PRINCETON, N.J. – Former South Carolina Stingrays center and 2005 ECHL Rookie of the Year Joey Tenute made his National Hockey League debut in the Washington Capitals’ 5-0 loss to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, registering one shot and winning a faceoff in 7:21 of playing time.
Tenute is the 41st former ECHL player to play his first NHL game in 2005-06, surpassing the record of 40 players set in 2003-04, and is the 297th player to play in the NHL after playing in the ECHL and the 152nd former ECHL player to make his NHL debut since 2000-01.
South Carolina is the ECHL affiliate of the Capitals of the NHL and the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League. The Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League has affiliations with 25 of the 30 teams in the NHL and there are over 100 players on ECHL rosters under contract to an NHL team.
The 22-year-old attended training camp with Hershey and was signed to a multi-year contract by the Capitals on Nov. 22. He has played 39 games with Hershey and is second among rookies and sixth overall with 35 points in 39 games and ranks fourth in plus-minus rating at +4.
In his first professional season in 2004-05, the 5-foot-9 and 180-pound Tenute was voted ECHL Rookie of the Year as well as being voted to the ECHL Rookie Team and Second Team All-ECHL. He led ECHL rookies with 75 points and tied for the rookie lead with 34 goals and 41 assists while ranking fifth among all players in goals and scoring. Selected in the eighth round (261st overall) by the New Jersey Devils in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, he led league rookies with 25 power-play points and ranked third with 16 power-play assists.
Tenute, who scored a goal for the American Conference in the ECHL All-Star Game, scored a point in a league season-high 14 consecutive games (8g-16a) and tied the ECHL season high for assists (5) and points (6) in a 7-3 win on March 8.
The Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League has affiliations with 25 of the 30 teams in the NHL and there are over 100 players on ECHL rosters under contract to an NHL team. In addition to United States Olympic team and Carolina Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette, there are 12 assistant coaches, 13 referees and five linesmen currently in the NHL who have ECHL experience.
Former ECHL goaltenders have won the NHL Defensive Player of the Week award five times this season with David Aebischer, Chesapeake/Wheeling and Colorado (Jan. 9), Tomas Vokoun, Wheeling and Nashville (Dec. 5), Mike Morrison, Greenville and Edmonton (Nov. 28), Curtis Sanford, Peoria and St. Louis (Nov. 21) and Manny Legace, Richmond and Detroit (Nov. 1).
Five goaltenders have played in both the ECHL and the NHL in 2005-06 – Chris Holt (Charlotte and New York Rangers), Mike Morrison (Greenville and Edmonton), Mike Dunham (Gwinnett and Atlanta), Adam Berkhoel (Gwinnett and Atlanta) and Rob McVicar (Victoria and Vancouver).
Four goaltenders playing in the ECHL have served as backup goaltenders for teams in the NHL this season – Chris Beckford-Tseu (Alaska and St. Louis), Maxime Daigneault (South Carolina and Washington), Mike Wall (Augusta and Anaheim) and Frederic Cloutier (Pensacola and New York Islanders).
For the fifth consecutive year that the Stanley Cup was awarded in 2004, the ECHL was represented as Tampa Bay had Ruslan Fedotenko, Nolan Pratt and Andre Roy as well as radio announcer Dave Mishkin and assistant equipment manager Dana Heinze. The three players are the most ECHL representatives in a single year surpassing 2001 when David Aebischer and Pratt helped Colorado win the title. The nine former ECHL players whose names are on the Stanley Cup are Ruslan Fedotenko, Nolan Pratt and Andre Roy (Tampa Bay – 2004), Corey Schwab (New Jersey – 2003), Manny Legace (Detroit – 2002), David Aebischer and Nolan Pratt (Colorado – 2001), Krzysztof Oliwa (New Jersey – 2000) and Kevin Dean (New Jersey – 1995). Pratt is the only ECHL player to have his name engraved twice on the Stanley Cup.
There have been 41 players in 2005-06 that have made their first NHL appearance since playing in the ECHL:
Evgeny Artyukhin (Tampa Bay on Oct. 20)
Keith Aucoin (Carolina on Jan. 23)
Adam Berkhoel (Atlanta on Oct. 15)
Derek Boogaard (Minnesota on Oct. 5)
Alexandre Burrows (Vancouver on Jan. 2)
Kevin Colley (New York Islanders on Oct. 27)
Ryan Craig (Tampa Bay on Dec. 17)
Brian Eklund (Tampa Bay on Nov. 8)
Michael Garnett (Atlanta on Oct. 12)
Trevor Gillies (Anaheim on Nov. 6)
Jeff Giuliano (Los Angeles on Nov. 5)
Rob Globke (Florida on Dec. 28)
Mike Glumac (St. Louis on Jan. 30)
Steven Goertzen (Columbus on Oct. 21)
David Gove (Carolina on Jan. 31)
Josh Gratton (Philadelphia on Dec. 15)
Adam Hauser (Los Angeles on Jan. 14)
Eric Healey (Boston on Nov. 25)
Timo Helbling (Tampa Bay on Oct. 5)
Colin Hemingway (St. Louis on Oct. 19)
Chris Holt (New York Rangers on Dec. 3)
Raitis Ivanans (Montreal on Oct. 8)
Greg Jacina (Florida on Nov. 12)
Connor James (Los Angeles on Jan. 7)
Zenon Konopka (Anaheim on Oct. 30)
Chad LaRose (Carolina on Dec. 6)
Jay Leach (Boston on Nov. 5)
Rob McVicar (Vancouver on Dec. 1)
Mike Morrison (Edmonton on Nov. 7)
Doug O’Brien (Tampa Bay on Jan. 29)
Michel Ouellet (Pittsburgh on Nov. 22)
George Parros (Los Angeles on Oct. 5)
Geoff Platt (Columbus on Dec. 2)
Thomas Pock (New York Rangers on Jan. 16)
Nolan Schaefer (San Jose on Oct. 26)
Martin St. Pierre (Chicago on Nov. 4)
David Steckel (Washington on Dec. 31)
Grant Stevenson (San Jose on Nov. 23)
Mark Streit (Montreal on Oct. 8)
Joey Tenute (Washington on Feb. 7)
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen (Columbus on Nov. 23)