Stingrays bring back defenseman Simonelli

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The South Carolina Stingrays, ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and AHL’s Hershey Bears, have agreed to terms with defenseman Frankie Simonelli for the 2017-18 season. The native of Bensenville, Ill. is reunited with South Carolina for his fourth professional season after being part of a run to the Kelly Cup Finals with the Rays during his rookie year in 2015.

Simonelli spent last season with the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors and ECHL’s Norfolk Admirals. In six contests with Bakersfield, the defenseman recorded one assist and played a big role in Norfolk with 37 points (15g-22a) in 49 games. The blueliner also appeared in 58 total games with the AHL’s Providence Bruins over the course of three seasons from 2014-16, posting 11 points (3g-8a).

The 24-year-old played 19 regular-season games with the Stingrays during 2014-15 and scored 10 points (1g-9a) while adding a +11 rating. He then became a mainstay for the squad in the postseason, playing in 24 playoff contests with 10 points (3g-7a).

Before turning pro, Simonelli played at the University of Wisconsin for four seasons from 2010-14. Totaling 155 NCAA games, the defenseman accounted for 61 points (16g-45a) and served as team captain during his senior season. He also helped lead the team to two NCAA Tournament appearances with a WCHA Final Five Championship in 2013 and a Big Ten Tournament title in 2014.