2017
The veteran goaltender was the first to sign with the Railers and comes aboard after nine professional seasons. Fallon recently played overseas for the Dundee Stars of the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL). He has previously played for a variety of teams in the ECHL and AHL, including the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Houston Aeros. Coming off a career season with the now defunct Las Vegas Wranglers in 2012, Fallon led his team to the Kelly Cup Finals, coming a few games short in winning the ECHL’s Kelly Cup Championship.
Forwards Barry Almeida & TJ Syner – June 26, 2017
On June 26, the Railers announced the signings of forwards Barry Almeida and TJ Syner. The two are natives of Springfield and are cousins. The pair have played for nearly identical teams since going pro in 2012, and were a part of the Reading Royals’ Championship team in 2013. When we spoke to them over the summer, they were excited to be a part of the Railers’ first season. The proximity to home played a big role on their decision to play in Worcester, citing that it would be the first time their families could regularly attend their games since going pro.
Defensemen Kyle McKenzie & Josh Monk – July 7, 2017
During the next week, the Railers had signed defensemen Kyle McKenzie and Josh Monk. Both skated for the Friars under Jamie Russell during the 2013-14 season. They continued to skate for Providence until graduating this past Spring, and made significant contributions to the team’s 2015 NCAA Championship. Both players are will make their pro debuts in a Railers uniform next season.
Forward Ashton Rome – July 13, 2017
The Railers announced Ashton Rome would return to Worcester on July 13. Rome returns to Worcester after playing for the Manchester Monarchs last season, recording nine goals in 19 playoff games, leading the team to the Eastern Conference Final. A familiar face to Worcester, he was a part of the Sharks’ inaugural season and for two seasons afterward before going on to play for Toronto, Hershey, and Portland. Rome brings championship experience, as a member of the Hershey Bears’ Calder Cup Championship team he scored five points in 10 playoff games. Rome spoke with us earlier this summer, he is stoked to be back in Worcester and can’t wait to bring a championship to Worcester.
Forward Woody Hudson & Defenseman Ben Masella – July 27, 2017
A week later, a pair of St. Lawrence University Standouts were signed for next season.
Forward Woody Hudson joins after spending his entire college career with St. Lawrence, playing in 140 games and tallying 16 goals, 19 assists, and 109 penalty minutes. Last season, he made his professional debut for the Indy Fuel (ECHL), scoring one goal, two assists, and seven penalty minutes. Hudson previously attended rookie camps for the New York Islanders and Chicago Blackhawks in 2015 and 2016.
Defenseman Ben Masella also played for St. Lawrence University for four years, where he played in 99 games, racking up four goals, 24 assists, 79 penalty minutes, and a +15 rating. He joined the Adirondack Thunder (ECHL) last season, appearing in three games.
Defenseman Willie Raskob – August 4, 2017
Continuing into August, the Railers added defenseman Willie Raskob. Raskob joins the Railers coming off a successful championship run with the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) Bulldogs last season. Spending four seasons with the Bulldogs, Raskob played in 148 games, scoring 10 goals, 49 assists, 124 penalty minutes, and a +20 rating. The Minnesota native played in 41 games last season and played a crucial role, scoring 3 points in the team’s 4-2 victory over North Dakota.
Defenseman Frankie DiCharia – August 10, 2017
On August 10, Railers added defenseman Frankie DiCharia, a 23-year old from Ronkonkoma, NY, who spent the last four seasons at Yale University. In 127 games played, he amassed 72 points, tallying 30 goals and 42 assists for the Bulldogs. During his senior year, he was awarded the John Poiner award, given to the best defensive player on the Yale hockey team.
Forward Nick Saracino – August 17, 2017
The next week, the Railers signed Nick Saracino. Saracino joins the Worcester Railers HC after spending the last season with the AHL’s Iowa Wild, where he played in 33 games, recording two goals, four assists, and six penalty minutes before his season was cut short due to injury. If all goes well and regains his confidence, Saracino will be capable of putting of putting the Railers on the board.
Forward Chris Langkow – August 24, 2017
The Railers announced the signing of Chris Langkow on August 24. The veteran forward comes aboard with six seasons of ECHL experience, which includes a Kelly Cup Championship with the Alaska Aces in 2011. Langkow had also played for the Railers current AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers during the 2011 and 2012 seasons, and played eight games for the Peoria Rivermen in 2011. Langkow brings veteran experience that will shape the Railers’ roster, bringing a positive influence to the many rookies making their debut this season.
Forward Wade Murphy – August 31, 2017
With his signing last week, Wade Murphy is the latest addition to the Railers roster. Murphy joins after spending two years with the University of North Dakota and another two years at Arizona State University. The 23-year old made his pro debut last season for the Manchester Monarchs, scoring two goals, four assists, and serving 15 penalty minutes in 14 games. Murphy will be given an opportunity to prove himself as a pro with the Railers.
If the trend of signing players every week continues, we can expect the Worcester Railers to announce another signing Thursday, Sept. 7 at 11 AM. More signings and assignments from the New York Islanders in the coming weeks. Russell expects training camp to begin on Oct. 2, with a majority of the roster spots being filled. The Opening Night roster will be finalized and announced on Oct. 7.