- Created: 12 June 2018
The Eugene Generals are proud to announce the re-signing of forward Nathan Leach for the 2018-19 season.
The Puyallup, Washington native tallied 5 goals and 3 assists for 8 overall points in 29 games played during the 2017-18 season with the Gens, his first season of junior eligibility. He is the team's second signing of the offseason joining forward Travis Manthe (O'Fallon, IL).
After a promising rookie campaign in Eugene, Leach opted to return to the Emerald Valley where Generals Head Coach Justin Kern is ready and eager to continue helping foster his development. “Leach is one of those players that simply kept working and working and working,” said Kern. “As the season progressed, that work started to show significant results and you could see him blossoming into a really nice player. You just love seeing that determination, drive and attitude from a first-year junior player and we’re all really looking forward to seeing how he can evaluate his game even more entering his second season.”
While Leach's first season of junior hockey held many bright spots, it unfortunately came to an early end after an upper-body injury sidelined him for the tail end of the 2017-18 season. Now, Leach enters 2018-19 feeling excited to take on the pressure of an increased attacking role.
“I want to lead the team,” said Leach in a very direct manner. “I don’t know how to say it in a less straight-up way, I just want to be able to become ‘the guy’ and start shouldering more of the load, and I think I’m ready for it.”
When pointing to reasons that made a return to Eugene appealing, Leach’s first response differed from the normal answers you’d likely hear from junior hockey players dealing with the rigors of high school. “Last year in Eugene, I really liked the schooling a lot,” said Leach. “I liked the trimester setup at [Churchill High School] and all of the teachers were really, really nice. You get a lot of support in Eugene - both at school and from the Gens staff - when you’re not doing well or need some help with academics.”
On the ice, Leach is excited to get back in front of the home crowd at The Rink Exchange, one of the nation’s best home atmospheres across all of Tier III junior hockey. “I think of that line-up before the game, high-fiving all of those fans and little kids. To me, that’s what the hashtag ‘GensFam’ is all about. It didn’t matter if we were stomping our opponents or struggling, our GensFam was always there and always had our backs.”
More signings are anticipated in the coming days and weeks as the Generals prepare for the team's fourteenth season of play. Preparations for 2018-19 continue with the Eugene Generals Training Camp which is scheduled for August 10-13 at The Rink Exchange in Eugene, Oregon. Spots are still available and you can register now at EugeneGenerals.com.