The Reading Royals, proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, announced on Monday that forward Mason McCarty and goalie Jacob Kucharski have signed with the club for the 2023-24 season.
“I am pretty excited to join this team,” McCarty said. “I’ve heard great things about the organization and the City of Reading. I am excited to get things rolling.”
“I am very excited to have an opportunity to play and become a part of the Royals,” Kucharski said. “It’s nice to stay in my home state of Pennsylvania and I can’t wait to have a lot of fun this season.”
McCarty and Kucharski join forwards Austin Master and Spencer Kennedy, and defenseman Trevor Thurston as five newly signed players for the 2023-24 season roster.
McCarty, 26, signs with the Royals for his third professional season. The Blackie, Alberta, Canada native played 15 games for Rapid City in his first professional season in 2018-19. With the Rush, McCarty recorded 10 points (6g, 4a) and 18 penalty minutes. McCarty attended Acadia University in the U Sports between 2019-22 before returning to the ECHL with Kalamazoo prior to the start of the 2022-23 season. McCarty registered 25 points (13g, 12a) and 26 penalty minutes in 43 regular season games before joining Iowa on March 31, 2023. McCarty did not appear in a game for the Heartlanders.
Prior to his professional career, the 5’10”, 185-pound, right-shot forward played in the Western Hockey League (WHL) for the Red Deer Rebels and Saskatoon Blades. McCarty totaled 157 points (85g, 72a) and 223 penalty minutes in 225 career WHL regular season games. He added four points (1g, 3a) in six WHL career playoff games and served as an alternate captain for the Rebels in the 2017-18 season. Additionally, McCarty was teammates for three seasons with former Royals’ Captain Garrett McFadden and defenseman T.J. Fergus at Acadia University.
Kucharski, 23, signs with the Royals for his first full professional season. The Erie, Pennsylvania native was selected #197 overall in the seventh round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes. Kucharski made his professional debut with the Chicago Wolves in the American Hockey League on March 18 of the 2022-23 season against the Manitoba Moose. He saved four of eight shots on goal in 13 minutes of ice time in his lone appearance for the Wolves.
The 6’4″, 216-pound, left-catching goaltender attended Providence College (2019-20), American International College (2020-22), and the University of Nebraska-Omaha in the NCAA. Across his collegiate career, Kucharski posted a 25-16-5 record, 2.44 goals-against average, .908 save-percentage and four shutouts. He won two-consecutive NCAA Atlantic Hockey (ACA) titles with American International College in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. With the Yellow Jackets in the 2021-22 championship season, Kucharski was the NCAA Atlantic Hockey Goaltender of the Year and was selected to the NCAA American Hockey Third All-Conference Team.
“Mason has a strong work ethic and great finishing ability. We’re excited to add him to our team for the 23/24 season. We expect Mason to be a key contributor for us this year,” Head Coach James Henry said. “Jake’s combination of skill, size, and work ethic will make him a great goaltender in professional hockey. We’re lucky to add Jake to our team, and look forward to working with him.”
Additionally, Kucharski attended the Carolina Hurricanes 2018 and 2019 NHL Development Camps. He played in the United States Hockey League for the Omaha Lancers (2018-19) and Des Moines Buccaneers (2017-19), as well as the National American Hockey League for the Austin Bruins (2016-17).
Forwards (9): Solag Bakich, Alec Butcher, Brendan Hoffmann, Spencer Kennedy, Austin Master, Mason McCarty, Yvan Mongo, Devon Paliani, Shane Sellar
Defensemen (3): Mike Chen, Tyler Heidt, Trevor Thurston
Goaltenders (1): Jacob Kucharski