The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and AHL’s Hershey Bears, have agreed to terms with defenseman Phil Johansson for the 2019-20 season. Johansson, who recently completed his collegiate career at Amherst College last spring, is set to begin his first full professional season.
Serving as the captain during his senior season at Amherst, Johansson scored 20 points on six goals and 14 assists in 26 games while helping the Mammoths to a 15-7-4 record last year. The 25-year-old from Saint-Lazare, Quebec then got his first taste of pro hockey in late March, suiting up for a game with the Wheeling Nailers where he registered an assist in his debut against Fort Wayne on Mar. 29.
“Everyone that I’ve talked to has spoken really highly of Phil,” said Stingrays Head Coach Steve Bergin. “I’ve spoken to his college coaches, his agent, people who have been around to see him play, and they all think that he’s a diamond in the rough type of player that can play a 200-foot game so we’re expecting a lot out of him. We’re excited to get a look at him during training camp and see what he brings to the table.”
In four seasons at Amherst College, Johansson saw action in 93 games and racked up 56 points (20 goals, 36 assists).
“I had a great experience [at Amherst] and I’m excited to continue my hockey career,” Johansson said. “I’ve always wanted to play professionally so I’ve been working hard this summer, getting in the gym, getting on the ice, and thankfully this opportunity with the Stingray came along. I’ve only heard great things about the organization down in North Charleston so it was an easy decision to join the team. I’m really excited to get down there and help the team succeed.”
Johansson, who described himself as an offensive defenseman, said it was helpful to have seen action in his first game with Wheeling and noticed many differences between college and professional hockey.
“As opposed to the college game, the pro game is a lot less frantic,” Johansson said. “The players are more skilled and they’re able to slow the game down a little bit better so that’s definitely something I’ve been working on over the summer, learning to be more efficient with my plays and passing it up to the forwards as opposed to carrying it up myself like I did in college. It was a great experience getting that pro game under my belt and an awesome feeling to be out there in a pro environment.”
Before turning pro, Johansson spent the 2014-15 season with the Hawkesbury Hawks in the CCHL and was also with the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles during the 2013-14 year. The 6-foot-2, 207-pound defender also played prep school hockey at the Holderness School for two years from 2011-13.
The 27th season of Stingrays hockey begins in Orlando against the Solar Bears on October 12. The Stingrays will open their home schedule in North Charleston vs. Orlando the following week on Saturday, October 19.
Season tickets are on sale now! For more information or to purchase, contact the Stingrays by phone at 843-744-2248.
Single game tickets for all 2019-20 Stingrays home games are also on sale now via Ticketmaster and the North Charleston Coliseum Box Office.