Swamp Rabbits pick up three rookies

Greenville, S.C. – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits announced that three collegiate players have come to contract agreements with the club. Forward Dylan Vander Esch, and defensemen Luke Ripley and Kyle Chatham have all inked deals with the Swamp Rabbits and will join the team for the 2018-19 campaign. 

Vander Esch, 24, turned pro at the end of last season after playing four seasons at SUNY-Potsdam. His first action in the pro circuit was with the Wheeling Nailers in February before heading to the Macon Mayhem of hte Southern Professional Hockey League. The San Jose, California native produced 16 points (7g-9a) in 12 games with the Mayhem and was fourth on the team in the postseason with six points (1g-5a) in six games. Vander Esch collected 101 points (62g-39a) in 100 college games and captained the Bears in the 2017-18 campaign.

Ripley was a four-year skater at Notre Dame and served a pair of seasons as alternate captain for the Fighting Irish. The 24-year-old was a defensive stalwart, playing 120 games, earning 15 points (3g-12a) and a +11 rating in his collegiate career. As a sophomore, the Kitimat, British Columbia native was second among defensemen on the team with a +12 rating. Before enrolling at Notre Dame, Ripley played a pair of seasons for the Powell River Kings in the British Columbia Hockey League.

Chatham, 25, saw his first pro action with the Reading Royals last season. The rookie skater played three games after playing his senior season at Lake Superior State University. The blue liner was a four-year regular for the Lakers, suiting up for 146 career games and earning 24 points (5g-19a). As a junior, the Belleville, Illinois native was named the club’s most valuable defenseman and set career bests in goals, assists, and points. Chatham also teamed up with Ripley in 2013-14 on Powell River, reaching the division final.