The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and AHL’s Hershey Bears, have agreed to terms with forward John Parker for the 2017-18 season. While signed with Hershey during his rookie season, Parker appeared in 59 games for South Carolina during the regular season, scoring 32 points on 15 goals and 17 assists.
“We are excited to bring John back”, said Stingrays Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Ryan Warsofsky. “His game really started to come along in the second half and he had a great playoffs for us. He’s a dynamic skater with great character and we believe he’s a player that could make a big step in his second professional season.
The Green Brook, N.J. native appeared in 19 postseason contests during the team’s run to the Kelly Cup Finals and accounted for six points on three goals and three assists while tying for second on the squad with a +5 rating.
“Coach and I talked at the end of the season and I think he was pretty happy with my year as was I,” Parker said. “Coach said he’d love to have me back and I’d love to be down there. South Carolina’s one of the premier teams in the league, definitely one of the best places to live and with the run we had last year I’m excited to get back and hopefully be on the winning side.”
Parker, 25, played three seasons of college hockey at Bemidji State University in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). The forward appeared in 85 collegiate games and also had 32 points (20 goals, 12 assists) for the Beavers. In his senior season, he played in all of the team’s 39 games and served as an assistant captain recording 11 goals and six assists.
Before BSU, the 5-foot-10, 188-pound forward played one season at the University of Maine in 2011-12 and spent three seasons in the USHL with Muskegon Lumberjacks and Indiana Ice, winning a Clark Cup championship with Indiana in 2009. Parker served as a captain for the Lumberjacks in 2010-11, scoring nine goals and 22 assists for 31 points.
“I think the fan base is unbelievable down in South Carolina,” Parker said. “We definitely have some of the best fans in the league and the organization puts on quite a show there in North Charleston. It’s just great to see that the public is so drawn to the Stingrays and so involved in our organization with coming to the games. It’s just a blast to show up and play.”
Parker is the 10th skater to sign with South Carolina this summer, which includes eight forwards and two defensemen who are locked in for the 2017-18 season. More player signings are expected to be announced in the coming days and weeks.
“I just want to get it underway, I’m excited,” Parker said. “Summer is flying by, but that’s a good thing. I can’t wait to be in South Carolina.”
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.