LAS VEGAS – The National Hockey League announced on Wednesday that former ECHL and current Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk is the winner of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for the 2014-15 season. The award is presented “to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
Dubnyk is the first former ECHL player to receive the Masterton Trophy.
Dubnyk began this season with Arizona before being traded to Minnesota on Jan. 13. He started his first game for the Wild on Jan. 15, when they were eight points out of a Western Conference playoff spot. Dubnyk proceeded to set a Wild record with 38 consecutive starts and helped them earn a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, going 27-9-2 with five shutouts, a 1.78 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage.
The 29-year-old appeared in 43 games with the Stockton Thunder as a rookie in 2006-07 posting a record of 24-11-7 with two shutouts, a 2.56 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage. He also represented the Thunder at the 2007 ECHL All-Star Game in Boise, Idaho.
A first-round selection (14th overall) of the Edmonton Oilers in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Dubnyk has appeared in 231 career NHL games with Edmonton, Nashville, Arizona and Minnesota with an overall record of 97-91-26 with 14 shutouts, a 2.69 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage.
There have been 569 players who have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including 28 who made their debut in 2014-15. The ECHL has had 377 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 313 ECHL players who have played their first game in the last 10 seasons for an average of more than 31 per year.
There were six players who played in the ECHL and NHL in 2014-15: Tyler Bunz with Wichita and Edmonton, John Curry with Quad City and Minnesota, Chris Driedger with Evansville and Ottawa, Louis Domingue with Gwinnett, Brett Kulak with Colorado and Calgary and Mackenzie Skapski with Greenville and the New York Rangers.
The ECHL was represented in the Stanley Cup Playoffs by 38 former players and 11 coaches on the 16 teams. It was the 10th year in a row that there were at least 30 former ECHL players and the 12th consecutive season that over 25 players with ECHL experience competed in the NHL postseason. It marked the 11th straight year that the ECHL has been represented by at least six coaches. For the 15th year in a row, the ECHL was represented on the Stanley Cup champion.
The first ECHL player to play in the NHL was Johnstown Chiefs goaltender 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, 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.
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 569 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 28 who made their NHL debuts in the 2014-15 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 29 of the 30 NHL teams in 2014-15, marking the 18th 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.