Category Archives: ECHL

Barry Goers(41) WBS Penguins

Barry Goers

Wheeling Nailers‘ 4th year undrafted mini-defenseman Barry Goers(41) was recalled by affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on seven occasions, putting in an accountable effort when called upon.

The 5’9″ 175 lbs. (minimum weight any player is 9/10 times given) was finally given an AHL contract within the last month of the regular season and with one more appearance in the postseason will outplay his previous high from his rookie year with Las Vegas Wranglers.

Almost ironically he’s scored as many points in the current Calder Cup Playoffs, a pair of assists, as he did in the 2010 Kelly Cup Playoffs.

The 27-year old veteran blue liner could easily sign another ECHL contract for 2014/2015 and follow a similar path of call-ups but he may also earn himself a roster spot out of training camp or earlier in the off-season.

He’s easily earned it.

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Josh Nicholls(19) Greenville Road Warriors

Josh Nicholls2

New York Rangers‘ undrafted rookie right wing Josh Nicholls(19) had a good year on reassignment with ECHL affiliate Greenville Road Warriors.

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Andrew Gordon(10) St. John’s IceCaps

Andrew Gordon

It’s been a few years since 7th year veteran center Andrew Gordon(10) has the hot hand in the playoffs. He did for his back-to-back 2009 & 2010 Calder Cup Championships with Hershey Bears (19 goals, 13 assists in 39 games).

The 28-year old may be back on the scoring track in the 2014 postseason, as he posted a hat trick in the first round series’ clincher and followed in with another marker in game 1 of the semi-finals, giving him 4 tallies and a helper in 7 contests for his current team, St. John’s IceCaps.

The assistant captain signed a one-year, two-way deal with Winnipeg Jets for 2013/2014 and played the entire slate of 76 AHL games without a call-up, his first season without at least one appearance in the show since 2008/2009 with Washington Capitals.

See related: 2/28-12

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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 IceCapsĀ 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 couldĀ  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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