Category Archives: ECHL

Joey Martin(14) Stockton Thunder

Joey Martin

Stockton Thunder undrafted center Joey Martin(10) posted career highs for games played, assists and points in his third ECHL season.

He skated in 66 contests, scoring one less goal than he did as a rookie, with 21 tallies and a new record 45 helpers, 66 points; all team leading offensive totals.

He also managed to tie his AHL scoring mark in 2013/2014 with a pair of goals on loan to affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers; and his 2 assists for 4 points with a +3 rating in 9 games were new personal bests. He’s skated in higher league games in each of his years.

The 5’10″ 174 lbs. forward is now once again lighting up the postseason score sheet and will undoubtedly eclipse his former totals as in just 2 games he has already evened up with his 5 points, including a new record 4 assists.

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Coach Roy Sommer Worcester Sharks

Roy Sommer2

Worcester Sharks‘ coach Roy Sommers stood behind the bench for his now league leading 1,257th AHL game.

He started his journey 16 years ago in 1998 with then San Jose Sharks‘ farm club Kentucky Thoroughblades, then moved with the team to 5 minor league famed seasons at the helm for Cleveland Barons.

Continuing his move with affiliates east, he achieves the record feat in his 8th year in Central Massachusetts.

The 56-year old former played only three NHL games but managed to score his only goal in the show in his debut.

He also won a Calder Cup trophy with Maine Mariners in 1984 and skated in 147 AHL and 195 IHL games.

He hung up his skates after 8 seasons, just after his 30th birthday.

Straight after retirement, he started as an assistant coach for a pair of seasons before moving on to 5 winning campaigns in the ECHL and two more as an assistant in the NHL.

 

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Patrick McNeill(8) Springfield Falcons

Patrick McNeill

Columbus Blue Jackets‘ 7th year defenseman Patrick McNeill(8) must be liking the first change of scenery in his pro career.

He’s reached a new high in scoring with 11 goals with minor league affiliate Springfield Falcons and second most for points, currently at 36.

Originally a Washington Capitals‘ 4th round pick in the 2005 draft (#118 overall), he spent his first 6 seasons in the team’s prospect system skating for Hershey Bears.

The 6′ 198 lbs. blue liner initially showed strong offensive instincts in four campaigns of OHL juniors with Saginaw Spirit, leading all d-men scoring 77 points in 2005/2006.

He has yet to realize his first NHL contest but has appeared in a whopping 386 AHL games, registering 44 goals and 144 assists with a combined +36 rating and a back-to-back Calder Cup Championships in 2009 and 2010.

The 27-year old is signed to a 1-year, 2-way deal through the end of 2013/2014.

A contract extension may well depend upon how he and the team perform in the upcoming postseason but he’s certainly right on track.

See related: 8/3-11, 6/19-12

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Michael Hutchinson(33) St. John’s IceCaps

Michael Hutchinson

Goaltender Michael Hutchinson(33) has been on quite the ride through the hockey ranks this season since being left unqualified by the team that drafted him, Boston Bruins.

Originally a 3rd round pick in 2008 (#77 overall), he spent the first three years in their prospect system tending net mostly with Providence Bruins.

He was reassigned on a couple of occasions to ECHL affiliate Reading Royals through his first two campaigns.

None of it compares to the roller coaster ride he’s still on this season backstopping cages in three different leagues.

The almost unassumingly large 6’3″ 192 lbs. free agent net minder signed fairly quickly with Winnipeg Jets for a 1-year 2-way contract.

He was in training camp but quickly reassigned to AHL farm team St. John’s IceCaps and it didn’t stop there as he was sent along to Ontario Reign to start his fourth pro season.

This was where he stepped it up because in 28 starts he won 22, good enough for third in the league, lost a lowest 4 contests and posted a 2.08 GAA and .921 SV%.

He would receive an early Christmas gift on recall but it didn’t last as he was sent back down again. In early 2014 though, he was summoned up once again and due to injury ending up splitting starting duties.

Earning his time in net, he managed a 15-5 record, helping to solidify the IceCaps‘ postseason berth.

The stellar play of the 24-year old earned him his first NHL games.

In three appearances he won 2 and lost 1. One of his wins was against his former team in a shootout and his 1.64 GAA and .943 SV% should almost assuredly score the future restricted free agent an extension.

First up though, he could be on his way to help bring the Calder Cup to the Rock.

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Andrey Pedan(3) Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Andrey Pedan

New York Islanders‘ 3rd round pick in the 2011 draft (#63 overall), extra large 6’4″ 215 lbs. Russian-born defenseman Andrey Pedan(3) missed a good portion of his rookie season with minor league affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers due to an upper body injury that put him on the sidelines for almost three months.

Appearing in only 25 AHL games, he still was able to connect for 5 goals and 5 assists while playing a punishing shutdown style in his own zone.

His -1 rating is also nicely accountable on a team with a league second worst goal differential.

He’s been in the parent club’s training camps ever since he was selected but returned to junior hockey as a teenager, where he skated a few seasons with Guelph Storm before signing his three-year entry level deal.

No doubt this is a player that has been widely scouted, as he was a first round grab in both the 2010 KHL and OHL drafts.

He obviously decided to try his skates on North American ice for a shot at the NHL.

The 20-year old may return to the farm club for a full year of development in 2014/2015, but could very well be on the short list for a recall, especially if he continues to display more of his offense-minded upside.

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Maxim Kitsyn(48) Ontario Reign

Maxim Kitsyn

Los Angeles Kings‘ 6th round pick in the 2010 draft (#158 overall) Russian-born left wing Maxim Kitsyn(48) had a bit of a struggling first half of his rookie season, finding himself in an out of the lineup with AHL affiliate Manchester Monarchs.

His 3 goals and 1 assist in 20 contests wasn’t enough to crack a tough roster of skaters that have mostly been together in the prospect system for awhile.

The sturdy 6’2″ 192 lbs. forward already has five seasons, 110 games of KHL experience to his credit. He put together 10 goals and 9 assists, playing in the league since he was 16-years old.

He also spent the latter half of 2010/2011 playing in the OHL with Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors and parts of seasons in the Russian tier two league and juniors in his home country.

He was almost routinely a point-per-game guy in these levels of hockey.

Reassigned to double A affiliate Ontario Reign, he has managed to produce at a similar clip.

In 31 ECHL games he’s potted a handy 13 goals and 15 assists with an amazing +15 rating and has unloaded 100 shots on the net.

The 22-year old signed a three-year entry level contract and is definitely the exact kind of big frame offensive-minded player they call up to the NHL and sticks.

He can easily bring his game up to another level but will have to want it bad to get the look.

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Wacey Hamilton(36) Binghamton Senators

Wacey Hamilton

Ottawa Senators‘ 3rd year undrafted center Wacey Hamilton(36) is putting up some career high AHL marks with farm team Binghamton Senators.

Although maybe not the biggest numbers at 13 assists and 15 points, they do show a fairly good increase, doubling what he had in two campaigns for helpers and achieving almost the same in the overall category.

The not exactly huge 5’11″ 185 lbs. forward achieved over point-per-game status in his final two runs with Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL (he was team captain in 2010/2011) but continues to look for that scoring touch as a pro, while playing a mostly checking line role.

He is set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the current season upon completion of his 3-year entry level deal.

The parent club may take a bit of a while before qualifying the 23-year old to see if more can delevop or could  release him to seek playing time elsewhere.

Regardless, this is a player that needs to ignite more fire in his game to elevate it.

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Cade Fairchild(2) Portland Pirates

Cade Fairchild2

3rd year defenseman Cade Fairchild(2) was picked up in an AHL trade deadline deal by Phoenix Coyotes for future considerations and reassigned to their farm club, Portland Pirates.

Originally a St. Louis Blues‘ 4th round pick in the 2007 draft, he skated mostly with their minor league affiliates apart from 5 NHL games in his rookie season (one assist).

In a somewhat surprisingly move he was also sent down to the ECHL for a pair of contests for Kalamazoo Wings near the beginning of the current season.

The slightly small-ish looking 5’11″ 178 lbs. blue liner has appeared in 150 AHL contests scoring 10 goals and 55 assists with a massive +30 rating.

He dished out his fair share of helpers in four years at University Of Minnesota.

Tbe 25-year old is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the current campaign after signing a one-year extension.

It will be interesting to see where he ends up playing in 2014/2015, but I doubt anyone will be surprised if he decides to take his talents overseas.

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Jeremy Langlois(20) Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Jeremy Langlois

Undrafted rookie right wing Jeremy Langlois(20) signed a one-year two-way minor league contract with Springfield Falconsand started the season with the team, but had been mostly skating on reassignment with affiliate Evansville IceMen, where he put up some big numbers.

In 49 ECHL games he retains the team’s leading scorer stats with 16 goals and 36 assists, while taking a second most shots on net at 174 before a recent trade relocated him to Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

He’s obviously enjoying his time with his new squad. In 7 AHL games he’s struck for a pair of goals and assists, whereas in 5 contests on recall with his previous club he was unable to find the score sheet, while skating mostly fourth line minutes.

The 6′ 173 lbs. forward put together some good numbers in 4 years at Quinnipiac University and went to the NCAA Finals losing to the geographically nearby, eventual winners Yale.

As an 18-year old he won a Championship, leading scorer title and was named league MVP with New Jersey Hitmen of the EJHL before heading off to college.

Now 23, he was invited to attend Columbus Blue Jackets‘ training camps to begin his first pro season and from his continued solid play he looks like a shoe-in to score another tryout, quite possibly with the parent club of where he’ll finish out the year, New York Islanders.

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Carter Rowney(20) WBS Penguins

Carter Rowney

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins‘ undrafted rookie right wing Carter Rowney(20) signed a two-way minor league contract.

He won three straight NCAA/WCHA Championships in his first few years at University Of North Dakota, which followed 6 years of bantams, midgets and junior hockey with hometown team Grand Prairie Storm through his teens.

The 6’2″ 205 lbs. power-sized forward has mostly managed to connect with the score sheet, especially in his latter years at each level.

Invited on a try-out to attend Pittsburgh Penguins‘ training camp, he was released and reported to the Baby Pens.

He was reassigned to begin his first season with affiliate Wheeling Nailers. and showing he can light the lamp in this league on a regular basis.

In 39 ECHL games he has 13 goals and 31 assists with a monster +23 rating.

The 24-year old has been recalled on three occasions but is still looking to prove his mettle, as he has only one marker and two assists in 17 AHL games.

He also has another goal in his short post-school stint signed to an ato with Abbotsford Heat.

If he is unable to lift his game as the schedule pushing towards playoffs, he may sign a double-A deal for 2014/2015 and look to make impressions on pto’s or take his game to another shore.

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