The LA Kings have assigned goaltender Jacob Ingham to the ECHL’s Greenville Swamp Rabbits, the club announced today. Ingham had previously been assign to Eisbaren Berlin of the German Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL), whose season has been postponed twice — first to mid-November and again to Dec. 17 — due to COVID-19 concerns. Ingham was able to play in exhibition games with Berlin, a luxury compared to North American leagues right now.
Ingham, 20, was draft by the Kings in the sixth round of the 2018 NHL Draft, out of the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL. Last year, he was traded to the Kitchener Rangers, where he posted a career-high .917 save percentage (third among all OHL starting goaltenders) and a 33-8-4 record, including two shutouts. He signed with the Kings in April.
Though COVID-19 concerns have drastically changed what the 2020-21 ECHL season will look like, the third-tier North American men’s professional league will see 13 teams begin the season on Dec. 11 for a 72-game season. Up to five additional teams will be joining in Jan. 2021, as local regulations allow. The entire North Division has opted out of the season, as well as the Norfolk Admirals and and Atlanta Gladiators.
Greenville is currently affiliated with the Florida Panthers and the Kings have not had an ECHL affiliate since the 2018-19 season. Players from those teams that have suspended operations have become free agents, causing an influx of players and a potential wrench in the partnership between the leagues. The league wants to make sure their own players can play, but functioning without at least eight teams means there are more bodies than roster spots, even before accounting for the players sent down from the AHL and NHL.
The Ontario Reign also assigned defender Jack Sadek and forwards Nick and Jack Poehling to Greenville. All three players were signed by the Reign in October. They will have a preseason game against the South Stingrays tonight at 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET.