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Royals Re-Sign Mike Chen, Add Trevor Thurston For 2023-24 Season

by Reading Royals

Royals Re-Sign Mike Chen, Add Trevor Thurston For 2023-24 Season

– The Reading Royals, proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, announced on Monday that defenseman Mike Chen has re-signed and defenseman Trevor Thurston has signed with the club for the 2023-24 season.

“I am grateful to return to reading for a third consecutive year,” Chen said. “I’m excited to have some returning players come back and push for a deeper playoff run.”

“I am very excited for this upcoming season,” Thurston said. “Reading sounds like a great place to play. I am happy to be in this organization and grateful for the opportunity Reading is giving me.”

Chen, 30, joins Solag Bakich, Alec Butcher, Tyler Heidt, Brendan Hoffmann, Yvan Mongo, Devon Paliani and Shane Sellar as eight re-signed players for the upcoming season. Thurston, 21, joins forwards Austin Master and Spencer Kennedy as the three newly signed players for the 2023-24 season roster.

Chen returns to Reading for his seventh professional season after playing his second consecutive season with the Royals in the 2022-23 season. The Rockville, Maryland native posted four points (4a) and 22 penalty minutes in 42 regular season games with Reading last season. He has totaled 11 points (1g, 10a) and 43 penalty minutes in 76 career regular season games in Reading. Additionally, Chen has recorded one point (1a) in thirteen Kelly Cup Playoff games for the Royals.

Prior to Reading, the 5’8″, 170-pound defenseman played four seasons between the Southern Professional Hockey League, VHL and ECHL. In the ECHL, Chen played for the South Carolina Stingrays where he totaled 12 points (5g, 7a) in 55 contests. He has collected 23 points (6g, 17a) and 81 penalty minutes in 131 total ECHL career games.

His professional career began in 2017-18 when he joined the Knoxville Ice Bears in the SPHL after three years at the Salem State College in the NCAA. Chen has played in a total of 235 professional games coming into the 2023-24 season.

Trevor Thurston becomes the second player to sign their first professional contract with the Royals entering the 2023-24 season (Austin Master).

The 21-year-old North Delta, British Columbia native joins the Royals for his first professional season after playing for the Kamloops Blazers, Lethbridge Hurricanes, and Prince Albert Raiders in the Western Hockey League, Merritt Centennials in the British Columbia Hockey League, and most recently for the Cape Breton Eagles in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

The 6’2″, 201-pound defenseman led the Eagles’ blue-line in goals (9), points (21) and led the club overall in penalty minutes (89). He posted his junior hockey career-high 21 points (9g, 12a) in 48 regular season games and added 18 penalty minutes in four QMJHL playoff games.

Additionally, Thurston attended the Calgary Flames 2022 prospect development camp as a try-out invite. Prior to his junior hockey career, Thurston played for the Delta Hockey Academy in the Canadien Sport School Hockey League.