ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears announced the following changes to their training camp roster.
- The Orlando Solar Bears have released forward Matthew Hobbs from his professional tryout and forward Lincoln Hatten from his amateur tryout and have released defenseman Kenny Johnson, defenseman Jay Powell and forward Jamie Rome from their Standard Player Contract.
- Additionally, the National Hockey League’s St. Louis Blues have reassigned defensemen Jérémie Biakabutuka and Marc-Andre Gaudet, forward Tanner Dickinson, and goaltender Colten Ellis from the American Hockey League’s Springfield Thunderbirds to the Orlando Solar Bears. The Springfield Thunderbirds have loaned forward Mitchell Hoelscher to the Orlando Solar Bears and released defenseman Chris Harpur from his tryout, returning him to the Solar Bears.
Biakabutuka, 21, enters his first full season of professional hockey after appearing in three games during the 2022-23 season with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL following the conclusion of his major junior hockey season.
The Longueuil, Quebec native was a five-year veteran of the Quebec Major Hockey League, playing in 266 regular season games scoring 118 points (40g-78a). The 6-foot-4, 203-pound rearguard was signed by the Blues in July 2023.
Biakabutuka’s uncle, Tim, is a former NFL running back, playing six seasons for the Carolina Panthers from 1996 to 2001.
Gaudet, 19, enters his first professional campaign during the 2023-24 season. The St. Ignace, New Brunswick native is also a veteran of the QMJHL playing 169 games over four seasons, scoring 107 points (29g-78a) from the blueline.
Gaudet was selected by the Blues in the fifth round, 152nd overall, in the 2022 NHL Draft.
Dickinson, 21 is also entering his first full season as a pro, after missing the entire 2022-23 season when he sustained a broken femur. The Perrysburg, Ohio native appeared in three AHL games with the Utica Comets during the COVID-shortened 2020-21 season. Prior to his professional career, Dickinson scored 87 points (27g-60a) in 99 career OHL games with the Soo Greyhounds. He also appeared in eight United States Hockey League games with Green Bay prior to his OHL tenure.
Dickinson was selected by the Blues in the fourth round, 119th overall, in the 2020 NHL Draft.
Ellis, 23, is the eldest of the Blues reassignments to Orlando, having 67 games of professional experience in the AHL and ECHL. The 6-foot-1, 187-pound goaltender spent the 2022-23 season with the Tulsa Oilers, posting a 12-9-5 record in 27 games.
The River Denys, Nova Scotia native also played major junior hockey in the QMJHL and earned All-Rookie Team honors and the Raymond Lagacé Trophy for Defensive Rookie of the Year during the 2017-18 season. In his final junior season, Ellis led the entire QMJHL in goaltending stats with the league’s best goals against average and save percentage and was voted to the First All-Star Team.
Ellis was selected by the Blues in the third round, 93rd overall, in the 2019 NHL Draft.
Hoelscher, 23, enters his fourth professional campaign in 2023, with 69 AHL games and 31 ECHL games under his belt. In those 31 ECHL games with Atlanta and Indy, Hoelscher has 39 points (8g-31a) and averages 1.26 points per game.
Last season, the 6-foot, 176-pound forward scored 16 points (9g-7a) in 57 games with Springfield, and nine points (1g-8a) in six games with the Indy Fuel.
The Waterloo, Ontario native was originally a draft pick of the New Jersey Devils, taken in the sixth round, 172nd overall, in the 2018 NHL Draft.
Harpur, 27, was one of two Solar Bears players to appear in all 72 regular season games during the 2022-23 season, scoring 11 points (2g-9a) in his first full professional campaign.
The 6-foot-3, 201-pound defenseman earned 58 points (10g-48a) in 161 games over five seasons at Niagara University. The Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario native set the program record for most games played in school history, while captaining the roster during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 season.
Before entering the college ranks, Harpur played Junior A in the British Columbia Hockey League with the Cowichan Valley Capitals and Victoria Grizzlies, where he collected 74 points (12g-62a) in 168 combined games.
Harpur is the younger brother of New York Rangers defenseman Ben Harpur.