PRINCETON, N.J. – For the 12th consecutive year, the ECHL is represented on the Stanley Cup champion with Los Angeles Kings assistant coach Jamie Kompon, players Dwight King, Jordan Nolan and Jonathan Quick, manager of communications/broadcasting Jeremy Zager and scouts Steve Greeley, Mark Mullen and Mark Yannetti.
The Ontario Reign are the ECHL affiliate of the Kings. The Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League had affiliations with 26 of the 30 teams in the NHL in 2011-12, marking the 15th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams. The ECHL had a record 81 players on NHL opening-day rosters, surpassing the 79 from a year ago and marking the ninth year in a row that there have been over 50 former ECHL players on opening-day rosters.
Kompon scored 17 points (4g-13a) and had 107 penalty minutes in 59 games with Hampton Roads, Cincinnati and Winston-Salem from 1989-91.
A fourth round selection by the Kings in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, King scored nine points (4g-5a) and added nine penalty minutes in 20 games with Ontario during the 2009-10 season. He added 26 points (10g-16a) and 42 penalty minutes in 52 regular season games for Manchester of the American Hockey League and tallied nine points (2g-7a) in 16 Calder Cup Playoff games. He made his NHL debut with the Kings on Nov. 17, 2010, and has 14 points (5g-9a) in 32 career regular-season games with the club. He appeared in all 20 games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, tallying eight points (5g-3a).
Nolan made his professional debut with the Reign at the end of the 2009-10 season, tallying two points (1g-1a) in three games. After spending all of last season with Manchester, he made his NHL debut this season on Feb. 11, and had four points (2g-2a) in 28 games with the Kings. He registered two points (1g-1a)in 20 games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Quick appeared in 38 games with the Reading Royals in 2007-08 posting a 23-11-3 record with one shutout, a 2.79 goals-against average and a save percentage of .905. He earned his first pro win in his second start with the Royals, turning aside all 32 shots he faced in a 3-0 win at Pensacola on Oct. 24, 2007. He also was credited with a goal at 19:25 of the third period when the puck rolled the length of the ice and into the Pensacola net which was empty because goaltender Mike Brodeur had been pulled for an extra attacker. Quick was the last player to touch the puck, so he was credited with the unassisted goal. He is one of just 10 goaltenders in the ECHL’s 24-year history to score a goal. The 26-year-old, who is a finalist for the Vezina Trophy awarded to the NHL’s top goaltender, has appeared in 249 career regular-season games with the Kings going 131-87-25 with 24 shutouts, a 2.30 goals-against average and a save percentage of .916.
Quick, who is the second consecutive former ECHL player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after Tim Thomas was honored last season,set a Kings postseason record with threeshutouts during the Stanley Cup Playoffs while compiling a record of 16-4, a 1.41 goals-against average and a save percentage of .946.
In addition to Kompon, King, Nolan and Quick, there are 24 ECHL alums who have been on the Stanley Cup winner: assistant coach Geoff Ward, Rich Peverley, Michael Ryder and Tim Thomas (Boston – 2011); assistant coach Mike Haviland, associate coach John Torchetti, vice president Al MacIsaac and general manager of minor league affiliations Mark Bernard (Chicago – 2010), head coach Dan Bylsma and Ruslan Fedotenko (Pittsburgh – 2009), Aaron Downey (Detroit – 2008), assistant coach Dave Farrish, Francois Beauchemin and George Parros (Anaheim – 2007), head coach Peter Laviolette, Andrew Hutchinson and Chad LaRose (Carolina – 2006), Ruslan Fedotenko, Nolan Pratt and Andre Roy (Tampa Bay – 2004), Corey Schwab (New Jersey – 2003), Manny Legace (Detroit – 2002), David Aebischer and Nolan Pratt (Colorado – 2001), Krzysztof Oliwa (New Jersey – 2000) and Kevin Dean (New Jersey – 1995). Fedotenko and Pratt are the only former ECHL players to have their name engraved twice on the Stanley Cup.
Zager, who was the director of public relations for the San Diego Gulls from 2003-06 and also spent time with the Bakersfield Condors, was named the ECHL Media Relations Director of the Year in both 2005 and 2006. Greeley scored 19 points (4g-15a) in 47 games with Pee Dee, Charlotte and Mississippi in 2004-05, while Mullen, who was an ECHL All-Star with Pee Dee in 2004-05, tallied 27 points (11g-16a) in 54 games with the Pride. Yannetti appeared in 67 games with Johnstown and Columbus in 1997-98, registering 12 points (5g-7a) and adding 43 penalty minutes.
There are six former ECHL coaches to have won the Stanley Cup. Peter Laviolette, who began his coaching career with Wheeling in 1996-97 and was the first former ECHL coach to win the Stanley Cup as a head coach with Carolina in 2006; Dave Farrish, who coached five seasons in the ECHL and was an assistant coach for Anaheim when the Ducks won in 2007; John Torchetti, who was an assistant coach with Greensboro for two seasons and was associate coach for Chicago during the Blackhawks 2010 championship; Mike Haviland, who was head coach in Atlantic City from 2001-04 and Trenton in 2004-05, was an assistant coach for the Blackhawks in 2010; Geoff Ward, who was head coach of Arkansas in 1999-00, was an assistant coach with Boston in 2011; and Tom McVie, who was head coach of Wheeling in 1996-97, was a scout for the Bruins in 2011.
The ECHL was represented in the Stanley Cup Playoffs by 43 former players and 13 coaches on the 16 teams. It was the seventh year in a row that there were at least 30 former ECHL players and the ninth consecutive season that over 25 players with ECHL experience competed in the NHL postseason. It marked the eighth straight year that the ECHL has been represented by at least six coaches.
There have been 490 players who have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including 23 who made their debut in 2011-12. The ECHL has had 298 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. There have been 234 ECHL players who have played their first game in the last seven seasons for an average of more than 33 per year.
There were six players who played in the ECHL and the NHL this season: Akim Aliu (Colorado and Calgary), Brian Foster (Cincinnati and Florida), Milan Kytnar (Stockton and Edmonton), Peter Mannino (Chicago and Winnipeg), Jussi Rynnas (Reading and Toronto) and Allen York (Chicago and Columbus).
The first ECHL player to play in the NHL was Johnstown Chiefs goaltender and current Toronto Maple Leafs assistant coach Scott Gordon, who played his first game with the Quebec Nordiques against Buffalo on Jan. 30, 1990.
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, 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 and Kelly Murray are now with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals, respectively.
Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League Fast Facts
• Watch games live on America One, the “Official Broadband & Mobile Broadcaster” of the ECHL.
• The ECHL celebrates 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 23 teams in 16 states for 2012-13.
• The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
• ECHL has affiliations with 24 of the 30 teams in the American Hockey League and for the past 23 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup Champion.
• In the last eight seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 3,500 call-ups involving more than 1,800 players and in 2011-12 there were 10 times as many call-ups from the ECHL to the AHL than all other professional leagues.
• Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.