The Hershey Bears made a depth free agent signing on Monday, inking forward Tyson Empey to a one-year, one-way AHL deal. Known for his physical play, Empey could serve a big role with the ECHL South Carolina Stingrays next season.
The 28-year-old spent time last season with both the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners and the ECHL’s Atlanta Gladiators in 2022-23. Over parts of two seasons with the Roadrunners, Empey logged 13 total fighting majors in 79 games.
We’ve signed Tyson Empey to an AHL contract for the 2023-24 season. The physical forward has spent the past two seasons with the Tucson Roadrunners.
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) July 24, 2023
The Swift Current, Saskatchewan native played his first pro season in 2020-21 with the ECHL’s Rapid City Rush before joining the Roadrunners on a PTO the following year. His penalty minutes reached triple digits in 2021-22, where he recorded 100 total PIMs –including 10 fights — in 63 games.
Empey played only 16 games with the Roadrunners last season, registering three points (1g, 2a). Even in a more limited role, Empey’s physicality continued to make a splash. In October, he was part of a game-opening line brawl against the San Jose Barracuda, landing in the penalty box immediately after the opening faceoff.
— FPH AHL (@FPHAHL) October 29, 2022
At the ECHL level, Empey tallied nine points (4g, 5a) and 34 PIMs in 20 games with the Gladiators, a divisional rival of the Stingrays.
Here’s the full press release from the Bears:
Bears Sign Forward Tyson Empey to AHL Deal
(Hershey, PA – July 24, 2023) – The 2023 Calder Cup Champion Hershey Bears announced today that the club has signed forward Tyson Empey to an American Hockey League contract for the 2023-24 season. The announcement was made by Hershey vice president of hockey operations Bryan Helmer.
Empey, 28, produced three points (1g, 2a) in 16 AHL games with the Tucson Roadrunners during the 2022-23 season, and added nine points (4g, 5a) in 20 ECHL games with the Atlanta Gladiators.
The 6’2”, 205-pound forward has recorded 15 points (4g, 11a) and added 127 penalty minutes in 79 career AHL games with Tucson. He logged 100 penalty minutes in 63 games with Tucson in 2021-22, including 10 fighting majors.
He has also collected 27 points (10g, 17a) in 83 ECHL games with Atlanta and Rapid City.
Prior to turning pro, the native of Swift Current, Saskatchewan played collegiate hockey for the State University of New York – Geneseo, where he was part of three consecutive SUNYAC conference titles between his sophomore and senior seasons. As a sophomore and junior, he received SUNYAC Second Team All-Conference honors, and in his senior campaign, he was named SUNYAC Third Team All-Conference. In 92 career games with the Knights program, Empey generated 103 points (54g, 49a).
Headline photo: Chris Hook/Tucson Roadrunners
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