Reading, PA – Reading Royals Head Coach Kirk MacDonald announced Tuesday the Royals have signed defenseman Ilya Nekolenko to a 2018-19 ECHL contract. A 25-year-old from Moscow, Russia, Nekolenko has played in the KHL for parts of the last six seasons, scoring two goals and six points in 91 games. He stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 220 pounds. Last season, Nekolenko appeared in 14 games for Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk. He has skated for six KHL teams but never played professionally in North America.
“Ilya has had a chance to get some playing time in one of the world’s best leagues and we expect there to be a transition as he comes to North America,” said MacDonald. “He will be put in a spot to succeed with the Royals and we look forward to watching him perform in a few weeks.”
Nekolenko has also skated in the VHL since 2014-15. In 2014, the left-handed shot won the MHL Championship with MHK Spartak Moskva. He represented Russia at the CCOA U20 Championships in 2011-12.
Updated Royals Roster
Forwards (12): #3 Chris McCarthy, #9 Brayden Low, #12 Steven Swavely, #14 Adam Schmidt, #18 Tyler Brown, #21 Frankie DiChiara, #24 Bo Pieper, #28 Brian Morgan, #29 Jack Riley, #61 Dillan Fox, #77 Shane Walsh, #86 Josh MacDonald
Defensemen (5): #2 Ilya Nekolenko, #4 Nick Neville, #6 Dan Milan, #7 Adam Larkin, #11 Charlie Vasaturo
Season tickets, group tickets and mini-plans are on sale by calling 610-898-7825 (PUCK).
Royals Open House + 50% Off Team Store Discount Sept. 8, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The Royals will host an Open House for all fans on Sat., Sept. 8 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., the perfect chance to select your seats for the 2018-19 campaign. The Lion’s Den Team Store will have a 50% off clearance sale and any fan that refers another fan who purchases tickets will receive a team store gift card. Come by to learn about Royals ticket packages, select a seat for the spot you’ve been considering and reserve your group night.
First Home Game Oct. 13
The Royals will open the 2018-19 regular season at Santander Arena on Sat., Oct. 13 at 7:00 p.m. vs. the Worcester Railers. The home opener will feature a special Block Party and “Red Carpet” presentation for the team.
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.