Orlando Solar Bears’ top returning defender Eric Nielsen announced his retirement Tuesday. The defender was the “unsung hero” from last year’s playoff team.
Orlando Solar Bears defender Eric Nielsen announced his retirement Tuesday.
Nielsen figured to be a key player for the Solar Bears along their defensive line. He led the team in plus-minus rating with a +19.
“There’s nowhere I’d rather play than Orlando,” Nielsen said in a statement. “I only had the privilege to play there for one year, but it felt like home. I have always been appreciative of just how much the Solar Bears fan base cares for the players.”
Nielsen became a fan favorite in that one year, earning the Solar Bears’ Kevin Heller Sr. Memorial Award as the team’s “unsung hero.” Nielsen was a grinder who played well on the back line along with veteran Eric Baier. The Solar Bears will have some work to do to find a good pairing defensively, particularly with a rookie goalie in Ryan Massa or Keegan Asmundson.
Other defenders who could fill the void are rookie Reggie Traccitto and Myles Harvey.
We just completed our roster review entering the Solar Bears’ opening game Oct. 17 at Amway Center.