By: Stingrays Media
The South Carolina Stingrays, ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and AHL’s Hershey Bears, have re-signed forward Josh Wilkins to an ECHL contract for the 2023-24 season.
Wilkins, 26, returns to the Stingrays after leading the team in points last season. He tallied 62 points (21 goals, 41 assists) in 62 regular season games and added 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) in 5 playoff games. 2023-24 will be Wilkins’ second season with the Stingrays.
“I’m excited to have Josh back,” said Stingrays Head Coach Brenden Kotyk. “He sees and thinks the game at a really high level, and he makes plays that a normal player at the ECHL level can’t make. I love how he competes. I know the guys in the locker room like him as a leader. In the big games, sometimes the highly skilled players want nothing to do with the physicality, but I feel that for Josh, the bigger the game, the better he plays. Like all our returning players, I expect him to take a huge step as a leader this year.”
Wilkins has played 200 games of professional hockey over four seasons, including 81 games at the AHL level split between the Milwaukee Admirals and Tuscon Roadrunners. Before joining the Stingrays, Wilkins spent the 2021-22 season playing for Västerviks IK and HC Vita Hästen in HockeyAllsvenskan, the second-highest league in the Swedish ice hockey system. In 2022-23, Wilkins helped the Stingrays to a 45-22 record and a seventh South Division title.
“I had one of my favorite pro seasons of my career last year,” said Wilkins. “There wasn’t one bad apple in the locker room. We all got along, which is hard to find, especially in pro sports. I’ve talked to a few guys on the team last year, and they’re ready to get the season going. It’s been a long summer, and we’re all looking forward to getting back out there.”
A native of Raleigh, NC, Wilkens enjoys playing close to home.
“It’s fun playing in front of family and relatives,” said Wilkins. “Having that experience is great for all of us.”
The Stingrays will open the 2023-24 season on October 21st at the North Charleston Coliseum against the Orlando Solar Bears at 6:05 pm.
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