NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The South Carolina Stingrays went to the transaction wire to fill a need on their back end Thursday.
The Stingrays gave up promising forward Steven McParland and acquired Travis Walsh from the Steelheads.
During his rookie professional season with Idaho in 2016-17, Walsh appeared in 65 games and accounted for 27 points (seven goals, 20 assists). The 5-foot-11, 181-pound defenseman also played in two postseason contests and scored a goal in Game 5 of the Steelheads’ first-round series against Colorado.
“We want to thank Steve for everything he did for our team last year,” said Stingrays Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Ryan Warsofsky. “Trading Steve obviously is tough, he had a great first year and some good things are probably coming for him in his second year, but to get someone you have to give someone and we thought this was the best move for the Stingrays.”
“Looking back at our year, something we needed was a little more puck movement on the back end. That’s why we circled back with Idaho when the season was over and if Travis was available we were definitely interested. He’s a guy that helps move pucks, helps on the power play and I think he’s going to be a good fit for us.”
Before turning pro, Walsh played four years of college hockey at Michigan State and totaled 141 NCAA games in his career. The native of Haslett, Mich. served as an alternate captain for two seasons from 2014-16 and finished with 48 points on three goals and 45 assists.
After completing his senior season with the Spartans, Walsh joined the Missouri Mavericks for three games as well as the AHL’s Chicago Wolves for three games at the conclusion of the 2015-16 year.
McParland is also entering his second season of pro hockey after playing in 59 regular season games for South Carolina last year. The Schreiber, Ont. native scored 48 points (19 goals, 29 assists) before adding another 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in 22 postseason contests.
The 26-year-old’s play earned him two AHL call-ups during the regular season for three games apiece with the Chicago Wolves and Binghamton Senators. McParland was also named the ECHL’s Rookie of the Month for November and was the Rays’ lone representative in the ECHL All-Star Classic.
“Steve plays a fast game and has a very good shot. He will add scoring and excitement to our lineup,” said Steelheads coach Neil Graham. “We expect him to fit in well with our forward group and we’re very excited about this acquisition.”
The addition of Walsh to the team’s back end gives South Carolina four defensemen and 14 total players. McParland’s addition to the Steelheads gives them six forwards so far on their preseason roster.