After playing for eight different teams in the last five seasons, Cody Donaghey looks to have achieved a bit more stability.
The 23-year-old from St. John’s has agreed to an ECHL contract that will see him return to the Orlando Solar Bears this fall.
Donaghey was assigned to the Solar Bears for 2018-19 while in the last year of his NHL entry-level contract with the San Jose Sharks. In 64 games with Orlando, he recorded 43 points (15 G, 28A) and 76 penalty minutes, all career highs, including his five seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
His totals also set a new single-season Solar Bears franchise mark for points by a defenceman, and his 15 goals tied the club record for an Orlando blueliner in one season.
Donaghey played for six different teams in the QMJHL and three more, including Orlando, in his two years as a pro. What’s more, he has seen his NHL rights traded twice, first to the Ottawa Senators from the Toronto Maple Leafs (who had signed him as an undrafted free agent) and then from the Senators to the Sharks before last season.
San Jose didn’t offer him a qualifying offer this summer, making him an unrestricted free agent.
His new contract with Orlando sets up the likelihood of starting with the same team in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2014 when he was with the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts.
“I chose to come back to Orlando because I truly loved playing for this city and organization,” Donaghey said in a team release. “I think we had something special here last year, and with much of the team returning, we’ll be able to build off of that and set us up for success.”
In 118 career ECHL games with the Solar Bears and Brampton Beast, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound blueliner has 59 points and 96 penalty minutes. He has also skated in one American Hockey League game, appearing with the Belleville Senators during the 2017-18 season.
He was called up to the Sharks’ AHL farm team, the San Jose Barracuda, last season, but didn’t see any action.
“Cody is once again going to be a big piece of our offense from the blueline,” Solar Bears head coach/GM Drake Berehowsky said. “He has a powerful shot and can quarterback our power play.”