GLENS FALLS, NY – As the player announcements continue to roll in, the Adirondack Thunder look more and more like a playoff contender — on paper. With the latest signing, a highly productive line has been reunited, and it could mean big things for the Thunder.
In late June, the Thunder announced the signings of forwards Matt Salhany and Mike Szmatula, numbers one and two in point production for Adirondack this past season. On Thursday, head coach Alex Loh announced the signing of forward John Edwardh, who had seen time on a line with Salhany and Szmatula in the past.
Edwardh originally came to the Thunder in 2018 following his collegiate career at UMass-Lowell. He signed an AHL deal with the Binghamton Devils that summer, but spent much of the 2018-19 season with Adirondack. In 54 games, he amassed 59 points, good for second in team scoring. He remained with Adirondack through the playoffs, picking up another six points in his five games played.
Edwardh, Smzatula, and Salhany spent a decent chunk of the 2018-19 season on a line together. The trio combined for 149 points in the regular season and 11 in the postseason.
Edwardh signed with the Florida Everblades in the offseason, but was traded to the Cincinnati Cyclones prior to opening night. He returned to Adirondack in January following a three-team trade involving himself, Gabriel Verpaelst, Alex Tonge, Philippe Hudon, and Alex Jaeckle. Edwardh picked up 43 points in 2019-20, 22 with the Cyclones and 21 with the Thunder.
Once Edwardh returned to Adirondack, the line was reunited.
Szmatula: “When we saw we were getting him back, me and Sal (Salhany) were both pumped. It’s like he (Edwardh) never left. We’ve got chemistry together and love playing together.”
Salhany: “We had a good stretch last year, us three together. So getting him back, it took us a game or two, but the chemistry was right back to where it was last year.”
Judging from Loh’s comments during the Facebook Live announcement of the signing Thursday, the trio will likely be back on a line together this upcoming season.
Loh: “Him (Edwardh), with Mike Szmatula and Matt Salhany, has been a great trio, so to get all those guys back and under contract for next season is great. We’re excited to get those three guys back together. I know that they had a lot of chemistry both in the first season with him and then to get them back together last year and again for the upcoming season. A great trio that can really score goals, really generates a lot of offense for us.”
With those three reunited once again, Thunder fans can expect to see a ton of offense from them again.
The Thunder currently have ten players announced for the 2020-21 season. Also signed are forwards Alex Carrier, Ryan Walker, and Ara Nazarian; defensemen Charlie Curti, Steven Ruggiero, and Blake Thompson; and goaltender Alex Sakellaropoulos.
Ruggiero is the lone newcomer to the Thunder roster.
Sakellaropoulos had played for Adirondack in 2018-19, but split last season between the Norfolk Admirals and Rapid City Rush.
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