CLEVELAND – In advance of a Friday road game vs. the Iowa Wild, Cleveland’s Lake Erie Monsters signed right-handed forwards Derek DeBlois and Vincent Saponari to 25-game Professional Tryout Contracts, the team announced Friday.
DeBlois participated in the Monsters’ 2015 Training Camp and appeared in two games for the Monsters this season, posting two penalty minutes and a +1 rating before joining the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays, where the second-year professional registered three goals, six points, ten penalty minutes and a +6 rating in nine appearances this season.
Saponari, a fourth-year pro, contributed one goal, four points, six penalty minutes and a +4 rating for the AHL’s Portland Pirates this season before recently signing with the ECHL’s Greenville Swamp Rabbits.
A 5’11”, 187 lb. native of Warwick, RI, DeBlois, 24, has one goal, two penalty minutes and a +2 rating to his credit in six career AHL appearances for the Monsters and Worcester Sharks spanning parts of two seasons from 2014 to 2015. In 68 ECHL career ECHL appearances for South Carolina spanning parts of two seasons from 2014 to 2015, DeBlois supplied 24 goals, 51 points, 52 penalty minutes and a +23 rating.
In 141 career NCAA appearances spanning four varsity seasons at the University of Michigan from 2010 to 2014, DeBlois scored 24 goals, 61 points, 98 penalty minutes and a +32 rating and in his lone USHL campaign, DeBlois supplied 11 goals, 33 points, 48 penalty minutes and a +17 rating in 55 appearances for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders during the 2009-10 season.
A 6’0”, 196 lb., 25 year-old native of Powder Springs, GA, Saponari was selected by the Atlanta Thrashers with the 94th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2008 NHL Draft.
In 74 career AHL appearances spanning parts of four seasons from 2012 to 2015 for the St. John’s IceCaps, Milwaukee Admirals, Hartford Wolf Pack and Portland, Saponari has 17 goals, 40 points, 20 penalty minutes and a +15 rating to his credit. In parts of three ECHL seasons from 2013 to 2015, Saponari netted 19 goals, 80 points, 20 penalty minutes and a +20 rating in 82 combined appearances for the Cincinnati Cyclones and Greenville Road Warriors.
In 150 career NCAA appearances for Boston University and Northeastern University in four collegiate seasons from 2008 to 2013, Saponari logged 34 goals, 99 points and 109 penalty minutes while helping B.U. to the 2009 NCAA Championship. In one USHL season, Saponari’s 18 goals, 64 points, 35 penalty minutes and +17 rating earned him the right to participate in the USHL All-Star Game and helped the Dubuque Fighting Saints claim the 2011 Clark Cup as USHL Playoff Champions.
Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Friday road clash vs. the Iowa Wild with full coverage underway from Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, IA at 8:00 pm on Friday on AM 1420 The Answer and the Monsters Hockey Network.
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