The Checkers added a pair of forwards to their roster Monday, signing Blake Winiecki and Mark Cooper to professional tryout contracts.

Winiecki, 26, is in his second full season of pro hockey. The Minnesota native is tied for seventh in the ECHL in goals (24) and tied for 12th in points (50), leading the Florida Everblades in both categories.

As a rookie in 2018-19, Winiecki ranked second on the Everblades with 59 points in 61 games, then led the team with 16 points in 16 postseason contests.

Prior to turning pro, he spent four years at St. Cloud State, totaling 75 points (37g, 38a) in 145 games and helping lead the Huskies to a conference championship in 2015-16.

Cooper, 27, is in his fourth full pro season and ranks fourth on South Carolina with 46 points (17g, 29a) in 55 games. Over his career Cooper has amassed 172 points (69g, 103a) in 207 ECHL games with South Carolina, Kansas City and Rapid City, including leading the Mavericks in scoring in 2017-18.

The Toronto native has also record nine points (2g, 7a) in 37 AHL games with San Antonio, Tucson and Chicago. Most recently Cooper logged 25 games with the Rampage last season, posting seven points (2g, 5a) along the way.

Prior to turning pro, Cooper totaled 91 points (45g, 46a) in 157 games over four seasons at Bowling Green and was named to his conference’s Third All-Star Team in 2015-16.

The Checkers are in the midst of a road trip currently and face off against the Hershey Bears tomorrow night.
Nicholas Niedzielski
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Director of Communications Nicholas Niedzielski joined the Checkers in the summer of 2014. A Texas native, he previously worked for the AHL's Texas Stars.