Greenville, SC – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, announced today that defenseman Joe Houk has re-signed in Greenville for the second consecutive season. Houk led the Swamp Rabbits blue-liners in scoring last season and ranked eighth among all ECHL defensemen.
Houk, 27, was a noticeable presence for the Swamp Rabbits last season, suiting up for 69 games and collecting 47 points (16G, 31A). In overtime, he provided two game-winning goals and was one of only seven ECHL defensemen to accomplish that feat. The 6-foot skater manned the point on the power play and tallied 13 points (4G, 9A) on the man advantage.
“Joe was a cornerstone piece to our team last season. He is the kind of player who makes an impact in the game whenever he is on the ice,” said Head Coach Brian Gratz. “You need experienced and impactful players to be successful in this league. In the last two seasons he has become a dynamic player in the ECHL. We’re excited to have signed Joe again and look forward to him helping us work toward our goal of playing for a championship.”
The Richboro, Pennsylvania native turned pro in 2014 and began his pro career with the Toledo Walleye, collecting his first point in his debut. Since joining the pro ranks, Houk also saw time with the Elmira Jackals and the Manchester Monarchs before being acquired by the Swamp Rabbits on January 18, 2016. Since joining Greenville, the University of Massachusetts-Lowell product has earned 58 points (19G, 39A) in 95 games. He logged his 150th career ECHL game with the Swamp Rabbits in the team’s season finale.
“It was a no brainer. The city itself, the team, the organization has treated me amazing over the past two years. I didn’t look at any other teams; Greenville was the only team in my head,” said Houk. “From my first year to my second year, we made tremendous strides and I’m excited to be a part of this team to make even more strides forward.”
Before joining the pro ranks, Houk began his NCAA career in Division-III with Hamilton College, producing 52 points (21G, 31A) in 51 games. With the Continentals, he was named the New England Small College Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 2010-11, becoming the first sophomore in league history to win the award. After two successful seasons he transferred to UMass-Lowell at the Division-I level. He helped his alma mater capture the school’s first Hockey East Championship in 2013 and earned 19 points (4G, 15A) in 74 games with the River Hawks.
Houk and the Swamp Rabbits begin the season against the Wheeling Nailers on Oct. 13, 2017. The puck will drop for the Swamp Rabbits’ Opening Weekend at 7 p.m. EST at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
Hockey Demo Days: Join the Greenville Swamp Rabbits for their first two Hockey Demo Days. The events will be held Saturday, July 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, July 30 from noon to 4 p.m. There will be free hockey instruction in the Dew Street Hockey Zone, corn hole, music, food, giveaways and much more. Check SwampRabbits.com as the event draws closer for more details.
Christmas In July: It’s the most wonderful time of the year, to take advantage of some great deals at the Hop Shop! From 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on July 25th and 27th don’t miss out on some big discounts. Prices cut up to 30% off on almost everything in the store! Offer only available in-store. Call Cory at the Hop Shop at (864) 250-4799 for more information.
Get Social: Follow the Swamp Rabbits and get behind-the-scenes coverage like never before on the team’s official Facebook and Twitter pages. Download the Swamp Rabbits app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for up to date information right in the palm of your hand.
Contact a Swamp Rabbits Account Executive at 864-674-PUCK (7825) for information on 2017-18 season tickets and to secure your seats today! Get the latest Swamp Rabbits gear by visiting the “Hop Shop” online at SwampRabbits.com/shop to browse the full collection of fan wear and novelties!