Despite it being the dog days of summer hockey fans in Worcester continue to look forward to when Railers HC takes to the ice in October. Along the way players need to be signed, and Head Coach and General Manager Jamie Russell has brought a familiar face on board with the signing of former Worcester Sharks forward Ashton Rome.
In just over two full seasons with the WorSharks Rome appeared in 128 games, scoring 15 goals and 26 points. After AHL stints with the Toronto Marlies, Hershey Bears, and Portland Pirates Rome left for the DEL in Germany early in the 2012-13 season. He spent four seasons there, and then returned to North America to play with the Manchester Monarchs last season.
In the ECHL rosters tend to be younger players, and Rome will be a solid veteran presence that those younger players can learn from. Like all of Russell’s other signings have so far, Rome is a smart hockey player with good leadership skills. It’s pretty clear what kind of player Russell wants for Railers HC.
Rome is one of the few long-time professionals that’s scored more goals than he has assists, notching 152 goals and 131 assists in his 584 game pro career. In his stint with Manchester last season Rome showed he still has that scoring drive lighting the lamp 12 times in 36 games.
He could have had a lot more than that with the Monarchs as in just the handful of games this writer saw Rome was the victim of some acrobatic saves. Some of those saves would have been SportsCenter Top 10s had they been in the NHL (and if ESPN actually covered hockey).
When asked about former WorSharks they’d want to come back and play for Railers HC many fans mentioned Rome as a good fit. This may or may not have been the result of a tweet I made just after ECHL qualifying offers were announced and Rome’s name was not among them.
But we do know one thing for certain, Railers HC noticed.