ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals and the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL have extended their affiliation agreement through the 2017-18 season, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
“We are pleased to renew our partnership with the South Carolina Stingrays,” MacLellan said. “The Stingrays are a first class organization and have been a great partner. We look forward to our prospects continuing to develop in one of the best hockey markets in the ECHL.”
"We are excited and honored to be able to continue our affiliation with the Washington Capitals,” said Stingrays President Rob Concannon. “They have been a great partner and we look forward to working with and devolving their prospects."
The Stingrays, led by fifth-year head coach Spencer Carbery, currently sit in first place in the ECHL's South Division with a 38-18-5-3 record. Three Capitals draft picks have played for South Carolina this season, including goaltender Vitek Vanecek. Vanecek was selected by the Capitals in the second round, 39th overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft and ranks second in the ECHL with a 2.04 goals-against average. Nine players who have skated for South Carolina this season attended the Capitals Training Camp in September.
South Carolina is in its 23rd season in the ECHL and has been affiliated with the Capitals for 10 seasons (2004-12, 2014-16). The Stingrays are three-time Kelly Cup Champions (1997, 2001, 2009) and have reached the ECHL playoffs in eight consecutive seasons. South Carolina appeared in its fourth Kelly Cup Finals last season, tying an ECHL record. The Stingrays play their home games at the North Charleston Coliseum in North Charleston, S.C., which holds a capacity of 10,349.
Six players who have skated for the Capitals this season have played in the ECHL, including former Stingrays goaltenders Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer. Holtby represented the Stingrays at the 2009-10 ECHL All-Star Game and Grubauer was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team while playing for South Carolina in 2011-12.