ECHL: South Carolina Stingrays Sign Jon McDonald

When it rains, it pours! The South Carolina Stingrays have signed another player ahead of the 2023-24 season. A native of Livonia, Michigan, Jon McDonald, 25, has spent the last several years playing with UMass Lowell. In his last four seasons with the UMass Lowell River Hawks, McDonald’s teammates voted him Defensive Player of the Year. He played as an alternate captain in the 2021-22 season and captain in 2022-23.

“I’ve liked Jon since day one,” said Stingrays Head Coach Brenden Kotyk in the team’s press release. “The biggest thing is that he’s a tremendous leader. He’s ultra-competitive and wants to get better every single day. I think that it’s a steal for us to sign him at an ECHL deal, and there’s not a doubt in my mind that I could see him being in the AHL by the end of the season, but when we have him here, he’s going to be a very good defenseman for us.”

Before his time at UMass Lowell, the 6′ defenseman played in the USHL Fargo Force, where he was an alternate captain in the 2017-18 series, leading the team to their first Clark Cup championship. In 2016-17, McDonald also played alongside new Stingrays forward Jack Adams on the Fargo Force. In the 2022-23 season, McDonald had a brief stint in the ECHL, playing for the Toledo Walleye. In 10 games, he tallied three assists. 

“I’m thrilled to be a part of the Stingrays organization and to be in Charleston,” McDonald said in the team’s press release. “Going to Lowell was a huge decision for me, and I grew a ton as a player and a person. Coach Bazin runs a tight ship, and it was a fantastic way to learn how to play within a system and be disciplined. Speaking with Coach Kotyk, I can see a lot of similarities, and I’m excited to get in his system and learn and develop with him.”

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