The Bridgeport Sound Tigers, proud American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, announced Friday that seven players have agreed to terms on one-year AHL contracts. Forwards Steve Bernier, John Stevens, Nick Schilkey, Nic Pierog and Kyle MacLean as well as defensemen Mike Cornell and Ryan MacKinnon have each joined Bridgeport for the 2019-20 season.
Bernier, 34, led the Sound Tigers with a career-high 24 goals in 62 games last season while also serving as an alternate captain for the second straight year. He added 18 assists for 42 points during the regular season and collected two points (one goal, one assist) in five Calder Cup Playoff games.
A native of Quebec City, Que., Bernier ranked second on the Sound Tigers in goals (21) during the 2017-18 campaign and chipped in 14 assists for 35 points in 63 games. The 15th-year winger has 164 points (88 goals, 76 assists) and a plus-25 rating in 243 AHL games between the Sound Tigers, Albany Devils, Worcester Sharks and Cleveland Barons. Bernier is tied for fifth on Bridgeport’s all-time goal-scoring list (61).
In 637 career NHL games with the Islanders, Devils, Florida Panthers, Vancouver Canucks, Buffalo Sabres and San Jose Sharks, Bernier has 230 points (105 goals, 125 assists). He has 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in 74 career Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Islanders, Devils, Canucks and Sharks. San Jose originally selected Bernier in the first round (16th overall) at the 2003 NHL Draft.
Stevens, 25, registered seven points (three goals, four assists) in 25 regular-season games with the Sound Tigers last season and added one assist in four Calder Cup Playoff appearances. Previously, the 6’2, 205-pound center earned 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) in 68 games as a rookie with Bridgeport in 2017-18.
A native of Sea Isle City, N.J., Stevens played four seasons at Northeastern University prior to turning pro, logging 106 points (26 goals, 80 assists) in 138 games with the Huskies. He set career highs in goals (10), assists (25) and points (35) as a junior in 2015-16 and helped lead Northeastern to the 2016 Hockey East Championship. In addition, Stevens served as team captain during his senior season in 2016-17. Before college, Stevens played 61 games with the Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL) prior to his college career and helped the team capture the 2013 Clark Cup Championship.
Schilkey, 25, collected 37 points (15 goals, 22 assists) and a plus-22 rating in 64 regular-season games with the Charlotte Checkers last year. He added eight points (one goal, seven assists) in 19 playoff games, helping Charlotte capture the 2019 Calder Cup championship for the first time in team history.
A native of Marysville, Mich., Schilkey has 49 points (20 goals, 29 assists) and a plus-15 rating in 112 AHL contests – all with Charlotte. He also recorded two assists in two games with the Florida Everblades (ECHL) in 2018-19. Prior to turning pro, Schilkey played four seasons of college hockey at Ohio State University from 2013-17, where he served as team captain as a junior and senior. The 5’10, 174-pound forward amassed 130 points (69 goals, 61 assists) in 141 games and earned Big-10 Second All-Star Team honors on two occasions (2016, 2017). He was also named to the Big 10’s All-Rookie Team in 2013-14.
Before college, Schilkey helped the Green Bay Gamblers (United States Hockey League) win the 2012 Clark Cup championship.
Pierog, 26, led the Manchester Monarchs (ECHL) with a career-high 32 goals and 54 points in 68 regular-season games last year. He added seven points (three goals, four assists) in 11 Kelly Cup Playoff games, helping Manchester reach the North Division Finals. Pierog also made his AHL debut last February and played two games with the Providence Bruins.
A native of Halton, Ont., Pierog spent four seasons at Clarkson University from 2014-18 prior to turning pro. The 6’1, 209-pound winger compiled 44 points (21 goals, 23 assists) in 151 career games and served as Golden Knights captain during his junior and senior seasons.
MacLean, 20, joins the organization after spending each of the last four years with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Last season, he ranked fourth on the Generals in scoring with a career-high 60 points (18 goals, 42 assists) in 68 games, while also serving as team captain. MacLean, a 6’1, 185-pound winger, added 13 points (five goals, eight assists) and a plus-8 rating in 15 playoff games in 2018-19.
The Basking Ridge, N.J. native compiled 110 points (38 goals, 72 assists) and a plus-20 rating in 227 career OHL games.
Cornell, 31, played 60 games with the Worcester Railers (ECHL) last season and led all team defensemen in points (30) and assists (25). He added five goals and 172 penalty minutes while serving as Worcester’s captain for the first time. In addition, Cornell played four games with the Sound Tigers in 2018-19.
A native of Franklin, Mass., Cornell also played 12 games with Bridgeport in 2017-18 and 35 games with the team in 2013-14. The 5'11, 190-pound defensemen has 30 points (10 goals, 20 assists) in 146 AHL contests with the Sound Tigers, St. John's IceCaps, Charlotte Checkers and Springfield Falcons. In addition, Cornell has 80 points (15 goals, 65 assists) and a plus-16 rating in 170 ECHL games with the Railers and Florida Everblades. Prior to turning pro, he played four seasons at the University of Maine and served as team captain during his senior year in 2012-13. Cornell produced 30 points (six goals, 24 assists) in 130 games with the Black Bears.
MacKinnon, 24, played 68 games with Worcester last season and led all Railers defensemen with six goals. He also recorded 20 assists for 26 points during his rookie campaign. The 6’0, 190-pound blue-liner had nine points (two goals, seven assists) in nine games with Worcester near the end of the 2017-18 season in addition to one assist in three games with the Sound Tigers.
A native of Summerside, P.E.I., MacKinnon collected 48 points (12 goals, 36 assists) in 82 games at the University of Prince Edward Island from 2015-18. He was also named to the CIS (AUS) All-Rookie Team in 2015-16 and the First All-Star Team in 2017-18. Prior to his college career, MacKinnon spent four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and notched 107 points (20 goals, 87 assists) in 252 games between the Rimouski Oceanic and Charlottetown Islanders.
The Sound Tigers begin their 19th season in the AHL on Saturday, Oct. 5 with a 7:05 p.m. road game against the Springfield Thunderbirds. Bridgeport’s home opener is slated for Saturday, Oct. 19 at Webster Bank Arena, featuring Breast Cancer Awareness Night courtesy of All Electric Construction and Communications. Click here to view the full 2019-20 schedule or click here to print it.
Sound Tigers season tickets and flex plans are on sale now for the 2019-20 campaign, offering the greatest savings and ultimate flexibility of all ticket packages. Pick between a full-season, 20-game, or 10-game plan and you'll also be entitled to exclusive benefits, including the ticket holder exchange policy. Lock in your seats today by contacting Brad Dworin at 203-345-4813 or via [email protected].
About the Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Founded in 2001, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Hockey Club is the top minor league affiliate of the New York Islanders. Don't miss your chance to take part in the family fun entertainment happening every home game at Webster Bank Arena. For further information on ticket or sponsorship opportunities, call our office at (203) 345-2300 or e-mail [email protected].