D Nick Luukko and F Ryan Penny alternates
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals have named forward Derek Whitmore the Captain for the 2017-18 season, Head Coach Kirk MacDonald announced Friday. Returning forward Ryan Penny and third-year defenseman Nick Luukko will be the alternate captains. The Royals begin the season with two games this weekend, starting with the home opener this Saturday at 4 p.m. and a special pregame block party outside Santander Arena at 1 p.m.
“We’re really excited about the progress of our group and feel like these three embody what it means to be a Reading Royal,” said MacDonald. “Derek has taken on a strong leadership role in our room from the start and is a tone-setter. Ryan and Nick have been a part of this team and community for a number of years and we’re excited for their excellent leadership.”
Whitmore is a veteran of 369 AHL games and a tenth-year professional. Over the last three seasons, Whitmore has played overseas, spending 2014-15 and 2016-17 in Germany and 2015-16 in Austria. In 2011-12, the Rochester, NY native was an alternate captain with the Rochester Americans (AHL) and also captained Bowling Green State University as a senior in 2007-08. He is the Royals’ oldest player and will turn 32 in December.
Luukko, a 2010 sixth-round draft pick of the Flyers, graduated from Vermont in 2015. After his senior season, he started his career in the Philadelphia organization by playing six games with the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms. In his Royals career, Luukko has played in 135 games, scored 10 goals, earned 35 points and attained a plus-24 rating.
Penny played in all 72 games last season with Reading and was second on the team in goals (25). From 2013-15, he served was the captain for two different teams in the QMJHL (Moncton, Rouyn-Norada). In 105 ECHL games, Penny has 35 goals and 74 points. A native of Fall River, NS, Penny is 23 years old, stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 203 pounds.
Single-game tickets, group tickets, season tickets and mini-plans for the Royals’ 2017-18 ECHL season are available. Call 610-898-7825 for more information or log onto www.royalshockey.com.
About the RoyalsThe Royals have been owned by serial entrepreneur Jack Gulati since 2014 and are in their 17th 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 eight straight seasons and are four-time division champions.