For immediate release

For more information, contact: Joel Silverberg, Director of Broadcasting (865) 525-7825,

The Knoxville Ice Bears have released their protected list for the 2022-23 season. All SPHL teams were required to submit their lists by Friday at 3 p.m. Teams are permitted to protect up to 13 players. Knoxville’s list was submitted and confirmed by head coach Jeff Carr Friday afternoon.

Knoxville’s protected forwards include Dino Balsamo, Andrew Bellant, Carter Cowlthorp, Brady Fleurent, Steven Leonard, Jared Nash and Razmuz Waxin-Engback. Protected defensemen include Charlie Granath, Chris Jones, Kyler Matthews, Alex Pommerville and Tanner Salsberry. Kristian Stead is the protected goalie.

Of the 13 protected players, eight of them appeared in the ECHL last season. Pommerville also played in five postseason games with the Tulsa Oilers. Balsamo, Bellant and Waxin-Engback each scored 40 points or more for the Ice Bears during their SPHL-record 42-win season. Stead was named to the All-SPHL Rookie Team.

Knoxville will host its annual Free Agent Showcase later in the offseason followed by training camp before the 2022-23 regular season begins in October. Showcase, camp and schedule dates are still to be determined.

ABOUT The Knoxville Ice Bears: The Knoxville Ice Bears organization began in 2002 and was an inaugural charter member of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) in 2004. As four-time SPHL Champions, the Ice Bears are an experienced and established organization, offering the city and its visitors a balanced product of highlight-reel hockey, unique and exciting intermission activity and endless fan interaction, presenting the most affordable, family-friendly way to enjoy sports and entertainment. Season, Partial Season and Flex Tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit or call (865) 525-7825.