PRINCETON, N.J. – Former Peoria left wing Colin Hemingway made his National Hockey League debut on Wednesday in St. Louis’ 3-2 win against Anaheim, becoming the 264th player to play in the NHL after playing in the ECHL. Hemingway had one shot in 15 shifts.
Selected in the eighth round (221st overall) by St. Louis in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, the 25-year-old had 18 points (8g-10a) in 20 games with Peoria and seven points (5g-2a) in 24 games with Worcester of the American Hockey League in 2004-05.
In his first professional season in 2003-04, the 6-foot and 195-pound Hemingway had 44 points (20g-24a) in 36 regular season games and also played two Kelly Cup Playoff games for Peoria. In March 2004, he was named ECHL Player of the Month, ECHL Rookie of the Month and shared ECHL Plus Performer of the Month. He tied for second among ECHL rookies in plus-minus rating with +29 and had seven power-play points (5g-2a), two shorthand points (2g-0a) and three game-winning goals for the Rivermen. He also played 13 games in the AHL with Worcester and scored two goals.
The Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League, the ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 30 teams in the NHL and there is one head coach, 12 assistant coaches, 12 referees and five linesmen working in the NHL in 2005-06 who have ECHL experience. There have been eight players in 2005-06 that have made their first NHL appearance since playing in the ECHL: Adam Berkhoel (Atlanta on October 15), Derek Boogaard (Minnesota on October 5), Michael Garnett (Atlanta on October 12), Timo Helbling (Tampa Bay on October 5), Colin Hemingway (St. Louis on October 19), Raitis Ivanans (Montreal on October 8), George Parros (Los Angeles on October 5) and Mark Streit (Montreal on October 8).