The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and AHL’s Hershey Bears, announced multiple roster transactions Friday ahead of their first preseason game against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.
Defenseman Steve Johnson has agreed to terms for the 2019-20 season, signing a standard professional contract with South Carolina and goaltender Logan Thompson has been re-assigned to the Stingrays by the Hershey Bears.
Johnson, 25, began his second pro year on a PTO with the Toronto Marlies before being released on Sept. 30.
The native of Excelsior, Minn. played 20 games with the Stingrays and scored seven points on two goals and five assists during the final part of the 2018-19 regular season after SC acquired him in a February trade with the Reading Royals. He also added an assist while appearing in all of the team’s five postseason games. Johnson had 17 points in 35 games on five goals and 12 assists with Reading, and also played nine games with Hershey in the AHL, posting one assist.
Originally a fourth-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in the 2014 NHL Draft, Johnson played collegiately at the University of Minnesota for four seasons from 2014-18. In 119 NCAA games with the Golden Gophers, Johnson posted 40 points on six goals and 34 assists. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound defenseman also helped the team claim three regular season Big Ten championships and qualified for the NCAA Tournament twice.
Before college, Johnson spent one year with the Omaha Lancers in the United States Hockey League (USHL) where he scored 31 points in 56 games on five goals and 26 assists while posting a +23 rating.
Thompson, 22, is a rookie who began his professional career late last season when he appeared in nine games with the AHL’s Binghamton Devils and ECHL’s Adirondack Thunder. After signing with the Thunder on Mar. 2, the Calgary, Alberta native starred in his pro debut that evening, turning aside 44 shots in an 8-1 win at Manchester. In eight games with the Thunder, Thompson went 2-4-1 with a 2.72 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. He signed a professional tryout with the Binghamton Devils on Apr. 9 and made his AHL debut in the regular season finale on Apr. 14 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, stopping 22 shots in a 5-2 loss.
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound goaltender began 2018-19 with Brock University, finishing with an 18-6-0 record with a .934 save percentage and a goals-against average at 2.22. He was awarded as an Ontario University Athletics (OUA) First-Team All-Star as well as the OUA Rookie of the Year and OUA Goalie of the Year.
Thompson, who participated in Washington Capitals Development Camp and skated with the Capitals at the Rookie Showcase in 2018 and 2019, was a 2016 Western Hockey League (WHL) Champion with the Brandon Wheat Kings and was a 2017-18 WHL Second Team All-Star.
In addition, the Stingrays have announced they have released forward Mitch Vandergunst from his contract.
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.