AMERKS ANNOUNCE LEADERSHIP GROUP FOR 2021-22 SEASONOct 13, 2021
The Rochester Americans announced today the team’s leadership group for the 2021-22 American Hockey League season. Veteran forward Michael Mersch has been named team captain while forward Sean Malone and defensemen Brandon Davidson, Ethan Prow and Jimmy Schuldt will serve as alternate captains.
Mersch, 28, returns to the Amerks on a two-year AHL deal after finishing second on the team in points (19) and third in goals (8) in 28 games during the 2020-21 season. He closed out the month of April with a team-high nine points (5+4) in 11 games, which included a season-high two goals and two assists on April 23 against Utica.
The eight-year pro has appeared in 405 career AHL games between the Amerks, Texas Stars, Ontario Reign and Manchester Monarchs, totaling 264 points (130+134) while also adding 35 points (16+19) in 44 Calder Cup Playoff games. Additionally, Mersch, a four-time 20-goal scorer in the AHL who won a Calder Cup with Manchester in 2015, has skated in 17 career NHL contests with the Los Angeles Kings, tallying a goal and a pair of assists.
Prior to turning pro, the Park Ridge, Illinois, native completed a four-year collegiate career at the University of Wisconsin (NCAA), where he registered 120 points (67+53) in 157 games with the Badgers from 2010-2014. As a senior, he was named an All-Big Ten First Team selection and earned AHCA West Second-Team All-American honors.
He was originally drafted by the Kings in the fourth round (110th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft.
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Malone, 26, returns for his second stint with the organization after recording 65 points (28+37) over 169 career games with the Amerks from 2017-20. During the 2019-20 campaign, his third year with the Amerks, the 6-foot-0, 197-pound forward tallied a career high 30 points on 12 goals and 18 assists in 58 games. His 30 points were tied for second among all Amerks skaters while his 18 assists ranked fourth.
A native of West Seneca, New York, Malone has totaled 80 points (33+47) in 192 career AHL contests, including 15 points (5+10) last season as a member of the Chicago Wolves. Additionally, Malone has registered a pair of helpers in three career Calder Cup Playoff contests.
Malone, who made his NHL debut during the 2016-17 season for the Sabres, was originally drafted by Buffalo in the sixth round (159th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft. In his only game at the NHL level last season, Malone notched his first NHL point with an assist for the Nashville Predators on Feb. 9.
Prior to turning pro, Malone played four years at Harvard University (ECAC), where he produced 99 points (42+57) in 115 career games for the Crimson. As a senior, Malone finished third on the team with 42 points (18+24) and was named to the All-ECAC All-Tournament Team while helping the club earn an ECAC Championship.
Davidson appeared in six games with the Sabres last season while also appearing in two American Hockey League contests with the Rochester Americans.
A sixth-round pick (162nd overall) of the Edmonton Oilers in 2010, Davidson appeared in a combined 12 NHL games with the Calgary Flames and San Jose Sharks in 2019-20 while also recording an AHL career-high 20 points (3+17) in 34 appearances for the Stockton Heat. He led all Stockton defensemen in points per game (.59) during the 2019-20 campaign (minimum five games played) and ranked third among team blueliners in overall scoring.
A native of Taber, Alberta, the 29-year-old Davidson has totaled 23 points (9+14) in 180 career NHL games with Buffalo, Edmonton, Montreal, NY Islanders, Chicago, Calgary and San Jose, while also adding 49 points (15+34) over 192 AHL contests with Rochester, Oklahoma City, Rockford and Stockton.
During the 2012-13 season, he received the AHL’s Fred T. Hunt Award in recognition of his sportsmanship, determination and dedication to the game of hockey.
Prow joins the organization on a one-year pact after spending the 2020-21 season with Munich EHC of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) on loan from the Florida Panthers (NHL). In 26 games, the 28-year-old blueliner finished second amongst the club’s defensemen in both assists (16) and points (20). He spent the 2019-20 campaign with the Springfield Thunderbirds (AHL), where led all defensemen and finished third on the team in scoring with 32 points (9+23) in 42 games.
In his first full season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2018-19, Prow, who was named to the AHL All-Star Classic, topped all Penguins skaters with a career-high 50 points on 18 goals and 32 assists while skating in 74 games. His 50 points were tied for third in the AHL amongst all AHL defensemen, earning him Second Team AHL All-Star accolades.
A native of Sauk Rapids, Minn., Prow has totaled 116 points (32+84) in 220 career AHL games with Springfield and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton while also adding a pair of assists in four contests with the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL).
Prior to turning pro, the 6-foot-0, 183-pound defenseman played four seasons with St. Cloud State University (NCHC), amassing 99 points (19+80) in 149 games from 2012-2016. As a senior in 2015-16, he captained the Huskies to an NCHC championship while earning recognition as NCHC Player of the Year and a nomination as a top-10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.
Schuldt, 26, joins the organization on a one-year contract after spending the 2020-21 season with the Henderson Silver Knights (AHL), notching 14 points (6+8) in 38 games. His six goals led all Silver Knights defensemen while his 14 points finished second. His eight assists finished third-best.
The 6-foot-0, 203-pound blueliner spent his first full professional season with the Chicago Wolves (AHL), totaling 21 points on six goals and 15 assists in 52 contests in 2019-20. Schuldt ranked second in assists and points among all Chicago rookies.
In his NHL debut with the Vegas Golden Knights during the 2018-19 season, the Minnetonka, Minn., native earned his first NHL point with an assist on April 6.
Prior to turning pro, Schuldt completed a four-year collegiate career at St. Cloud State University (NCHC), where he produced 118 points (38+80) in 156 games from 2015-2019. In addition to holding a school-record in overall scoring, he was also the Huskies’ first-ever three-time team captain. During the 2018-19 season, he was a Hobey Baker Award finalist and was named the NCHC Player of the Year.
The Amerks are set to open their 66th American Hockey League season – and 40th as the primary affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres – on Sunday, Oct. 17 at 3:00 p.m. against the Utica Comets at the Adirondack Bank Center.