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Seven UConn men’s hockey seniors head to AHL, ECHL

Nearly the Huskies’ entire graduating class is moving up to the next level.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

Seven of UConn men’s hockey’s seniors have signed a professional contract since the Huskies’ season ended.

Marc Gatcomb and Darion Hanson inked a deal in the AHL while Jonny Evans, Jarrod Gourley, Kevin O’Neil, Carter Turnbull and Ryan Wheeler all ended up in the ECHL.

Hanson signed with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, on a professional tryout (PTO) but has not yet appeared in a game between the pipes. Gatcomb is the most recent signee, joining the Abbotsford Canucks, affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks, on a contract that will begin next season.

Meanwhile, Evans, O’Neil and Turnbull all signed with the South Carolina Stingrays and have helped the team win its last four games. The three have combined for 17 points in six games since joining the team with three goals and five assists for Evans, six goals and one assist for O’Neil and two goals for Turnbull.

Both O’Neil and Turnbull have recorded game-winning goals in overtime for the Stingrays so far.

Gourley parlayed his one season in Storrs into an amateur tryout (ATO) with the Adirondack Thunder, where he’s played in four games so far with one assist.

Meanwhile, Wheeler signed a professional contract with the Iowa Heartlanders. He’s one of the best success stories of the Huskies’ Hockey East Era as a player who steadily developed from one of the team’s weaker defensemen into a professional. Wheeler has one assist in six games so far this season.

In addition to those seven, Vladislav Firstov and Jachym Kondelik signed with the Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators, respectively, the same teams who drafted them. Firstov has two assists in four games with the AHL’s Iowa Wild while Kondelik has played in just a single game (no points) with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals.