Kansas City Mavericks coach John-Scott Dickson was feeling good Tuesday afternoon.
That’s because his ECHL team, which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this season, announced the signing of linemates Corey Durocher and Jared VanWormer for the 2018-19 season.
Durocher and VanWormer helped form a second line that carried the Mavericks toward the end of the season, combining for 37 points over the team’s final 22 games.
“Our offense got so much better when we brought in Durocher, and VanWormer is just a solid player,” Dickson said. “They were on the same line last year, they are familiar with each other and we look for big things from them. I hope our fans are as excited about this announcement as I am.”
Durocher, 26, was acquired in a future considerations deal with the Idaho Steelheads on Feb. 12. He wasted no time in making an impact for the Mavericks, scoring a goal in his first game with Kansas City.
The 6-foot-3, 194-pound, left-handed forward was a sixth-round pick by the Florida Panthers in the 2010 NHL Draft. He will be playing his second professional season. Last year he totaled 10 goals and 14 assists while splitting time between Kansas City (21 games – 6 goals, 8 assists), Idaho (19 games – 2 goals, 6 assists) and Brampton (10 games – 2 goals).
The Ottawa, Ontario, native played collegiately at Carleton University in Canada and totaled 83 points (34 goals, 49 assists) in four seasons.
“I’m very excited to be back in Kansas City and with the Mavericks,” Durocher said. “I knew at the end of last season that this was a place I wanted to return to. Coach Dickson and (assistant coach) Kyle Hood gave me all the opportunities to succeed when I came in last year and I hope I can build upon that this upcoming season.”
VanWormer, 25, finished his first full season in the ECHL as the league’s top power play threat, finishing the season with a Mavericks team record 14 goals on the man-advantage.
“His success on the power play was huge for us,” Dickson added. “He really became an offensive threat, just like Durocher.”
The 6-foot, 203-pound forward amassed 42 points (22 goals, 20 assists) in 2017-18, which was third best on the team. He also led the Mavericks with five game-winning goals.
The right-hander first played for the Mavericks to close out the 2016-17 season, adding one assist in his brief first taste of pro hockey.
The Traverse City, Michigan, native played collegiately at Ferris State, where he captained the Bulldogs during his senior season in 2016-17. He posted 60 points (25 goals, 35 assists) in 136 games with a plus-14 rating during his tenure in the NCAA.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to re-sign with a great organization in the Kansas City Mavericks,” VanWormer said in a release. “I’m looking forward to the season and seeing what this team can do.”
So is his coach.
“We’re going to be making some more announcements in the upcoming weeks,” Dickson said, “and the other players we are talking to can see that we’re signing players like VanWormer and Durocher and that can show them we are serious about winning this upcoming season.”