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 on Saturday, October 14th, 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 I know is assembling a team that will play hard each and every night.”
After being drafted by the Flyers, Ratchuk played two seasons for the Michigan State University including the 2006-07 National Champions season, where was selected the 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.