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Solar Bears Announce Professional Tryout Contracts Ahead of Training Camp

Tuesday, September 26th
Solar Bears Announce Professional Tryout Contracts Ahead of Training Camp

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Orlando Solar Bears, ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, announced the following players have signed Professional Tryout (PTO) Contacts ahead of Training Camp beginning on Friday, October 6. 2023 at the Orlando Ice Den in Orlando, Florida. 

  • D Taylor Egan (Newfoundland – ECHL)
  • D Tim Faulkner (Macon – SPHL)
  • G Brandon Halverson (Bayreuth – DEL2)
  • F Lincoln Hatten (Did not play)
  • F Matthew Hobbs (Evansville – SPHL)
  • F Alex Koopmeiners (Macon – SPHL)

*Key: (2022-23 team + league)

Egan, 25, played the 2022-23 season for the Newfoundland Growlers, scoring four points (2g-2a) in 29 games. The Carp, Ont. native has appeared in 50 ECHL games since turning pro during the 2021-22 season, with Wheeling, Maine, and Newfoundland. Prior to his professional career, Egan played three seasons of college hockey at Lakehead University (USports), four seasons of major junior hockey, three in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for the Erie Otters, and one in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) for the Charlottetown Islanders, and three seasons in the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) for Kanata and Pembroke. 

Faulkner, 27, dressed for six different teams during the 2022-23 season, including four ECHL franchises. In 18 games with Greenville, Savannah, Trois-Rivieres, and Worcester, Faulkner tallied two assists and earned 25 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-4, 216-pounder defenseman also played in 34 SPHL games with Macon and Evansville, scoring 17 points (4g-13a). Prior to his professional career, Faulkner played three seasons at Aurora University (NCAA DIII) scoring 22 points (6g-16a) in 42 games. He also played three seasons of junior hockey in the United States Hockey League (Tier I) for Fargo and in the North American Hockey League (Tier II) for Springfield, Odessa, and Brookings. 

Halverson, 27, returns to Solar Bears camp on a professional tryout after spending the 2022-23 season with the Bayreuth Tigers (DEL2). In 17 games, the Traverse City, Mich. native posted a record of 6-10-0 with a 3.54 goals against average (GAA) and a .909 save percentage (SV%). The 6-foot-4, 209-pound goalkeeper was drafted by the New York Rangers in the second round, 59th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft and appeared in one NHL game for the Rangers during the 2017-18 season. In total, Halverson has appeared in 154 professional games over six seasons in the NHL, AHL, ECHL, and DEL2. Prior to his professional career, Halverson backstopped the Soo Greyhounds of the OHL for three seasons. In 112 regular season games, Halverson posted a career mark of 72-28-7 with a 2.83 GAA and a .909 SV%. During the 2014-15 season, Halverson posted the most shutouts in the entire OHL with six. One year later, Halverson was on the USA U-20 World Junior Team that took the bronze medal. 

Hatten, 23, has signed with the Evansville Thunderbolts of the SPHL for the 2023-24 season after not competing in professional hockey for the last two seasons. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound forward last suited up for the Army Black Knights (NCAA) during the 2021-22 season, scoring 13 points (4g-9a) in 22 games. Prior to his collegiate career, Hatten played three seasons for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins of the NAHL. In 121 games, the Allen, Tex. native scored 78 points (31g-47a).

Hobbs, 24, has signed with the Evansville Thunderbolts for the 2023-24 season, but will try to earn an ECHL contract with the Solar Bears. The 6-foot, 196-pound forward scored 10 points (4g-6a) and accumulated 113 penalty minutes with the Thunderbolts last season. In addition to his two SPHL seasons, Hobbs has played two ECHL games with the Newfoundland Growlers during the 2021-22 season. Prior to his professional career, the Burlington, Ont. native played in 103 Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) games and 101 Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL)

Koopmeiners, 31, enters his seventh professional season after appearing in two SPHL games last season for the Macon Mayhem and 16 games in the Swedish Division 2 league for Alfta GIF and Orsa IK, scoring 16 points (9g-7a). The 5-foot-11, 180-pound defenseman played NCAA Division III college hockey at Concordia College (2013-15) and Gustavus Adolphus College (2015-17) appearing in 72 games, scoring 13 points (5g-8a).   

Keep up to speed with the Solar Bears roster updates from players past and present on the Orlando Solar Bears Off-Season Headquarters.

SOLAR BEARS PRESEASON ROSTER as of 9/26/23:

Forwards:Tyler BirdLuke BokaJoe CarrollRyan CoxAlexandre FortinAlex FryeLincoln Hatten [PTO]Matthew Hobbs [PTO]D-Jay JeromeAlex Koopmeiners [PTO]Brayden LowAaron LuchukPatrick NewellJamie RomeTanner Schachle

Defensemen:Ben CarrollTaylor Egan [PTO]Tim Faulkner [PTO]Chris HarpurLouka HenaultKenny JohnsonJimmy MazzaChris PernaJay PowellMitchell SmithJake Stevens

Goaltenders:Drennen AthertonBrandon Halverson [PTO]

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