The South Carolina Stingrays, proud National Hockey League affiliate of the Washington Capitals and American Hockey League affiliate of the Hershey Bears, have agreed to terms with team captain Joe Devin, Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Ryan Warsofsky announced Thursday.
“We talked to Joe right after the season and he was adamant about coming back,” Warsofsky said. “We met and worked out a deal pretty easily and we’re excited to have Joe back. He’s a great captain, a great guy in our community and someone that’s been there before. You need experience to be successful in this league and Joe will lead this group again along with Patrick Gaul and Trevor Gillies.”
For the third straight season with South Carolina, Devin, 29, played a key role for the Stingrays during a deep run in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Scituate, Mass. native scored 33 points (16 goals, 17 assists) in 48 regular season games before adding 12 points (four goals, eight assists) while suiting up for all of the team’s 22 playoff contests.
In his last three postseason campaigns, Devin has racked up a total of 44 points (27 goals, 17 assists) in 67 games, including four goals in Game 7’s and a triple-overtime winning goal versus Toledo that sent the Stingrays to the Kelly Cup Finals in 2015.
“I knew right away I wanted to come back to the Stingrays and conversations went pretty smooth this year compared to years past,” Devin said. “Charleston is my home now so I knew I didn’t want to go anywhere else. It was an easy decision for me and luckily coach wanted me back so it worked out right away. It’s nice to know what’s ahead and not have to worry about contracts and agents and things like that throughout the summer, you just kind of relax, know where you’re going to be and get training for another season.”
Devin has split time between the Stingrays and the AHL during the last two seasons. In the first half of the 2016-17 year, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound forward played three games with the San Antonio Rampage before seeing another opportunity with the Cleveland Monsters for 16 games from Feb. 2 through Mar. 18. In 2015-16, he collected 41 points (18 goals, 23 assists) in 55 games with South Carolina and also scored seven points (five goals, two assists) in 16 games with Cleveland where he played for Stingrays Hall of Famer Jared Bednar.
After returning from his most recent AHL stint with Cleveland in March, Devin picked up his play down the stretch during a late-season playoff push. The forward finished the regular season on a five-game point streak and then continued his hot play with points in all six first-round playoff games against Greenville.
In total, Devin has played in 202 ECHL games, collecting 123 points (59 goals, 64 assists) with Cincinnati and South Carolina. He skated for four seasons and 116 NCAA games at Cornell University and was the captain his senior year prior to turning pro in 2011.
Devin joins forwards Patrick Gaul, Johnny McInnis, Trevor Gillies and Patrick Megannety as the five skaters who have been signed by the Stingrays for the 2017-18 season. More player signings are expected to be announced in the coming days and weeks.
“It’s great every year when you get those core group of guys back together,” Devin said. “Especially after these last couple years have been quite the journey deep in the playoffs, to get those guys back that have been through it, they’re experienced and know what it takes to get to that level. It’s been a good start to the offseason and I’m definitely looking forward to next year already.”
South Carolina opens its 25th anniversary season in front of their home fans at the North Charleston Coliseum on Oct. 20 against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at 7:05 p.m.