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Swamp Rabbits Receive Reinforcements from AHL

September 30, 2019 - ECHL (ECHL) - Greenville Swamp Rabbits News Release

GREENVILLE, S.C. - 11 players have been sent as reinforcements to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits' training camp roster from the Charlotte Checkers and Springfield Thunderbirds of the American Hockey League.

The Charlotte Checkers have released forwards Zach Franko, Lincoln Griffin and Mason Baptista, as well as defenseman Brien Diffley, from their professional tryouts (PTOs) and have been re-assigned to the Swamp Rabbits' training camp.

Additionally, the Springfield Thunderbirds have released defenseman Adam Larkin and forward Shaquille Merasty from their PTOs and are now in Swamp Rabbits camp. The T-Birds also re-assigned defensemen Dylan MacPherson and Will Lochead, as well as forwards Patrick Bajkov, Cliff Pu and Liam Pecararo to the Swamp Rabbits, effective immediately.

MacPherson, 21, is entering his first full season as a professional after a three-year junior career with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League. The young defenseman was never drafted into the WHL and carved out 181 games of junior hockey experience, 43 points and a +15 mark. He was also only ever dinged for 18 minor penalties in his career.

Lochead, 21, served as an alternate captain on the London Knights of the OHL last season, and enters his first professional season out of his junior career. He brings 210 games of junior hockey experience, and a +40 mark, to the blue line for Greenville.

Bajkov, 21, spent last season with the Thunderbirds, the Manchester Monarchs and the Florida Everblades. The former 100-point scorer with the Everett Silvertips joins the Swamp Rabbits as a strong playmaker. 10 of his 14 points on the 'Blades were assists in 31 games. His production got him the attention of NHL scouts during the 2016 NHL Draft, but went undrafted. The BC native scored his first ECHL goal at the expense of Greenville on January 9, 2019.

Pu, 21, is a 2016 third round pick by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2016 NHL Draft. Last season, he spent most of his season with the Charlotte Checkers (44 games), but also played nine games for the T-Birds and five games for the Florida Everblades, where he was a point-per-game player. Pu played 232 games in the OHL, was nearly a point-per-game player, and spent most of his time with the London Knights. His production was part of an OHL championship and a Memorial Cup championship with the Knights in 2016.

Pecararo, 23, enters his first full professional season out of Northeastern University, where he was part of the Huskies' resurgence. His steady production at Northeastern helped them to a Hockey East title in 2019. He comes from a strong junior hockey program in Waterloo, where, under head coach P.K. O'Handley, helped the Black Hawks to within a game of the Clark Cup Final in 2016, a Clark Cup Final berth in 2014, and a third playoff berth in 2013. He was a consistent performer in clutch games, with 19 points in 22 career USHL playoff games.

Catch the Swamp Rabbits in preseason action this Saturday, October 5 at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena against the South Carolina Stingrays. Tickets are just $10, or FREE for full and half season ticket holders. For tickets, call or stop by the Bon Secours Wellness Arena box office.

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