The Knights are looking to build around some familiar faces for their inaugural NAHL season. Head Coach Justin Lyle has tendered four players from the previous season’s EHL squad. Cole Karklins, Stephen Kelly, Tanner Bennett, and Pontus Okerblad have agreed to tender with the newest NAHL franchise.
Cole Karklins is a 1995-born defenseman from Boca Raton, Florida. This past EHL season, Karklins recorded 6 goals and 12 assists in 41 games played. The compact defenseman is well-rounded in all areas of the game. He has shown to be very reliable in any defensive zone situations, while being able to provide offense.
Stephen Kelly, a native of Columbus, Indiana, has also decided to embark on his second season with the Knights program. In 42 EHL games, Kelly recorded 7 goals and 9 assists. He was a cornerstone for Coach Lyle’s penalty killing unit as a forward.
Tanner Bennett is also a forward from Columbus, Indiana. Bennett, a player with unmatched compete level and work ethic, amassed 11 goals and 23 assists in 44 games played this past season.
Pontus Okerblad will be one of Coach Lyle’s offensive weapons this upcoming season. The 6-foot-3-inch, 195-pound forward from Stockholm, Sweden netted 31 goals and assisted on 20 others in 39 games this past season.
The Knights caught up with the four returning players and asked for their thoughts on the new NAHL team.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity to continue playing for the Knights after a successful first season. The coaching staff is bar none in every aspect and I’m looking forward to helping the team win.” – Cole Karklins
“I’m excited to get the year going. It’s going to be a fun year for the players and the community. I hope to do great things in the Knights’ first NAHL season.” – Stephen Kelly
“I’m excited for the opportunity. I’m going to do everything I can to come in ready to go. Excited to see what next year has in store.” – Tanner Bennett
“For me, it was an easy choice coming back to the Knights. I know the coaching staff and I had a great season playing for Coach Lyle, so I didn’t have a doubt in my mind that it was the right thing to do. For the upcoming season, I want to be the player to be relied on in important situations for the team. Most of all, I want to help bring the Robertson Cup to Wilkes-Barre.” – Pontus Okerblad
The Knights will be holding their first NAHL tryout camp June 5-7 at their home rink of the Revolution Ice Centre. To register for the Knights first ever NAHL tryout camp, click here.