PRINCETON, N.J. – Former Richmond left wing Graham Mink became the 239th ECHL player to advance to the National Hockey League when he made his debut with Washington on Tuesday. Mink played 10 shifts and took one faceoff in the Capitals 2-1 win against Tampa Bay.
Prior to being called up to Washington on Tuesday, Mink had 22 points (13g-9a) in 42 games with Portland of the AHL. Signed as a free agent by Washington on April 9, 2002, Mink scored 17 points (8g-9a) in 29 games with Richmond in 2001-02 while also scoring 34 points (17g-17a) in 56 games with Portland. In 2002-03, the 24-year-old Mink scored 37 points (22g-15a) in 71 games with Portland.
Former Jackson defenseman Lawrence Nycholat was recalled from Hartford of the American Hockey League to the New York Rangers on Monday. Nycholat, who made his NHL debut on January 20 against Boston, played 31 shifts and was -1 with two penalty minutes in the Rangers 4-3 loss to Minnesota on Wednesday. Prior to being called up to New York, Nycholat had 19 points (3g-16a) in 48 games for Hartford of the AHL. Nycholat scored three points (1g-2a) in five games with Jackson in 2000-01. He also played for Cleveland of the International Hockey League scoring 10 points (3g-7a) in 42 regular season games while also appearing in four playoff games.
There have been 24 players in 2003-04 that have made their first NHL appearance since playing in the ECHL. Mink and Nycholat become the 22nd and 23rd ECHL players to make their NHL debut in 2003-04 joining Johnathan Aitken (Chicago on November 26), Ryan Barnes (Detroit on December 15), Mike Bishai (Edmonton on January 29), Darryl Bootland (Detroit on November 8), Garrett Burnett (Anaheim on October 8), Carl Corazzini (Boston on January 15), Mike Green (Florida on February 3), Andrew Hutchinson (Nashville on October 18), Boyd Kane (Philadelphia on October 16), Patrick Leahy (Boston on December 6), Steve McLaren (St. Louis on December 16), Jason MacDonald (New York Rangers on December 12), Pat Rissmiller (San Jose on November 13), Nathan Robinson (Detroit on November 28), Michael Ryder (Montreal on October 9), Dany Sabourin (Calgary on October 29), Rob Skrlac (New Jersey on December 13), Rastislav Stana (Washington on November 14), Mike Stuart (St. Louis on October 24), Darcy Verot (Washington on January 1), and Jeremy Yablonski (St. Louis on December 30). Travis Brigley, who played for Macon of the ECHL in 2001-02, played for Colorado on October 26.