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Blues Reassign Biakabutuka to Bears; Hoelscher Loaned From Springfield to Orlando

Saturday, April 20th
Blues Reassign Biakabutuka to Bears; Hoelscher Loaned From Springfield to Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Solar Bears, ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning, have announced the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League have reassigned defenseman Jérémie Biakabutuka to the Solar Bears from the Springfield Thunderbirds of the American Hockey League (AHL). Additionally, the Thunderbirds have loaned forward Mitchell Hoelscher to the Orlando Solar Bears.

Biakabutuka, 22, has appeared in 63 games with the Solar Bears this season, scoring 18 points (4g-14a) with 31 penalty minutes and a plus-1 rating. He has appeared in four AHL games over the last two seasons with Springfield and Grand Rapids.

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. 

Hoelscher, 24, led the Solar Bears in goals, assists, and points at the time of his recall to Springfield in late February. in 52 games with the Bears during the 2023-24 season, Hoelscher scored 47 points (23g-24a), a pro career high. Hoelscher also scored five assists in 18 games with the T-Birds this season.

The Waterloo, Ontario native has appeared in 87 AHL games over three seasons for Belleville and Springfield, scoring 23 points (9g-14a).

Prior to his professional career, Hoelscher played four seasons of major junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League for the Ottawa 67's from 2016-2020, scoring 146 points (56g-90a) in 203 regular season games. Hoelscher also tallied 15 playoff points in 23 career playoff games, and was a part of the 2018-19 67's team that was the Eastern Conference Champions.

The 6-foot, 172-pound forward was originally selected by the New Jersey Devils in the sixth round, 172nd overall, in the 2018 NHL Draft.

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