ST. JOHN’S, NL – The Newfoundland Growlers, ECHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced several transactions ahead of the club’s weekend series against the Allen Americans.
Former Growler Evan Neugold, first-year pro defenseman Taylor Egan, right-shooting rearguard Brett Menton and Plano, Texas native Zane Schartz, and Burlington, Ontario native Matthew Hobbs have all signed Standard Player Contracts (SPC), while forward Scott Kirton has been acquired via a trade with the Cincinnati Cyclones.
Neugold, 29, played two full seasons with the Growlers in 2018-19 and 2019-20, appearing in 115 regular-season contests, recording 13 goals and 30 assists for 43 points. He played 12 games for the Florida Everblades during the in 2019-20 campaign and was coaxed out of retirement by the Growlers once already this season on Dec. 31 in Adirondack.
Egan, a 23-year-old Carp, Ontario native, made his professional debut with the Wheeling Nailers earlier this season, appearing in four games and recording four penalty minutes. Prior to joining the professional ranks, the 6-0, 195-lb defender spent the past three seasons at Lakehead University (USports). He played parts of three seasons in the OHL with the Erie Otters (2014-2017) and one season in the QMJHL with the Charlottetown Islanders (2017-18).
Hobbs, 22, a right-handed forward, joins the Growlers from the Birmingham Bulls of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) where he recorded 1 goal and 1 assist in 5 games this season. Prior to joining the Bulls, Hobbs appeared in 10 games for Osby IK in the Swedish Division 2 Hockey League registering 2 goals and 5 assists in 10 games.
Menton, who hails from Monrovia, California, has appeared for four teams in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) this season (Macon, Roanoke, Knoxville, Birmingham), appearing in a total of 22 games and recording one assist and 27 penalty minutes.
Schartz, a 27-year-old left-handed defenseman, began his professional career in 2017-18 with the Norfolk Admirals and has since appeared in a total of 42 ECHL contests between the Admirals, Indy Fuel, Toledo Walleye, Orlando Solar Bears, and Kansas City Mavericks, recording five goals and eight assists for 13 points. Prior to turning pro, he spent three seasons at Liberty University from 2015-16 to 2017-18, playing 99 games and recording 129 points.
Kirton, a University of Toronto graduate from Scarborough, Ontario, joins the Growlers from the Cincinnati Cyclones where he appeared in four games this season, tallying one assist. The 6-2 forward also played two games this season with the Norfolk Admirals and another 16 in the SPHL with the Evansville Thunderbolts where he notched five goals and seven assists for 12 points.
In addition to the above acquisitions, the Growlers have placed the following players into COVID-19 protocols and have been added to the Commissioner’s Exempt List:
- Ben Finkelstein- Derian Plouffe- Keith Petruzzelli- Orrin Centazzo- Brendan Soucie- Marcus Power
The Growlers are in Allen, Texas this weekend to conclude a busy road trip through the Mountain Division. Games are scheduled for Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon before the club returns home to host the Reading Royals.