READING, PA – The Reading Royals, proud affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, announced Tuesday the signing of defensemen Jake Ryczek and Jared Brandt to ECHL standard player contracts. These signings put the Royals’ blueline at seven players for the start of training camp in October.
Ryczek, 23, was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft in the seventh round and last played for the Indy Fuel in 2019-20, scoring 17 points in 46 games.
Standing at 5’11”, the right-handed blueliner played in the USHL from 2014 to 2017, recording 81 points in 152 games. He scored the most goals for a defenseman during the 2016-17 USHL season with eight.
After playing five games for Providence College at the start of the 2017-18 season, he left to join the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL for the remainder of the campaign and stayed in Halifax through 2019. There, he scored 60 points in 84 games to showcase his offensive prowess. The Mooseheads were the runners-up in the 2019 CHL Memorial Cup, losing 4-2 to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in the championship game.
Brandt, 25, partook in a five-year NCAA career after taking a mandated transfer year in 2017-18 as he moved from Miami University (Ohio) to Niagara University. In all, he recorded 37 points through 115 college games for both schools from 2016 to 2021. He made the Atlantic Hockey Association All-Academic Team in 2019 for his efforts in the classroom.
Throughout 2020-21, Brandt steadily added to his points total. Over perhaps the best stretch of his collegiate career, he added to the scoresheet in seven-straight games.
Before then, the 6’0”, left-handed defenseman played for the Minot Minotauros from 2013 to 2016 and captained the team in 2015-16.
Brandt is the sixth ECHL rookie that will tie up the laces for the Royals this season. He joins Brendan van Riemsdyk, Cam Strong, Kenny Hausinger, Jackson Cressey and Ryan Ruck in the Royals’ rookie ranks.
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