By: Mallards Communications Staff
09/07/2021 10:05 AM
Photo: Sean Flynn Photography/Quad City Mallards
The Quad City Mallards have re-signed forward Justin Kovacs for the 2017-18 season, the Mallards announced today.
Kovacs, 25, last season led the Mallards in assists (40) and finished tied for the team lead in points (60). The 5-foot-11, 193-pound native of Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan scored twenty goals while posting a plus/minus rating of +16 in 68 games last year.
"Signing Justin is another great step toward building on last season,” said Mallards coach Phil Axtell. “Last season he proved he can produce points and both he and I believe he has even more to offer the team this season, which is a huge positive. I believe Justin is hungry to lead and more driven to excel than ever before."
Kovacs became the first Mallard to record four points in a single ECHL game when he scored once and collected three assists in the Mallards’ 8-7 loss to the Indy Fuel March 19 in Indianapolis.
With Kovacs’ return, the Mallards have welcomed back four of their top five point scorers for the first time since 2006. In addition to Kovacs, Chris Francis, Josh MacDonald and Sam Warning have also re-signed for the upcoming season.
Kovacs broke into professional hockey with the Kalamazoo Wings at the end of the 2014-15 season. He scored once and notched four assists in eight late season games before producing six goals, 23 assists and 29 points in 63 games for the Wings the following year in his first full campaign.
Kovacs turned pro after scoring 23 times, notching 53 assists and totaling 76 points in 129 games over four seasons at Western Michigan University. As a freshman he helped the Broncos to the first Central Collegiate Hockey Association regular season title in the program’s history and a berth in the NCAA tournament.
Before arriving at Western Michigan, Kovacs spent two seasons in the junior ranks with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the United States Hockey League.
The Mallards will open their twenty-first season- and their fourth in the ECHL- on Friday, October 13 against the Toledo Walleye at the iWireless Center. Mallards 2017-18 season tickets are now available. Season ticket holders enjoy significant savings of the walk-up ticket price and receive a host of exclusive benefits. For more season ticket information, fans can contact the Mallards at 309-277-1364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.