The ice is in, training camps are open, and on Friday, the 2016-17 ECHL Season officially begins. But before that, let’s take a quick look back at some of the top performers of the 2015-16 Season.
TOP ROOKIE GOAL SCORERS
Being a rookie ECHL player is no easy task – fighting for your spot on a roster, getting acquainted to a new set of teammates, learning to become a ‘professional’ – oh and did we mention the bus rides? But Michael Kirkpatrick, Phil Brewer, and T.J. Foster made it look easy in the 2015-16 Season as the top three rookie goal scorers.
Kirkpatrick had 29 goals and 31 assists in 72 games with the Adirondack Thunder last season. He added an additional 2 goals and 7 assists in 12 postseason games with the Thunder during the 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Prior to turning professional, he had 102 points in four seasons at St. Francis Xavier University from 2011-2015. Kirkpatrick has signed with the Florida Everblades for the 2016-17 Season.
Brewer collected 26 goals and 22 assists in 71 games with the Tulsa Oilers in the 2015-16 season. Ahead of his professional career, Brewer played three seasons at Bemidji State University in Minnesota. Brewer has re-signed with the Oilers for the 16-17 season.
Foster earned 25 goals and 29 assists in 63 games played with the Orlando Solar Bears last season. He spent two seasons at the University of Alberta before turning professional. Foster is in training camp with the Solar Bears ahead of the season start.
TOP DEFENSEMAN GOAL SCORERS
Not to be outshone by any rookies, there were several defensemen who also had no trouble finding the back of the net throughout the 2015-16 season.
Adrian Veideman had the most successful season of his eight-year professional career with 17 goals in 70 games for the Colorado Eagles in 2015-16. Aside from being the highest goal-scoring season of his career, he also notched a career-high 44 points. Veideman’s impressive 15-16 campaign was enough to earn him All-ECHL First Team accolades. Veideman retired from professional hockey after the end of last season and is currently pursuing a career in real estate while also coaching with a Colorado U16 Team.
In his rookie season (2014-15), David Makowski notched 8 goals in 44 games with the Wheeling Nailers (he also appeared in 7 AHL games). In his second year as a professional, he more than doubled that total, scoring 17 goals in 54 games with the Allen Americans, and helped them to a Kelly Cup championship. Makowski signed with Fehérvár AV19 of the Austrian Erste Bank Hockey League for the 2016-17 season, having appeared in 8 games so far for the team, scoring 1 goal.
Jacob MacDonald had 17 goals in 72 games for the Elmira Jackals last season, earning himself a spot on the 2015-16 ECHL All-Rookie Team. Prior to turning professional, MacDonald played four seasons at Cornell University. He signed with the Toledo Walleye for the 2016-17 Season.
TOP POINT SCORERS
There’s ECHL players, and then there’s ECHL players you expect to put up points throughout the season. Luckily for the fans, Chad Costello, Trent Daavettila and Shawn Szydlowski didn’t disappoint in the points category last season.
It’s safe to say Allen Americans forward Chad Costello had a great 2015-16 Season. His 103 points in 72 games with the Americans earned him CCM Hockey ECHL Most Valuable Player accolades. Costello helped lead the Americans to their second straight Kelly Cup in June 2016. Americans fans will be delighted to know he has re-signed with Allen for the 2016-17 season.
Trent Daavettila was the second highest point scorer in the ECHL for the 2015-16 season, with 80 points in 71 games for the Colorado Eagles. After seven successful seasons in the ECHL, the last two as captain of the Eagles, Daavettila has announced his retirement from professional hockey.
In just 62 games with the Fort Wayne Komets last season, Shawn Szydlowski was able to attain 75 points, good for the third-highest point total in the ECHL for the 2015-16 season. Szydlowski will join the Komets again for the 16-17 season, his 4th season with the team and 5th in the ECHL.
TOP GOAL SCORERS
Several ECHL players kept goal judges around the league busy turning on the red light during the 2015-16 season.
The 2015-16 season was one to remember for Jack Downing as he found the back of the net 32 times in 72 games with the Cincinnati Cyclones. While it was Downing’s fifth professional season, it was far and away his most successful in terms of goals scored. While it seemed Downing found his niche in Cincinnati, he joined the Kassel Huskies of Germany for the 2016-17 Season.
Tied with Downing with 32 goals as well in the 2015-16 season was Jesse Mychan of the Colorado Eagles. Mychan returned to Colorado last season after spending the 2014-15 season with the Cardiff Devils of the EIHL. In addition to his ECHL and EIHL experience, he has also seen action in 5 AHL games with the Portland Pirates (3) and San Jose Barracuda (2). Mychan has re-signed with the Eagles for the 2016-17 season.