August 16, 2017 - Jacksonville, FL – The Jacksonville IceMen have announced the signing of their second player to an IceMen ECHL contract. Buffalo, NY native defenseman Mike Ratchuk (5’-11” 190 lbs) brings ECHL, AHL and European hockey experience to the IceMen who play their inaugural season opener onyperlink Saturday, October 14, 2017 at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena against in-State rivals, the Orlando Solar Bears.
“Mike has great ability to move the puck out of our zone and get offensive plays started,” explained IceMen Vice President-Hockey Operations/Head Coach Jason Christie. “He also adds a wealth of knowledge through experience that will be helpful for the younger IceMen players.”
The 29-year-old veteran has played in 228 ECHL games with 35 goals, 119 assists (151 points) and 136 penalty minutes for Elmira, NY, Florida Everblades, Wheeling Nailers, Cincinnati Cyclones, Norfolk Admirals and Utah Grizzlies. Drafted in the second round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers, Ratchuk has also seen action in the American Hockey League (10 goals, 23 assists for 33 points and 66 penalty minutes).
“I’m excited to come to Jacksonville, start a new team and play for Coach Christie,” said Ratchuk. “He knows how to win and assemble a team that will play hard each and every night.”
After being drafted by the Flyers, Ratchuk played two seasons for Michigan State University including the 2006-07 National Champions season, where he was selected as Rookie of the Year for the Spartans.
He spent last season with the Playoff Champion Sheffield (U.K.) Steelers of the Elite Ice Hockey League, where he played in 45 games with 8 goals and 13 assists (21 points) and 16 penalty minutes.
About Jacksonville IceMen: The Jacksonville IceMen, the proud affiliate for the Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose, announced they were awarded an ECHL membership in February 2017, beginning with the 2017-18 season. The IceMen begin their 72 game season at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday, October 14 against the Orlando Solar Bears. Season tickets, partial plans, and group tickets are on sale now by calling 904-602-7825 or visiting JacksonvilleIceMen.com. Individual game tickets will go on sale in mid-September.