The Tucson Roadrunners announced the signings of goalie Michael Houser, defenseman Ryan Culkin, left wing Scott Allen, and left wing Trevor Cheek on Friday. House signed to a one-way AHL contract while Culkin, Allen, and Cheek are signed to AHL-ECHL two-way contracts.
Michael Houser likely is the biggest of the four signings, having had a very successful career in the OHL with the London Knights. He helped the Knights win the OHL Championship in 2012, although they ultimately lost the Memorial Cup. His last season with the Knights he was selected as the OHL Goaltender of the Year, was selected to the OHL First All-Star Team, and was awarded the Red Tilson Trophy as the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player. Houser has spent his time after leaving the OHL bouncing around the ECHL, having played for the Cincinnati Cyclones, San Antonio Rampage, Ontario Reign, Manchester Monarchs, and the Cleveland Monsters. He has played 98 games in the ECHL and 72 games in the AHL and has a 32-26-4-2 record in the AHL with a .901 save percentage and a 2.88 goals against average.
Ryan Culkin was originally drafted 124th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames. Since the 2014-15 season, he has spent his career bouncing around between the AHL and the ECHL with the Adirondack Flames, Stockton Heat, and Adirondack Thunder. Last season was split between the Stockton Heat and Adirondack Thunder, playing 19 games in the AHL and 16 games in the ECHL, where he registered 1 goal and 11 assists.
Scott Allen was originally undrafted and initially spent most of his time in the ECHL until last season, after having played for the University of Alaska – Anchorage. His time in the ECHL was split between the Colorado Eagles, Missouri Mavericks, and Norfolk Admirals for a total of 51 games and he registered 15 goals and 19 assists. Last season, Allen played the entire year with the Bakersfield Condors, playing in 57 games and registered 8 goals and 11 assists.
Trevor Creek is the only one of the four who has previously spent time in Tucson, having spent 23 games with the Roadrunners last season as well as 35 games with the Fort Wayne Komets in the ECHL. In total, Cheek has played 169 games in the AHL since the 2013-14 season and has registered 13 goals and 23 assists with the Lake Erie Monsters, San Antonio Rampage, and, of course, the Roadrunners.
The Roadrunners have had a few departures during the offseason season and may see players like Christian Fischer, Kyle Wood, or Nick Merkley get called up for the Coyotes. While we likely won’t be seeing these players suiting up in Yotes jerseys next season, they should add a bit of strength and flexibility to the Roadrunners.