NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. - The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Washington Capitals and AHL's Hershey Bears, announced today that the club has signed forward Matt Tugnutt to an ECHL contract for the 2023-24 season.
Tugnutt, 27, joins the Stingrays for his third year of professional hockey and his second season in the ECHL. He spent the 2022-23 hockey season in France with the Chamonix Mont-Blanc Pioneers of the Ligue Magnus, the top French hockey league. He skated in 37 games for the Pioneers and scored 29 points (13 goals, 16 assists).
"I'm really happy to have Matt on board," said Stingrays Head Coach Brenden Kotyk. "Players like him, especially at this level, are hard to come by. He's a guy who eats, sleeps, and breathes hockey. When we get into those tough stretches later in the game where we need something to happen, he's a guy who can provide energy. He can score, is good on the penalty kill, and can win faceoffs. He's that utility player that can do everything."
Tugnutt played in the ECHL in 2021-22. He began the season with the Idaho Steelheads, where he registered 20 points (7 goals, 13 assists) in 49 games. In March 2022, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits acquired Tugnutt, and he tallied five points in four games with the Stingrays' South Division rivals. Tugnutt has spent summers in Charleston training with his friend from junior hockey, and his familiarity with the city made the Stingrays an appealing option for him.
"It was a pretty easy decision to sign with the Stingrays," said Tugnutt. "The city of Charleston is an amazing place, and it feels like home. Coach Kotyk is a great coach who understands the game really well and can take my game to the next level. I can't wait to get the season going."
Before his professional career, Tugnutt played four Division I college hockey seasons and posted 77 points in 113 NCAA games. He played three seasons at Sacred Heart University, overlapping with Stingrays forwards Austin Magera and Ryan Steele. He then played alongside Stingrays forward Jack Adams at Providence College for his fourth and final college hockey season. Matt's father, Ron Tugnutt, was an NHL goaltender for 16 seasons. He played for eight NHL teams and saw action in 537 NHL games.
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.