It’s a new dawn for the history of Macon hockey, as the Mayhem started their first true off-season with their expansion draft picks in front of a crowd at the local Wild Wing Cafe in Macon. The Mayhem couldn’t pick more than two players from each team in this draft, but they elected to only pick six players overall to put on their protected list.
On the marquee, the Mayhem picked up three-time President’s Cup winner and former SPHL First Team All-Star Ryan Salvis. With the Ice Bears this season, Salvis posted 45 assists and 57 points in 54 games, though he did go a bit quiet in the playoffs with only three assists in seven games en route to his third-straight championship. In his 244 games in the SPHL, Salvis has a total of 66 goals and 163 assists for 229 points.
The next member of the team is SPHL First Team All-Star from this year in Matt Whitehead. As a big force for the Mississippi RiverKings this past season, Whitehead had 21 goals and 56 points in 56 games, as well putting up a goal and two assists during the playoffs. Whitehead has seen his fair share of call-ups, though he didn’t get any this past season– he has seen time in the ECHL and the extinct CHL.
To start the blue-line off right, coach Kevin Kerr plucked Steve Bergin from Pensacola and Jason Cohen from Peoria. Bergin was the leading scorer on defense for Pensacola with 23 assists and 25 points in 56 games for the Ice Flyers. Cohen split his time with the Louisiana IceGators and the Peoria Rivermen, posting nine goals and 28 points in 51 games, while also receiving a call-up from the Tulsa Oilers of the ECHL this season for six games, registering two assists.
To end the draft, the Mayhem picked up two players coming out of college. From Ryerson University in Toronto, the Mayhem picked up defenseman Mark Corbett, who had nine goals and 34 points in his four-year career at Ryerson. From the US college ranks, John McLean was selected from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota. McLean, who is 6’9 and 210lbs, was 36-18-7 with a 2.00 GAA and .927 save percentage in his four-year college career, while winning two during his three-game stint with the Pensacola Ice Flyers this season.
While there is still work to do (of course), the Mayhem are getting their foundation strong and picking some guys who do have plenty of connections to players around the league in hopes of luring them to Macon and try to make this expansion team successful from day one.