Reading, PA – The Reading Royals of the ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Jordan Heywood. Heywood is the first player announced as signed by the Royals to an ECHL Standard Players Contract for the 2015-16 season.
Video content related to Heywood’s performance last season with the Royals can be accessed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpmhx1EruHI
Last season, Heywood (6’0/196) (26), who hails from Regina, Saskatchewan, led all first year pros on the Royals with twenty-three points (9g-14a) and also picked up thirty-one penalty minutes in fifty-two games with the team. Heywood’s nine goals tied him for the team lead amongst defensemen. He first found his scoring touch in Reading’s 4-3 win over the Elmira Jackals on December 27, 2014, when he racked up a pair of goals, including the first of the game—also his first as a pro—and the game winner. That was one of six multi-point performances for Heywood, who received the team’s Sportsmanship Award at the conclusion of the regular season.
Heywood actually may have saved his best for last, as he rang off a four-game point streak (2g-3a=5pts) in the final four games of Reading’s East Division Semi-Final playoff series against the South Carolina Stingrays. In fact, at the time of the Royals’ final playoff game, Heywood led all rookie defensemen in the ECHL with seven points (4g-3a=7pts) in the seven games played in that first round series. Heywood scored his four playoff goals on just thirteen shots, which translated into a team best 30.8% scoring percentage in the post-season. In Game Three of the East Division Semis, Heywood bagged a pair of goals, including the game’s first and the game winner. That was one of two multi-point games for him in the series with the other coming in Game Four when he registered a goal—which proved to be his second game winner of the series—and picked up an assist. In Game Seven, Heywood scored the game’s first goal on a highlight reel move splitting a pair of defenders with a 360 degree spin and back-hand finish.
Prior to turning pro, Heywood registered nine assists and thirty-three penalty minutes in thirty-three games in his senior year (2013-14) at Merrimack College. After concluding his collegiate career that season, he joined the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL where he recorded three assists and two penalty minutes in five games. Heywood kicked off his career at Merrimack in 2010-11 by leading all defensemen and first year players in Hockey East in plus-minus, playing to a plus-24 in thirty-nine games for the Warriors, who ended up qualifying for the NCAA tournament. During his sophomore season, Heywood was second on the team with fifteen assists, and his nineteen points (4g-15a) placed him second in scoring amongst defensemen on the team. His most prolific season as a Warrior came in his junior year, when he recorded twenty-one points (8g-13a) in thirty-eight games, which was good enough to earn him a selection to the All-Hockey East Second Team and the All-New England Second Team.
A three-time captain for the Warriors, Heywood received the Tim Burke ‘Warrior’ Award for perseverance, toughness, and dedication at the conclusion of his collegiate career, during which he established a school record for total games played (147). In his time with at Merrimack, Heywood recorded a total of sixty-five points (14g-51a) and 160 penalty minutes.
Season Tickets for the 2015-16 Reading Royals ECHL season are currently available. Call 610-898-7825 for more information or log onto www.royalshockey.com.