Productive winger returning to Orlando on ECHL deal
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Solar Bears, proud affiliate of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and AHL’s Toronto Marlies, have announced that the club has agreed to terms with forward Patrick Watling for the 2016-17 season.
“Patrick is a dynamic forward who will add speed and scoring to our group,” Solar Bears head coach Anthony Noreen said. “He is dedicated to this game and does things the right way at and away from the rink.”
Watling, 22, completed his second season with the Solar Bears in 2015-16, recording 28 points (6g-22a) and 12 penalty minutes in 24 games while on an AHL contract with the Marlies.
Despite missing nearly two-thirds of the season due to an injury sustained on Oct. 31 at Reading, Watling was one of Orlando’s most productive offensive weapons, as he was only held without a point in three games and never went more than one game without recording a point. Half of Watling’s goals were game-winners, including his last-second tally in Orlando’s 4-3 overtime win against the Florida Everblades during Fan Appreciation Nightmail on April 7.
In 77 career games with Orlando and Toronto, Watling has accumulated 56 points (19g-37a) and 44 penalty minutes. The native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario is one of only three Solar Bears players who has played more than one season with Orlando while still maintaining over a point-per-game pace with the Solar Bears, along with Jacob Cepis and Mickey Lang.
“My time spent in Orlando has been nothing but joyous. The Solar Bears fans have supported the team through thick and thin every year,” Watling said. “I’m more than blessed to be back in the city of Orlando for another exciting season.”
Prior to turning pro, the 6-foot-0, 180-pound forward played major junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League from 2010-14 with the Guelph Storm and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, posting totals of 102 points (36g-66a) and 75 penalty minutes in 187 games.
Fans can keep track of all Solar Bears offseason player movement by visiting the 2016 Offseason Headquarters.
The Solar Bears drop the puck on their fifth season of ECHL hockey on Saturday, Oct. 22 against the Florida Everblades at the Amway Center. On-sale dates for the purchase of single-game tickets will be announced later this summer. Full and half-season ticket plans are now available by visiting OrlandoSolarBearsHockey.com.
The Orlando Solar Bears, the ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs and AHL's Toronto Marlies, play all of their home games at the Amway Center, the 2012 Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal Sports Facility of the Year.
Follow the Solar Bears at www.OrlandoSolarBearsHockey.com, Facebook, and Twitter (@OrlandoHockey) for all the latest news and updates. Stay in touch with Shades on Instagram by following SolarBearsHockey.
Season tickets, Corporate Flex vouchers, and Group tickets are a great way to entertain employees, co-workers, clients, friends and family. For more information on all of the Solar Bears ticket packages, call 407-951-8200 or visit www.orlandosolarbearshockey.com/groups.
Officially licensed Orlando Solar Bears replica team jerseys, apparel, and headwear can be purchased online at: http://store.orlandosolarbearshockey.com/.
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