ROANOKE, Va. – The Rail Yard Dawgs announced on Tuesday that forward Brendan Stanko has signed a standard player contract, while forward Justin Daly has been placed on waivers. Additionally, defenseman Sean Leonard has been placed on the 14-day injured reserve retroactive to November 11, while defenseman C.J. Valerian has been moved from the 14-day injured reserve to the 30-day injured reserve.
Stanko is in his first full season of professional hockey, returning to the FPHL’s Binghamton Black Bears this fall after signing with them at the end of his collegiate career last spring. Playing under former Dawg and current Binghamton head coach Brant Sherwood, the six-foot-one forward has been excellent this season with 12 goals, 15 assists, and a plus-19 plus/minus rating in just 14 games. Prior to joining the Black Bears, the Howell, Michigan native played five seasons at Adrian College (ACHA), helping the Bulldogs win the 2020-21 ACHA Division One National Championship. In 142 college games, Stanko notched 81 goals and 114 assists.
Daly is in his first year in pro hockey, previously suiting up in four games for the FPHL’s Blue Ridge Bobcats. The five-foot-eleven forward has tallied six goals, three assists, and six penalty minutes so far for Blue Ridge. Prior to his professional career, Daly played two seasons of junior hockey split between the NAHL’s Kenai River Brown Bears and the NA3HL’s North Iowa Bulls, and also played in part of one season for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in the 2020-2021 season. He appeared in one game last Friday night for Roanoke against Fayetteville.
Leonard is in his third season with the Dawgs, but hasn’t appeared in the past six games for Roanoke. In 46 games over parts of the past three years for the Dawgs, Leonard has three goals, 16 assists, 229 penalty minutes, and a plus-13 rating. The five-foot-ten defenseman has also spent time in the ECHL over the past two years, notching a total of 11 assists and 185 penalty minutes in 57 combined games with the Norfolk Admirals and the Jacksonville Icemen.
Valerian initially joined the Dawgs in February 2022, but hasn’t appeared in the past seven games for Roanoke and was initially placed on the IR back on November 6. In two previous seasons with the Dawgs, the six-foot-two defenseman put up eight goals, 19 assists, a plus-23 plus/minus, and 98 penalty minutes over the course of 70 regular season games. Valerian also has one assist and a plus-nine plus/minus throughout 16 career President’s Cup Playoffs appearances, and was a member of last year’s championship-winning team in Roanoke. Prior to signing with the Dawgs, Valerian played four seasons at New England College (NCAA-DIII) after transferring from Hobart College (NCAA-DIII) after one season.
The Rail Yard Dawgs will visit the Evansville Thunderbolts on Friday night, December 1 at 8:00 P.M. EST, and you can watch the game on Flo or listen in on Mixlr. Single game tickets for Opening Night and all other home games are on sale now at Berglund Center box office and online. Season tickets and other packages are on sale now through the Dawgs’ front office.
Photo Credit: Brian Collett (Leonard) // FOX40 News WICZ (Stanko)
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