ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign of the ECHL, proud affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, announced Thursday that they have signed Rookie Right Wingers Denny Johnston and Jon Rheault to the Reign Roster for the 2008-09 season.
Rheault (ROH), 22, comes to the Reign after playing NCAA hockey the past four seasons (2004-08) with Providence College in Rhode Island. While playing for the Friars, Rheault was selected to the Hockey East All-Academic Team for two consecutive years (2006-07 and 2007-08) for his academic achievements while actively competing in hockey.
Selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the fifth round of the 2006 NHL Entry draft, Rheault led the Friars in scoring during the 2007-08 season with a career high 31 points (17 goals, 14 assists). The 5-foot 11-inch, Arlington, Texas native played in 142 games with the Friars, scoring 56 goals and assisting on 49 others (105 points). In his final season with Providence College, Rheault was chosen as an All-Hockey East Honorable Mention All-star.
"I am excited at the chance to play for the Reign," Rheault said. "I have heard nothing but good things from former players of Coach Taylor’s. With the community support and the L.A. Kings involvement, I believe this is going to be a great place to play."
Johnston, 26, begins his rookie season with the Reign after completing his college career with the University of New Brunswick. Johnston competed at UNB in 134 games tallying 31 goals, assisting on 38 others (69 points) and racking up 171 pentalty minutes. The 6-foot, 202-lb, resident of Rosetown, SK, was the recipient of a gold medal in 2006-07 when the UNB Varsity Reds won the CIS National Championship against Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus, bringing home the second-ever championship in UNB history.
"This is my first attempt at playing professional hockey after playing five years at UNB," Johnston said. "I am looking forward to focusing my efforts on hockey and doing the best job that I can. I am excited to play for the Reign and look forward to the upcoming season."
Prior to UNB, Johnston played six seasons in the WHL from 1997-03. From 1997-02, Johnston skated in 200 games for the Medicine Hat Tigers, scoring 28 goals and assisting on 67 others (97 points). His best season came when he tallied 33 points (9 goals, 24 assists) in 1998-99. Johnston finished out the 2001-02 season with the Prince George Cougars, accumulating 27 points (15 goals, 12 assists) in 58 games. In 2002-03, Johnston played a one-game stint with the Cougars before completing the season with the Saskatoon Blades. While skating for the Blades, Johnston marked 23 points (8 goals, 15 assists) in 42 games.
"Denny [Johnston] and Jon [Rheault] have shown to be quality players at the University level," Reign Head Coach Karl Taylor said. "They are both looking to begin their professional careers this season and we are glad to have them as a part of the Reign."