by Brett Wiseman



The Blue Ridge Bobcats are proud and excited to announce two more new signings for the 2024-2025 season. Today, the club has signed Defenseman Denis Radchenko and Forward Justin Vernace to PTOs.

Radchenko, a bruising blueliner out of Minsk, Belarus, stands 6'6" and weighs in at 210 pounds. The 21-year-old played an esteemed junior career, spending time in the NA3HL with the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks and played last season in the NCDC with the Twin City Thunder.

“Denis is a huge D-Man that can skate well and hits like a truck," said Bobcats Executive Vice President of Operations Jimmy Milliken. "He also has a great breakout pass and will definitely beef up our blue line.” 

In 52 games with the Jr Hat Tricks (including playoffs), Radchenko racked up 55 points (19 goals, 36 assists). He showcased his full 200-foot game there as well, accruing 75 penalty minutes while registering an astounding +25 plus-minus rating.

"Denis is a young D-man with lots of potential," said Bobcats head coach Vojtech Zemlicka. "You can’t teach size and he loves to use it plus with his long reach he’s difficult to beat." 

In 16 games last season with the Thunder, Radchenko recorded 5 points (1 goal, 4 assists) and 14 penalty minutes.

"I’m really happy to sign a professional contract with the Blue Ridge Bobcats," said Radchenko. "I’m excited to start the new season and I can’t wait to start practicing with the team and get better as a group!"

"Denis adds toughness to our D-core but he’s also very mobile and active," Zemlicka continued. "He wants to play with the puck and he's a right-handed shot so he has all the qualities we were looking for."

Vernace, a 5'10" 185lb speedster from Mississagua, Ontario, played his collegiate hockey at NCAA Division III SUNY-Potsdam. He joins Joel Frazee, Jonas Leas, Connor Green, Owen Liskiewicz and Steven Ford as SUNYAC products on the Bobcats roster.

“I'm very excited to join an organization with a lot of upside," said Vernace. "I look forward to seeing some familiar faces, meeting the fans, and having a great season with this group!”

Vernace started last season with the Creemore Coyotes of the OEHL (Ontario Elite Hockey League) before getting his professional call up to the FPHL's Elmira River Sharks.

“Justin comes highly recommended from our friend Tyler Gjurich (former head coach of the Elmira River Sharks)," said Milliken. "He’s a smooth skating playmaker that can play Center or Wing."

The 26 year old hybrid forward skated in 46 collegiate games with the Bears, posting 9 points (5 goals, 4 assists). Vernace shined in his brief stint in Elmira last season, putting up a goal in just three games and registered a +2 plus-minus rating.

"Justin plays the game the right way and that’s why we decided to sign him," said Zemlicka. "He is a great skater with playmaking abilities. We’re looking to be more offensively productive this year and I believe Justin can help us do that and more."

You can follow all the Bobcats moves via the "Aschenbach Automotive Group Transaction Tracker" any time by visiting Fans can also follow along by signing up for "The Claw" Bobcats newsletter at

Season ticket packages are on-sale for the Bobcats forthcoming second season, and payment plans are available. Existing season ticket holders can now begin selecting their seats from the new 3,650 capacity before construction is completed in September. Season ticket holders enjoy exclusive perks and priority seat selection. Call 276-335-2100 or visit for more information.

Players, don't forget about the Bobcats upcoming free agent camp August 2-4th just outside of Cleveland, Ohio. The Bobcats coaching staff will be working closely with John Gurskis, head coach of the SPHL's Knoxville Ice Bears. Spots are filling up fast, so visit to lock in your spot before they are gone!