ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears have agreed to terms with veteran defenseman Mike Monfredo, defenseman Alexander Kuqali and forward Trevor Olson for the 2019-20 season.
Monfredo, 29, returns for his third season with the Solar Bears after captaining the squad to its second-best regular season performance in franchise history during the 2018-19 campaign. Monfredo led the team in games played (71) and penalty minutes (207), while contributing 27 points (8g-19a).
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound blueliner’s 207 penalty minutes also led all Eastern Conference defensemen, enabling Monfredo to become the club record-holder for most penalty minutes in a single season and the franchise leader in career penalty minutes with 355 career minutes in 139 career games with Orlando.
The Shirley, New York native has skated in 478 combined professional games with the Solar Bears, Rapid City Rush and Quad City Mallards, producing 194 points (46g-148a) and 864 penalty minutes.
Prior to turning pro, Monfredo played one season (2011-12) of NCAA Division III hockey for SUNY-Fredonia, where he tallied eight points (3g-5a) and 22 penalty minutes in 26 games for the Blue Devils. He also skated for the Motor City Machine/Metal Jackals of the North American Hockey League, where he generated 78 points (16g-62a) and 501 penalty minutes in 154 games.
Kuqali (koo-KAHL-ee), 27, returns for his second season with the Solar Bears after he was acquired from the Fort Wayne Komets on Jan. 29 to complete the future considerations portion of the Dec. 18 trade that sent Brady Shaw to the Komets.
In 22 games with the Solar Bears, Kuqali registered eight points (2g-6a) and 11 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound blueliner then led the Solar Bears with five assists in 10 games during the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Kuqali also led the Solar Bears in the postseason with a +7.
The fourth-year pro has produced 55 points (9g-46a) and 64 penalty minutes in 182 career professional games with the Solar Bears, Komets, Quad City Mallards and Florida Everblades.
Prior to turning pro, Kuqali played college hockey for the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he helped the Tigers program capture three consecutive Atlantic Hockey Association conference titles from 2014-16. During his senior season, Kuqali served as team captain and earned Lowes Senior Class All-American First-Team honors. In 153 career NCAA games, Kuqali recorded 59 points (13g-46a) and 146 penalty minutes.
The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native also played junior hockey with the Sioux City Musketeers and Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League, along with the Alpena IceDiggers of the NAHL. In 184 combined games, Kuqali registered 46 points (9g-37a) and 110 penalty minutes.
Olson, 25, posted 32 points (16g-16a) and 40 penalty minutes in 51 games with the Solar Bears during his first full season of professional hockey before suffering a season-ending injury in mid-March. At the time of his injury, he was second on the team in goals and finished the year tied for the team lead with four game-winners. Olson also received league recognition when he was named the Inglasco/ECHL Player of the Week for Feb. 25-March 3.
Olson turned pro with the South Carolina Stingrays near the end of the 2017-18 campaign, where he added one assist and six penalty minutes in eight games.
Prior to turning pro, the 6-foot-2, 198-pound played college hockey at the University of North Dakota. In 121 career games with the Fighting Hawks program, Olson amassed 35 points (11g-24a) and 73 penalty minutes, while helping North Dakota win a national championship at the 2016 Frozen Four in Tampa.
The Duluth, Minnesota native also played junior hockey in the USHL for the Green Bay Gamblers and Sioux City Musketeers, posting totals of 71 points (26g-45a) and 111 penalty minutes in 91 career games, and won a Clark Cup championship with Green Bay in 2011-12.
2019-20 Season Ticket Memberships on Sale Now:
Upgrade to Solar Status and become a Season Ticket Member today. Season ticket memberships for the 2019-20 season are now on sale and start as little as $270 – CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
2019-20 Season Presented by XYMOPrint:
The 2019-20 Orlando Solar Bears season is presented by XYMOPrint, Orlando’s digital printing experts. As a special offer, fans who call XYMOPrint at (888) 223-9390 from now until June 15, 2021 and reference the Solar Bears will receive 15% off their first order and a free Orlando Solar Bears poster!
About the Orlando Solar Bears:
The Orlando Solar Bears are the proud affiliate of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning and members of the ECHL, the premier “AA” hockey league in North America. In seven seasons of operation, the team has qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs five times. The Solar Bears are owned and operated by the Orlando Magic and the DeVos Family, and play at Amway Center, the 2012 Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal Sports Facility of the Year.
Officially licensed Orlando Solar Bears replica team jerseys, apparel, and headwear can be purchased at orlandosolarbearshockey.com/shop.