06/27/2017 8:02 AM
Photo: Sean Flynn Photography/Quad City Mallards
The Quad City Mallards have re-signed center Chris Francis, the Mallards announced today.
In 63 games last season, Francis scored a career-high 27 goals and registered 33 assists to finish tied for the team lead with 60 points while serving as the Mallards’ captain. The 28-year old Las Vegas native reached a pair of milestones last year by recording his three hundredth career point and scoring his one hundredth ECHL goal.
“Re-signing Chris, who led a Mallards team last season that was statistically one of the best in a decade, is a step in the right direction toward raising the bar and improving on what we accomplished last season,” said Mallards coach Phil Axtell.
The 5-foot-9-inch, 189-pound Francis has scored 120 goals and notched 180 assists in 441 games over seven professional seasons.
Francis returned to North America with the Mallards last season after spending 2015-16 with Alba Volan Szekesfehervar, a Hungarian club that competes in the Austrian Erste Bank Eishockey Liga. He scored 12 goals and picked up 17 assists for 29 points in 50 games with Szekesfehervar.
The Mallards are Francis’s third ECHL club. He skated for the Alaska Aces in 2014-15 after playing in his hometown with the Las Vegas Wranglers for the prior three and a half seasons. Francis, who helped Las Vegas to a berth in the 2012 Kelly Cup finals, first joined the Wranglers as a rookie in 2010-11 having also spent parts of his first professional campaign with the Fort Wayne Komets- who were then in the Central Hockey League- and the American Hockey League’s Springfield Falcons.
Francis turned pro after four Western Hockey League seasons with the Portland Winterhawks, for whom he produced 66 goals, 123 assists and 189 points in 279 career junior games.
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.