FRANCISCO AND CURRAN BRING DEPTH TO REIGN
Center and Left Wing Join Team; 3 Players Now Inked to Roster
ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign of the ECHL, proud affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, announced today that they have signed C Jon Francisco and LW Chris Curran to the 2008-09 Reign roster. Per Club policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Francisco (fran-SISS-koh), 27, is entering his eighth professional season and finds a spot on the Reign roster after playing for the Reading Royals (ECHL) during a 3-year campaign from 2004-07. The 6-foot, 190-lb, Hermantown, MN, resident amassed 83 points (36g, 47a) and 191 penalty minutes in 140 games with Reading.
While with Reading, Francisco was selected as a member of the 2005 National Conference ECHL All-Star team, was named the Royals Iron Man of the Year in 2004-05 and was chosen as the Royals Alternate Captain in 2006-07. Francisco was inducted into the Reading Eagle Wall of Honor in 2008, becoming only the fourth-ever Royal to earn the honor.
“I am excited for the new adventure of playing in California,” Francisco said. “I spent some time on the east coast in Reading and it is going to be exciting to experience the hockey and culture out West. I look forward to getting back on the ice and contributing to a good team. I played for Coach Taylor for two years and my family is familiar with the organization which makes us look forward to the move.”
Prior to playing for the Royals, Francisco suited up with the Quad City Mallards (UHL) for nine games during the 2002-03 regular season and playoff run. In 2003-04, he rejoined the Mallards and accumulated 50 points (22g, 28a) and 89 penalty minutes in 70 games with the team. A graduate of the University of Minnesota–Duluth, Francisco managed an impressive four-year college career from 1999-03. In 154 games, he scored forty-two goals, assisted on 62 others and accrued 161 penalty minutes. He was chosen as the Bulldog’s captain during his senior year in 2002-03 and was selected to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association All-Star team in 2001-02.
Curran (KER-an),25, joins the Reign after spending the past four seasons with the University of British Columbia (CIS) in Vancouver, BC. While with the Thunderbirds, Curran played in 112 games tallying 33 pts (7g, 26a) and 314 penalty minutes, ranking number one amongst his teammates for penalty minutes during the 2006-07 season.
“I am excited to start playing hockey with a new team and a new city,” Curran said. “The hometown community seems to be giving this team great support and I am looking forward to playing for Coach Taylor. Playing for the Reign is an opportunity for a fresh start.”
Prior to UBC, the 5-foot 10-inch, 165-lb, Mississauga, Ontario native, spent four years of his junior hockey career with the Mississaugua Ice Dogs of the OHL where he accumulated 50 points (20g, 30a) and 179 PIM. Curren played an additional 25 games with the Missassauga Chargers (OPJHL) in 2001-02 where he amassed 23 points (14g, 9a) and 63 penalty minutes.
“Jon [Francisco] is a great two-way center man and a veteran-type of player,” Head Coach Karl Taylor said. “Chris [Curran] will bring a lot of energy to the team and is a penalty-kill specialist. They both have a team-first attitude which will be great assets to the foundation of this team.”
Francisco and Curran join teammate David Walker as the second and third players inked to the 2008-09 Reign roster.
Began in 1988-89 with five teams playing in four states, the Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League has grown into a coast-to-coast league that will have 23 teams in 16 states and British Columbia playing 828 games from Oct. 17, 2008 to Apr. 4, 2009. Eighteen of the 23 teams have played at least five years in their current city.
The third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League, the ECHL averaged 4,174 per game last season, marking the fourth year in row and the 16th time in the last 18 years that the league has averaged over 4,000 fans. The league has drawn over four million fans each of the last five years and 11 times in the past 12 seasons.
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