The North American Hockey League announced today that Wichita Falls Wildcats forward Sean McKenzie will replace Kyle Delaurell on the South Division Top Prospects Tournament roster, while Wentachee Wild forward Michael Voran will replace Nic Dowd on the West Division roster.
Both Delaurell, a forward for the Wildcats, and Dowd, a forward with the Wild, are unable to compete at the tournament due to injuries.
The 19-year-old McKenzie, a second-year forward from Howell, Mich., has four goals and five assists after 21 games this season.
Voran, an 18-year-old from Livonia, Mich., leads the wild in scoring with eight goals for 23 points in 24 games.
The second annual Top Prospects Tournament will be held January 18-20 at the Ice Cube in Ann Arbor, Mich. For more information on the event, visit NAHLTopProspects.com.
NORTH STARS, WILDCATS STRIKE DEAL: The Traverse City North Stars gave up forward Ryan Amin - along with their designation as the only team in the NAHL to have the same 25-man roster as they did at the start of the season - acquiring winger Tim Opie from the Wichita Falls Wildcats
Opie, a 5-foot-9, 160-pound winger from Troy, Mich., saw action in 24 games this season for Wichita Falls, scoring four goals and assisting on five. He had 26 minutes in penalty time and an even plus-minus rating.
Opie played with the Little Caesars’ Midget Major program in 2007-08, finishing fourth in the Midwest Elite League with 32 points in 25 games. In three seasons in the Little Caesars program, Opie had 16 goals and 31 assists in 79 regular season MWEHL contests.
His father, Tim Opie, Sr., also coached current North Stars assistant coach Chad Fournier when he played for the NAHL’s Lakeland Jets in the 1990s.
“Tim’s got tremendous offensive potential,” North Stars head coach Anthony Palumbo said. “He’ll have to fight for ice time along with everyone else, but we’re excited to get him in here.”
Amin, who longed for more ice time and an increased role, is likely to get both with the Wildcats.
“Ryan’s such an awesome kid,” Palumbo added. “When I talked about it with him, he really embraced the idea. I know he wanted more ice here, but this couldn’t have been a more amicable process.”
Amin played in 13 games, delivering a trio of assists and 15 minutes of box time.
“We wish Ryan nothing but success,” Palumbo said. “We think he’s going to see a lot more game action down there and really further his career. Now Tim gets to be a lot closer to home, and we think he has every bit as bright a future.”