The South Carolina Stingrays, celebrating 20 seasons of hockey in the Lowcountry and proud ECHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins, announced today that defenseman Johann Kroll has retired from professional hockey after four seasons with the Stingrays.
"It was an extremely difficult decision," said Kroll. "I really appreciate that the Stingrays and Head Coach Spencer Carbery gave me the opportunity to take time to make sure I made the right choice. A number of factors went into it, both physically and mentally. I want to be able to play football with my kids someday."
Kroll, 27, is tied for eighth all-time among Stingrays defensemen with 161 games played recording 13 goals and 67 assists for 80 points. During 2009 Kelly Cup Playoffs, the Plymouth, Minnesota, native registered 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) in 20 contests and helped the Stingrays capture their third ECHL championship. In 40 career ECHL playoff games, Kroll added four goals and 15 assists for 19 points. Last season he was named to the All-ECHL Second Team and received the team's Jerry Zucker Community Service Award.
"Kroll not only did tremendous things on the ice for the Stingrays, but off the ice as well," Carbery said. "He is just a tremendous human being, a quality person and another guy I had the pleasure to skate with and coach."
In the American Hockey League, Kroll dressed with the Rochester Americans, Hershey Bears, Syracuse Crunch, Grand Rapids Griffins, Manchester Monarchs and Lake Erie Monsters grabbing six points (one goal, five assists) in 70 games and helped the Bears capture the Calder Cup in 2010.
"He is probably one of the best defenseman in Stingrays history and an all-around great guy," said Stingrays President Rob Concannon. "He was always smiling and willing to go to a promotion and events in the community. He was one of those guys that every coach wanted and everyone loved in the locker room."
Prior to turning pro, Kroll spent four seasons at Ohio State University totaling 27 points (five goals, 22 assists) in 153 games.
Earlier this summer, forwards Matt Scherer and Pierre-Luc O'Brien also announced their retirement. All three players are scheduled to skate in the Stingrays Alumni Game on October 13 at 2:00 p.m. at the North Charleston Coliseum.