The Rail Yard Dawgs announced on Tuesday that current assistant coach Vojtěch Žemlička has signed a player contract with the team and will be available on the active roster immediately.

Žemlička has played in 195 professional games for ten different teams over the course of five seasons. The Prague, Czech Republic native suited up in 98 SPHL games during his career, including 40 appearances for Roanoke. The left-shot defenseman recorded one goal and 11 assists during his tenure with the Dawgs, most notably a four-assist performance on January 5, 2019 in a thrilling 6-5 win over the Macon Mayhem. Last season, Žemlička won the FPHL’s Ignite Cup Championship with the Columbus River Dragons, alongside current Dawgs Mac Jansen, Matt O’Dea, Brant Sherwood and C.J. Stubbs. The five-foot-eleven blue-liner had been the assistant coach under Dan Bremner since the start of the 2021-2022 season, but now Žemlička will hang up the whistle and step back out onto the ice for the Dawgs.

“I am so excited to be back in Roanoke, and I feel honored to be given this opportunity to be part of the Rail Yard Dawgs organization in a different role,” Žemlička said in October when he was announced as the team’s assistant coach. “I know how great this organization is from playing here in the past including the great staff, best fans in the league, and community support.”

The Dawgs have three games in three days against the Fayetteville Marksmen this weekend. Puck drop for Friday’s away game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Crown Coliseum, Saturday’s game will be back in Roanoke at 7:05 p.m., and Sunday afternoon will also be at Berglund Center at 3:05 p.m. Wisler Plumbing and Air Family Four Packs, group tickets, and single game tickets for home games are on sale now, and you can listen to the games on the Haley Toyota Rail Yard Dawgs Hockey Network via Mixlr or watch it on HockeyTV.