The Reign’s roster is set, and Kellen Briggs and Martin Jones are the goalies.
Goaltender Garrett Zemlak and forward Daniel Lombardi were not on the Reign’s opening-day roster submitted to the ECHL today, giving the Reign 20 players in advance of Friday’s regular-season opener in Stockton. Zemlak was traded to the Kalamazoo Wings for future considerations, and Lombardi was released from his pro tryout.
Here’s what Karl Taylor had to say about the goalie scenario:
So yeah, about those late roster adds I mentioned earlier …
Luke Popko is one.
The New Jersey native and U.S. Under-18 National Development team product is coming off a four-year career at Boston University, where he became known as a defensive specialist. BU is one of the NCAA’s premier programs and captured the Division I championship in 2009. Four of his college teammates already have NHL experience: Matt Gilroy, Brandon Yip, Colin Wilson and Nick Bonino.
Popko’s career has been unusually well-documented. See this blurb from 2005 and this one from March.
The other is Daniel Lombardi, a diminutive winger who just completed a five-year career in the Canadian junior leagues. Splitting last season between the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves and the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques, Lombardi had six goals and 14 points in 22 games.
Both players are in camp on a tryout basis, along with Josh Newton, Gabriel Andre and Mike Thomson. They figure to have a small window of opportunity, especially once players begin arriving from the American Hockey League.
Tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin will offer a broad rundown on the first day of camp.