The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and AHL’s Hershey Bears, have agreed to terms with defenseman Cameron Heath for the 2019-20 season.
Heath returns to the Rays for his first full professional year after signing with the team in March and appearing in 10 games during the final weeks of the 2018-19 season. The defender earned two assists as well as a +6 rating while helping the club earn a spot in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. During the postseason, Heath suited up for all five games of South Carolina’s loss to the Orlando Solar Bears in the South Division Semifinals.
“When I came down last year I had a great experience,” Heath said. “The town, the fans, the atmosphere and the coaching staff were all great so it was a pretty easy decision on my part. I just loved everything about Charleston.”
Before making his professional debut in the Lowcountry, Heath, 24, spent his previous four seasons on the blue line at Canisius College and scored 78 points in 150 total NCAA games on 25 goals and 53 assists. A native of Troy, Mich., Heath had his highest scoring season as a senior, posting 23 points on four goals and 19 assists in 37 contests before joining SC.
“Cam was highly touted coming out of Canisius,” said Stingrays Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Steve Bergin. “He was solid, steady, defended really well and you could see that he got more comfortable every game. I think it’s huge that he came in and played and now he has no questions or doubts that not only he can play in this league but he knows what to expect. He saw the league in the playoffs where the stakes are the highest so we expect him to come in next year after having a full summer to work on things and play a role. I think it was great experience for him to come in and play during the playoffs last year.”
The 6-foot-1, 192-pound defender also had a standout junior season in 2017-18 when he led all Canisius defensemen in goals (7), assists (14) and points (21) while ranking second on the team in plus-minus at +11 before being named to the All-Atlantic Hockey Conference First Team. As a sophomore, Heath was named the AHA’s Best Defenseman when his school won the league’s regular season championship.
“It was great to get my toes in the water and see what the pro hockey lifestyle is like,” said Heath. “It’s very different from college and when I got used to the day-to-day activities I felt more comfortable and I think my game reflected that.”
Before attending Canisius, Heath helped the New Jersey Hitmen to a USPHL Premier championship in 2014-15 with 43 points in 49 games on 10 goals and 33 assists.
“He wants to get better and he’s so self-motivated and driven,” Bergin said. “We’d tell him to work on something and for the next few days at practice I’d see him out there by himself working on it with no one else around. It was genuine, he wasn’t doing it just so other people saw him doing it, he really wanted to work on it. Seeing his work ethic and how he carried himself as a person at such a young stage of his career was one of the major things reasons I wanted to bring him back.”
The 27th season of Stingrays hockey begins in Orlando against the Solar Bears on October 12. The Stingrays will open their home schedule in North Charleston vs. Orlando the following week on Saturday, October 19.
Season tickets are on sale now! For more information or to purchase, contact the Stingrays by phone at 843-744-2248.