NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. - The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Washington Capitals and AHL's Hershey Bears, have agreed to terms with forward Ryan Steele for the 2023-24 season. Steele, 25, joins the Stingrays following a five-year college career with the Sacred Heart University Pioneers. Steel captained the Pioneers in 2022-23 and served as an assistant captain the season prior.
"Many of our players have been former captains, and Ryan had that role at Sacred Heart," said Stingrays Head Coach Brenden Kotyk. "He is going to consistently bring the same effort every single night. You know what you're getting from him. He has offense and can play both ends of the ice. He can play center and wing. I'm looking for him to bring in leadership as a rookie."
A native of Stratford, Prince Edward Island, Steele suited up for 148 games for Sacred Heart and registered 93 points (41 goals, 52 assists). In his final season with the Pioneers, Steele tallied 19 points (10 goals, 9 assists) in 26 games.
"I'm super excited to join the Stingrays family," said Steele. "Brenden was the first coach in the ECHL to reach out to me, and I immediately took a liking to him. He's very thorough, and I like his professionalism and how he approaches the game. I think this is the best spot for me to grow as a player."
Before his college career, Steele spent two seasons playing junior hockey in the BCHL and skated in 118 games for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs and West Kelowna Warriors. Steele played alongside current Stingrays forward Austin Magera for the last five seasons at Sacred Heart.
"I'm really excited to keep playing with Austin," Steele said. "Since the first day we arrived on campus, we became close friends. He's probably my best friend, and I think he would say the same. We have great chemistry from our University days, and hopefully, that carries over."
"One of the best parts about signing with the Rays is that I can play hockey with one of my best friends," Magera added.
Steele joins Magera, Jackson Leppard, Patrick Harper, and Jack Adams on the list of forwards the Stingrays have agreed to terms with for the 2023-24 season.
The Stingrays will open the 2023-24 season on October 21 at the North Charleston Coliseum against the Orlando Solar Bears at 6:05 p.m.
2023-24 Season ticket plans are on sale now! For more information or to purchase, contact the Stingrays by phone at 843-744-2248 or submit this form.