The Abbotsford Heat received one last preseason infusion of personnel from the Calgary Flames on Monday, as the NHL parent club reassigned four players.
Forwards Roman Horak and Blair Jones, defenceman Patrick Sieloff and goalie Reto Berra were shipped to the Heat.
The two forwards are both familiar faces to local fans. Horak, heading into his third full season as a pro, spent parts of the last two campaigns in Abbotsford. The versatile Czech got off to a terrific start in 2012-13, racking up 10 goals in his first nine games with the Heat, but his offensive production tailed off and he finished the season with 16 goals and 14 assists in 59 AHL contests. He also got into 20 NHL games with the Flames, posting two goals and five assists.
Jones was sent down to Abbotsford midway through last season, and posted three goals and four assists in 21 AHL games.
Sieloff, a second-round draft choice by the Flames in 2012, is entering his first pro campaign. The 19-year-old blueliner, known as a big open-ice hitter, notched three goals, eight assists and 85 penalty minutes in 45 games with the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires last season. He was also a member of the U.S. gold medal-winning team at the World Junior Championship.
Berra, a 6’4″ goalie from Switzerland whose rights were acquired from the St. Louis Blues in the Jay Bouwmeester trade last spring, is making his debut in North America. He was regarded as one of the top keepers in the Swiss-A league last season, posting a 3.01 goals against average and a .906 save percentage.
The moves leave the Heat with 31 players in camp, and more cuts will be coming between today and Wednesday, when the team departs for its regular season opener vs. the Lake Erie Monsters in Cleveland.