Ontario Re-Signs Leading Forwards to 2012-13 Roster
Couture and Sheen return to Reign lineup for second season
ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign, 2011-12 Pacific Division Champions and proud affiliate of the NHL’s 2012 Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings, announced the return of 2011-12 Alternate Captain and point-leader, Derek Couture and Everett Sheen for their second seasons with the Reign.
Couture, 28, had his best all-time season last year leading the Reign in goals (29), points (60), and penalty minutes (179). He tied for second in the league with 12 power play goals. In the final game of the regular season, the right winger earned three points (2g, 1a) setting a new club record for most points earned in a single season. Couture finished the regular season with career-high numbers in every aspect of his game; 60 points (29g, 31a) and 179 penalty minutes. In March 2012, he was voted on by fans to represent the Reign as a Silver Skater.
"I’m looking forward to being back with the Reign organization, working with Jason [Christie] and [Mark] Hardy," Couture said. "I’m excited to getting back with the guys returning from last season and the new guys they’re bringing in. We’re going to have a good team."
From 2005-11 the Calgary, Alberta native spent six seasons between the AHL and ECHL with a brief, 10-game stint in Austria in the 2008-09 season. While playing with Omaha, Quad City, Binghamton, and Hartford/Connecticut in the American League, Couture earned 81 points (39g, 42a) in 293 games. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound winger made his ECHL debut in 2008-09 and while playing three partial seasons in the league, Couture recorded 44 points (14g, 30a) in a total of 50 games.
"I’m excited to come back. I’m excited for the fans to keep doing what they did last year and keep being the best fans in the league," Couture said.
Sheen, 25, joined the Reign in the latter half of his rookie season in February 2012 from the Reading Royals. The 6-foot, 185-pound winger led the Reign in rookie goals and forward points and finished the season with 27 points (14g, 13a) in 56 ECHL games. He also appeared in four games at the AHL level with the Providence Bruins during the 2011-12 season.
"I'm looking forward to just being back and being part of a good organization. I really enjoyed the couple months I had at the end of the season last year," Sheen said. "I'm looking forward to being back with all the returning guys and the new guys coming in; some of which I have already played with in college and juniors."
He earned his first point, an assist, with the Reign in his debut game and in his second game he began a seven-game goal streak which would run from February 18 through March 2. This streak gave the Lethbridge, Alberta native the league lead in rookie goal streaks and put him in a tie for the second overall spot in the same category.
"I want to improve on my consistency and pick up where I left off; keep that going throughout the whole season. I want to play more defensively and work hard on the penalty kill," Sheen said
An alumni of the College of the Holy Cross, Sheen spent four years playing with the club tallying 104 points (52g, 52a) in 149 games.
"I want to have an even better regular season, get that number one seed and I really want to see us make a good run to go farther in the playoffs," Sheen said.