Goalie Cal Heeter assigned to Solar Bears

Orlando also acquires Zach Stepan from Kansas City

The Orlando Solar Bears have been assigned goaltender Cal Heeter from the Toronto Marlies.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears have announced that goaltender Cal Heeter has been assigned to the Solar Bears by the Toronto Marlies, Orlando’s American Hockey League affiliate. Orlando has also acquired forward Zach Stepan from the Kansas City Mavericks in exchange for future considerations, and has released goaltender Jesse Jenks from his tryout with the club.

Heeter, 28, is in his sixth season of professional hockey, after splitting last season with the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye and AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins, where the 6-foot-4, 195-pound puck-stopper finished the campaign as part of Grand Rapids’ Calder Cup-winning playoff roster. During the regular season, Heeter compiled a 14-2-1 record in 17 appearances with Toledo, along with a 2.99 goals-against average, a .897 save percentage and one shutout; in 12 appearances with Grand Rapids, Heeter sported a 10-2-0 record with a 2.07 goals-against average, a .933 save percentage and one shutout.

Throughout his professional career, Heeter has manned the pipes in the NHL, Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, Germany’s DEL, the AHL and ECHL, possessing a 78-68-12 record, a 2.79 goals-against average, a .908 save percentage and six shutouts in 171 pro appearances. Heeter also was part of Team USA’s roster at the 2013 IIHF World Championship, which earned a bronze medal finish.

Prior to turning pro, the St. Louis, Mo. native tended goal at Ohio State University, where he appeared in 94 games for the Buckeyes, going 38-36-11 with a 2.58 goals-against average, a .914 save percentage and five shutouts.

Stepan, 23, will play his first season of pro hockey with Orlando after skating for the last four seasons for Minnesota State University – Mankato, where he amassed 59 points (24g-35a) and 75 penalty minutes in 136 career games. The 6-foot-0, 175-pound forward also played one season of junior hockey with the USHL’s Waterloo Black Hawks in 2012-13, where he finished third in team scoring with 76 points (32g-46a) and 50 penalty minutes in 56 games. Stepan was a fourth-round selection (#112 overall) of the Nashville Predators in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, and is the cousin of Arizona Coyotes forward Derek Stepan.

Orlando’s training camp roster now consists of 17 players who had agreed to terms on an ECHL contract and eight on assignment from the Marlies.

2017 Orlando Solar Bears Training Camp Roster:

FORWARDS: Darryl Bootland, Chris Crane, Troy Crema, Jean Dupuy (TOA), Kenton Helgesen, Chris LeBlanc, Max Novak (TOA), Joe Perry, J.J. Piccinich (TOA), Kristian Pospisil (TOA), Kyle Rankin, Todd Skirving, Zach Stepan, Michael Turner, Mike Vaskivuo

DEFENSEMEN: MacKenzie Braid, Matias Cleland (TOA), Alex Gudbranson (TOA), Jeff King (TOA), Mike Monfredo, Adam Phillips, Nolan Valleau, Sean Zimmerman

GOALTENDERS: Matt Hackett, Cal Heeter (TOA)

(T = Try-Out Agreement)
(TOA = AHL contract assigned by Toronto Marlies)

Fans and media are invited to attend all on-ice practice sessions at the RDV Sportsplex Ice Den, which are open to the public. Flash photography and unauthorized video recording of Orlando Solar Bears practice sessions is not permitted. The RDV Sportsplex Ice Den is located at 8701 Maitland Summit Blvd., Orlando, FL 32810.

2017-18 Orlando Solar Bears Training Camp Schedule (all dates/times subject to change):
Wednesday, Oct. 11 – Practice (10-11:30 a.m.)
Thursday, Oct. 12 – Practice (10-11:30 a.m.)

Members of the media who wish to arrange interviews with Solar Bears players, coaches and team personnel should contact Solar Bears director of communications & broadcasting Jesse Liebman at jliebman@orlandosolarbearshockey.com.

The Orlando Solar Bears drop the puck on their 2017-18 home schedule on Saturday, Oct. 28 against the Atlanta Gladiators at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center. Single-game tickets for the 2017-18 season are now on sale at the Amway Center box office and ticketmaster.com at 10 a.m.

The Orlando Solar Bears are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and AHL’s Toronto Marlies, and play all of their home games at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center, the 2012 Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal Sports Facility of the Year.

Full Season Ticket Memberships for the 2017-18 season are on sale now. Purchase an Orlando Solar Bears Full Season Ticket Membership for as little as $440 today! Click here or call (407) 951-8200 for more information.

Officially licensed Orlando Solar Bears replica team jerseys, apparel, and headwear can be purchased online at orlandosolarbearshockey.com/shop.