For Immediate Release: October 13, 2017



Team to be led by Knodel


Cincinnati, OH- The Cincinnati Cyclones, proud ECHL affiliate of the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Rochester Americans and the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Buffalo Sabres, have announced the leadership group for the 2017-18 season. As decided by a team vote, this season’s captain will be defenseman Eric Knodel, and serving as assistants will be forwards Justin Vaive and Shawn O’Donnell.

“I like our leadership group. All three guys have been leaders in the past and I’m looking forward to these three leading us in the right direction,” remarked Cyclones Head Coach Matt Macdonald. “I wanted to make sure we had a captain this season, and Eric is definitely someone who we can lean on in that role. In my opinion, all three guys can be a captain on this team, and we’re excited to see where they will take us.”

Back for his second season with the Cyclones, Knodel skated in 58 games last season and led the team in defenseman scoring with eight goals and 20 assists, and was tied for third with a plus-seven on-ice rating. He was one of the ECHL’s top defensemen at the midway point of the season, and for his efforts he was awarded a spot in the 2017 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic in Glens Falls. He also took part in the All-Star Hardest Shot competition, where he finished in second place with a shot of 96mph.

Vaive has had three previous stints in Cincinnati back in 2011-12 and 2012-13, and he appeared in one game with the Cyclones last season. Drafted by Anaheim in the fourth round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Vaive appeared in 66 games for the Americans in 2016-17, totaling three goals and six assists in addition to 90 minutes in penalties. He enjoyed a successful 2016-16 campaign with the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers, accounting for 11 goals and 17 assists along with 79 penalty minutes in 63 games played.

O’Donnell returns after ranking fourth on the Cyclones in scoring last season with 42 points (14g, 28a) in 47 games played last season. His best stretch came between February 28 – March 11 where he totaled 12 points (4g, 8a) over an eight game stretch. O’Donnell had multi-point outings on 10 occasions, including three separate three-point nights. He also spent six games with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals however did not record a point.


The march towards 2017 First Face-Off is ON! The Cincinnati Cyclones return to U.S. Bank Arena on Saturday, October 14, when they take on the Kalamazoo Wings. In the meantime, we invite you to stay tuned in the coming weeks for information on tickets and promotions for the 2017-18 season, great offseason events like Concrete Clones, player signings, and MORE! Call (513) 421-PUCK for information regarding Cyclones Season and Group Tickets, and you can also get the latest team updates on Facebook, Twitter (@CincyCyclones), and Instagram, along with our website,

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