The Mayhem obtained defenseman Cooper Jones and forward Eric Ylitalo from the Evansville Thunderbolts in exchange for future considerations on Wednesday afternoon.
Jones (5’8, 182) started the season under Jeff Carr with the Knoxville Ice Bears, where he registered 14 points (2G, 12A) in 33 games played. Despite being one of the team’s highest-scoring defensemen at the time, he was traded to Evansville on February 3rd for future considerations. In five games under Jeff Bes and the Thunderbolts, Jones tallied a goal, an assist and two penalty minutes. The 21-year-old is a right-shooting defenseman, the likes of which have been a scarcity for the Mayhem virtually all season.
Ylitalo (6’3, 195) also possesses Knoxville ties, having played 39 games there last season. While with the Ice Bears, the Delano, MN native collected 18 points (6G, 12A) and notched an assist in his lone game played against Macon on November 17th, 2018. This season, Ylitalo (25) has played in twelve games between Evansville (11 GP) and the Peoria Rivermen (1 GP). A left-shooting winger with imposing size and a dozen games of ECHL exposure, Mayhem Head Coach Ryan Michel believes Ylitalo—as well as Jones—will benefit his team’s playoff push in the home stretch of the season.
“We are excited to bring in Cooper to add some depth to our d-core,” Michel said. “He’s a right-shot defenseman with some puck moving and offensive upside who is young and will only get better. We’re also looking forward to Eric joining us and bringing some size to our forward group. He has experience in our league, as well as the ECHL, and I’m excited to see what he brings to our team.”
Both players will meet the team in Fayetteville tomorrow morning, where the Mayhem will take on the Marksmen at 10 a.m. at the Crown Coliseum. Jones will wear the #8, while Ylitalo will wear #40. Following Thursday morning’s outing will be back-to-back home games at the Macon Centreplex. Friday is Macon Mistakes Night against Fayetteville, and Saturday is Pucks N’ Paws against the Birmingham Bulls. For tickets, click here.