Tag Archives: news

RoadRunners complete 1st day of Chicago camp

BENSENVILLE, Ill. – The Topeka RoadRunners finished off their opening day of their final NAHL camp of the summer on Thursday, putting more than 40 goaltenders through workouts that lasted over six hours at The Edge Ice Arena.

The RoadRunners, who are searching for two new goaltenders after Finnish goalie Juho Niku aged out and Tyler Johnson committed to the University of Maine following the 2015-16 season, have candidates who should fill the void.

“We are happy with the group that we brought into camp here,” said Topeka GM Joe Clark, who also coaches the goalies for the RoadRunners. “It was a grind for them today, but the games start on Friday and we will cut down to 20. They know it’s a very competitive situation, and they are hungry. Every team needs to have competition like this. It’s important.”

After the Topeka staff picks the top 20 goalies in camp, games are scheduled to begin Friday morning. The camp will include a field of 10 teams, which will also see the RoadRunners returning veterans in action. The training camp will culminate with an All-Star game Sunday morning.

“We are excited to see the skaters show us what they have now,” said Topeka Head Coach Josh Kamrass. “We know there will be surprises, and no different than the goalies, it will be very competitive. There are positions on this team at stake, and they know it.

The RoadRunners will launch their 2016-17 season in September, and players are expected to report to Topeka the final week of August.

“We expect our team to be very competitive again,” said Kamrass. “We have a tremendous tradition to uphold with the RoadRunners and our fans. We might be a bit younger this year, we still don’t know, but we need to continue to be among the elite in the NAHL South. That’s what we strive for.”




TOPEKA, Kan. – The Topeka RoadRunners announced recently that the North American Hockey League team has added several scouts to its hockey operations staff.


Team General Manager Joe Clark said that Nick Martino, Joe Sanchez and Matt Williams are now part of a staff that will assist RoadRunners Director of Player/Personnel Tim Christian in finding talent for future Topeka teams.


The RoadRunners will continue to utilize the services of Martino, who joined the staff several months ago and will cover the New England region for Topeka. Sanchez will cover the greater Illinois area, and Williams – a former NAHL player and coach – will scout in Michigan for the RoadRunners.


"Nick (Martino) was a tremendous help as we headed into our recent draft," said Clark. "As our league branches into New England, it's important to have eyes out there."


Clark said Sanchez has a strong handle on Illinois programs, especially in the great Chicago area , and Williams knows well what type of players the RoadRunners seek out.


"Both Joe and Matt know exactly what we are looking for, and they are both class acts," said Clark. "They will represent our program well. We think we have a top-notch group working with Tim (Christian)."


The RoadRunners are on the verge of their final tryout camp as returning players and hopefuls for next year's team will report to Chicago from July 7-10 for Topeka's Open camp. The sessions will be held at The Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville.

RoadRunner forward makes NCAA commitment

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Topeka RoadRunners, proud members of the North American Hockey League, announced recently that co-captain J.B. Baker (Columbia, MD) has committed to play at Div. III Nichols College beginning in the fall of 2016. Baker becomes the 10th player from the 2015-16 squad to advance to an NCAA institution.  Baker, a 6-0, 185-pound winger, was one of Head Coach Josh Kamrass' co-captains.

 "J.B. has tremendous heart and soul, and will be a very good college player at Nichols," said Kamrass. "We are all proud of what he accomplished as a RoadRunner, and what's ahead of him in college."  Baker helped the RoadRunners advance to the NAHL South Finals this spring, contributing 34 points in 60 games (16 goals, 18 assists). During his four years in the NAHL, Baker finished with 216 games played and 87 points (39-48) in stints with Johnstown, Rio Grand Valley and Topeka.

 "The coaches and ownership in Topeka made a difference for me," said Baker. "I'm so grateful to the guidance and coaching I received with the RoadRunners. It's a class organization and I will always be a RoadRunner." Baker will head to Nichols College, located in Dudley, Mass., where the Bison compete in the ECAC Northeast. Last season, Nichols finished at 17-10 overall under head coach Parker Burgess, and in 2nd place in the ECAC Northeast.

Draft Day 2016 Recap


TOPEKA, Kan. – The Topeka RoadRunners took a big step towards putting the 2016-17 roster together Tuesday with eight picks in the NAHL Draft. All of the picks were either defensemen or forwards.

“We know we had holes to fill, especially on the blue line,” said Topeka Director of Player/Personnel Tim Christian. “We feel good about the picks we made today. We have depth up front and on defense. We know they are just names on paper right now, but it’s a tremendous finish to the process.”

Hinsdale, Ill., defenseman Colin Swoyer – a recent draft pick by the USHL’s Chicago Steel – was Topeka’s first pick. Swoyer is a product of the Chicago Fury’s U16 and U18 programs.

“We understand that there’s a strong chance that Swoyer will wind up in the USHL, but we will be a good Plan B for him if that situation arises,” said Topeka Head Coach Josh Kamrass. “He’s a high-end kid and worth the risk with a first-round pick.”

Twitter accounts lit up with the RoadRunners’ second overall pick, DJ Busdeker. Busdeker is a 1999-born forward from Detroit Compuware U15 and U16 programs, coached by Todd Jenkins. Busdeker has the track record of putting up points – including a 95-point effort two years ago.

“DJ has high-end skill,” said Topeka GM Joe Clark, who coached Jenkins at the University of Maine in the late 1980’s. “He is very excited to become a RoadRunner. He will have some adjustments to make, of course, but we believe he will be an elite forward in the near future.”

The RoadRunners had another second-round pick, and went out East to use it. Topeka selected forward George Sennott, a 1997-born left-shot forward from North Andover, Mass. Sennott played the past several years at Kimball Union Academy under coach Tim Whitehead.

Topeka’s staff next pick was in the 4th round, in which they selected Barrie, Ontario, defenseman Matthew Barnes, who attended the RoadRunners’ recent NAHL Pre-Draft camp in Somerset, Wisc.  Barnes played in 94 games over the past two seasons for the Orangeville Flyers of the OJHL. The RoadRunners then went to Minnesota for their 5th-round pick, selecting St. Paul Johnson High School forward Christian Sanda, who averaged over a point per game last season.

The RoadRunners returned to Orangeville and the OJHL with their 6th-round pick, grabbing forward Jack Jeffers, and followed that up with taking Clarkson, Mich., native Alex Frye. Frye is a forward who played for the Chicago Steel last season and is expected to return to Chicago this season. Topeka finished the draft by returning to Massachusetts and taking forward Jake Witkowski, who played for Avon Old Farms prep school last season.

“From Sennott to Witkowski, we think these kids have something to offer our organization,” said Christian. “They are character kids, which is very important to us, and they can play. We are excited for what’s in front of us.”

The RoadRunners will host their final camp of the season next month in Chicago as the RoadRunners will visit The Edge Arena in Bensenville, Ill., fromJuly 7-10 for their open camp. At that camp, all of Topeka’s veteran returning veteran players will be on hand as well as tendered players and Tuesday’s draft picks.

“That will be a tremendous measuring stick for us, having our vets at that camp,” said Kamrass. “It will be a true test of what these younger players can do.”



Quinn was drafted by the Topeka RoadRunners in the 7th round 139th overall in the 2015 NAHL draft. Quinn worked extremely in the off-season to prove himself and earn on a spot on the 2015-16 roster. Throughout the season, Preston continued to improve and develop his skills both on and off the ice in Topeka. Quinn finished the season with 59gp 17-17-34pts.

“It feels like yesterday that we saw Quinn get drafted, come in to our camp in Chicago and earn a spot on our roster, said RoadRunner Head Coach Josh Kamrass. “Quinn is an outstanding young man who worked hard day in and day out to get where he is at today.”

Kamrass also said that the process that makes Topeka an elite team in the NAHL South is working.

“This is why we do what we do at this level to see players like Quinn earn opportunities and make the most of them,” said Kamrass. “We are looking forward to all potential RoadRunner players drafted today and want them to know this could be their story next year.”

Quinn earned Rookie of the Year, voted on by his teammates and NAHL South Division Rookie-of-the-Year, and NAHL All-Rookie-Team. Quinn was drafted in the 4th Round 60th Overall in the 2016 USHL Phase II entry draft by Dubuque Fighting Saints. Quinn will be attending the Dubuque Camp in June to compete for a spot on their roster. The RoadRunner organization is very proud of Quinn and his tremendous accomplishments as a RoadRunner.

Camp Recap: Somerset, WI


SOMERSET, Wisc. – In preparation for the upcoming NAHL draft, the Topeka RoadRunners had an opportunity to watch more than 130 skaters and goalies; all trying to impress the RoadRunners staff of coaches and scouts assembled at Somerset Ice Arena over the Memorial Day weekend.


After four days of grueling goaltending workouts and games, Topeka head coach Josh Kamrass thought the camp was highly successful.


“Our numbers (attendees) were up, and it was extremely competitive,” said Kamrass. “Our whole staff, from management to scouts, was there and interacting with the players as the weekend went along. The feedback we received at the end of camp was very encouraging.”


RoadRunners GM Joe Clark, who also manages the stable of goaltenders for the RoadRunners, said the pace of camp was unexpectedly high.


“These kids and their parents come here and expect certain things,” said Clark. “We want show our attendees the level of professionalism our franchise expects out of its staff of coaches and scouts, and I think we got that across very well. Our guys were directly involved on the bench, and the communication between players and coaches was obvious.”


Kamrass, along with Clark, Director of Players/Personnel Tim Christian, assistant coach Vinny Bohn, Atlanta Capitals Head Coach Dennis Canfield and a host of guest coaches, managed eight teams and more than 20 goaltenders. The camp attendees were eventually narrowed down to 2 teams going head-to-head in the All-Star game on Memorial Day.


“Some of the players at the camp we could very well see in Topeka when the season starts,” said Christian. “It was a great opportunity for us to start tracking the younger players who might be a year or two away, and that’s something we’ll spend the upcoming winter doing. Even the kids who didn’t make the All-Star game will be tracked. It’s a long process, but something that needs to be done to be an elite team in the NAHL’s South Division.”


The RoadRunners will now focus on their final open camp, which will be held July 7-10 in Chicago. The Chicago camp will also include returning RoadRunners from this past season’s team.


“It will be a tremendous measuring stick for some of the players new to this level,” said Kamrass, referring to the veterans attending the camp next month. “That’s something that’s critical in our evaluation process. Chicago is very revealing, and we can’t wait.”

In The Community: May 25, 2016

Reggie went Hawaiian  on Wednesday at Williams Science and Fine Arts Magnet School for Aloha Day. The teachers and staff of Williams created a festive atmosphere for the student’s last day of school and Reggie was on hand to make it a sendoff to remember. Signing autographs, posing for pictures, and more, Reggie also helped kick off the RoadRunners new community partnership with the school which will begin during the 2016-2017 season. To have Reggie join your community event this Summer, or to find out how you can get 2016-2017 RoadRunners Season Tickets, call 785-286-PUCK.

Brennan becomes 9th RoadRunner to commit to NCAA school

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Topeka RoadRunners announced today that defenseman Shawn Brennan (Delaware, Ohio) has committed to play for Marian University beginning in the fall of 2016.

Brennan, who emerged as one of Topeka’s more reliable defenseman over the second half of this past season, played parts of three seasons in a RoadRunner uniform. He finished with 137 games played, scoring 30 points (6 goals, 24 assists).

“Shawn probably had more minutes than any other defensemen we had over the second half and into the playoffs this season,” said RoadRunner Head Coach Josh Kamrass. “He really stepped up his game and was very reliable in all aspects of the game and was a factor in our second-half success. Marian University is getting a very good defenseman.”

Brennan is heading to a NCHA Division III program that is coming off a highly successful season under first-year head coach Erik Largen as the Sabres posted an 18-7-3 record and finished with a No. 14 national ranking.

“I had a fantastic experience in Topeka,” said Brennan. “They kept up their faith in me, and I feel fortunate to have played for a coaching staff and ownership group like the one in Topeka.”

Brennan, who is a product of the Cleveland Barons AAA and U-18 programs, becomes the ninth RoadRunner from the 2015-16 roster to commit to an NCAA institution, following defense partner Seth Kamrass (St. Mary’s), Cam Strong (Dartmouth), Tyler Johnson (Maine), Dominic Lutz (Ferris State), Sami Tavernier (Merrimack), Tyler Hayes (Niagara), Johnny Walker (Arizona State) and John O’Connor (Augsburg).


RoadRunner defenseman Kamrass commits to NCAA school

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Topeka RoadRunners, proud members of the North American Hockey League, announced today that defenseman Seth Kamrass (Norcross, Ga.) has committed to St. Mary's University and will skate for the Cardinals next season.

The 20-year-old Kamrass helped the RoadRunners reach the NAHL South Division playoffs, finishing the season with eight assists and a plus-minus rating of +7. Kamrass quietly became one of the more reliable defensemen for the RoadRunners as they advanced to the NAHL South finals before eventually dropping the best-of-five series to regular-season champion Wichita Falls. Kamrass, along with defense partner Shawn Brennan, typically drew the assignment of covering the opponent's top line.

Kamrass was coached by his older brother, RoadRunner head coach Josh Kamrass.

"Seth paid his dues prior to this season, and really developed as the year went on," said Topeka Head Coach Josh Kamrass. "His confidence skyrocketed and he had a solid presence on the ice. Once he had his confidence, he never lost it and in the second half of the season became very valuable to us. His hard work has paid off in landing a great school to attend and play for."

St. Mary's, a member of NCAA Div. 3 MIAC, is located in Winona, Minnesota. This past year's Cardinals team had 10 players that emerged from the NAHL, including former RoadRunner Joey Van Antwerp.

"My years with the RoadRunners were very special to me," said Seth Kamrass, "especially being able to play for my brother. He treated me no differently than any other player, but he watched me progress this season into a confident player, which makes all the difference to someone my age. I owe the organization a debt of gratitude for sticking with me and helping me with this opportunity to play and attend school at St. Mary's."