The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and AHL’s Hershey Bears, have agreed to terms with defenseman Jesse Lees for the 2020-21 season.
Lees, who joined the Rays late last season after finishing his collegiate career at Mount Royal University, returns to the team’s blue line where he posted six points (3g, 3a) in nine games during February and March.
“Jesse came in and quickly displayed that he can play at this level after finishing a very successful 4-year college career,” said Stingrays Head Coach Ryan Blair. “His skating ability, stick skills and hockey IQ will be huge assets to our defensive corps for the upcoming season.”
The 24-year-old totaled 18 points on seven goals and 11 assists in 16 games with Mount Royal last season before beginning his professional career in South Carolina. During his college career, Lees played a total of 95 games and accounted for 78 points (34 goals, 44 assists). In addition, Lees added eight points in 15 playoff games during the last four seasons on three goals and five assists.
“After having a small taste last year and seeing where the team was headed, I’m more than excited to be back and pick up where we left off,” Lees said. “Charleston is an amazing place to play. The fans are awesome and the organization is run well from top to bottom. I can’t wait to be back!”
The six-foot, 196-pound defender’s first professional goal came in overtime on Feb. 23 during his second game to defeat the Worcester Railers and clinch the Rays a spot in the postseason. He later scored in back-to-back contests in Idaho against the Steelheads March 6-7.
Prior to attending school, Lees spent parts of five seasons in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Prince Albert Raiders and Kelowna Rockets. The Calgary, Alberta native posted a total of 162 points in 294 games on 55 goals and 107 assists as well as a +48 rating. Lees appeared in 24 WHL postseason contests, scoring eight points on three goals and five assists.