Season Look Back: Defense
With only six members of the 2017-18 roster returning to the blue line, some new veteran faces were introduced to Cleveland in October. The opening night roster had three players make their Monsters debut, including AHL veteran Dillon Simpson. Once the season began, several dynamic duos were established to solidify Cleveland’s blue line.
After assignment to Cleveland in November Adam Clendening quickly made his impact, leading all skaters in assists and ending the season with a new franchise record for most single-season assists by a defenseman (33). Clendening also finished third on the team for points (37), while leading in power-play assists and plus/minus during the season.
Adding a physical presence to the team, Doyle Somerby and Ryan Collins both stand over 6-5 while Somerby ranked third among all Monsters skaters with +15 rating.
Rounding out the groups was newcomer Simpson who brought four years of prior AHL experience. Simpson was able to help keep the Monsters defense strong throughout the entire year, leading the team in games played (75) and setting a new career high for shots on goal throughout a single season (99).