ROANOKE, Va. – The Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs have announced the team’s protected list for the upcoming 2022-2023 season.

The SPHL allows each team to protect 13 players who finished the previous season on their roster. Players claimed on protected lists are only able to sign tryout agreements with the SPHL team that has protected them.

“It’s nice that in an offseason without expansion, we have a lot of guys that really enjoyed their time in Roanoke, whether they’re on the protected list or not,” said Roanoke head coach Dan Bremner. “With the postseason run that we had and the awesome support in the Roanoke hockey community, the guys had a great time playing here.” 

“The overwhelming response in exit meetings was how excited this group is to pick up right where they left off this year when they return in the fall,” Bremner said.  

Six forwards made Roanoke’s protected list, headlined by alternate captain Mac Jansen. Jansen recorded the franchise’s first 60-point season (29 goals, 31 assists) on his way to making the All-SPHL Second Team, and is the all-time postseason leader in franchise history for goals, assists, and points. Nick Ford led the team in goals during the President’s Cup Playoffs with seven, and notched 28 points in 27 regular season games for Roanoke. CJ Stubbs and Brady Heppner each tallied 48 and 43 points respectively in the regular season, while Nick DeVito added 25 points in 38 games for Roanoke. Travis Broughman was a great late season addition that contributed four goals and two assists in 17 combined games between the end of the regular season and the President’s Cup Playoffs.

Roanoke will return six defensemen as well, led by Matt O’Dea, who was among the league leaders for plus/minus (plus 27) and goals by a defenseman (14 goals). Sean Leonard and Bryce Martin spent time in the ECHL last season, but both provided stability along the blue line at the end of the season upon their return to the Star City. C.J. Valerian, Jarrad Vroman, and Casey Winn were all late season pickups from the college ranks, and that trio showed plenty of promise down the stretch of the season. The Dawgs also protected goaltender Sammy Bernard, who had a 7-2-1 record with a .914 save percentage with three different teams in the SPHL last season, and won three playoff games in net for Roanoke. 

The Rail Yard Dawgs full protected list is below:

Travis Broughman
Nick DeVito
Nick Ford
Brady Heppner
Mac Jansen
CJ Stubbs

Sean Leonard
Bryce Martin
Matt O’Dea
C.J. Valerian
Jarrad Vroman
Casey Winn

Sammy Bernard

Bremner said that three more players – forward Josh Nenadal, goaltender Austyn Roudebush, and forward Chris Vella – expressed their desire to return to Roanoke when training camp begins in early October. As for Travis Armstrong, Jeff Jones, Brant Sherwood, and Gehrett Sargis, Bremner said that there are still some personal decisions to be made by those players. 

“They’ve each made a great impact on the team during their time with the Dawgs, and they’ll be contemplating their hockey futures this summer,” Bremner said. “I told all four of them that they’ll always have a home in Roanoke should they decide to return next season, so we’ll wait and see.”

The Rail Yard Dawgs will be fully operational at their offices at Berglund Center the week of May 23. Upon the opening of our Berglund Center offices, summer hours will go into effect from Monday through Thursday from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. and Friday 10:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. Merchandise pick-up and shopping will be available at this location during normal business hours both during the summer and the season, and you can contact Will and Andrew for more information about 2022-2023 season tickets.