D Nick Luukko named Captain, Royals announce season-opening roster

Reading, PA – Reading Royals Head Coach Kirk MacDonald announced Thursday the team’s 2018-19 season-opening roster and that defenseman Nick Luukko has been named Royals Captain. The Royals are set to open the regular season with back-to-back home games vs. Worcester Oct. 13-14, featuring an opening-night block party and cowbell giveaway to the first 6,500 fans, presented by Met-Ed.

“I’m extremely excited and honored to wear the ‘C’ in Reading,” Luukko said. “We have a great group this season and for our team to be successful, everyone needs to be a leader in their own way.”

Luukko has played three full seasons and skated in 202 Royals games. The West Chester, PA native is one of four to skate in at least 200 games with Reading. Only Yannick Tifu (245), Ryan Cruthers (278) and Olivier Labelle (294) have played in more games for the Royals. Luukko was returned on loan from Lehigh Valley Oct. 6.

Season-Opening Roster (24 players)
Forwards: Chris McCarthy, Brayden Low, Steven Swavely, Adam Schmidt, Michael Huntebrinker, Tyler Brown, Alex Krushelnyski, Frank DiChiara, Bo Pieper, Brian Morgan, Jack Riley, Shane Walsh, Josh MacDonald

Defensemen: Ilya Nekolenko, Steve Johnson, Dan Milan, Adam Larkin, Charlie Vasaturo, Antony Cortese, Nick Luukko, Frank Hora, Scott Dornbrock

Goaltenders: Branden Komm, Angus Redmond

Quick Facts
13 players on the season-opening roster skated for Reading in 2017-18.
Chris McCarthy is the team’s leading returning goals (22g) and points (59 pts.).
Reading has five rookies; two played for the Royals at the end of last regular season (Jack Riley, Adam Larkin).
Tyler Brown has played in 415 professional regular season games, the most of any Royals player on the active roster.

Opening Weekend, presented by Met-Ed
Season Opener: Sat., Oct. 13, 7:00 p.m.
Block party 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. | Food and drinks available | Performance by the Uptown Band | Attempt at setting the World Record for most cowbells played at a time | Cowbell giveaway (first 6,500 fans) | Red carpet introduction for the players

Philadelphia Eagles Legends Night (Vince Papale and Bill Bergey): Oct. 14, 5:00 p.m.
Pregame tailgate 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. | Appearance by Eagles legends Vince Papale and Bill Bergey | National cornhole tournament

About the Royals
The Royals have been owned by serial entrepreneur Jack Gulati since 2014 and are entering their 18th ECHL season. Proudly affiliated with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers and AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Reading plays in the Santander Arena, located in downtown Reading, PA at 700 Penn Street. The Royals won the Kelly Cup in 2013, have made the playoffs in nine straight seasons and are four-time division champions.

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