Reign Beef Up Defense With Two New Additions
Dan Knapp and Darren McMillan join the 2008-09 Reign roster
ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign of the ECHL, proud affiliate of the NHL Los Angeles Kings and the AHL Manchester Monarchs, announced today that they have signed Defensemen Dan Knapp and Darren McMillan to the Reign 2008-09 roster. According to Club policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
McMillan, 28, comes to the Reign after spending the 2007-08 season with Klostersee EHC in Germany where he scored nine goals, posted 21 assists (30 points) in 39 games played. Prior to playing oversees, the 6-foot, 216-pound defenseman skated two seasons (2005-07) with the Wichita Thunder of the CHL. While with the Thunder, McMillan accrued 48 points (5 goals, 43 assists) and 113 penalty minutes in 120 games.
The Sault Ste. Marie, ONT, native suited up for St. Francis Xavier University (CIS) out of Antigonish, NS, for his collegiate career. McMillan played for the X-men from 2001-05, accumulated six goals and assisted on 16 others (22 points) over his career.
Knapp (NAP), 26, skates on to the Reign roster after completing his final season at the University of Nebraska – Omaha (NCAA). Knapp suited up for the Mavs from 2003-07 and posted eight goals, assisted on 31 others (39 points) and tallied 179 penalty minutes over his collegiate career.
The 6-foot one-inch, 190-pound, Hermantown, MN, native received UNO’s Most Improved Player Award in 2005 when he ended the season with a +16 rating, recorded five multi-point games, lead all defenseman with 21 points and earned CCHA Offensive Player of the Week honors. In 2005-06 Knapp played in all but one of the 41 Mavs contests, leading the team in penalty minutes with 67.
“I think everyone is excited about having hockey come to Ontario,”
Knapp said. “I have had the chance to talk to Coach Taylor a few times and Jon Francisco (current Reign Center) had nothing but good things to say about the organization. It will be interesting working with a new team and getting to know everyone, but I believe collectively as a group everyone has the same goal of winning a championship.”
In 2006-07 Knapp laced up to play an 11-game stint with the former ECHL Pensacola Ice Pilots where he scored one goal and earned eight penalty minutes during his appearance.
“Darren [McMillan] and Dan [Knapp] are good two-way defensemen,” said Reign Head Coach Karl Taylor. “They are the type of guys that you can rely on in all game situations and we are glad to have them join the Reign.”
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.
Season tickets and mini-plans for the Ontario Reign’s Inaugural season presented by the Mission Inn are on sale now and offer an affordable entertainment option for families and residents of the Inland Empire. For more information about Reign season tickets or mini-plans contact the Reign office at (909) 941-PUCK (7825) or visit www.ontarioreign.com.