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LeBlanc, Kuqali and Lohan Are First Solar Bears Signings for 2020-21 Season

June 18, 2020 - ECHL (ECHL) - Orlando Solar Bears News Release

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Orlando Solar Bears have announced the club has agreed to terms with forward Chris LeBlanc and defensemen Alexander Kuqali and Kevin Lohan on ECHL Standard Player Contracts for the 2020-21 season.

LeBlanc (luh-BLANK), 26, returns to Orlando after recording 35 points (14g-21a) and 24 penalty minutes in 52 games during the 2019-20 campaign. On Jan. 5, LeBlanc became the seventh player in club history to be named to the team captaincy on a full-time basis. LeBlanc's 14 goals during the season established a new career-high, and he enters the 2020-21 season with the second-most games played (173), tied for the fifth-most points (95), the fifth-most assists (61) and tied for the seventh-most goals (34) in franchise history. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound forward returns for his fourth season with Orlando after he was originally signed as a free agent on Aug. 28, 2017.

LeBlanc has tallied 100 points (34g-66a) and 96 penalty minutes in 180 career ECHL games with the Solar Bears and Wichita Thunder. He has also skated in six career American Hockey League games with the Binghamton Senators.

Prior to turning pro, the Winthrop, Mass. native completed four seasons of college hockey skating for Merrimack College. In 113 career games for the Warriors program, LeBlanc recorded 48 points (22g-26a) and 53 penalty minutes.

LeBlanc was a sixth-round selection (#161 overall) of the Ottawa Senators in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

Kuqali (koo-KAWL-ee), 29, returns to Orlando after posting six points (4g-2a) and two penalty minutes in 26 games during an injury-shortened 2019-20 season, and received the club's Rob Kenny Memorial Award for his community service efforts. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound blueliner returns for his third season with the club after he was originally acquired via trade from the Fort Wayne Komets on Jan. 29, 2019.

In 208 career ECHL games with the Solar Bears, Komets, Quad City Mallards and Florida Everblades, Kuqali has posted 61 points (13g-48a) and 66 penalty minutes.

Prior to turning pro, Kuqali played college hockey for the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he helped the Tigers program capture three consecutive Atlantic Hockey Association conference titles from 2014-16. During his senior season, Kuqali served as team captain and earned Lowes Senior Class All-American First-Team honors. In 153 career NCAA games, Kuqali recorded 59 points (13g-46a) and 146 penalty minutes.

The Pittsburgh, Penn. native also played junior hockey with the Sioux City Musketeers and Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League, along with the Alpena IceDiggers of the North American Hockey League. In 184 combined games, Kuqali registered 46 points (9g-37a) and 110 penalty minutes.

Lohan, 26, returns to Orlando after posting seven points (1g-6a) and 39 penalty minutes in 49 games last season. The 6-foot-6, 215-pound defenseman is back for his third campaign with the Solar Bears after he was originally acquired via trade with the Toledo Walleye on Dec. 27, 2018.

In 105 career ECHL games with Orlando and Toledo, Lohan has accrued 17 points (2g-15a) and 73 penalty minutes.

Prior to turning pro, the native of Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. played four seasons of college hockey at the University of Michigan and one season as a graduate transfer at Boston College. In 86 career NCAA games, Lohan notched 19 points (4g-15a) and 44 penalty minutes.

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