Reading, Pa. – The Reading Royals, ECHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League and Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, today announced that the organization has agreed to terms with defenseman Matt Campanale.
Campanale, a third year pro who hails from Chester Springs, Pa., began last season with the Elmira Jackals, recording eleven points (1g-10a) and 12 penalty minutes in 40 games before being traded to the Las Vegas Wranglers on Jan. 31. Campanale completed the regular season in Las Vegas, where he added three goals and five assists in 28 games. In the Kelly Cup Playoffs, Campanale scored two goals and assisted on four others for the Wranglers in an epic seven game battle against the Stockton Thunder, who knocked Las Vegas out of the playoffs in the first round.
In his first full season as a pro in 2011-12, Campanale began the year with the Bakersfield Condors, but was traded to Elmira after eight games. While with the Jackals, he racked up 22 points (6g-16a) in 58 games and earned the team’s co-Defenseman of the Year Award. Campanale, who was often paired with former NHL-veteran Craig Rivet, played to a team-best +14 in his time with Elmira, who captured the Atlantic Division regular season title. In the Kelly Cup Playoffs, Campanale and his Jackal teammates defeated the Royals in the first-round Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals, which went the five-game distance, before being knocked out of the playoffs in the second round by the eventual 2012 Kelly Cup Champion Florida Everblades.
Campanale began his pro career after the completion of his senior season at the University of New Hampshire in April of 2011, when he joined the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL. After playing two games in Bridgeport, Campanale was signed to an Amateur Tryout Agreement by the New York Islanders of the NHL on April 6, 2011, and logged 8:21 of ice-time in his NHL debut, a 3-2 loss for the Islanders to the Boston Bruins at TD Bank Garden in Boston. Campanale was then returned to Bridgeport, where he played a total of five games.
Prior to starting his pro career, Campanale played four seasons at the University of New Hampshire, where he originally walked on as a freshman, proceeded to earn a scholarship and ultimately was named a team captain in his senior season for the school, which earned an NCAA tournament berth in all four seasons of Campanale’s eligibility. In his senior year at UNH, 2010-11, Campanale played to team-leading +25, and was second on the team with 48 blocked shots. In 106 total college games, Campanale recorded 24 points (3g-21a) and 32 penalty minutes.