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Broadcaster Blog: Where we sit on the summer signings

Wednesday, July 31st
Broadcaster Blog: Where we sit on the summer signings

David Fine/Reading, PA: Hey everyone! Voice of the Royals David Fine here and we’re excited to answer some questions about the 2019-20 Royals. If you'd like questions answered for our next blog, shoot a message to us at marketing@royalshockey.com with SUBJECT: "Broadcaster Blog"

Here’s where the roster stands: Head Coach Kirk MacDonald and Assistant Coach Nick Luukko have been busy.Defensemen (4): #19 Garret Cockerill, #27 Jeremy Beaudry, #75 Joe Masonius, #77 Jimmy Mazza

Forwards (7): #7 Trevor Gooch, #9 Brayden Low, #13 Olivier Labelle, #17 Brendan Robbins, #21 Frank DiChiara, #28 Brady Wiffen, #81 Corey Mackin

Question 1: What do you think the strength of this team is so far? 

Two things here: versatility + speed.Versatility: Brayden Low and Frank DiChiara can each contribute on both ends of the ice and put up 15-20 goals. On the back end, Garret Cockerill and Jeremy Beaudry have each had success in this league and with good coaching are top-four blueliners. Cockerill was one of the best Royals defensemen during late February and early March before he was recalled to Cleveland (AHL). In the Calder Cup Playoffs with the Monsters, Cockerill played significant minutes and saw time on the power play. If he takes that momentum into this season, he could earn another AHL opportunity quickly. 

Speed: Trevor Gooch, Brendan Robbins and Corey Mackin can all skate well. Coach MacDonald has a way of finding good penalty killing forwards and it’s possible Robbins is one of the better ones on the Royals this season. Coach MacDonald said after Robbins signed that he's looking forward to seeing what this talented rookie can do. 

Question 2: How do you see Olivier Labelle fitting in? Any number guesses?

Labby is back for his 6th (!!!) season with the Royals. Just wow. No one has ever done that with the Royals and he’s already the leader in goals (128) and games played (294) in Royals history. He needs 17 points to tie Ryan Cruthers’ mark for the most points in team history (273).Last season, he had 15 goals and 40 points with Indy. I think those type of numbers are realistic again for Labelle, who will be playing with Reading for the first time since 2016-17. He’s going to be a mainstay on the power play so it’s not out of the realm he gets seven or eight man-up goals just by parking in front of the opposing goalie.

Question 3: Lot of rookies here. Cause for concern?

Not at all. So far, six of the 11 players signed are entering their first pro seasons, but the reality of the ECHL is young players often make important impacts. Corey Mackin is a great example. He showed his strengths as a playmaker at Ferris State and then in 12 games with the Royals, where he had one goal and six points.

By the way, have you ever seen how consistent Mackin's numbers were at Ferris State? He scored exactly 25 points in a season three times at Ferris State. The other season he had 26. That bodes well for the Royals; over the course of a 72-game season that’s about 50 points.

Question 4: Who’s the best signing so far? Maybe a guy we aren’t talking about?

Defenseman Jeremy Beaudry. Scoring 13 goals as a defenseman is HARD to do and Beaudry did that as a rookie in 2017-18. Last season was a little bit tougher, but Wichita wasn’t as strong of a team. Pair Beaudry with a defenseman that can get him the puck and he’s going to be good. Jeremy is also a tremendous guy in the community; he won the league’s 2018 Community Service Award by basically getting involved in almost every initiative the Thunder presented him. Expect to see a lot of him around Berks County.  

Question 5: Who’s next? Any hints?

A few more signings coming up over the next week hopefully! Thanks for reading!Royals season memberships and mini-plans are available for 2019-20 by heading to royalshockey.com/restoretheroar, visiting the Royals Box Office at Santander Arena (700 Penn Street) and calling 610-898-7825. The first Royals’ home game is Sat., Oct. 19 vs. Maine at 7:00 p.m., featuring a massive block party, games, food, drinks and a special “Downtown Alive” concert on Penn Street before the home opener.For the latest team news, visit royalshockey.com/news, and follow the team on Facebook (Facebook.com/ReadingRoyals), Twitter (Twitter.com/ReadingRoyals) and Instagram (Instagram.com/ReadingRoyals). Use #RestoreTheRoar to join the conversation.About the RoyalsThe Royals are entering their 19th ECHL season and are proudly affiliated with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers and AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The Royals won the Kelly Cup in 2013, have made the playoffs 14 times, and are four-time division champions. The Berks County Convention Center Authority (BCCCA), founded in 1996, owns the Royals along with the Santander Arena and the Santander Arena Performing Arts Center.Listen to all Royals broadcasts at Mixlr.com/ReadingRoyals or by downloading the Mixlr App from the App Store or Google Play. All Royals away games are broadcast on BCTV (Ch. 15 Comcast, Ch. 19 Service Electric) and Mixlr.