HERSHEY, Pa. – The Hershey Bears added yet another defenseman to their depth chart Tuesday, announcing the signing of defenseman Macoy Erkamps to a contract for the 2020-21 season.
The six-foot, 196-pound blueliner spent the past two seasons with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, notching eight assists in 60 games with the baby Penguins. Erkamps previously spent two seasons in the Ottawa Senators organization with the Binghamton/Belleville Senators. He also spent time with the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers and Brampton Beast. Erkamps was part of a trade on December 5, 2018 that swapped him from the Senators to the Penguins organization.
All told, Erkamps has 117 games of AHL experience, scoring one goal and adding 13 assists during that span, along with a minus-30 rating and 113 penalty minutes. He has seven goals and 25 assists for 32 points in 84 career ECHL games.
Erkamps previously helped the Brandon Wheat Kings to a WHL championship in 2016 prior to turning pro. With Erkamps proving that he is a flexible contributor at both the AHL and ECHL levels (and with a lot of young Hershey players looking to increase their role), he will surely compete for a spot at the AHL level for the Bears.
Signing Erkamps adds another capable defender to compete for time on the blue line in Hershey that’s still adding depth. Players who spent time in Hershey last season under contract currently include Martin Fehervary, Alexander Alexeyev, Bobby Nardella, Tobias Geisser, and Eddie Wittchow. Fehervary could be on track to see NHL time more often next season, as the Capitals have yet to sign restricted free agent defenders Lucas Johansen and Connor Hobbs or attempt to sign unrestricted free agents Tyler Lewington and Colby Williams.
The Bears began with a lot of extra defenders last season, but injuries saw the group reduced to a core of players that worked very well together. Hershey had to utilize their depth when Hobbs, Johansen, and Williams all went down with injuries, which led to Wittchow staying on as a full-time defender as well as the emergence of Nardella in a prominent role.
Erkamps is a very capable player to add to the mix, and he’ll have to push hard to get playing time. Much like a lot of players the Bears have signed this summer, he should be hungry to make the team this season. Whether he’s in a role with the Bears or the South Carolina Stingrays, he will be an important asset to either organization.
The addition of Erkamps to the Hershey preseason roster marks the 15th signing by the team this offseason.
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