ROANOKE, Va. – The Rail Yard Dawgs announced multiple transactions on Friday as the team enters Opening Night tonight, headlined by the return of defenseman C.J. Valerian.

Valerian initially joined the Dawgs in February 2022, starting his pro career by netting his first goal less than three minutes into his debut game against Knoxville. The 28-year-old was protected by Roanoke this offseason, but initially signed with the ECHL’s Kansas City Mavericks entering this year. Last season, the six-foot-two defenseman put up one of the stronger campaigns among all SPHL blue-liners, with six goals, 16 assists, a team-best plus-22 plus/minus (fourth among all SPHL defenseman), and 88 penalty minutes. Valerian went on to record one assist and a plus-five plus/minus during the 2023 President’s Cup Playoffs. As a rookie, the Gates Mills, Ohio native notched two goals and three assists in 17 regular season games and appeared in all nine of Roanoke’s games during the 2022 President’s Cup Playoffs. Prior to signing with Roanoke, Valerian played four seasons at New England College (NCAA-DIII) after transferring from Hobart College (NCAA-DIII) after one season.

Additionally, defensemen Matt O’Dea and Alex Norwinski have been placed on the 14-day injured reserve list, and will not be eligible for return until November 3 when Roanoke hosts Pensacola. To remain roster-compliant, the Dawgs have signed forward Xavier Filion on a player tryout contract (PTO), which does not count against the league maximum of 19 active players on a roster at one time.

Roanoke’s Opening Night Roster is listed below:

#14 Stephen Alvo (D)
#33 Dakota Bohn (D)
#50 Brody Claeys (G)
#38 Alex DiCarlo (F)
#7 Xavier Filion (F) (PTO)
#18 Nick Ford (F)
#16 Michael Greco (D)
#13 Mac Jansen (F)
#87 Jacob Kelly (F)
#82 Bruno Kreisz (F)
#66 Sean Leonard (D)
#48 Steven Leonard (F)
#90 Dominiks Marcinkevics (F)
#72 Owen McDade (F)
#26 Josh Nenadal (F)
#8 Alex Norwinski (D) (IR)
#15 Matt O’Dea (D) (IR)
#29 Brendan Pepe (D)
#83 Austyn Roudebush (G)
#23 CJ Stubbs (F)
#27 C.J. Valerian (D)
#10 Jordan Xavier (F)

The Rail Yard Dawgs will raise a championship banner to kick off the 2023-2024 season on Friday, October 20. 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. 

Please contact broadcaster@railyarddawgs.com with inquiries.