NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. - The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and AHL’s Hershey Bears, have agreed to terms with forwards Tim Harrison and Stephane Legault (pronounced: Steh-FAN Lay-go) for the 2019-20 season. Harrison returns to SC after appearing in 66 games last season, while Legault will play his first full professional season after debuting for 11 games at the end of the 2018-19 year.
Harrison posted 19 points with seven goals and 12 assists in his sophomore professional campaign with the Rays. The Duxbury, Mass. native quickly became a leader in the locker room, drawing praise from both his teammates and coaching staff.
“I love Tim. I love what he brings to our team, not only from an energy standpoint in the locker room but on the ice as well,” said Stingrays Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Steve Bergin. “He’s contagious with how he approaches everything he does and is a great leader overall. At times we forgot he was only a second-year pro because of his leadership role and how he approached his business day in and day out but I couldn’t be more excited to have him back and he’ll be a catalyst for our team on and off the ice.”
The forward spent his rookie professional season with the Adirondack Thunder in 2017-18, scoring 16 points (8g, 8a) in 63 games before being acquired by the Rays in a trade last summer. Harrison was also part of the Thunder’s postseason run to the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs, suiting up in 11 games while registering four points on two goals and two assists to go along with a +5 rating.
“In talking with Bergy this summer, it was pretty obvious that we were on the same page,” Harrison said. “We are like-minded in terms of how we approach competition so I’m hoping to continue my journey and be able to push what Bergy’s pushing in terms of commitment and how he wants to run the program and the continue the success of the Stingrays.”
A former sixth-round pick (157th overall) of the Calgary Flames in the 2013 NHL Draft, Harrison spent four seasons at Colgate University in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) and compiled 54 points in 143 games on 26 goals and 28 assists.
“I think I really found my groove in Charleston in terms of becoming a leader,” Harrison said. “In my rookie season in Adirondack I still had those leadership qualities, but being a rookie is a little bit different. I think stepping into that leadership role is how I flourish and that’s where I grow as a human.“I felt really comfortable in Charleston and to be able to come back is absolutely amazing. I like to bring energy and if the fans enjoy that and it pushes our team, I think it’s a win-win for everyone in terms of trying to win and pushing that culture of energetic hockey. I want to be a guy that people can rely on whether it be my teammates or the fans. Just being there to be relied on is a good feeling and I’m ready to come back and show what I can do.”
Legault made a big impact down the stretch late last year, joining the club in March after completing his final collegiate season at the University of Alberta where he totaled 15 points on five goals and 10 assists in 18 games. The attacker scored three times in his first two games and finished the regular season with six points in his first six professional outings.
“You never know what to expect from guys when they’re coming in late in the season because some guys’ games just translate in different fashions,” Bergin said. “Stephane came in and started producing right away in his first game. He’s a guy that makes plays all over the ice. He was reliable in all three zones, he was a very smart player who skates well and he’s got a lot of creative upside to him. I think we’re going to be relying on him heavily next year to not only put up points but to be a guy that just does things the right way.”
The 26-year-old served as an alternate captain with the University of Alberta during 2018-19 and finished his collegiate career with a total of 125 games played and 119 points (30 goals, 89 assists). Legault reached the 30-point mark twice while in college, posting six goals and 24 assists during the 2015-16 season as well as eight goals and 22 assists in the 2017-18 year. In addition, Legault had 13 points in 19 playoff games on seven goals and six assists.
“I came in last year having never played any pro games before and I just wanted to get my feet wet and show what I could do at the pro level,” Legault said. “I was really happy with the opportunity I got to do that at the end of last year and I pretty quickly fell in love with the city. I really like the organization and everyone involved so I was really happy with the way things went last year, really enjoyed my time there and I’m happy to have signed back with South Carolina.”
Prior to his time at school, Legault spent four seasons in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Edmonton Oil Kings and won the WHL Championship in 2012. The Edmonton, Alberta native scored 108 points in 186 games on 35 goals and 73 assists and posted a +43 rating. Legault also excelled in the WHL’s postseason, registering 36 points in 42 playoff games.