GREENVILLE, S.C. – As the off-season draws ever so closer to the start of the 2023-24 season, more and more moves get announced across the league. Last week, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits added a new player in Nick Prkusic and now they have announced an additional pair of signees. Instead of just one Californian, they have re-signed two, with both of them being forwards. One of them has been mentioned to be a guy the Swamp Rabbits needed to bring back. The other will be coming back for his second season in the UpState. Who are the two players coming back? Let us dive in:
Ethan Somoza is Back for Year Three
The first of the two Californians who got re-signed is Simi Valley, CA native Ethan Somoza. Somoza, who was featured as a guy to step up in Alex Ierullo‘s absence, played in 70 games for the Swamp Rabbits last season. In those games, he compiled 20 goals and 19 assists for 39 points.
Somoza was not afraid to take shots as well, with his 158 coming in third on the team only behind Tanner Eberle and Ierullo. If Somoza can find more of the twine with that shot production, there is a chance to see his point total creep up to 45, maybe even 50, next season.
Getting Somoza back will solidify more of the top six that look to lead the Swamp Rabbits back to the Kelly Cup playoffs. If Somoza, along with Eberle and the other recent forward additions, can get clicking right away, there is no reason to think that this Greenville team can’t make a deep playoff run.
Run it Back with Brannon McManus
The second player that was re-signed by the Swamp Rabbits is Newport Beach, CA native Brannon McManus. McManus is coming back for his second season with the team. Last season, McManus finished with 12 goals and 27 assists for 39 points in 59 games. For his first professional season, you couldn’t ask more from a rookie in the ECHL with those numbers. In the playoffs, he also tallied two assists in five games for Greenville.
McManus is familiar with creating chances as he tallied nine goals and 23 assists for 32 points in 34 games back in 2021-22. That was his fifth season in the NCAA but his only year with the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He had previously played four seasons with the Minnesota Golden Gophers, where he was an alternate captain his last year there.
It’s curious to see where the Swamp Rabbits will slot him. Although, if he can keep the momentum going from last season, there is a chance to see an uptick in points for McManus. It would not be out of the realm of possibility of seeing 45 or 50 points from McManus in his second year with Greenville.
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