Capitals Sign Former Royal Steckel

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League announced that they have signed former Reading Royals left wing David Steckel.

The South Carolina Stingrays are the ECHL affiliate of the Capitals of the NHL and the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League.

The Capitals are coached by Bruce Boudreau, who led Mississippi to the Kelly Cup championship in 1999 and who was named NHL Coach of the Year in 2007-08.

Selected in the first round (30th overall) by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, the 26 year old had nine points (3g-6a) in nine games for Reading as a rookie in 2004-05 before being called up to Manchester of the AHL where he had 17 points (10g-7a) in 63 regular season games and two points (1g-1a) in six playoff games.

Steckel had career NHL regular season highs in 2007-08 with five goals, seven assists, 12 points, 34 penalty minutes and 67 games. He made his first appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and had two points (1g-1a) and four penalty minutes in seven games.

He has played in the NHL each of the last three seasons and has 12 points (5g-7a) and 36 penalty minutes in 79 regular season games and two points (1g-1a) and four penalty minutes in seven playoff games.

The Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League had affiliations with 26 of the 30 teams in the NHL in 2007-08, marking the 11th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams.

There have been 355 players who have played in the NHL after the ECHL and 210 who have made their debut in the last seven seasons.

Twenty-six former ECHL players made their NHL debut in 2007-08 including six who played in both the ECHL and NHL: Chris Beckford-Tseu (Alaska and St. Louis), Adam Berti (Pensacola and Chicago), Joe Jensen (Wheeling and Carolina), Dan LaCosta (Elmira and Columbus), Jonathan Quick (Reading and Los Angeles) and Danny Taylor (Reading and Los Angeles).

The ECHL is represented on the Stanley Cup for the eighth consecutive year with Aaron Downey, who played his first two professional seasons with Hampton Roads, becomes the 14th former player to be a part of a NHL championship team.