This season, however, takes it to the extreme.
Since its last game in March of 2020, Charlotte has not only entered a new NHL affiliation agreement with the Florida Panthers, it added the newly-minted Seattle Kraken to the mix for the season.
Those organizational shifts have given the Checkers a new look, and with their season opener just a day away, this seems like a good time to dive into the roster and give a cheat sheet on who’s who.
Without further ado, let’s meet the Checkers!
#2 Karch Bachman24 years old | 2nd pro season | AHL contract with Charlotte
Originally picked in the fifth round by Florida in 2015, Bachman signed with Charlotte following a strong first pro season in Greenville last year that saw him rank second among team rookies with 10 goals in 32 games. The Miami University product hasn’t yet joined the Checkers on the ice just yet, however, as he is working on coming off an injury.
#9 Logan Hutsko22 years old | 1st pro season | NHL contract with Florida
Hutsko was a nearly point-per-game player over his four-year career at Boston College, racking up 101 points (41g, 60a) in 114 games while helping the Eagles capture three Hockey East regular season championships. He’ll look to carry that offensive prowess to the next level as the lone player on the roster set to make his pro debut on Saturday.
#10 Scott Wilson29 years old | 8th pro season | AHL contract with Charlotte
With nearly 200 NHL games to his name, Wilson brings a strong veteran presence to the Charlotte lineup, as well as a winning pedigree - he won a Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2017. He didn’t see a ton of action with Syracuse last season, posting three points (1g, 2a) in eight games, but notched 22 (11g, 11a) in 37 games with Rochester the year before, along with a six-game NHL stint.
#11 Cole Schwindt20 years old | 2nd pro season | NHL contract with Florida
Due to rule tweaks put in place during the shortened 2020-21 campaign, Schwindt made the rare teenage AHL debut last season, posting two points (1g, 1a) in 10 games for the Syracuse Crunch. The 2019 third-round pick was a star for Mississauga prior to turning pro, leading the Steelheads with 71 points (28g, 43a) in 57 games in 2019-20.
#12 Henry Bowlby24 years old | 2nd pro season | NHL contract with Florida
After a three-year career at Harvard where he earned multiple accolades as a top student-athlete, Bowlby made the jump to the pros last season in Syracuse. The undrafted forward lit the lamp eight times in 23 games, tying him for fourth on the team.
#14 Grigori Denisenko21 years old | 4th pro season | NHL contract with Florida
The 15th overall pick in 2018, Denisenko made the jump from the KHL last season and was a quick offensive contributor, recording nine points (5g, 4a) in 15 AHL games for Syracuse and four assists in seven NHL contests with the Panthers. The Russian forward will look to be a force up front for Charlotte as he continues his adjustment to the North American game.
#15 Ryan Lohin25 years old | 3rd pro season | AHL contract with Charlotte
Lohin was an invitee at the Kraken’s training camp and earned an AHL deal with Charlotte after his showing there. He has split his pro career between the AHL and ECHL but made a strong impact in Syracuse last season, tying for fourth on the Crunch with 15 points (7g, 8a) in 25 games.
#16 Alex True24 years old | 5th pro season | NHL contract with Seattle
The Denmark native - who was recently named to his country’s Olympic team - was Seattle selection from San Jose in the expansion draft. True has proven to be a strong scorer at this level, most recently tying for third on the Barracuda in points last season - and has logged NHL stints in each of his previous two campaigns.
#17 Max McCormick29 years old | 8th pro season | NHL contract with Seattle
McCormick is a familiar face for Checkers fans, as he spent the 2019-20 season in Charlotte. He brings a strong physical presence to the lineup while also boasting a scoring touch, evidenced by his stat line two season ago with the Checkers - 35 points (16g, 19a) in 56 games and 120 penalty minutes to go along with that, the 10th most in a single season in franchise history. McCormick has also spent a significant amount of time in the NHL, including the majority of last season, and is one of four skaters who will rotate serving as an alternate captain for the Checkers this year.
#19 Maxim Mamin26 years old | 8th pro season | NHL contract with Florida
Most of Mamin’s pro experience has come in the KHL, where he has logged 108 points (47g, 61a) in 260 games for CSKA Moscow and won a Gagarin Cup in 2019. The Russian forward made his North American debut in 2017-18, splitting the season between Springfield and Florida, then appeared in seven games for the Panthers the next season before returning to the KHL. Mamin will now look to carry his offensive success over to North America once again after tying for second on CSKA in scoring a season ago.
#20 Aleksi Heponiemi22 years old | 4th pro season | NHL contract with Florida
Heponiemi was a scoring machine in junior - posting 204 points (56g, 148a) in 129 WHL games - and in his first pro season with Karpat of Finland’s top league - leading all Liiga rookies in scoring. The Finland native made the jump to North America in 2019-20 as a part of Geordie Kinnear’s Springfield Thunderbirds, and followed that up this past season with a point-per-game output in six games for Syracuse and nine NHL contests for the Panthers. Heponiemi has clearly made an impression on Kinnear, as the forward was named an alternate captain ahead of the season opener.
#21 Zac Dalpe31 years old | 12th pro season | NHL contract with Florida
Dalpe is a familiar face for Checkers fans, spending three seasons from 2010-13 in Charlotte while ranking seventh on the franchise’s all-time scoring list and setting the rookie scoring record that still stands today. Since then he has carved out an impressive career, appearing in over 150 NHL games along with nearly 400 AHL games. Dalpe continues to be a lights-out scorer in the AHL, racking up 70 points in 78 games over the last three seasons.
#24 Carsen Twarynski23 years old | 4th pro season | NHL contract with Seattle
Twarynski is a name that may be familar to Checkers fans, as the forward has logged 107 games over his career with their division rival Lehigh Valley Phantoms, posting 38 points (18g, 20a) along the way. Twarynski, who was plucked from Philadelphia by Seattle in the expansion draft, has also made NHL appearances in each of the last two seasons.
#28 Serron Noel21 years old | 2nd pro season | NHL contract with Florida
A second-round pick by Florida in 2018, Noel turned heads at both Florida’s development and training camp this offseason and will be looking to carry that momentum into his first shot at a full pro season. The 6-foot-5 forward posted four points (1g, 3a) in eight games for Syracuse last season after starring in Oshawa and Kitchener for four OHL seasons.
#40 Luke Henman21 years old | 1st pro season | NHL contract with Seattle
Henman is another name that may sound familiar to Checkers fans, as he was on the team’s radar as a Hurricanes prospect taken in the fourth round of the 2018 draft. He ultimately didn’t sign with Carolina, however, and became the first player to ink a contract with the Kraken. The young forward was nearly a point-per-game player during his junior career in the QMJHL and captained Blainville-Boisbriand in each of the last two seasons.
#5 Connor Carrick27 years old | 9th pro season | NHL contract with Seattle
Carrick (of no relation to former Checker Trevor Carrick) is another skater who brings a wealth of experience to the Charlotte roster, boasting nearly 250 NHL to his name. The blue liner has spent the majority of his last six seasons in the NHL, including logging 11 games with New Jersey last year, and has twice been named to the AHL All-Star Game.
#6 Max Gildon22 years old | 2nd pro season | NHL contract with Florida
With the Checkers opting out of last season, Gildon was loaned to Bakersfield for his first pro campaign and turned heads with his play. The 6-foot-3 defenseman tied for seventh among all AHL blue liners in scoring and ranked third among rookie defensemen, racking up 19 points (2g, 17a) in 32 games and earning himself a spot on the AHL’s All-Rookie Team.
#22 Chase Priskie25 years old | 3rd pro season | NHL contract with Florida
Priskie returns to Charlotte after spending the majority of his rookie season with the Checkers before being traded to the Panthers organization. He tied for 11th among all AHL defensemen in scoring during that 2019-20 season and posted another strong outing as a sophomore with seven points (3g, 4a) in 15 games for Syracuse last season. A Hobey Baker Finalist in 2019, Priskie was one of the later cuts from his hometown Panthers’ training camp and has already been recalled once, though he hasn’t yet made his NHL debut.
#23 Gustav Olofsson26 years old | 8th pro season | NHL contract with Seattle
A second-round pick by Minnesota in 2013, Olofsson has posted 71 points (11g, 61a) in 203 career AHL games over his career, including racking up 12 (1g, 11a) in 24 games for Laval a season ago. The Swedish blue liner, who was named to the AHL All-Star Game in 2015-16, has also appeared in 59 NHL games for the Wild and the Canadiens, and was selected by the coaching staff to be an alternate captain this season.
#32 Lucas Carlsson24 years old | 8th pro season | NHL contract with Florida
Carlsson began his pro career in his native Sweden, spending four seasons with Brynas IF before heading over to North America. He led all Rockford defensemen in scoring in both 2018-19 and 2019-20, and was an offensive weapon for Syracuse after a midseason trade last season with nine points (2g, 7a) in 11 games for the Crunch.
#38 Cale Fleury22 years old | 4th pro season | NHL contract with Seattle
Fleury has made an impact in his young career, leading all Laval defensemen in scoring as a rookie in 2018-19 before spending the majority of the following campaign in the NHL with Montreal. He posted six assist in 22 games for the Rocket a season ago before being selected by Seattle in the expansion draft (along with his brother Haydn, who spent three seasons with the Checkers and was a member of the Calder Cup-winning squad). Fleury impressed enough during Charlotte’s training camp to be named as one of the four alternate captains for the season.
#39 Frank Hora25 years old | 5th pro season | Professional Tryout Contract with Charlotte
Currently signed to an ECHL contract with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, Hora was recently added to the Charlotte roster on a PTO. He has spent most of his pro career at the ECHL level, recording 69 points (13g, 56a) in 263 games, but has appeared in 12 AHL games as well for Cleveland and Lehigh Valley.
#31 Christopher Gibson28 years old | 9th pro season | NHL contract with Florida
Gibson brings a veteran presence to the Charlotte crease after positioning himself as the number three netminder for Florida. The Finnish goaltender has put together an impressive resume in the AHL, notching 107 wins in 210 games with a 2.60 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage. He has also made NHL appearances in three of the last four seasons, including two with the Stanley Cup-winning Lightning a season ago.
#34 Antoine Bibeau27 years old | 8th pro season | NHL contract with Seattle
Bibeau is another netminder with a wealth of AHL experience on the Charlotte roster, logging 192 games with a 2.73 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage. The Quebec-born goalie has also made four NHL appearances over his career, including two in 2019-20 for the Avalanche.
#35 Joey Daccord25 years old | 3rd pro season | NHL contract with Seattle
Another expansion draft selection, Daccord has spent time at all three levels during his tenure as a pro. He spent most of his time in the NHL last season, playing in eight games for Ottawa, while his first full pro season was split between the ECHL and AHL, the latter of which saw him boast a 15-6-2 record with a 2.61 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage for Belleville.