The South Carolina Stingrays, proud affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the AHL’s Hershey Bears, made multiple transactions Thursday ahead of three home games this weekend in North Charleston. The Bears have signed defenseman Joey Leach to an AHL contract and have reassigned him to South Carolina. In addition, the Stingrays have signed defenseman Cameron Heath who recently finished his collegiate career at Canisius College.Leach signed a professional tryout contract with Hershey on Dec. 18 and appeared in 17 games while with the Bears, posting one assist and a +1 rating. Before his promotion to the AHL, Leach, who is serving as team captain in South Carolina this season, recorded 20 points on two goals and 18 assists in 28 games along with a +8 rating.
The Wadena, Sask. native is in his sixth professional season and entered the year after posting a career-high 26 points (five goals, 21 assists) in 61 contests as well as a +18 rating with the Rays during 2017-18. Leach also saw action in five games with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack during late February and early March.
Leach, 26, has played a total of 41 games with Hershey in his career during three different seasons (2015-17, 2018-19) and has suited up for a total of 62 AHL games with four different clubs in Hershey, Hartford, the Lake Erie Monsters and the Oklahoma City Barons. Previously a third-round selection of the Calgary Flames in the 2010 NHL Draft, Leach played four years of junior hockey in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Kootenay Ice where he totaled 134 points in 274 games.
Heath, 24, will make his professional debut with South Carolina after spending his previous four seasons on the blue line at Canisius and scoring 78 points in 150 total NCAA games on 25 goals and 53 assists. A native of Troy, Mich., Heath had his highest scoring season as a senior this year, posting 23 points on four goals and 19 assists in 37 contests.
The 6-foot-1, 192-pound defender also had a standout junior season in 2017-18 when he led all Canisius defensemen in goals (7), assists (14) and points (21) while ranking second on the team in plus-minus at +11 before being named to the All-Atlantic Hockey Conference First Team. The season prior, Heath was named the AHA’s Best Defenseman when his school won the league’s regular season championship.
Before attending Canisius, Heath helped the New Jersey Hitmen to a USPHL Premier championship in 2014-15 with 43 points in 49 games on 10 goals and 33 assists.
The Stingrays have also announced that defenseman Cam Bakker has been released.
Both Leach and Heath are expected to be with the Stingrays when the team returns to action at the North Charleston Coliseum this weekend. SC will begin a stretch of three home games in three days when they battle the Norfolk Admirals on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are on sale now!
To bring your group to the game, call the Stingrays Front Office at 843-744-2248! For single game tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.