Reading, Pa. – The Reading Royals,ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, announced that the team has agreed to terms with defensemen Nick Luukko and Chase Golightly for the 2017-18 season.
Luukko, who hails from West Chester, Pa., will be entering his third year of professional play—and third with the Royals. Last season, Luukko racked up career-best numbers with 20 points (6g-14a) and a +22 rating in 70 games with Reading. Luukko, who served as an alternate captain for the Royals last year, played in all six postseason games for the Royals in the team’s North Division Semifinals matchup against the Brampton Beast.
A sixth-round pick (179th overall) of the Flyers in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Luukko signed an American Hockey League contract with the Flyers prior to the start of the 2015-16 season and was loaned by the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the AHL to the Royals in early October of that year. He proceed to rack up 14 points (4g-10a) and 22 penalty minutes in 65 regular-season games as a rookie with Reading. Luukko closed out that year by playing a pair of post-season games for the Royals.
Over the past two seasons, Luukko has played a total of 135 games as a Royal which places him 17th in all-time regular-season games for the team. His 34 career points with Reading (10g-24a) is tied for 23rd in all-time points by a defenseman with the club.
Luukko actually kicked off his pro career late in the 2014-15 season when he joined Lehigh Valley for six games (0g-0a) after the conclusion of his senior season at the University of Vermont. In his final year of collegiate play, Luukko registered a career-best 14 points (2g-12a) and 14 penalty minutes in 41 games with the Catamounts. In four seasons at Vermont Luukko racked up 35 points (8g-27a) and 72 penalty minutes in 131 college games.
Last season, Golightly began his first full season as a pro with the Florida Everblades, where he registered eight points (1g-7a) and 12 penalty minutes in 40 games prior to being traded to the South Carolina Stingrays in early March. Golightly was then immediately traded to the Royals, in return for future considerations. Golightly completed the regular season with the Royals, recording one assist in seven games. He also played in five of the team’s games in the first round playoff matchup against the Brampton Beast.
Prior to turning pro, Golightly had an exceptional four-year collegiate stint at Robert Morris University, where he was twice named to the All-Atlantic Hockey Association Third Team. A four-time selection to the All-Atlantic Hockey Association All-Academic Team, Golightly was selected as the school’s defensive player of the year in his junior season. During his time at Robert Morris, Golightly racked up 60 points (12g-48a) and played to a collective +45, which ranks fourth best in school history, in 147 career games with the Colonials, which is tied for sixth most all-time in school history.