Over the past few weeks, the Rhino coaching staff has been solidifying their roster of Thorne Cup Championship hopefuls.
During the first two weeks of the year, Halen Sampson and Trey Hughes were released. In nine games with the Rhinos, Sampson had 1 goal, 2 assists and 3 penalty minutes. Hughes’s sixteen games saw 25 points. During the 2011-2012 season, Hughes posted 27 goals and 23 assists.
With the release of the two forwards, the Rhinos attempted to secure the missing pieces by signing forwards Adrian Schmidt and Krisztian Nagy and defensemen Daniil Karamushkin and Patrick Gleason.
Formerly with the Lake Tahoe Blue, Schmidt started his first thirteen games with thirteen points. After arriving in early January, Schmidt added one goal to El Paso’s sweep of the Phoenix Knights. The newest forward, Nagy has had extensive playing time in his home country, Hungary. Before returning to Hungary’s U20 team, Krisztian played 18 games with the NAHL Minot Minotauros at the start of the current season.
For his first eleven games of the season, defenseman Daniil Karamushkin played in Russia. A rough start saw no goals and -4 rating, but a pairing in El Paso will, expectantly, produce better results for Karamushkin.
The second defenseman has already been introduced to the El Paso playing style as he made the trip to Phoenix last weekend. A former Powassan Eagle, Gleason Describes himself as an aggressive defenseman that prefers simple hockey. Patrick’s cousin, Tim, a defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs, was the spur behind Patrick’s hockey career.
After starting this season in Powassan, Gleason also played for the Lake Tahoe Blue and the Sturgeon Falls Lumberjacks before he made his way to El Paso. Since the 2012-2013 season, Gleason has had 11 points.
With new players and a re-energized team, the Rhinos take on the Dallas Ice Jets in Dallas this coming weekend, January 24-26.