The ECHL on Wednesday announced its All-Rookie Team for 2015-16 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.
2015-16 ECHL All-Rookie Team
G – Vitek Vanecek, South Carolina Stingrays (31 gp, 17-7-6, 2.09 GAA, .914 save pct.)
D – Jacob MacDonald, Elmira Jackals (70 gp, 17g, 18a, 35 pts., +10)
D – Ben Marshall, Indy Fuel (70 gp, 11g, 24a, 36 pts., -10)
F – Dan DeSalvo, Tulsa Oilers (55 gp, 16g, 35a, 51 pts., +16)
F – Cason Hohmann, Elmira Jackals (57 gp, 20g, 37a, 57 pts., +16)
F – Matt Willows, Florida Everblades (68 gp, 23g, 39a, 62 pts., +14)
Since the ECHL began naming the All-Rookie Team in 2000-01, 18 players selected have gone on to play in the National Hockey League: Vern Fiddler and Simon Gamache (2001-02); Mike Glumac, Adam Hauser, Jason Jaffray and Zenon Konopka (2002-03); Kevin Doell and Brian Fahey (2003-04); Joey Tenute (2004-05); Cedrick Desjardins (2006-07); David Desharnais and Anton Khudobin (2007-08); Richard Bachman (2009-10); Kael Mouillierat and Ben Street (2010-11); Philipp Grubauer (2011-12); Laurent Brossoit (2013-14) and Roman Will (2014-15).
The ECHL will announce its First-Team All-ECHL and Second-Team All-ECHL teams on Thursday.
Vitek Vanecek of the South Carolina Stingrays is 17-7-6 in 31 appearances this season, while he ranks third in the league with a 2.09 goals-against average and he is tied for sixth among rookie goaltenders with a .914 save percentage. Under contract to the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League, Vanecek has gone 10-0-3 in his last 13 decisions.
Jacob MacDonald of the Elmira Jackals leads rookie defensemen, and is tied for first overall among blueliners, with 17 goals, and his 35 points are tied for first among first-year defenders. His four shorthanded goals lead the league, and is a total that has never been bested by a defenseman in league history.
Ben Marshall of the Indy Fuel is tied for first among first-year blueliners, and is tied for 10th among all defensemen, with 35 points (11g-24a) while his 184 shots on goal are tied for fourth among defensemen.
Dan DeSalvo of the Tulsa Oilers ranks fifth among rookies with 35 assists and is seventh with 51 points despite playing just 55 games as he is currently loaned to Manitoba of the American Hockey League.
Cason Hohmann of the Elmira Jackals is second among rookies with 57 points, tied for third with 37 assists and tied for fifth among first-year players with nine power-play assists.
Matt Willows of the Florida Everblades leads all rookies with 39 assists and 62 points while ranking fourth among first-year players with 23 goals. He has 10 power-play assists, which is tied for third among rookies, and his 15 power-play points are fourth.
About the ECHL
Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 28 teams in 21 states and one Canadian province for its 28th season in 2015-16. There have been 596 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 27 who have made their NHL debuts in the 2015-16 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 30 NHL teams in 2015-16, marking the 19th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter.