Photos: Mick Neal/RPI; Peoria Rivermen
The Quad City Mallards have signed forwards Garrett Vermeersch and Johnny Rogic, the Mallards announced today.
Vermeersch, 24, was named to the All-Southern Professional Hockey League Second Team and the SPHL All-Rookie Team after shining for the Peoria Rivermen last season. Vermeersch, who played 52 games for Peoria, finished last year tied for second in the SPHL in points (57), tied for fourth in goals (27), tied for fifth in power play goals (9) and tied for tenth in assists (30) and plus/minus rating (+18). The 6’ 0”, 180-pound Macomb, Michigan, native also played four games in the ECHL last season. Vermeersch picked up an assist in three games with the Fort Wayne Komets and played once for the Greenville Road Warriors.
“Vermeersch fills a need for us as a center iceman,” said Mallards coach and general manager Terry Ruskowski. “I spoke to coaches who coached against him last season and they said this guy can play. They said he can skate and shoot and that he’s a good player. He also had good numbers in college. He could be a diamond in the rough for us, a guy who was passed over last year but not this year.”
Vermeersch turned professional after four years at Northeastern University. He scored 23 times and produced 73 points over the course of his 130-game college career. Vermeersch played two seasons in the junior ranks- for the United States Hockey League’s Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and Lincoln Stars- before becoming a Husky.
Rogic, 23, scored twice and added three assists in 37 games as a senior at Renssellaer Polytechnic Institute last season.
“His numbers aren’t overwhelming scoring-wise, but watching video of him, Rogic impressed me with what he can do,” said Ruskowski. “He’s a good, fast skater; he’s good going to the net; and he’s strong in the corners. If he can do that every day, we have a kid who’s a good player nobody really knew about.”
Rogic scored ten goals and registered 21 points in 135 career collegiate games. As a freshman in 2010-11, the 6’ 0”, 190-pound Vancouver product helped the Engineers to their first NCAA tournament appearance in 16 years. Rogic was named to the ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team each of his four years at R.P.I.
Before heading east for college, Rogic spent two junior seasons closer to home with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs of the British Columbia Hockey League.
The Mallards will open their eighteenth season on home ice Friday, October 24 at 7:05 p.m. against the Rapid City Rush. 2014-15 Mallards season tickets are now on sale. Ticket packages are available to meet almost any budget. A limited edition season ticket holder Mallard jersey, 12 additional ticket vouchers per seat and free parking are among a host of exclusive benefits available to season ticket holders. For more season ticket information fans can call the Mallards’ business office at 309-277-1364. Single game seats will go on sale in September on a date to be announced.