PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL on Wednesday announced its All-Rookie Team for 2009-10 as determined in a vote of ECHL coaches, who were asked to select a goaltender, two defensemen and three forwards.
A rookie is defined as a player who has played in less than 25 professional games prior to the start of the current season.
2009-10 ECHL All-Rookie Team
F – Evan Barlow, Idaho Steelheads (55 gp, 32g, 40a, 72 pts, +28)
F – Justin Donati, Elmira Jackals (62 gp, 38g, 58a, 96 pts, +13)
F – Maxime Tanguay, Toledo Walleye (63 gp, 25g, 43a, 68 pts, +3)
D – Drew Paris, Gwinnett Gladiators (68 gp, 12g, 32a, 44 pts, -18)
D – Sam Roberts, Gwinnett Gladiators (67 gp, 10g, 30a, 40 pts, -15)
G – Richard Bachman, Idaho Steelheads (34 gp, 22-7-3, 2.26 GAA, .909 Save Pct.)
The two players from Gwinnett and Idaho mark the eighth and ninth times that multiple players from the same team have been voted to the ECHL All-Rookie Team. This is the first time since 2001-02 that multiple players from more than one team have been selected to the All-Rookie Team.
Since the ECHL began naming the All-Rookie Team in 2000-01, 10 players selected have gone on to play in the NHL: David Desharnais (2007-08), Kevin Doell (2003-04), Vern Fiddler (2002-03), Simon Gamache (2001-02), Mike Glumac (2002-03), Adam Hauser (2002-03), Jason Jaffray (2002-03), Anton Khudobin (2007-08), Joey Tenute (2004-05) and Zenon Konopka (2002-03).
The ECHL will announce its First-Team All-ECHL and Second-Team All-ECHL teams on Thursday.
Evan Barlow of the Idaho Steelheads leads all first-year players with a plus-minus rating of +28 and is tied for first with 14 power-play goals. He sits second among rookies with 72 points and 31 power-play points while his 32 goals ties him for second. He ranks third with 40 assists and 17 power-play assists and his 14 power-play goals are tied for second among all ECHL players. Barlow was also named the Most Valuable Player at the ECHL All-Star Game in January after tallying four points (2g-2a). Barlow has also appeared in eight games in the American Hockey League with Abbotsford where he has one goal and three assists.
Justin Donati of the Elmira Jackals leads all ECHL rookies with 38 goals, 58 assists, 96 points, 19 power-play assists and 33 power-play points while his 14 power-play goals tie him for the rookie lead. Donati’s 96 points are third in the league and his 38 goals tie him for fourth in the ECHL. Donati has played in four AHL games this season with Binghamton and Portland where he has tallied one assist.
Maxime Tanguay of the Toledo Walleye is third among league rookies with 68 points and sits second with 43 assists while his 23 power-play points are tied for third among first-year players. Tanguay is under contract to Rockford of the American Hockey League and he has one assist and two penalty minutes in five games with the IceHogs.
Drew Paris of the Gwinnett Gladiators leads all rookie defensemen with 44 points, eight power-play goals and two shorthand goals. His 24 power-play points are tied for third among league rookies. Paris also appeared in one game with Toronto of the AHL registering two assists.
Sam Roberts of the Gwinnett Gladiators is third among first-year defensemen with 10 goals and is tied for second with 40 points. He has played in two games with Lake Erie of the American Hockey League and has two penalty minutes.
Richard Bachman of the Idaho Steelheads is 22-7-3 with four shutouts, a league-leading 2.26 goals-against average and a save percentage of .909. Selected in the fourth round (120th overall) by the Dallas Stars in the 2006 National Hockey League Entry Draft, Bachman is under an NHL contract with Dallas. He has appeared in six AHL games going 3-3-0 with one shutout, goals-against average of 2.06 and a .927 save percentage with Texas.
Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League Fast Facts
• The ECHL celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2007-08 and is the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League.
• ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states and has grown to be a coast-to-coast league with 20 teams in 15 states and British Columbia in 2009-10.
• The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
• 438 players have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including a record 53 in 2008-09.
• 30 ECHL players have made their NHL debut this season. The most recent are: former Idaho Steelheads left wing Richard Clune (Los Angeles on Feb. 11), former Dayton Bombers defenseman Mark Flood (New York Islanders on March 25), former Dayton Bombers and Charlotte Checkers center Trevor Frischmon (Columbus on March 28), former Alaska Aces center Tomas Kana (Columbus on March 30) and former Florida and 2008 ECHL All-Star goaltender Anton Khudobin (Feb. 4 with Minnesota).
• 4 players have played in the ECHL and the NHL this season: Kyle Calder with Bakersfield and Anaheim, Dan Sexton with Bakersfield and Anaheim, MacGregor Sharp with Bakersfield and Anaheim and Matt Zaba with Charlotte and the New York Rangers.
• The ECHL has had 246 players reach the NHL since 2002-03 when it changed its focus to become the primary developmental league for the NHL and the AHL. The ECHL had 97 players reach the NHL in its first 10 seasons and 215 in the first 15 years.
• 182 ECHL players have played their first game in the last five seasons for an average of more than 35 per year.
• ECHL had a record 78 players on NHL opening-day rosters, surpassing the 71 from a year ago and marking the seventh year in a row that there have been over 50 former ECHL players on opening-day rosters.
• Every ECHL team has an affiliation with an NHL team and the league has affiliations with 28 of the 30 NHL teams, marking the 13th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
• 29 coaches with an ECHL background are working behind the benches of teams in the NHL including Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau, New York Islanders head coach Scott Gordon, Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette, Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Claude Noel and St. Louis Blues interim head coach Davis Payne while former ECHL player Dan Bylsma is head coach of the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. It is the fifth consecutive season that there have been 11 or more coaches with an ECHL background working in the NHL. Boudreau, who coached Mississippi for three seasons winning the Kelly Cup championship in 1999, was named NHL Coach of the Year in 2007-08 becoming the first former ECHL coach to receive the award.
• 20 former ECHL officials are working as part of the NHL officiating team in 2009-10 with referees David Banfield, Francis Charron, Chris Ciamaga, Ghislain Herbert, Marc Joannette, Mike Leggo, Wes McCauley, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh, and linesmen Steve Barton, Bryan Pancich, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak and Jay Sharrers.
• ECHL was represented for the ninth year in a row on the Stanley Cup champion with Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma, player Ruslan Fedotenko, equipment managers Dana Heinze and Dave Zeigler, athletic trainers Chris Stewart and Scott Adams and scout Derek Clancey. There were 43 former players and 14 former coaches on 15 of the 16 teams competing in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, marking the fourth year in a row that there have been at least 30 former ECHL players and the sixth consecutive season that over 25 players with ECHL experience have competed in the NHL postseason.
• Former ECHL and current Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was the recipient of the Vezina Trophy as the top goaltender in the NHL and was also presented the William Jennings Trophy with teammate Manny Fernandez as the goaltenders finishing the season having surrendered the fewest goals. Thomas was also named First Team All-NHL after registering a career-high 36 wins while leading the NHL with a goals-against average of 2.10 and a save percentage of .933 to help the Bruins finish with the most wins (53) and points (116) since 1971-72.
• ECHL was represented in the 2009 NHL All-Star Game by Mark Streit of the New York Islanders and Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins while former ECHL players Dan Ellis, Jonathan Quick and Tomas Vokoun were all selected as recipients of the NHL’s “Three Stars” award in 2008-09.
• Former ECHL broadcasters working in the National Hockey League include John Ahlers and Steve Carroll of the Anaheim Ducks, Tom Callahan of the Nashville Predators, Dave Goucher of the Boston Bruins, Chris Kerber of the St. Louis Blues, Dave Mishkin of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Bob McElligott and John Michael of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Rob Simpson, who is a producer/host for The NHL Network.
• Ryan Stanzel and Jeremy Zager, who were both recipients of the ECHL Media Relations Director of the Year award, are working in the communications department for the Minnesota Wild and the Los Angeles Kings, respectively. Former ECHL assistant director of communications Joe Siville and Kelly Murray are now with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals, respectively, while former ECHL director of communications Jason Rothwell is the creative director for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
• ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 29 teams in the American Hockey League and for the past 20 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup Champion.
• In the last six seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 2,500 call-ups involving more than 1,300 players and in 2008-09 there were 10 times as many call-ups from the ECHL to the AHL than all other professional leagues.
• The ECHL averaged 4,258 fans per game in 2008-09 and is the only minor professional hockey league to increase average attendance each of the last two seasons. It is the fifth consecutive season and the 17th time in the last 19 years that the ECHL has averaged over 4,000 fans and the league drew over 3 million fans for the 16th year in a row and reached the 3 million mark in the fewest number of games since 2005-06.
• There have been more than 75 million fans who have attended over 17,000 games since the ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states.
• Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com.