SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League announced that former ECHL trainer John Bernal has been hired as an assistant athletic trainer by the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League.
The 29 year old has worked the last three seasons in San Antonio after beginning his career in professional hockey with the Texas Wildcatters in 2003-04.
The head athletic trainer for the Coyotes is Jason Serbus, who was the athletic trainer for Pensacola for four seasons including 2003-04 when he was voted by his peers to work the ECHL All-Star Game while also being named Florida Professional Sports Trainer of the Year by the Athletic Trainers Association of Florida.
In addition to Bernal and Serbus former ECHL athletic trainers currently working in the NHL include Chris Stewart and Scott Adams with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Myles Hirayama with the Los Angeles Kings, Dave Zeis with the Dallas Stars and Andy Hosler with the Nashville Predators.
The Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League had affiliations with 26 of the 30 teams in the NHL in 2007-08, marking the 11th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams.
There have been 355 players who have played in the NHL after the ECHL and 210 who have made their debut in the last seven seasons.
Twenty-six former ECHL players made their NHL debut in 2007-08 including six who played in both the ECHL and NHL: Chris Beckford-Tseu (Alaska and St. Louis), Adam Berti (Pensacola and Chicago), Joe Jensen (Wheeling and Carolina), Dan LaCosta (Elmira and Columbus), Jonathan Quick (Reading and Los Angeles) and Danny Taylor (Reading and Los Angeles).
The ECHL is represented on the Stanley Cup for the eighth consecutive year with Aaron Downey, who played his first two professional seasons with Hampton Roads, becomes the 14th former player to be a part of a NHL championship team.