West Valley City – Utah Grizzlies head coach and General Manager Tim Branham announced Thursday that the team has agreed to terms with defensemen Derick Martin and Channing Boe along with rookie forward Dylen McKinlay for the 2013-2014 season.
Martin, 31, returns for his second tour of duty in Utah after finishing the 2011-2012 season as the Grizzlies captain. He has played 590 career regular season games as a professional, 495 of which have been in the ECHL. In addition, he has competed in 72 career playoff games, 67 of which have occurred in the ECHL. Since the start of the 2008-2009 season, only Garet Hunt of Stockton (375) has played more ECHL games than Martin’s 372. The 6-foot-2 Ontario native played in all 72 games last year with Orlando and has led his team in games played for the last three seasons.
“Derick’s character and leadership will play a key role for our team this season,” Branham said. "He has always been known as a player who is tough to play against, and that is what we are looking for. His daily preparation will be great for our young guys.”
Boe, 27, has played the last two seasons with the ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers and was part of the Las Vegas team that went to the Kelly Cup Finals in 2012. He tallied seven goals and 25 assists for 32 points in 124 games the last two seasons in Las Vegas where he ranked second among Wranglers defensemen with 124 games played. He played four seasons of college hockey at Minnesota State University-Mankato.
“I am very excited to work with Channing this season,” Branham said. "His work ethic and character is what attracted me to him. He will be a very important player on our back end.”
McKinlay, 21, joins Utah for his rookie season from the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League where he was among his team and league leaders in several categories. He had 24 goals and 44 assists for 68 points in 72 games with the Rockets last year and was fourth in the WHL with a plus-55. He was third on his team in scoring, led the Rockets in plus-minus and was tied for second in the league with six shorthanded goals. He was originally drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
“Dylen is a dynamic player,” Branham said. "He is great at both ends of the ice and is dangerous on special teams. I am looking forward to his transition as a pro player.”
The Grizzlies enter their ninth season in the ECHL and their 19th year in Utah in 2013-2014 after previously competing in the IHL and AHL from 1995-2005. They play at the Maverik Center in West Valley City, which hosted Olympic Ice Hockey during the 2002 Winter Olympics. During their history, the Grizzlies have advanced over 200 players to the NHL. The Grizzlies are owned and operated by the Elmore Sports Group, which also owns several minor league baseball teams across the western United States.
The Grizzlies open the regular season Friday, Oct. 18, against Idaho at Maverik Center at 7:05 p.m.