Jakaitis named CCM Hockey ECHL Most Valuable Player

The ECHL on Friday announced that Jeff Jakaitis of the South Carolina Stingrays has been selected as the CCM Hockey ECHL Most Valuable Player for 2014-15. Jakaitis is just the fourth goaltender to receive the Most Valuable Player award in the ECHL’s 27-year history.

The CCM Hockey Most Valuable Player award is presented annually to the player selected to be the most valuable to his team as determined in a vote of ECHL coaches, broadcasters, media relations directors and media members.

Chad Costello of Allen finished second, followed by Idaho’s Wade MacLeod, Andrew Rowe of South Carolina and Fort Wayne’s Shawn Szydlowski.

Jakaitis, who was named to the All-ECHL First Team last week and yesterday received the ECHL Goaltender of the Year award for the third time in his career, rewrote the ECHL record book during the 2014-15 season. During the course of South Carolina’s ECHL-record 23-game winning streak from Feb. 7-March 27, Jakaitis went 15-0-0 with four shutouts, a 1.67 goals-against average and a save percentage of .937.

He set a league record with four consecutive shutouts from March 7-20, and his 321:46 shutout streak set both an ECHL and a minor-league professional hockey record, and fell just 10:16 shy of the modern-era pro hockey record set by Brian Boucher of the Phoenix Coyotes during the 2003-04 season. Jakaitis also established an ECHL record with a 16-game personal winning streak from Feb. 15-April 2. He posted a record of 17-1-0 in his final 18 decisions this season. He was part of a Stingrays’ goaltending group which posted 12 shutouts this season, setting a new ECHL record.

Jakaitis led the ECHL with a 1.96 goals-against average and seven shutouts, which is tied for the second most in a single-season in ECHL history. His 23 career shutouts are just two behind Marc Magliarditi for the all-time league record. Jakaitis finished the season second in the league with a .924 save percentage and was sixth with 26 wins.

CCM Hockey ECHL Most Valuable Player Award Winners

2015   Jeff Jakaitis South Carolina Stingrays
2014   Mickey Lang Orlando Solar Bears
2013   Ryan Zapolski South Carolina Stingrays
2012   Chad Costello Colorado Eagles
2011   Wes Goldie Alaska Aces
2010   Tyler Donati Elmira Jackals
2009   Kevin Baker Florida Everblades
2008   David Desharnais Cincinnati Cyclones
2007   Brad Schell Gwinnett Gladiators
2006   Jeff Campbell Gwinnett Gladiators
2005   Scott Gomez Alaska Aces
2004   Scott Stirling Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies
2003   Buddy Smith Arkansas RiverBlades
2002   Frederic Cloutier Louisiana IceGators
2001   Scott King Charlotte Checkers
2000   Andrew Williamson Toledo Storm
1999   Chris Valicevic Louisiana IceGators
1998   Jamey Hicks Birmingham Bulls
1997   Mike Ross South Carolina Stingrays
1996   Hugo P. Belanger Nashville Knights
1995   Vadim Slivchenko Wheeling Thunderbirds
1994   Joe Flanagan Birmingham Bulls
1993   Trevor Jobe Nashville Knights
1992   Phil Berger Greensboro Monarchs
1991   Stan Drulia Knoxville Cherokees
1990   Bill McDougall Erie Panthers
1989   Daryl Harpe Erie Panthers