Former South Carolina Stingrays' goaltender Vitek Vanecek made his National Hockey League (NHL) debut with the Washington Capitals Friday, stopping 30 shots to secure a win over Buffalo in his first career start.
Vanecek is the 14th former Stingray to play for the Capitals, joining a list that includes Pheonix Copley, Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer.
The Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic native made his pro debut with South Carolina during the 2015-16 season, posting a record of 18-7-6 and four shutouts in 32 appearances. Vanecek ranked second in the ECHL with a 2.03 goals-against average and was named to the 2015-16 ECHL All-Rookie Team. He also saw action in two games with the Rays during the 2017-18 season.
A second-round selection (39th overall) of the Capitals in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Vanecek has made 141 career American Hockey League appearances with the Hershey Bears where he has gone 71-43-16 with 11 shutouts, a 2.59 goals-against average and a save percentage of .906. The netminder represented Hershey in the AHL All-Star Classic twice during 2019 and 2020, and was named the Most Valuable Player of last season’s event.
The Stingrays return to action on Saturday night when they battle the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at the North Charleston Coliseum at 6:05 p.m. SC also hosts Jacksonville on Monday for Kids Takeover Day with a special start time of 1:05 p.m.
Former SC Stingrays to play for the Washington Capitals:
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