READING, PA – A new era of Reading Royals hockey is about to begin with Kirk MacDonald given the keys to coach the team after spending the last three seasons as an assistant coach.
Head Coach: Kirk MacDonald
-First full season as head coach. Last year’s record: 3-0-0 on an interim basis.
– Regular Season Record: 41-25-4-2 for 88 points
– Second place in the North Division
– Lost to Brampton in six games in the North Division Semifinals.
2016-17 Season Summary:
The 2016-17 season of Reading Royals hockey saw the Royals going through some obstacles throughout the season. In late November, the team lost captain Mike Marcou for eight weeks with a broken jaw and in early March, the Royals traded Marcou to the Florida Everblades. One day after clinching a spot in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the eighth consecutive season, the Royals relieved head coach Larry Courville of his duties. The team couldn’t get past the speedy Brampton Beast and lost in six games in the North Division Semifinals.
For the first time since the Royals signed an affiliation agreement with the Philadelphia Flyers, goaltender Martin Ouellette will not be in the Flyers system as he signed with the Charlotte Checkers. Signing Adam Schmidt in the offseason from overseas should be an upgrade for the team as he’s returning to North America hockey after three seasons overseas. Another upgrade on the team has to be Scott Tanski. Tanski spent the 2015-16 season in Reading and returns to the team after playing for the Eastern Conference Champion South Carolina Stingrays last season.
- Ryan Penny – Second season in Reading. 72 regular season games last season with 51 points (23 goals, 26 assists)
- Matt Wilkins – Second season in Reading. Appeared in 51 regular season games with 24 points (ten goals, 14 assists)
- Nick Luukko – Third season in Reading. Played in 70 regular season games with 20 points (six goals, 14 assists)
- Ryan Segalla – defensemen spent last season with the Wheeling Nailers. Appeared in 62 games and tallied 11 points (three goals, eight assists).
- Tyler Brown – forward, spent last season with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Appeared in 48 games and totaled 21 points (four goals, 17 assists).
- Derek Whitmore’s time in Reading might be short stinted. The 32-year-old returns to North American hockey after three seasons overseas. A stop in the ECHL might lead to a PTO with an AHL club.
- Ryan Penny is no stranger to the AHL as he spent some time with the Binghamton Senators during the 2015-16 season appearing in 24 games. Ryan was the only member of the Royals to play in all 72 regular season games last season.
Blocked and Reported
- Justin Crandall – Traded to the Wichita Thunder for the rights to Nolan Zajac.
- Olivier Labelle – overseas with the Bordeaux Boxers in France.
- Mike Pereira – retired
If the goaltenders up in Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia stay healthy, the Reading Royals will make the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the ninth straight season even with a new coach calling the shots. While MacDonald was the interim coach for the team, the Royals did not lose a regular season game and having former defenseman and teammate Patrick Wellar as an assistant coach can be a scary coaching duo in the eastern conference.
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