By: Tom LaPlante | Follow me on Twitter @tlaplante7
The Maine Mariners didn’t announce a signing last Tuesday, but it’s a new week, another week closer to opening night, and we have two more signings to talk about! Today the Boston Bruins’ ECHL affiliate confirmed the signing of two rookies to the growing lineup of players in Portland: Keltie Jeri-Leon from the Seattle Thunderbirds and Devon Paliani from Ryerson University in Toronto.
Both of the new signings have Canadian Hockey League (CHL) experience. Jeri-Leon having most recently played in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Seattle Thunderbirds and Paliani played in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with three different teams before moving on to University with Ryerson in Toronto.
Keltie Jeri-Leon will be one of the youngest Mariners when they take the ice at 21-years-old, but he played 250 games, scoring 58 goals along with 52 assists, over five years with four different teams: The Tri-City Americans, Kamloops Blazers, Lethbridge Hurricanes, and Seattle where he spent two seasons and saw his best results on the ice. In 86 games with Seattle, he scored 68 points (40 goals and 28 assists) and also served as the alternate captain.
Devon Paliani played 129 games over the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons for three different OHL teams: The Sudbury Wolves, Saginaw Spirit, and Sarnia Sting. In those 129 games, Paliani scored 43 points (14 goals 29 assists) before moving to Ryerson University for the 2016-2017 season. At Ryerson, Paliani played a big role scoring 72 points (34 goals and 38 assists) over 98 games in his collegiate career that spanned 4 seasons.
Paliani’s biggest accomplishment was an overtime game-winner to clinch a playoff series for the Rams in 2020. Both of these players have definitely bounced around a bit in their Junior careers, but hopefully, these rookies will settle in with the Mariners and find some success with the club. Jeri-Leon put up over a point-per-game in his final season in Seattle, I’d love to see that kind of production in the ECHL. These signings now put the roster at 10 players with six forwards and four defensemen.
Five and a half weeks remain until the Mariners take the ice on October 22 against the Worcester Railers at the Cross Insurance Arena here in Portland. Prior to that, though, the team has announced an Open House for fans that includes the opportunity to buy ticket packages and paint the blue lines as the arena ramps up for hockey by putting the ice back in.
This should be a really fun and unique event for both existing and prospective season ticket holders. If you’re interested in buying a full season, half-season, or 12 game, plan, or one of the 10-game “flex” plans this would be a great opportunity to check out where you want to sit (although there isn’t a bad seat in the house) and meet Beacon the Puffin, the Mariners mascot.
For fans who have already picked their seats, they will be able to pick up their tickets, bringing us one step closer to seeing the team in action again. It should be a fun winter in Portland, I highly recommend checking out the Mariners website where you can see the ticket plan options, buy merchandise, check out the roster, and more. After that, come on up for the October Open House, scope out your seats, and don’t forget to follow me on the blog and Twitter for all things Mariners. We’ll see you in October!