SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The American Hockey League announced that former Johnstown Chiefs and current Toronto Marlies defenseman Derrick Walser has been named the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for October.
Walser had 12 points (6g-6a) in eight games to help the Marlies to the best record in the AHL (7-0-1).
The Columbia Inferno is the ECHL affiliate of the Marlies of the AHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL.
The 29 year old had 20 points (8g-12a) in 24 games as a rookie with Johnstown in 1998-99 while also playing in the AHL where he had 10 points (3g-7a) in 40 games with Saint John.
He returned to the Chiefs in 1999-2000 and had 43 points (17g-26a) and 104 penalty minutes in 54 regular season games and six points (3g-3a) in seven Kelly Cup Playoff games for Johnstown. He also played in the AHL where he had five points (2g-3a) in 14 games with Saint John.
Walser had a point in each of Toronto’s eight games in October, including matching his AHL career highs with three assists and four points, all in the second period, in a win against Lake Erie on Oct. 12. He is tied for fifth in the AHL with 12 points and his six goals and 12 points lead AHL defensemen. A Calder Cup champion and AHL All-Star in 2002 with Syracuse, Walser has 237 points (79g-158a) and 323 penalty minutes in 342 career regular season AHL games and 24 points (9g-15a) and 30 penalty minutes in 32 AHL playoff games with Albany, St. John, Syracuse and Toronto.
Other nominees for the CCM/AHL Player of the Month award included right wing Carl Corazzini, who played for Atlantic City and now plays for Grand Rapids; left wing Cody McLeod, who played for San Diego and now plays for Lake Erie; center Rich Peverley, who played for South Carolina and Reading and now plays for Milwaukee; left wing Charles Linglet, who played for Alaska and Las Vegas and now plays for Peoria; center Jared Ross, who played for Gwinnett and now plays for Philadelphia; defenseman Tim Hambly, who played for Las Vegas and now plays for Quad City; and goaltender Josh Tordjman, who played for Phoenix and now plays for San Antonio.
Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League Fast Facts
• Affiliations with 26 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League, marking the 11th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
• 333 former ECHL players have played in NHL.
• There were 69 former ECHL players on NHL opening-day rosters and there have been 188 former ECHL players who have played their first game in the NHL in the past six seasons.
• Twenty-six former ECHL players made their NHL debut in 2006-07, including two who played in both the ECHL and the NHL as goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji played for Reading and Los Angeles while defenseman Bryan Young skated for Stockton and Edmonton. Dave McKee played for Augusta and dressed for five games as the backup goaltender for Stanley Cup champion Anaheim.
• Four former ECHL players have made their NHL debut this season: former Johnstown Chiefs and Fresno Falcons goaltender Dmitri Patzold (San Jose on Oct. 7), former San Diego goaltender Tyler Weiman (Colorado on Oct. 4), former Charlotte right wing Craig Weller (Phoenix on Oct. 4) and former Phoenix RoadRunners center Daniel Winnik (Phoenix Coyotes on Oct. 4).
• Record 51 former ECHL players played their first NHL game in 2005-06.
• ECHL has been represented on last seven Stanley Cup champions.
• 14 Former ECHL coaches on NHL staffs.
• ECHL has been represented on last 18 Calder Cup champions.
• ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 29 teams in the American Hockey League and for the past 18 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup Champion.
• The Stockton Thunder and the City of Stockton will host the 16th Annual ECHL Chase Chevrolet All-Star Game at Stockton Arena on Jan. 23, 2008 and the 11th Annual ECHL All-Star Skills Competition presented by Jackson Rancheria and Bud Light on Jan. 22, 2008.
• In the last five seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 2,000 call-ups involving more than 1,000 players since 2002-03.
ECHL and its member teams contributed nearly $3 million for charity and relief funds in 2006-07.
• Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com.