The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and AHL’s Hershey Bears, announced a trade with the Idaho Steelheads Thursday, acquiring defenseman Travis Walsh in exchange for the rights to forward Steven McParland.
During his rookie professional season with Idaho in 2016-17, Walsh appeared in 65 games and accounted for 27 points (seven goals, 20 assists). The 5-foot-11, 181-pound defenseman also played in two postseason contests and scored a goal in Game 5 of the Steelheads’ first-round series against Colorado.
“We want to thank Steve for everything he did for our team last year,” said Stingrays Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Ryan Warsofsky. “Trading Steve obviously is tough, he had a great first year and some good things are probably coming for him in his second year, but to get someone you have to give someone and we thought this was the best move for the Stingrays.”
“Looking back at our year, something we needed was a little more puck movement on the back end. That’s why we circled back with Idaho when the season was over and if Travis was available we were definitely interested. He’s a guy that helps move pucks, helps on the power play and comes from a good family. I think he’s going to be a good fit for us.”
Before turning pro, Walsh played four years of college hockey at Michigan State and totaled 141 NCAA games in his career. The native of Haslett, Mich. served as an alternate captain for two seasons from 2014-16 and finished with 48 points on three goals and 45 assists.
After completing his senior season with the Spartans, Walsh joined the Missouri Mavericks for three games as well as the AHL’s Chicago Wolves for three games at the conclusion of the 2015-16 year.
Walsh, 24, also appeared in 132 junior games in the United States Hockey League (USHL) with the Sioux City Musketeers and Muskegon Lumberjacks from 2010-12, combining for 36 points (five goals, 31 assists).
McParland is also entering his second season of pro hockey after playing in 59 regular season games for South Carolina last year. The Schreiber, Ont. native scored 48 points (19 goals, 29 assists) before adding another 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in 22 postseason contests.
The 26-year-old’s play earned him two AHL call-ups during the regular season for three games apiece with the Chicago Wolves and Binghamton Senators. McParland was also named the ECHL’s Rookie of the Month for November and was the Rays’ lone representative in the ECHL All-Star Classic.
The addition of Walsh to the team’s back end gives South Carolina four defensemen and 14 total players. More player additions are expected to be announced in the coming days and weeks leading up to October.
The Stingrays open their 25th anniversary season at the North Charleston Coliseum on Oct. 20 against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at 7:05 p.m.