The ECHL on Wednesday announced its All-Rookie Team for 2013-14 as determined in a vote of ECHL coaches, broadcasters, media relations directors and media, 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.
2013-14 ECHL All-Rookie Team
G – Laurent Brossoit, Bakersfield Condors (36 gp, 24-9-2, 2.05 GAA, .924 save pct.)
D – Michal Cajkovsky, Reading Royals (63 gp, 13g, 22a, 35 pts., +5)
D – Brad Richard, Alaska Aces (59 gp, 6g, 24a, 30 pts., +21)
F – Matt Caria, Kalamazoo Wings (63 gp, 24g, 30a, 54 pts., Even)
F – Jeremy Langlois, Stockton Thunder (53 gp, 17g, 39a, 56 pts., +3)
F – William Rapuzzi, Idaho Steelheads (58 gp, 16g, 41a, 57 pts., +1)
Since the ECHL began naming the All-Rookie Team in 2000-01, 15 players selected have gone to play in the National Hockey League: Richard Bachman (2009-10), David Desharnais (2007-08), Cedrick Desjardins (2006-07), Kevin Doell (2003-04), Brian Fahey (2003-04), Vern Fiddler (2002-03), Simon Gamache (2001-02), Mike Glumac (2002-03), Philipp Grubauer (2011-12), Adam Hauser (2002-03), Jason Jaffray (2002-03), Anton Khudobin (2007-08), Ben Street (2010-11), 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.
Laurent Brossoit of the Bakersfield Condors is 24-9-2 and has tied the ECHL single-season record with eight shutouts. His three consecutive shutouts from Nov. 2 through Dec. 18 tied the league record and his 211:17 shutout streak ranks fourth all-time. Brossoit, who is under an NHL contract with the Edmonton Oilers, ranks second in the league with a 2.05 goals-against average and is tied for second with a .924 save percentage.
Michal Cajkovsky of the Reading Royals leads rookie defensemen, and is tied for 10th among blueliners, with 35 points (13g-22a) in 63 games while his 13 goals are tied for third among league defensemen. Under contract to the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears, Cajkovsky’s four game-winning goals are tied for second among defensemen and tied for fifth among rookies.
Brad Richard of the Alaska Aces is tied for third among rookie defensemen with 30 points (6g-24a) in 59 games and is third among rookies in plus-minus with a +21 rating.
Matt Caria of the Kalamazoo Wings is tied for second among first-year players with 24 goals and is fourth with 54 points. His eight power-play goals are third among rookies, he is tied for third with 15 power-play points and he is tied for second with five game-winning goals.
Jeremy Langlois, under an AHL contract with Bridgeport, started the season with Evansville before his contract rights were traded in March and he was reassigned to Stockton. He ranks second among ECHL rookies with 56 points (17g-39a) in 53 games with the IceMen and Thunder. He is second among first-year players with 17 power-play points and third with 185 shots on goal.
William Rapuzzi of the Idaho Steelheads leads all rookies with 41 assists, 57 points, 15 power-play assists and 21 power-play points. His four game-winning goals are tied for fifth among first-year players and he is second among rookies with a .778 shootout shooting percentage (7-for-9).
Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League Fast Facts
• Watch games live on America ONE Sports, the “Official Broadband & Mobile Broadcaster” of the ECHL.
• The ECHL celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2012-13 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 21 teams in 15 states in 2013-14.
• The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
• 535 players have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including 22 in 2012-13.
• 23 ECHL players have made their NHL debuts in 2013-14: former Reading Royals Will Acton (Edmonton on Oct. 1), former Kalamazoo Wings left wing Darren Archibald (Vancouver on Oct. 25), former Columbia Inferno, Charlotte Checkers, Greenville Road Warriors and Reading Royals defenseman Julien Brouillette (Washington on Feb. 6), former Colorado Eagles defensemen Ben Chiarot (Winnipeg on Nov. 2) former San Francisco Bulls left wing Jamie Devane (Toronto on Oct. 5), former Elmira Jackals and Reading Royals left wing Brett Gallant (New York Islanders on April 8), former Idaho Steelheads left wing Luke Gazdic (Edmonton on Oct. 1), former Toledo Walleye center Luke Glendening (Detroit on Oct. 12), former Wheeling Nailers defenseman Alex Grant (Anaheim on Nov. 30), former Cincinnati Cyclones goaltender Magnus Hellberg (Nashville on Oct. 26), former Reading Royals and Ontario Reign goaltender Michael Hutchinson (Winnipeg on April 7), former Ontario Reign goaltender Martin Jones (Los Angeles on Dec. 3), former Greenville Road Warriors goaltender Nathan Lieuwen (Buffalo on March 16) former Alaska Aces goaltender Joni Ortio (Calgary on Feb. 27), former Wheeling Nailers center Adam Payerl (Pittsburgh on April 6), former Wheeling Nailers defenseman Philip Samuelsson (Pittsburgh on Dec. 16), former Wheeling Nailers center Zach Sill (Pittsburgh on Nov. 16), former Toledo Walleye goaltender Kent Simpson (Chicago on Dec. 14), former Greenville Road Warriors goaltender Cam Talbot (New York Rangers on Oct. 24), former Cincinnati Cyclones center and 2010 Kelly Cup champion Mark Van Guilder (Nashville on March 30), former Reading Royals defenseman Patrick Wey (Washington on Dec. 7), former Cincinnati Cyclones forward Garrett Wilson (Florida on March 18) and former Ontario Reign goaltender Jeff Zatkoff (Pittsburgh on Oct. 11).
• Four players have played in the ECHL and NHL in 2013-14: Magnus Hellberg with Cincinnati and Nashville, Michael Hutchinson with Ontario and Winnipeg, Joni Ortio with Alaska and Calgary and Patrick Wey with Reading and Washington.
• The ECHL has had 343 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.
• 279 ECHL players have played their first game in the last nine seasons for an average of 31 per year.
• ECHL had a record 93 players on NHL opening-day rosters in 2013-14, surpassing the 87 from 2012-13 and marking the 11th year in a row that there have been over 50 former ECHL players on opening-day rosters.
• ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 30 NHL teams in 2013-14, marking the 17th consecutive season that the league has 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 Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma, New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano and Florida Panthers interim head coach Peter Horachek. It is the ninth consecutive season that there have been 11 or more coaches with an ECHL background working in the NHL.
• 27 former ECHL officials are scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2013-14 with referees Darcy Burchell, Francis Charron, Tom Chmielewski, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Trent Knorr, Mike Leggo, Dave Lewis, T.J. Luxmore, Wes McCauley, Jon McIsaac, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Graham Skilliter, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh, and linesmen Steve Barton, Matt MacPherson, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak, Bryan Pancich and Jay Sharrers.
• ECHL was represented for the 13th year in a row on the Stanley Cup champion in 2013 with Chicago Blackhaws assistant coach Jamie Kompon, players Sheldon Brookbank and Daniel Carcillo, vice president/assistant to the president Al MacIsaac, director of pro scouting Ryan Stewart and general manager of minor league affiliations Mark Bernard. The ECHL was represented by 53 former players and 18 coaches on the 16 teams competing in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, marking the eighth year in a row that there have been at least 30 former ECHL players and the 10th consecutive season that over 25 players with ECHL experience have competed in the NHL postseason.
• Former ECHL broadcasters working in the NHL include John Ahlers and Steve Carroll of the Anaheim Ducks, Dave Goucher of the Boston Bruins, Chris Kerber of the St. Louis Blues, Jack Michaels of the Edmonton Oilers, Dave Mishkin of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Bob McElligott of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
• 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 works in the communications department for the Philadelphia Flyers.
• In the last nine seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined 4,000 with over call-ups involving more than 2,100 players and in 2012-13 there were 10 times as many call-ups from the ECHL to the AHL than all other professional leagues.
• The ECHL averaged 4,695 fans per game in 2012-13, the highest single-season average since 1999-2000, and marking the ninth consecutive season and the 21st time in the last 23 years that the ECHL has averaged over 4,000 fans.