Vartiainen, Frescura Back For 2022-23
The Port Huron Prowlers have announced the return of two more players for the 2022-23 season in Larri Vartiainen and Zach Frescura. Vartiainen returns for a fourth season in a Prowlers’ uniform while Frescura was a rookie last year.
Vartiainen is a Finnish defenseman-turned-forward who came to Port Huron during the 2019-20 season. After 20 points between his first two FPHL campaigns, the 27-year-old exploded for career highs in goals with 11, assists with 18 and points with 29 in 2021-22 while playing in a career-high 35 games.
“Larri brings a lot of skill to the roster,” said Prowlers general manager Matt Graham. “He’s a player that has improved every single season that he’s been here. He brings an infectious work ethic to our team. He also has a lethal one-timer that brings a whole other dimension to the power play. We haven’t had someone able to shoot like that since [Matt] Robertson. We’re extremely excited to have him back and expect a lot out of him this season.”
Before joining the Prowlers, Vartiainen played in Sweden with Nynäshamns IF in Division 2. He’s currently the only European on the roster.
“I can't wait to be back for my fourth year and play in front of the best fans in the league," Vartiainen said. "I'm also excited to see the improvements Graham and [assistant general manager Alex] Johnson are doing for the organization on and off the ice to be the best team in the league and be able to win the cup.”
Frescura joined the team out of the free agent camp and become a regular offensive contributor when he was in the lineup. In 37 games, the Brownstown, Michigan native potted 11 goals and 27 points.
“[Frescura] was a pleasant surprise to the team last season,” Graham said. “We signed him out of our free agent camp and he exceeded all of our expectations. He’s a very skilled and smart hockey player who can play with anyone up and down the lineup. He is very coachable and really cares about improving in all aspects of the game. I’m excited to have him back and see what he can do in his second professional season.”
The 22-year-old came to the free agent camp after a season with the Detroit Fighting Irish of the USPHL Premier division. He had nine goals and 16 points in 12 games and added two more tallies in five playoff games.
“I’m very excited for my second season as a Prowler,” Frescura said. “I'm a`nxious to get back on the ice and practice with the guys. Ready to go win this season.”
Vartiainen and Frescura will hit the McMorran Place ice for the home opener on Oct. 15 against the Motor City Rockers. Early bird pricing on season tickets is still available at the McMorran box office. Fans can purchase tickets in person, by calling 810-985-6166, or by visiting phprowlers.com/season-memberships.
Photos courtesy of Delta Imaging