Reading , PA – The Reading Royals of the ECHL, affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League and the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, announced that the organization has agreed to terms with defenseman Jeff State . A fifth year pro from Buffalo , New York , State (6'7"/244 lbs.) scored a career high three goals and assisted on six others in 59 regular season games for Reading last year.
State, who will turn twenty-seven years of age on September 17, racked up 145 penalty minutes–including eleven major penalties–for the Royals in a season during which he also made six separate trips to the AHL. State was called up to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers twice, and he had four stints with the Hershey Bears, including one after the Royals' season had concluded, as State appeared in two games during Hershey's run to the 2006 Calder Cup Championship.
In 1997-98, State's junior career started off with a bang, as he was selected to the United States Hockey League team as a member of the Omaha Lancers who won that season's USHL championship. After concluding a second season in the USHL with the Dubuque Fighting Saints, State jumped to collegiate hockey, entering Merrimack College where he played 70 games over two seasons for the Warriors.
In his first two years as a pro, State essentially split his playing time between the ECHL (with the Charlotte Checkers) and the AHL (with the Hartford Wolf Pack), appearing in a total of 49 AHL games in those two years. State then spent his entire third pro season with the Danbury Trashers of the United Hockey League, scoring two goals, adding five assists, and picking up 156 pims in 63 regular season games.
Last season, State played twenty-seven games for the Royals before picking up his first point for the team by scoring the game's first goal in a 4-3 loss to the Toledo Storm on January 15, 2006 at the Sovereign Center–a game in which State also picked up an assist. That multi-point performance ignited a bit of a scoring tear for State, who bagged all three of his goals (including a game winner in a 3-1 win over Wheeling on February 4) and four of his six assists over the course of a ten game span from January 15 through February 12.
Last season, State also set a career high in total regular season penalty minutes, compiling 170 pims in 68 regular season games with three teams.