Reading, PA – The Reading Royals of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with defensemen Nick Luukko and Chase Golightly. The Royals have announced four players as signed to ECHL Standard Players Contracts for the 2017-18 season. In addition to Luukko and Golightly, Reading has also announced the signing of forwards Ryan Penny and Matt Wilkins.
Luukko (6’2/205) (25), who hails from West Chester, Pennsylvania, will be entering his third year of professional play—and third with the Royals. Last season, Luukko racked up career-best numbers (6g-14a=20pts, 22 pims), while playing to a collective plus-22 (+22)—second best on the team—in seventy games with Reading. Luukko, who served as an alternate captain for Reading last year, played in all six post-season games for the Royals in the team’s North Division Semi-Final matchup against the Brampton Beast without registering any points or penalty minutes.
Luuko’s first goal of the season last year proved to be the game winner in a 6-3 win over the Rapid City Rush on November 4. That goal triggered an avalanche of production for Luukko who proceeded to run off six goals in a span of the next thirteen games, which included scoring a short-handed goal against the Cincinnati Cyclones on November 9. One of the highlights of Luukko’s season came on February 14, when he was called upon to shoot second in a shootout against the Adirondack Thunder in Glens Falls, New York. Luukko not only bagged his first shootout attempt as a pro, but also that shootout goal proved to be the difference in Reading’s 6-5 shootout win.
A sixth round pick of the Flyers in 2010, Luukko signed an American Hockey League contract with the Flyers prior to the start of the 2015-16 season and was loaned by the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the AHL to the Royals in early October of that year. He proceed to rack up fourteen points (4g-10a) and twenty-two penalty minutes in sixty-five regular season games as a rookie with Reading. Luukko closed out that year by playing a pair of post-season games for the Royals.
Over the past two seasons, Luukko has played a total of 135 games as a Royal which places him seventeenth in all-time regular season games for the team. His thirty-four career points with Reading (10g-24a) is tied (with Steve Shirreffs) for twenty-third in all-time points by a defenseman with the club.
Luukko actually kicked off his pro career late in the 2014-15 season when he joined Lehigh Valley for six games (0g-0a) after the conclusion of his senior season at the University of Vermont. In his final year of collegiate play, Luukko registered a career-best fourteen points (2g-12a) and fourteen penalty minutes in forty-one games with Catamounts. In four seasons at Vermont Luukko racked up thirty-five points (8g-27a) and seventy-two penalty minutes in 131 college games.
Last year, Golightly (5’10/187) (25), who hails from Temecula, California, began his first full season as a pro with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL, where he registered eight points (1g-7a) and twelve penalty minutes in forty games prior to being traded to the South Carolina Stingrays in early March. Golightly was then immediately traded to the Royals, in return for future considerations, a deal which was recently completed when the Royals sent the ECHL rights to forward Johnny McInnis to the Stingrays. Golightly completed the regular season with the Royals, recording one assist in seven games. He also played in five of the team’s games in the first round playoff matchup against the Brampton Beast without registering any points or penalty minutes.
Prior to turning pro, Golightly had an exceptional four year collegiate stint at Robert Morris University, where he was twice named to the All-Atlantic Hockey Association Third Team. A four-time selection to the All-Atlantic Hockey Association All-Academic Team, Golightly was selected as the school’s defensive player of the year in his junior season. During his time at Robert Morris, Golightly racked up sixty-points (12g-48a) and played to a collective plus-45 (+45) (fourth best in school history) in 147 career games with the Colonials, which is tied for sixth most all-time in school history.
Full Season Tickets and Mini-Plans for the Royals’ 2017-18 ECHL season are currently available. Call 610-898-7825 for more information or log onto www.royalshockey.com.