Nottingham Panthers 2022-23 Roster: Signings, Quotes & More

If there were ever any doubts about how Omar Pacha and Gary Graham would construct the Nottingham Panthers’ 2022-23 roster, they have expired. Following a miserable season at the Motorpoint Arena last time out, it’s all change in the East Midlands.

In addition to their managerial reshuffle, the Panthers have rebuilt their playing staff ahead of the upcoming season. A new duo will occupy the pipes, with a fresh tandem hired in free agency. Several old foes have also joined the squad, including former Coventry Blaze star Luke Ferrara.

Related: Luke Ferrara Signing Puts League on Notice

Also of note: Graham and Pacha have made “identity” a crucial element of their offseason dealings. There has been plenty of talk about penalty minutes and fighting in Nottingham, with a new playing style set to be implemented from puck drop of the new season.

It remains to be seen if the rebuilt Panthers have enough quality to challenge for silverware next term, but there’s no doubt a new era has arrived in Nottinghamshire.

Nottingham Panthers 2022-23 Goaltenders:

Alex Dubeau: Signed with the starter’s job in mind, Dubeau upheld a .910 save percentage through eight appearances in the German top-flight last season. He is a three-time USports University Cup champion and won the Memorial Cup with the Shawinigan Cataractes in 2011-12.

Alex Dubeau, Bellville Senators (Image: AHL)
  • Coach’s Verdict: “Alex has been a key part of championship-winning teams previously and knows the type of culture we want to try to create here in Nottingham.”
  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Catches: Left
  • Nation(s): Canada

Jack Berry: Since enduring a rocky final season in the NCAA, Berry has been on the climb. He upheld a .915 save percentage through 24 appearances in the Southern Professional Hockey League last year.

  • Coach’s Verdict: “He is young, hungry and is looking forward to backing up and working with our number one, Dubeau, this season.”
  • Age: 26
  • Height: 6’1″
  • Catches: Left
  • Nation(s): USA

Matthew Bloor and Luca Sheldon: With the Panthers opting for an all-import tandem, they have also signed Sheldon (20) and Bloor (18) to two-way contracts with the Nottingham Lions.

  • Club Statement: “The duo will get the opportunity to train with the Panthers throughout the week and will serve as back-ups to Dubeau and Berry on game days when a full complement of “non-homegrown” skaters take to the ice.”

Nottingham Panthers 2022-23 Defencemen:

New Signings:

Mike Caruso: Born in Mississauga, Caruso has the look of a top-four blueliner. The defensive defenceman has two NHL appearances with the Florida Panthers to his name but has plied his trade in Europe since 2015-16.

  • Coach’s Verdict: “His extensive resume from playing in different leagues around the world will be a huge help to the team and he will be a huge force to reckon with in front of our net.”
  • Age: 34
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Shoots: Left
  • Nation(s): Canada

Mathieu Gagnon: Is he a new signing? Ish. Gagnon suited up for the Panthers in 2017-18 and 2019-20, recording 24 points (eight goals, 16 assists) and 171 penalty minutes in 100 appearances. Feisty.

  • Coach’s Verdict: “He’s someone who can shut down other team’s top players as well as give us that sandpaper identity we need, he’s a great personality and a glue guy too.”
  • Age: 29
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Shoots: Left
  • Nation(s): Canada

Archie Hazeldine: Signed to a two-way contract with the Leeds Knights, Hazeldine registered 25 points (five goals, 20 assists) in 46 NIHL appearances last season.

Nottingham Panthers 2022-23 | Archie Hazeldine, Leeds Knights (Image: James Hardisty)
Archie Hazeldine, Leeds Knights (Image: James Hardisty)
  • Age: 18
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Shoots: Right
  • Nation(s): Great Britain

Craig Moore: I wonder if Moore travelled to Nottingham with Pacha? The former Dundee Star registered seven assists in 47 appearances last season, making him a prime candidate for bottom-pair assignments.

  • Coach’s Verdict: “Craig brings experience in this league to our defence core alongside a willingness to buy into team goals.”
  • Age: 27
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Shoots: Right
  • Nation(s): Great Britain

Kelly Summers: Joining the Panthers from German club Eispiraten Crimmitschau, Summers was picked in the seventh round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators. Pencil him in as a middle-pair defenceman.

  • Coach’s Verdict: “He has a great shot and good first pass out of the zone, he is excited to be a Panther and play a big role at our club this season.”
  • Age: 26
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Shoots: Right
  • Nation(s): Canada

Returning Player:

J.C Brassard: Following four seasons in the ECHL, Brassard joined the Panthers ahead of 2021-22 and posted 26 points (three goals, 23 assists) in 54 Elite League appearances. He’s back for more.

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Shoots: Left
  • Nation(s): USA

Nottingham Panthers 2022-23 Forwards:

New Signings:

Luke Ferrara: Snatching a player of Ferrara’s quality from the Blaze speaks for itself. He led the Elite League in scoring two seasons ago and looks to be a perfect fit in Nottingham. Potent on the powerplay and devastating at five-on-five. He’s a nice pick up.

Luke Ferrara is the first landmark signing of the Nottingham Panthers' rebuild (Image: Scott Wiggins)
Luke Ferrara is the first landmark signing of the Nottingham Panthers’ rebuild (Image: Scott Wiggins)
  • Coach’s Verdict: “Luke is a solid goal-scorer, unbelievable on the powerplay, and his one-timer is something I can’t wait to work with. He’s a guy that can be a snake in the grass for us, someone who always has a chance of scoring when the puck is on his stick in dangerous areas.”
  • Role: Left Wing
  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Shoots: Right
  • Nation(s): Great Britain

Garet Hunt: Graham and Hunt have history. They worked together as part of the KHL’s Kunlun Red Star and will be reunited in Nottingham next term. Hunt isn’t afraid of throwing his weight around, he recorded 73 penalty minutes in 18 appearances in Romania’s top-flight last season.

  • Coach’s Verdict: “He’s just a warrior, this is a guy that will probably be in the best shape of anybody in the league, he takes extremely good care of himself and as an older guy he knows he’s got to do that.”
  • Role: Left Wing
  • Age: 34
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Shoots: Left
  • Nation(s):

Andrew Johnston: If you’re going to sign Ferrara, you may as well capture one of his former teammates too. Johnston was electric for the Blaze in 2019-20, recording 50 points (21 goals, 29 assists) in 48 appearances. Chemistry.

  • Coach’s Verdict: “He’s a good face-off guy, has previous experience in this league and his high hockey IQ makes him a valuable addition in all aspects of our team strategy.”
  • Role: Centreman / Left Wing
  • Age: 31
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Shoots: Left
  • Nation(s): Canada

Craig Puffer: Following back-to-back seasons with Esbjerg Energy, Puffer will make his Elite League debut in September. He registered 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists) in 43 games last time out, with his best years yet to come.

  • Coach’s Verdict: “He’s not scared to go to the hard areas on the on the ice either and exhibits the off-ice character traits we value so much in Nottingham.”
  • Role: Left Wing
  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Shoots: Left
  • Nation(s): USA

Tanner Sorenson: Since producing 64 points (22 goals, 42 assists) in 55 ECHL appearances for the Kalamazoo Wings in 2018-19, Sorenson’s production has tailed off since. Regardless, he is a quality signing that instantly improves the Panthers’ middle-six.

  • Coach’s Verdict: “Tanner plays an honest game and is reliable in every situation, he’s also a loyal guy too having spent most of his career in Kalamazoo trying to lead that team in what is a very tough division.
  • Role: Centreman
  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Shoots: Right
  • Nation(s): USA

Adam Brady: Signed from the Manchester Storm, Brady is set to embark upon his second season in the Elite League. He amassed 60 points (25 goals, 35 assists) in 54 appearances last term and has the makings of a fan favourite at the Motorpoint Arena.

  • Coach’s Verdict: “Adam is a big playmaker with great poise & vision. He also possesses those great leadership qualities that we are looking for in our guys.”
  • Role: Centreman
  • Age: 26
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Shoots: Left
  • Nation(s): Canada

Returning Players:

Jack Hopkins: It’s so important that Hopkins, one of Team GB’s top prospects, receives meaningful ice time this season. He blasted through the NIHL at point-per-game pace last time out and is signed to a one-way deal in Nottingham for 2022-23. Ice the kid, please.

Jack Hopkins, Nottingham Panthers (Image: Nottingham Lions)
Jack Hopkins, Nottingham Panthers (Image: Nottingham Lions)
  • Role: Centreman
  • Age: 18
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Shoots: Right
  • Nation(s): Great Britain

Jordan Kelsall: Still in his early 20s, Kelsall has already built up 152 games of Elite League experience. He’s yet to find his scoring touch but will play a valuable role in Nottingham’s bottom-six.

  • Role: Centreman
  • Age: 22
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Shoots: Right
  • Nation(s): Great Britain

Matthew Myers: Nails. Myers is an Elite League veteran with 18 years of service under his belt. He registered 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) in 54 appearances last season and is back for more.

  • Coach’s Verdict: “He’s a guy that’s seen it all, won it all and can play in all situations. He is immensely respected in the game and is a true leader of men.”
  • Role: Centreman
  • Age: 37
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Shoots: Right
  • Nation(s): Great Britain

Jeremy Welsh: Panthers fans know what to expect from Welsh. One of the Elite League’s assist kings, he provided 40 helpers to his Nottingham teammates in 2021-22. Top-six deployment beckons.

  • Coach’s Verdict: “Jeremy is a high-end skilled guy and I couldn’t be happier to have him back for the new season.”
  • Role: Centreman / Left Wing
  • Age: 34
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Shoots: Left
  • Nation(s): Canada