The Reading Royals of the ECHL, affiliate of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League and the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, today announced that the team has signed forward Ryan Cruthers and goaltender Josh Watson, respectively, to ECHL contracts. In transactions previously completed: (i) goaltender Riley Gill was recalled to Hershey; and (ii) defenseman Mike Banwell was loaned to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL.
Cruthers (6’0/191) (28), who hails from Farmington, New York, but currently resides in Reading, returns to action after registering forty-five points (23g-22=45pts) in seventy-one games with Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL last season. Most recently, he has been managing the Junior Royals youth hockey program at the Body Zone Sports and Wellness Complex in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. He is the all-time leading scorer for the Royals, registering 167 points (55g-112a) and 192 penalty minutes in 159 regular season games over three seasons (2009-12).
Watson (6’2/191) (23), a first year pro from Lititz, Pennsylvania, played three years of college hockey with the Rochester Institute of Technology. Last year, in nineteen games with R.I.T., he went 7-7-4 with a 3.03 goals against average and .905 save percentage.
Gill was recalled to Hershey on Saturday. In nine appearances with the Royals this season, he has compiled a record of 6-3-0-0 with a 2.20 goals against average and a .913 save percentage. He has not yet appeared for Hershey. Banwell was loaned to Bridgeport on Saturday. In thirteen goals with the Royals he has two assists and twenty-one penalty minutes, which include three fighting majors. He has not yet appeared for the Sound Tigers.
The Royals return to action on Friday (December 6 @ 7:00 pm), when the team will travel to WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, West Virginia, to face-off against the Wheeling Nailers.