ST. JOHN’S, NL (July 1, 2020) – The Newfoundland Growlers, proud affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced today that Growlers captain and Kelly Cup champion James Melindy has signed an ECHL Standard Player Contract with the club for the upcoming 2020-21 ECHL campaign.
Melindy, a Goulds, Newfoundland and Labrador native, is the only player in franchise history to wear the ‘C’ on his jersey and captained the club to the province’s first-ever professional hockey championship in its inaugural season in 2018-19.
The 26-year-old right-shooting defenseman likes the progress he has seen in the organization through its first two seasons and is looking forward to getting the chance to defend the Kelly Cup.
“I’m excited to be coming back for another season on the Rock,” Melindy said.
“I am motivated to win another championship as well as help grow the organization on the ice and in the community. I love playing in front of our great fans at Mile One Centre. Our goal is to win as well as develop our players to move to the next level which makes the game exciting and fun to be apart of. I can’t wait to get back to the rink again to start defending our title.”
Growlers Head Coach John Snowden appreciates the leader that Melindy has become over the last two seasons and is looking forward to watching his development again this season.
“He’s the voice of the room, that glue guy that keeps things going,” Snowden said.
“He leads by example. He does all the things we want off the ice. On the ice, he has grown into a shutdown defenseman who embraces his role of killing penalties and being great at it. He is really hard to play against and abrasive. He’s a real big piece of the puzzle here. He’s the bearing the wheel sits on. We are really excited to get him back.”
Melindy ranks eighth all-time on the Growlers in games played (90) and is the team’s all-time leader in penalty minutes (263). Through two seasons in his home province, Melindy has collected five goals and 19 assists in the regular season and added one assist and 94 penalty minutes in 23 playoff games.
This past season, Melindy appeared in 35 contests and recorded one goal, seven assists and 78 penalty minutes in the pandemic-shortened season and was an integral part of the leadership group that led the Growlers to an ECHL record 19-game home winning streak.
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