Greenville, SC – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits announced today that three collegiate players have come to contract agreements with the club. Forward Dylan Vander Esch, and defensemen Luke Ripley and Kyle Chatham have all inked deals with the Swamp Rabbits and will join the team for the 2018-19 campaign.
“Each of these players brings something different to the table,” said Swamp Rabbits head coach Kevin Kerr. “Dylan has a lot of offensive upside to his game and we are looking to develop him into a full 200-foot player. On the defensive side, Luke is a big body who plays physical in the defensive zone and will a big help in front of the net. Kyle got a chance to see what ECHL hockey looks like last year and gives us some puck-moving depth on the blue line.”
Vander Esch, 24, turned pro at the end of last season after playing four seasons at SUNY Potsdam. His first action in the pro circuit was with the Wheeling Nailers in February before heading to the Macon Mayhem. The San Jose, California native produced 16 points (7G, 9A) in 12 games with the Mayhem and was fourth on the team in the postseason with six points (1G, 5A) in six games. The 6-foot-1 forward collected 101 points (62G, 39A) in 100 NCAA Division III games and captained the Bears in the 2017-18 campaign.
Ripley, 24, was a four-year skater at Notre Dame and served a pair of seasons as alternate captain for his alma-mater. The 6-foot-5, 207-pound blue liner was a defensive stalwart, playing 120 games, earning 15 points (3G, 12A) and a plus-11 rating in his collegiate career. As a sophomore, the Kitimat, British Columbia native was second among defensemen on the team with a plus-12 rating.
Before enrolling with the Fighting Irish, Ripley played a pair of seasons for the Powell River Kings in the BCHL.
Chatham, 25, saw his first pro action with the Reading Royals last season. The rookie skater played three games after playing his senior season at Lake Superior State University. The blue liner was a four-year regular for the Lakers, suiting up for 146 career games and earning 24 points (5G, 19A). As a junior, the Belleville, Illinois native was named the club’s most valuable defenseman and set career bests in goals, assists, and points. Chatham also teamed up with Ripley in 2013-14 on Powell River, reaching the division final.
The additions of Vander Esch, Ripley, and Chatham give the Swamp Rabbits 17 players on the offseason roster. The list also includes goaltender Garrett Bartus, forwards Stephen Pierog, Austen Brassard, Mike Pelech, Travis Howe, Alex Globke, Timmy Moore, Will Merchant, JT Henke and Johno May and defensemen Jake Bolton, JC Brassard, Trevor Owens, and Sean Flanagan. As the offseason continues, stay tuned to SwampRabbits.com for a full updated list of players to sign for the upcoming season.
Contact a Swamp Rabbits Account Executive at 864-674-PUCK (7825) for information on 2018-19 ticket plans, special group rates and hospitality opportunities and to secure your seats today! Get the latest Swamp Rabbits gear by visiting the “Hop Shop” online at SwampRabbits.com/shop to browse the full collection of fan wear and novelties!