Providence Signs ECHL Defenseman Leach

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League announced that they have signed former ECHL defenseman Jay Leach for the remainder of the season.

After registering two assists and 17 penalty minutes in 10 games with Trenton, the 6-4 and 225-pound Leach signed a professional tryout contract with Providence on November 26. In 22 games with Providence, the 25-year-old Leach has four points (2g-2a) and 29 penalty minutes.

“He’s come in unexpectedly, and we thought he would be a sixth or seventh defenseman,” Providence coach Scott Gordon, who played and coached in the ECHL, told The Providence Journal. “He’s been playing like he’s in the top two. He’s very solid and has made the plays when he needs to, and has chipped in with an odd goal. He gives us more depth on defense, and we don’t consider any of our defensemen liabilities on the ice.”

Selected in the fifth round (115th overall) by Phoenix in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Leach played in the ECHL in 2003-04 with Long Beach, registering one assist in three games, and Trenton, scoring 13 points (2g-11a) in 31 games. He also played in the AHL with Providence, appearing in three games, and Bridgeport, scoring one assist in 23 regular season games and one assist in seven playoff games.

In his first professional season in 2001-02 with Mississippi, Leach had 16 points (3g-13a) and 116 penalty minutes in 70 regular season games and two points (1g-1a) in 10 Kelly Cup Playoff games. In 2002-03, he had 19 points (8g-11a) and 162 penalty minutes in 65 games with Augusta and also played nine games in the AHL with Springfield.