Reading, Pa. native returns ‘home’ to Lehigh Valley***Editor’s Note:** Since Highland Park Hockey’s website is going to be transitioning to a subscription-based site over the course of this summer, from now on I will note which articles will be considered premium content (for paid subscribers only at $3/month) in the future once the new site is launched.*
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Written by: Tony Androckitis – Twitter/Facebook
According to those close to the situation, Highland Park Hockey has learned that forward Steven Swavely has re-upped with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on another American Hockey League (AHL) contract for the 2017-18 season.
It will mark the beginning of his second full season of hockey at the professional level.
Although the organization’s depth at the forward position relegated Swavely to mainly ECHL duty in 2016-17 with the Reading Royals, the former Maine University standout known for his defensive game and strong play in the face-off dot really broke out offensively with the Phantoms’ ECHL affiliate this past season to the tune of 39 points (18 goals, 21 assists) in 40 games.
In fact, Swavely’s improved offensive play and adjustment to the pro game in his rookie season allowed him to not only join the Phantoms down the stretch but also saw him suit up for all five of the team’s first round playoff games over guys on NHL contracts.
He’s certainly thought highly of by the Phantoms’ coaching staff, and it will be interesting to see how Swavely fits into the Phantoms’ plans heading into the fall.
Swavely’s role is pretty set in that he’s good on the penalty kill and also a face-off guru, which led to him being inserted into the Phantoms’ lineup in the postseason. The offensive development also bodes well for his chances to play more in the AHL in 2017-18.
With Swavely’s addition via a one-year AHL contract, here’s who is currently penciled in on the AHL roster:
Forwards: Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Greg Carey, Tyrell Goulbourne, Radel Fazleev, Danick Martel, Colin McDonald, Steven Swavely (AHL) and Mikhail Vorobyov
Defensemen: T.J. Brennan, Mark Friedman, Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Philippe Myers, Will O’Neill, Travis Sanheim and Reece Willcox
Goaltenders: None signed
Impending Free Agents**
NHL RFA: goaltenders Alex Lyon and Anthony Stolarz, defenseman
Jesper Pettersson (signed a two-year deal in SHL with Djugardens IF) and forwards Cole Bardreau, Scott Laughton and Taylor Leier
NHL UFA: defenseman Mark Alt and forwards Boyd Gordon, Chris Conner and
Andy Miele (signed a two-year deal in SHL with Malmo)
AHL UFA: goaltenders Mark Dekanich and Martin Ouellette, defenseman Max Lamarche and forwards Corban Knight, Derek Mathers, Chris McCarthy,
Steven Swavely (re-signed an AHL deal with Lehigh Valley) and Mark Zengerle (signed a one-year deal in SHL with Linkoping)