The Missouri Mavericks said hello to a new goalkeeper and goodbye to a “real pro” Thursday.
The team announced it had received goaltender Stephon Williams from the New York Islanders on reassignment from the American Hockey League's Bridgeport Sound Tigers and sent defenseman Tyler Elbrecht to the Manchester Monarchs.
Elbrecht’s trade to Manchester completes the future considerations portion of a trade earlier this season that brought Zach Tolkinen to Missouri.
“That was a tough one because Tyler is a real pro on and off the ice,” Mavericks coach John-Scott Dickson said. “He was going to be a veteran next season, and we talked about the possibility of completing the deal with one or two rookies who might really help us down the road, but we went with Tyler.
“And it hurts, to be honest with you. You get to know the guys, and never want to have to deal with something like this, but it’s a part of the business. It’s just a part of the business I don’t enjoy.”
Williams, 23, was 6-13-0 in 22 appearances with the Sound Tigers this season. He stopped a career-high 37 shots in a 4-0 win over Binghamton Dec. 3.
A 6-foot-3, 195-pound second-year pro out of Fairbanks, Alaska, Williams is 24-27-3 in his AHL career with a 2.80 goals-against average and .900 save percentage.
“The kid can play, and we’re happy to have him back,” Dickson said. “We have all the faith in the world in Robo (reigning ECHL Goaltender of the Year Josh Robinson), but it’s too much for one goalie.”
Williams spent seven games in Missouri as a rookie last season, and went 2-3-2 with a 2.91 goals-against average and .892 save percentage. His last win as a Maverick was Jan. 29, 2016, against Wichita, while his last appearance was Feb. 9 against South Carolina.
Williams, a fourth round pick by the Islanders in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, was a college teammate of Elbrecht at Minnesota State University-Mankato during the 2012-13 season.
Elbrecht leaves the Mavericks as the team's penalty minute leader with 121 and is in the midst of a career-best 14-point season through 47 games. He set a career high with a four-point game (1 goal, 3 assists) on Jan. 31 against Quad City.