Pair of rookies join Stingrays roster

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 forward Tad Kozun and defenseman Kevin McKernan for the 2018-19 season.

Kozun returns to South Carolina after appearing in 19 games for the team at the end of the 2017-18 season, while McKernan will make his debut with the Stingrays after his rights were acquired from Fort Wayne as part of future considerations from an earlier trade.

Kozun signed with the Stingrays at the conclusion of his senior season with the University of Alaska-Anchorage on Feb. 28 and had a goal and an assist for the Stingrays down the stretch along with 11 penalty minutes. He served as an alternate captain with the Seawolves during 2017-18 while suiting up for 33 games and scoring 15 points (5g-10a).

While at school, Kozun played in a total of 133 games over four seasons and scored 69 points (29g-40a). He proved to be extremely durable, missing just three total games during his collegiate career and played in all of the team’s 34 contests during both his freshman and sophomore campaigns.

Before his time at UAA, Kozun played three seasons of junior hockey with his hometown team, the Nipawin Hawks in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League from 2011-14. During the 2013-14 season he led the league with 38 goals and finished third in overall scoring with 65 points as an alternate captain.

McKernan joined Fort Wayne in March after completing his senior season at Quinnipiac University and suited up for nine regular-season games as well as eight playoff contests in the Komets’ run to the Western Conference Finals. The blueliner had one assist in the postseason along with four penalty minutes and a +1 rating.

While attending Quinnipiac, McKernan played in 138 games over four seasons and scored 36 points (12g-24a). McKernan was also part of the Bobcats’ Frozen Four appearance and run to the National Championship game in 2016. The Millbury, Massachusetts native also helpd the Boston Junior Bruins to the 2013-14 USPHL Championship as an assistant captain while ranking second among team defensemen with 25 points in 46 games.