The Reading Royals, proud affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, and the ECHL announced Wednesday that forward Jacob Pritchard has been selected as the Royals’ participant in the 2022 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic.
In 22 games this season, Pritchard has recorded 8 goals and 9 assists (17 points). He has been loaned twice to AHL teams, the Springfield Thunderbirds and Rochester Americans. The 26-year-old from Macomb Township, Mich. has scored 14 goals and 17 assists (31 points) in 54 ECHL games and 2 goals and 5 assists in 35 AHL games.
In his senior season with UMass in college, he won the Hockey East Regular Season Championship and was named to the Hockey East Second All-Star Team. His performance earned him an entry-level contract with the Carolina Hurricanes, and after playing six games with the Charlotte Checkers in the 2019 AHL Playoffs, he won the Calder Cup as an AHL champion.
The last Royals player to participate in the All-Star Classic was Michael Huntebrinker in 2018’s game at Indiana Farmer’s Coliseum in Indianapolis, Indiana. He scored one goal in the three-on-three tournament, the only goal for Team North in the event. Huntebrinker was the Royals’ replacement player for Alex Krushelnyski.
Ralph Cuddemi and Steven Swavely were selected for the 2020 and 2019 All-Star Classics, respectively, but did not participate as they were called up to the AHL (Cuddemi to Laval and Swavely to Lehigh Valley).
In total, 20 players from the Royals’ history have participated in the ECHL All-Star Classic over the previous 19 seasons of the team. If Pritchard plays, he will be the 21st member of Reading’s franchise to partake in the event.
Reading has hosted the All-Star Classic twice: once in 2005, and again in 2009.
The Jacksonville Icemen will host the game following its postponement from 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the current format, the Icemen – led by head coach and former Royals assistant coach and captain Nick Luukko – will take on the ECHL All-Stars over three 24-minute, running clock periods. The first two periods will be played at five-on-five, while the third period will be played at three-on-three. If the game is tied following the third period, there will be a rapid fire, sudden death shootout.
Between periods, the Skills Competition, presented by Mugwump Productions, will take place. The winner of each skills contest will be awarded a goal towards their team. The contests include the Fastest Skater, Hardest Shot, and Accuracy contests.
The Premier Hockey Federation’s Allie Thunstrom (Minnesota Whitecaps) and Jillian Dempsey (Boston Pride) as well as the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association’s Sophia Shaver of Team adidas (Minnesota) and Loren Gabel of Team Sonnet (Toronto) will participate in the All-Star Classic.
Pritchard’s team will be coached by Eric Wellwood, head coach of the Newfoundland Growlers, and Dan Watson, head coach of the Toledo Walleye.
The 2022 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic will air live exclusively on NHL Network on Monday, Jan. 17 at 7:30 p.m. The Royals also play on Jan. 17 at 1:00 p.m. against the Worcester Railers.
- Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Adirondack – 610/College Night at the Royals! Get $6.10 green zone tickets or $5 college tickets. PBR drafts are $1 all night!
- Monday, Jan. 17 at 1:00 p.m. vs. Worcester – The annual MLK Day Game! Kids attending will receive a youth jersey giveaway and get free tickets with the purchase of an adult ticket. They can also get $1 candy bags.
- Saturday, Jan. 22 at 4:00 p.m. vs. Trois-Rivieres – DC Superheroes Night! Meet Superman and get $1 superhero ice cream pops as you watch the Royals wear a specialty jersey during the game. Attend the Postgame Party presented by DoubleTree by Hilton Reading afterwards.
- Sunday, Jan. 23 at 3:00 p.m. vs. Trois-Rivieres – It’s Undie Sundie/Country Night! Donate packaged underwear by throwing it on the ice after the Royals’ first goal of the game. All undergarments will be donated to charity. The first 2,000 fans will receive a puck giveaway presented by Berks-Schuylkill Oil Heat Association. Get $1 popcorn, nachos and hot dogs all game. It’s also a Salute to Essential Workers Sunday presented by Visions Federal Credit Union for trades workers.
Buy tickets HERE: www.royalshockey.com/promotions
Reading Royals season, flex memberships and group tickets are available for the 2021-22 season by visiting the Royals’ box office at Santander Arena or by calling 610-898-7825.