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Greenville Inks Seventh-Year Pro Curtis Leonard

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Head coach Andrew Lord has dipped into the international hockey market and has found a former rival competitor to join the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. The team has agreed to terms on a Standard Player Contract with defenseman Curtis Leonard, who will be entering his seventh pro season.

"When I was in the ECHL before, Greenville seemed like an attractive city with a great venue. When I was in Belfast, I played against Andrew Lord's teams and I watched how his teams competed. I thought he was an attractive personality and someone I wanted to learn from," Leonard said. "He wants to start something fresh here in Greenville and I want to be part of a winning culture. He's looking to do that here."

Leonard, a Napanee, Ontario native, was a steady defenseman with the Belfast Giants, another titan in the Elite Ice Hockey League, and a rival of the Cardiff Devils, of which Lord served as head coach over the past six seasons. Across 108 games, the 27-year-old defenseman scored five goals and 37 assists, and was a +36 in his career. With the Giants, he captured a regular season title and a Challenge Cup title during the 2018–19 season.

"This is a very good signing for us. Leonard is a solid, all-around d-man with good pro experience. I've followed Curtis for a number of years, dating back to his RPI days, to when he was in Fort Wayne, and finally to the UK in the last two seasons," said Lord. "He is a big body who moves well for his size and can play in all situations. He reads the game at a high level, and is very hard to play against. Above all else, he is a great character guy and teammate. He is close with Garrett Thompson from their time in Fort Wayne, and I believe he will be another piece of our leadership group."

His pro career began in the AHL after being signed to an ATO by the Rochester Americans immediately after signing with the Reading Royals after the conclusion of his collegiate career at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He re-signed with the Royals, and spent stops with the Fort Wayne Komets and the Evansville Icemen after that.

Leonard's career went into overdrive for two spectacular seasons with the Komets during the 2016–17 and 2017–18 seasons. Along with current teammate Garrett Thompson, Fort Wayne was a powerhouse thanks in part to Leonard's dominant defending—a combined +64 rating, 38 points, and 25 playoff games which culminated in two trips to the Kelly Cup playoffs, going as far as the Conference Finals.

In 193 games in the ECHL, Leonard has scored 47 points, to go along with 120 penalty minutes and a +62 rating. Across the ECHL, the AHL and the EIHL, Leonard has played 302 games.

Leonard spent four seasons at RPI, and served as team captain in his senior season. He suited up for 151 contests and scored nine goals and 34 assists. His entire junior hockey career was spent with the Wellington Dukes of the OJHL, where he captured a league championship in 2011.


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