The Reading Royals have announced that Patrick Wellar has been hired as the team’s assistant coach. Wellar will assist and support Head Coach Kirk MacDonald in all matters related to hockey operations with the Royals beginning immediately. Pursuant to team policy, terms of Wellar’s contract were not released.
Wellar, 33, who hails from Carrot River, Saskatchewan, joins the Royals after serving as an assistant coach last season for the Cincinnati Cyclones where he and Head Coach Matt MacDonald led the Cyclones to a record of 36-29-6-1 = 79 and a fifth place finish in the South Division of the ECHL’s Eastern Conference.
Wellar began his coaching career with the Cyclones after completing a twelve year professional playing career during which he was a member of four championship teams, including the 2013 Royals when he and Reading Head Coach Kirk MacDonald were integral members of the Royals’ Kelly Cup championship team. A third round pick of the Washington Capitals in 2002, Wellar logged almost 750 regular season pro games, which included over 300 in the American Hockey League. Wellar played in six separate seasons with the Hershey Bears, where he logged thirty-six post-season games including twenty-one in 2010 when the Bears captured the AHL’s Calder Cup.
Wellar also played 441 regular season games in the ECHL, which included two stints with the Royals. One of only three players in ECHL league history to claim the Kelly Cup Championship three times, Wellar won his first championship in 2006 with the Alaska Aces. In 2008-09, Wellar began the year with the Royals playing twenty-five games with Reading (1g-7a=8pts, 47 pims) before getting recalled to Hershey and ultimately reassigned to the South Carolina Stingrays, who went on to claim the 2009 ECHL championship. Wellar returned to Reading for the 2012-13 season when he played thirty-seven regular season games (2g-13a=15pts, 45 pims) before being recalled once again to Hershey. However, this time after completing the year with the Bears, Wellar returned to the Royals just in time for Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Cincinnati Cyclones. Wellar and his teammates were able to not only knock off the Cyclones in that series in five games, but did the same to the Stockton Thunder in the 2013 Kelly Cup Finals.
PATRICK WELLAR’S PLAYING CAREER
* Selected by Washington Capitals, Third Round (#77 Overall), NHL Entry Draft (2002)
* Selected, Team Captain, Calgary Hitmen, Western Hockey League (2003-04)
* Selected to Represent Peoria Rivermen, ECHL All-Star Game, Reading, PA (2005)
* Member, Kelly Cup Championship Team, Alaska Aces, ECHL (2006)
* Led Team, Scoring by a Defenseman (8g-20a=28pts), Columbia Inferno, ECHL (2007-08)
* Member, Kelly Cup Championship Team, South Carolina Stingrays, ECHL (2009)
* Member, Calder Cup Championship Team, Hershey Bears, AHL (2010)
* Third on Team, Penalty Minutes (120), Hershey Bears, AHL (2010-11)
* Member, Kelly Cup Championship Team, Reading Royals (2013)