2005 Rookie Of The Year Scheduled To Become 297th ECHL Player To Play In NHL

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Capitals announced that 2005 ECHL Rookie of the Year and former South Carolina Stingrays center Joey Tenute is scheduled to make his National Hockey League debut on Tuesday when the Capitals host the Florida Panthers.

Tenute will become the 41st former ECHL player to play his first NHL game in 2005-06, surpassing the record of 40 players set in 2003-04. He will be 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, who was signed to a multi-year contract by the Capitals on Nov. 22, was recalled from Hershey of the American Hockey League where he is second among rookies and sixth overall on the team with 35 points (13g-22a) in 39 games while ranking fourth in plus-minus rating with +4.

The 5-foot-9 and 180-pound Tenute was voted to the ECHL Rookie Team and Second Team All-ECHL after leading league rookies with 75 points and tying for the rookie lead with 34 goals and 41 assists in 2004-05. 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 while ranking fifth among all players in goals and scoring.

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.