Tag Archives: Reading Royals

Michael Hutchinson(33) St. John’s IceCaps

Michael Hutchinson

Goaltender Michael Hutchinson(33) has been on quite the ride through the hockey ranks this season since being left unqualified by the team that drafted him, Boston Bruins.

Originally a 3rd round pick in 2008 (#77 overall), he spent the first three years in their prospect system tending net mostly with Providence Bruins.

He was reassigned on a couple of occasions to ECHL affiliate Reading Royals through his first two campaigns.

None of it compares to the roller coaster ride he’s still on this season backstopping cages in three different leagues.

The almost unassumingly large 6’3″ 192 lbs. free agent net minder signed fairly quickly with Winnipeg Jets for a 1-year 2-way contract.

He was in training camp but quickly reassigned to AHL farm team St. John’s IceCaps and it didn’t stop there as he was sent along to Ontario Reign to start his fourth pro season.

This was where he stepped it up because in 28 starts he won 22, good enough for third in the league, lost a lowest 4 contests and posted a 2.08 GAA and .921 SV%.

He would receive an early Christmas gift on recall but it didn’t last as he was sent back down again. In early 2014 though, he was summoned up once again and due to injury ending up splitting starting duties.

Earning his time in net, he managed a 15-5 record, helping to solidify the IceCaps‘ postseason berth.

The stellar play of the 24-year old earned him his first NHL games.

In three appearances he won 2 and lost 1. One of his wins was against his former team in a shootout and his 1.64 GAA and .943 SV% should almost assuredly score the future restricted free agent an extension.

First up though, he could be on his way to help bring the Calder Cup to the Rock.

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Dustin Gazley(10) Hershey Bears

Dustin Gazley3

3rd year undrafted mini-right wing Dustin Gazley(10) is getting an opportunity with Hershey Bears, putting up some impressive numbers for a player that’s only 5’9″ and weighs in at a light 154 lbs.

He signed a one-year two-way deal in the off-season but started the season with affiliate Reading Royals, where he stayed through the first three months of 2013/2014 putting together 8 goals and 10 assists in 25 games.

These numbers were a bit off the mark from what he’d produced previously in a pair of ECHL campaigns under contract with Elmira Jackals.

As a rookie, he led the league in assists (60) and points (85), which easily earned him the Rookie Of The Year, John A. Daley Trophy.

Signed to rejoin Elmira for a 2nd run, he picked up where he left off, finding the back of the net 14 times and dishing out 35 more helpers in just 37 games.

He was loaned to Binghamton Senators and stuck through the remainder of the regular season, connecting for 4 goals and 5 assists in 29 contests.

The 25-year old forward received a bit of a late Christmas present when he was recalled but achieved basically the same feat from the previous year, staying put for what appears to be the rest of the season.

In an AHL career high 31 games, he’s notched an 8 best goals and will pass his assist total of 5 with one more.

He’s free to explore options for 2014/2015 but it seems like a good bet that he’ll be invited to return to Chocolatetown and help them regain the glory that’s been an integral part of the team history.

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Julien Brouilette(29) Hershey Bears

Julien Brouilette

Washington Capitals‘ defenseman Julien Brouilette(29) waited six pro seasons before scoring his first NHL contract.

He was signed for the last couple years with AHL affiliate Hershey Bears and in camp with the parent club, so was definitely being watched.

The still small-ish 5’11” 196 lbs. blue liner is having a career year for goals, 9 in 37 games and is on his way to a new high for overall points.

On his first recall he notch his first point, an assist and left the game with a +2 rating. In his next appearance he would score his first goal, the game winner, and had another +2 in a second team win.

The 27-year old skated a single game with ECHL affiliate Reading Royals last season and this year is on a short list for recalls to the show.

He started his pro career in the double A league under contracts with Columbia Inferno, Charlotte Checkers twice and Greenville Road Warriors, but ended up skating double the amount of games in 2010/2011 with Lake Erie Monsters. This was just the start of his ascent.

Playing his junior hockey with Chicoutimi Saguenéens he showed an early offensive upside posting over 40 assists in his final pair of campaigns.

This is a ton of hard work in progress, but from early games in the big league seems like a good player to have around.

See related: 10/23-12

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Chris Langkow(54) Bridgeport Sound tigers

Chris Langkow2

Undrafted center Chris Langkow(54) started his fourth pro season much like he did the three previous campaigns, signed for a one-year minor league deal to play in the ECHL.

He posted career highs in scoring last season with 20 goals and 41 points, first with Reading Royals, who he signed with in the off-season and then traded to South Carolina Stingrays.

The 6’1″ 185 lbs. forward re-signed for another campaign with the Stingrays but after getting off to a fast start was loaned to Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the second time in his career and made it stick.

He was first with the team for most of the year in 2011/2012 but only appeared in 7 games scoring a goal and 4 assists before succumbing to injury and being returned to Alaska Aces some 4 months later.

He won the Kelly Cup with the Aces in his rookie season and was impressive throughout.

The 24-year old recently signed an spc to play out the remainder of the regular season in southern Connecticut.

His grinding 4th line style of play works well with the young Bridgeport team and with AHL career highs in games played (35), goals (2) and assists (7) he has the ability to dot the score sheet.

It would be no surprise to see him score a higher league contract out of the gate in 2014/2015. After all, he is a Langkow.

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David Steckel(39) Norfolk Admirals

David Steckel

10th year center, former Los Angeles Kings‘ 1st round pick in the 2001 draft (#30 overall) center David Steckel(39) had to hang around for a little while before he found himself a deal for the 2013/2014 season.

He was invited to join Minnesota Wild training camp and eventually signed a pto to continue with their minor league affiliate Iowa Wild but was released after only 4 appearances.

Rumor has it he was fishing for a one-year, NHL deal and there was little room there for him to sign.

So, onto the next and he takes up Norfolk Admirals but inks an spc with the promise of signing with the parent club and team he last skated with, Anaheim Ducks.

He’s played 419 NHL games scoring 33 goals and 46 assists and lead the league in best faceoff percentage in 2010/2011, his last of 6 seasons with Washington Capitals.

The mammoth 6’6″ 215 lbs. forward is killer on the dot and it could be his ticket back to the show.

He scored a handsome two-way deal, was put on waivers and sent back to the AHL.

The 31-year old is a veteran of 219 games in the league with 56 goals, 60 assists and a pretty hefty +37 rating.

His last appearance in the A was Hershey Bears‘ deep playoff run in 2007.

It would be little surprise to see him leave for the KHL to finish out his pro career.

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Louie Caporusso(11) Reading Royals

Louie Caporusso

3rd year left wing Louie Caporusso(11) signs a one-year contract with 2013 Kelly Cup ChampionsReading Royals for 2013/2014.

He was originally an Ottawa Senators‘ 3rd round pick in the 2007 draft (#90 overall) and played a couple of seasons with minor league affiliates Binghamton Senators and Elmira Jackals.

In 36 AHL games he scored a single goal with 5 assists, which isn’t that amazing but in 70 ECHL match-ups he’s a point-per-game guy at 35 goals and 42 assists with a +20 rating. He continued on that scoring tear in 6 playoff games, getting a pair of tallies and 6 helpers.

The small looking 5’10” 200 lbs. forward was also a sniper in four years of NCAA hockey at University Of Michigan posting 68 goals and 76 assists in 160 games with an outstanding +48 plus/minus.

At still only 24 years old the former Hobey Baker Award finalist will be added to an already deep talent pool and definitely help the Royals defend their title in the upcoming campaign.

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Dustin Stevenson(9) WBS Penguins

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Undrafted 4th year giant-sized defenseman Dustin Stevenson(9) signs a 1-year deal to join Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for 2013/2014.

After his 3-year entry level contract with Washington Capitals was up, he was not qualified for the upcoming season and became an unrestricted free agent.

The 6’5″ 220 lbs. d-man was always in the parent club’s training camp and released to AHL‘s Hershey Bears but never found a roster spot and reassigned double A affiliates.

He has skated in 200 ECHL contests (3 goals, 26 assists) in his first two years with South Carolina Stingrays and won a Kelly Cup Championship last season with Reading Royals.

His game has never been about scoring. He’s seen as more of a steady, shutdown blue liner that’s tough to play against.

The soon-to-be 24-year old did however connect for a goal and 8 assists in 22 playoff match-ups with a +17 rating. He also put up big points in 3 seasons of Saskatchewan junior hockey, so it’s possible those offensive abilities have been kick started and will blossom in his new environment.

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Julien Cayer(12) Reading Royals

Julien Cayer

2nd year center Julien Cayer(12) re-signs with Reading Royals for 2013/2014 after winning the Kelly Cup with the team in his rookie season.

In 49 ECHL games he had 3 goals and 6 assists with a +10 rating. He also skated in 6 playoff contests with one helper.

At 6’4″ 207 lbs. he’s definitely got a big frame, power forward size but is still waiting to really connect on the score sheet.

Through four years of college hockey at Clarkson University he posted 14 goals and 19 assists in 104 games, which seems a bit low for the big man.

He was originally a Detroit Red Wings‘ 5th round draft pick in 2008 (#151 overall) but never inked a deal, subsequently becoming a free agent.

No doubt more improvements to his scoring game will be expect in the upcoming campaign.

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Joel Champagne(24) Braehead Clan

Joel Champagne

In somewhat of an interesting pro hockey move, third year center Joel Champagne(24) signs to play with Braehead Clan of the EIHL for 2013/2014.

He won the Kelly Cup Championship last season with Reading Royals, playing pretty much all of the regular season and playoff games on reassignment from Hershey Bears. Technically he was signed to an AHL contract last season but never recalled. His ECHL numbers were decent: 18+31=49 points and then put up another 3 goals and 5 assists in 21 postseason match ups.

The 6’4″ 217 lbs. XL forward was originally a Toronto Maple Leafs‘ 5th round pick in the 2008 draft (#129 overall) but signed his first deal with Milwaukee Admirals. He had 6 goals and 6 assists in 55 games with a +4 rating. He also played a 6 games with their affiliate Cincinnati Cyclones and put up 5 goals and 3 assists.

It’s maybe just that the 23-year has yet to find his place to show his abilities but as a more than a point per game player in his final three years of juniors in the QMJHL, he’s definitely shown the ability to connect and should be able to light the lamp like crazy in the English pro league.

 

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Nikita Kashirsky(5) Reading Royals

5th year undrafted Russian-born left wing Nikita Kashirsky(5) re-signs for another run with Reading Royals after being an integral part of the 2013 Kelly Cup Championship team.

In 41 ECHL games last season he struck for 17 goals and 27 assists with a +11 rating and didn’t stop there as he appeared in all 22 playoff contests connecting for another 5 tallies and 15 helpers with a +12 plus/minus. His 15 assists in the postseason were tied for the league lead.

Skating most of his pro career with a few different ECHL clubs, he’s managed to put up 161 points (66 + 95) in 191 games.

He received 3 AHL call-ups in his first two seasons with Springfield Falcons, Manitoba Moose and Hershey Bears but the 6′ 196 lbs. forward has been unable to score himself a permanent gig for a higher club despite his very able point production in AA hockey.

The 28-year old has maybe a bit surprisingly played almost all his hockey in North America except for one game in the KHL.

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