LA Kings Announce ECHL Affiliation with Greenville Swamp Rabbits
The LA Kings today announced a new two-year ECHL affiliation agreement with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.
Greenville has been home to an ECHL franchise for 20 seasons, first introducing professional hockey to the city in 1998. Most recently, during 2021-22, the Swamp Rabbits qualified for the league’s postseason Kelly Cup Playoffs with a fourth-place finish in the league’s South Division.
“On behalf of the entire LA Kings organization, we are excited to announce our new affiliation with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits of the ECHL," said Kings Director of Player Development, Glen Murray. "We are very happy to have this development route for our future Kings under the leadership of Spire Sports + Entertainment and direction of Head Coach & General Manager Andrew Lord. We know that our prospects will have a first-class experience in Greenville while developing as players and people.”
Lord has led the Swamp Rabbits to a combined record of 71-48-25 over the last two seasons in his current role.
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick also spent time in the ECHL after turning pro with the Reading Royals during 2007-08.
The Kings’ AHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign, has also announced five two-way player contracts for the upcoming 2022-23 season, including defenseman Joe Gatenby and forwards Alex Ierullo, Brett Kemp, Justin Nachbaur, and Nikita Pavlychev.
Gatenby, 25, signed a PTO with the Reign last season after completing his collegiate campaign at the University of New Brunswick, where he appeared in 83 games while scoring 41 points on eight goals and 33 assists as an alternate captain. He recorded 10 points on two goals and eight assists in 23 games last year and joined the Swamp Rabbits for six Kelly Cup Playoff games, where he netted a goal and an assist.
The Kelowna, B.C. native also played junior hockey in the Western Hockey League (WHL) for five seasons with the Kelowna Rockets and Kamloops Blazers, suiting up in 317 games from 2013-18.
Ierullo (eye-ROO-low), 25, turned pro with the Reign last season by signing an ATO on March 25. He appeared in three games with Ontario before posting six points in seven regular seasons of ECHL contests (1-5=6) with the Swamp Rabbits. The Woodbridge, Ont. native also tasted the postseason with Greenville, scoring four points (1-3=4) in six playoff contests.
The attacker spent four seasons in the NCAA at Bemidji State University, appearing in 136 games while scoring 96 points on 36 goals and 60 assists. While serving as an alternate captain with the Beavers last season, Ierullo recorded 42 points on 16 goals and 26 assists in 39 games.
Kemp, 22, posted an assist for Ontario in two appearances with the Reign during his rookie professional season in 2021-22. The Yorkton, Sask. native also scored 37 points with Greenville on 17 goals and 20 assists while earning a +15 rating.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound right-shot forward turned pro after appearing in 255 career WHL games with the Medicine Hat Tigers, Edmonton Oil Kings, and Everett Silvertips, posting 218 points (96-122=218). Kemp also played six contests with the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers in 2020-21, tallying 10 points (3-7=10).
Nachbaur, 22, is entering his second pro season after beginning his career on an AHL deal with the Charlotte Checkers. The Cross Lake, Man. native, made six appearances for Charlotte as a rookie while also suiting up for 24 ECHL contests with the Swamp Rabbits, where he registered 15 points (10-5=15). Nachbaur also played in all six of Greenville’s playoff contests a year ago.
The 6-foot-3, 207-pound attacker played junior hockey in the WHL with the Prince Albert Raiders for four seasons from 2017-21, totaling 89 points in 216 games (45-44=89), and helped the team to a WHL Championship in 2019.
Pavlychev, 25, returns to the Reign for his third professional campaign after playing 13 contests for Ontario a season ago and scoring three points with two goals and an assist, as well as a +4 rating. He also suited up for 38 games with Greenville and posted 33 points on 14 goals and 19 helpers. The Yaroslavl, Russia, native appeared in the first six postseason games of his career with the Swamp Rabbits and scored four points (3-1=4).
The 6-foot-7, 225-pound left-shot attacker made his AHL debut with the Syracuse Crunch during 2020-21, posting three points (0-3=3) and a +2 rating in eight games. Pavlychev also played in 28 games with the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears, recording 11 points (5-6=11). Before turning pro, he played four seasons at Penn State, appearing in 137 games with the Nittany Lions, where he registered 70 points (36-34=70) and helped the school to the 2017 Big-10 Championship and the 2020 Big-10 Regular Season Championship.
The Swamp Rabbits begin the 2022-23 season on Oct. 22 at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
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