CINCINNATI, OH – With only two defensemen currently on the roster in the form of Arvin Atwal and Eric Knodel, the Cincinnati Cyclones addressed their need for defense on Wednesday afternoon with the addition of Chris Leone. The second-year pro comes to Cincinnati after splitting time during the 2016-17 campaign between the Toledo Walleye and Manchester Monarchs. In 38 combined contests between Toledo and Manchester, he compiled 16 points, good for six goals and ten assists.
Before getting called up to Toledo, Leone actually began last season in the Southern Professional Hockey League, logging ice time with both the Pensacola Ice Flyers and Mississippi RiverKings. In 19 SPHL appearances, he racked up 11 points (four goals, seven assists.
“Chris is a hungry young player who found some success last year in his first year of pro,” said Cyclones Head Coach Matt Macdonald in a press release. “He will be another good skating defenseman who can move pucks and has shown to be able to play a solid two-way game.”
Prior to turning pro, he spent four seasons at Adrian College, a Div. III program in the NCAA. Throughout his collegiate career, he accounted for 71 points, tallying 24 goals and 47 assists in 109 games. His highest offensive output came during senior campaign, scoring 11 goals and 27 points in 29 collegiate contests. After graduating in 2016, he made his professional debut in the ECHL with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, putting on a point-per-game performance with four points (one goal, three assists) in four games.
“I’m grateful to play in a great city like Cincinnati,” remarked Leone. “I look forward to getting into town and officially meet the staff, and helping continue to build a winning culture in this organization.”
Before becoming a Bulldog, Leone spent his junior days from 2009-2012 in the North American Hockey League. Two seasons were spent with the Wichita Falls Wildcats, and one was spent with the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings. In 161 junior appearances, he totaled 65 points (21 goals, 44 assists). His lone year as a Jr. K-Wing was spent as the team’s captain.