PORTLAND (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- His roots are in the upper Midwest. But Alex Kile is now a Mainer by default as the first player to be signed by the new Maine Mariners.

Kile's actual hometown is Troy, Michigan. By his senior year at the University of Michigan, he was captain of the hockey team. Kile continued to pursue his dream of a hockey career into the minor leagues with stints playing for the Rochester Americans and the Cincinnati Cyclones.

MAINE MARINERS MAKING A RETURN TO PORTLAND

The Mariners announced his addition to an otherwise empty roster on Friday, June 22. Kile fills a slot at forward. The other positions around him will need to be filled out in time for the Mariners' first game on October 13.

“We are looking to Kile to play a big part in the offensive side of the team and also be a large part of the leadership group in our first season,” said Head Coach Riley Armstrong.

VISITING PLAYER FINDS HOME IN PORTLAND AS MARINERS COACH

The Mariners are one of the newest teams to join the ECHL as a New York Rangers affiliate. But the name has a long history with Maine hockey fans. It was previously used by an AHL team that played in Portland from 1977 to 1992. As with the original team, the new Mariners will make their home at the Cross Insurance Arena, previously known as the Cumberland County Civic Center.