Greenville, SC – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits announced today that the team has come to terms on a contract that forward JT Henke back to the Upstate. In his first taste of ECHL action, Henke recorded four goals and added a pair of assists in 15 games with the Swamp Rabbits.
Henke, 24, signed his first pro contract on Feb. 28, 2018 and suited up in his first professional game two days later. In his fourth game, the 5-foot-9, 207-pound skater maxde an impact by scoring his first goal in a 3-2 victory over the South Carolina Stingrays. On Mar. 24 Henke tallied the game-winning goal against the Jacksonville Icemen to seal the victory on home ice.
“I’m looking forward to being back there again. The time I spent in Greenville was awesome. It is a great city and when the opportunity to play there again came, I jumped on it,” said Henke.
“A big reason I wanted to play after college was so I could gain some confidence. Knowing that I can play at the ECHL level and learning what to train for in the summer was huge for me,” he continued. “Coach Kerr and I talked a few times and I was excited that he wanted me back. We agreed on where he sees me in the lineup and how I can contribute.”
The Trenton, Michigan native played three seasons at Lake Superior State University and skated in 109 games. As a sophomore, Henke led the Lakers with 22 points (10G, 12A) and posted a career-best 30 points (10G, 20A) the following year. Henke once again led his alma mater in scoring, netting nine goals and adding 18 assists during his senior season in 2017-18.
“We’re looking for JT to come in and give us some scoring depth. He has the ability to contribute in the offensive zone and we’re looking for him to also be a reliable player in the defensive zone,” said Coach Kerr. “Making the jump from college to pro isn’t always an easy transition but he stepped in last season and showed he can play in this league. That experience will help set him up for success this year.”
Before enrolling at Lake Superior State University, he played one season at the University of Maine in 2013-14, earning eight points (1G, 7A) before leaving the program. Henke returned to his junior hockey team, the Jersey Hitmen for the 2014-15 campaign and tallied 115 points (42G, 73A) in 84 games across two seasons. The Swamp Rabbits newest forward played 41 games in the USHL for the Muskegon Lumberjacks and Tri-City Storm colleting 18 points (6G, 12A) in the 2011-12 season.
Henke is the first player to sign a contract with the Swamp Rabbits for the upcoming season. Qualifying offers are due to the ECHL office on Saturday, June 30. Teams can send qualifying offers to a maximum of eight players from the club’s season ending roster. These offers remain open until July 16. If the offer is not accepted by the player, the team may retain that player’s rights for the entire 2018-19 season.
As the offseason continues, stay tuned to SwampRabbits.com for a full updated list of players to sign for the upcoming season.
Contact a Swamp Rabbits Account Executive at 864-674-PUCK (7825) for information on 2018-19 ticket plans, special group rates and hospitality opportunities 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!