Greenville, SC – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, announced today that the team has acquired the rights to forward Joe Basaraba from the Idaho Steelheads. In exchange, the Swamp Rabbits gave Idaho the rights to forward Tommy Thompson.
Basaraba was issued a qualifying offer by the Steelheads on July 3rd after completing his second season in Idaho. The third-year pro has played 168 career ECHL games and tallied 109 points (47G, 62A) between Idaho and Cincinnati. The 25-year-old is coming off a career best season, tallying 46 points (21G, 25A) playing in all 72 games throughout the year. His totals ranked fifth on the Steelheads roster. Basaraba earned his first AHL call-up during his rookie season, logging 22 games with the San Antonio Rampage.
The Fort Frances, Ontario native captured the NCAA Frozen Four Championship during his freshman season at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Basaraba completed his four-year tenure with the Bulldogs in 2014 and captained his alma mater as a senior. In 148 NCAA contests, the 6-foot-2 winger recorded 56 points (28G, 28A) with a career best 18 points (8G, 10A) earned during his final campaign. Prior to embarking on his NCAA career, Basaraba attended and played for Shattuck St. Mary’s Prep School. After playing two seasons with Shattuck St. Mary’s, he was selected in the third round of the 2010 NHL Draft by the Florida Panthers.
Thompson exits the Swamp Rabbits organization after completing his first pro season. The St. Lawrence University alum tallied 33 points (16G, 17A) in 58 games during the 2016-17 campaign, while also making his AHL debut with the Hartford Wolf Pack.Earlier this summer, Thompson signed a contract to play with HC Nove Zamky in Slovakia.
Neither player has signed an ECHL contract for the 2017-18 season. The trade of playing rights now gives Greenville the exclusive ability to sign Basaraba in the ECHL.
Greenville begins the season on Oct. 13, 2017 at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena against the Wheeling Nailers. The puck drops for the Swamp Rabbits’ Opening Weekend at 7 p.m. ET in the first of two contests against the Nailers.
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