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Stingrays Sign 31-Year-Old Defenseman Smutek

December 28, 2021 - ECHL (ECHL) - South Carolina Stingrays News Release

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Washington Capitals and AHL's Hershey Bears, have agreed to terms with defenseman Skyler Smutek from Vermilion County of the SPHL on Tuesday.

Smutek, 31, earns his first call to the ECHL in his fifth season of professional hockey after splitting this year between Peoria and Vermilion County in the SPHL. The native of Renton, Wash. began his career in the Federal Hockey League, suiting up in four games for the Carolina Thunderbirds during 2017 where he tallied one assist. Since then, the 6-foot, 190-pound blueliner has bounced around the SPHL with Huntsville, Quad City, Peoria, and Pensacola to go along with Vermilion County, recording 25 points (two goals, 23 assists) in 117 games played.

"On my drive down to the lowcountry, I reflected on all the sacrifices my family has taken to help me get to this point," said Smutek. "It has been a dream and goal of mine to reach this level. I have to make sure I keep my excitement contained when I hit the ice because at the end of the day it is still hockey and I have to play my game."

Prior to turning pro, Smutek played five years of collegiate hockey beginning at the University of Connecticut with the club team. After one year, Smutek transitioned to Division I hockey, but the injury bug sidelined him after only 27 games his sophomore season with Huskies. The blueliner only played three games the rest of his collegiate career with the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Marian University before taking a year off to get healthy.

The Stingrays return to action on Wednesday, December 29th when the team heads to Jacksonville, Florida to take on the Icemen at 7:00 p.m.

Single game tickets for all your Stingrays home games for the upcoming 2021-22 home season are on sale now via Ticketmaster.

Save money with group tickets! For more information or to purchase, contact the Stingrays by phone at 843-744-2248.

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