HERSHEY, Pa. – The Hershey Bears announced that the team has assigned six players to the South Carolina Stingrays in preparation for the 2020-21 ECHL season. Hershey revealed that Caleb Herbert, Hunter Shepard, Will Graber, Tyler Nanne, Macoy Erkamps, and Mason Morelli have been sent to bolster their ECHL affiliate as they begin the regular season on December 11 at home against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Training camp opened Tuesday and the Stingrays will be in preseason action against Greenville on Saturday night
The six players assigned are all off-season signings by the Bears. Shepard, Graber, and Nanne are all college players making the leap to the professional ranks for the first time in their careers and will take that step with the Stingrays. Erkamps, Morelli, and Herbert all have AHL and ECHL experience, making them valuable additions to a South Carolina squad that’s looking to avenge their 2019-20 season, where the team had already clinched a playoff spot prior to the season shutdown.
A number of players who spent last season with the team are returning, including former Bears Andrew Cherniwchan and Dylan Steman. Cole Ully, who spent last season on an AHL deal with Hershey, signed with the Stingrays earlier this season. Herbert played in South Carolina from 2014-16, including a Kelly Cup Finals appearance with the team in 2015. Shepard helps round out the goaltending situation in South Carolina, where the Stingrays opened training camp with just one goaltender on their roster.
Erkamps, Morelli, and Herbert all look to be competing for time in Hershey at some point this season, which will make the season for the Bears’ ECHL affiliate very interesting to watch. The Bears have plenty of players vying to spend time at the AHL level, and with the season at least on hold until February 5, it makes the Stingrays the team to watch right now.
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